Prep football playoffs promise to be topsy-turvy

Published: Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013 - 12:00 am
Last Modified: Monday, Nov. 18, 2013 - 12:47 pm

Streaks continued and collapsed Friday night, setting off what promises to be a twist-and-turn ride in the Sac-Joaquin Section football playoffs.

Granite Bay belted Tokay 58-12 in Lodi to open Division I play in extending its playoff winning streak to 11 as the Grizzlies’ Division I three-peat cry intensified. The Grizzlies, hampered by injuries with stars Tony Ellison and Marc Ellis sidelined for the season, continue to surge behind quarterback Josh Neal and returning star defenders in Luke Bussey and Cameron Smith. Neal had three touchdowns against Tokay.

Said coach Skip Albano of his group, “I’m in awe at how they keep performing.”

Next is Oak Ridge in a rematch of last season’s D-I title game.

In other games:

• Jesuit topped Merced 49-39 in another D-I opener for its first postseason victory in 10 years. Jason Elenberger passed for 266 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 112 and two. Ben Parietti accounted for three scores and Austin Gates had eight tackles and 92 receiving yards.

• Christian Brothers beat Pacheco of Los Banos 54-20 in D-III at Hughes Stadium for the program’s first postseason victory since the 1986 D-I City Championship. Chris Guillen threw two touchdown passes and ran for two as the Falcons stopped a 12-game playoff skid.

• Yuba City won just its fourth playoff opener, outlasting St. Mary’s of Stockton 34-28 in D-II. Previous Honkers playoff opening wins were in 1971, 1987 and 2010. The decisive play was made by senior defensive lineman Jarred Guerro who returned a fumble 62 yards for a touchdown with 2:04 to play. Teammates teased that they didn’t know he could run like that.

Record breakers – Jake Browning completed 37 of 46 passes for 490 yards and six touchdowns in Folsom’s 50-13 rout of Lincoln of Stockton. Browning is two touchdown passes shy of breaking his Northern California single-season record from last season. Browning and Robert De La Cruz of Cathedral-Los Angeles share the state single-season mark of 63.

“Jake is incredible,” Folsom co-coach Kris Richardson said. “He executes really well and he is so accurate. Great anticipation.”

• Ja’Quan Gardner of Central Valley of Ceres set the Stanislaus District’s all-time career rushing mark with 6,009 yards after running for 373 yards and four touchdowns in a 69-55 loss at Manteca in D-III.

• Colfax held off Sierra-Manteca 42-37 in a D-IVgame that included 77 total passes and more than 1,100 yards of offense. Michael Wilson’s 97-yard touchdown pass to Chas Reisinger was a school record, topping the 95-yard play from Ben Galbraith to Mike McCoy in 2003. Wilson passed for 365 yards and three touchdowns, and his 43 scoring tosses broke Nate Ray’s school record of 41 in 1999.

The Falcons next meet defending small-school state champion Central Catholic of Modesto.

Injury report – Cosumnes Oaks quarterback Alex Kropp didn’t want his prep career to end this way – on the sidelines, helmet in hand, head spinning. In a 34-9 D-II loss to Whitney, the senior honors student was crushed on a tackle, got up, took a few steps, and fell down. He was in good spirits Saturday.

“I have a concussion, and it hurts pretty bad, but I was just disappointed I couldn’t finish the game,” Kropp said. “I don’t remember falling down. I’m fine. It’s a minor headache now.”

• In Placer’s 34-14 D-IV win at Capital Christian, referee Cornell Gathing was plowed under by Justice Shelton-Mosley on a run play. Gathing lay motionless for a moment as Cougars coach Phil Grams raced out to assist. Gathing was carted off some 10 minutes later, tipping his hat to a cheering crowd.

• Vista del Lago quarterback Matt Jimison was knocked out of a D-III opener at Vanden with a leg injury that resulted in a trip to the emergency room. Despite a gallant effort by reserve Ryan Wert, the Eagles fell 39-37. Vista reached the D-III final a year ago but was undone by injuries this season, including star tailback Josh Pfeffer being lost in Week 1 with a knee injury.

Follow on Twitter @SacBee_JoeD. For a podcast breakdown of section playoff openers and a preview of second-round games, go to ESPN1320.net.

Read more articles by Joe Davidson



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