The Sac-Joaquin Section invited 16 teams to the Division I football playoffs, and the Delta River League decided to take over the party.
The four remaining programs in the large-school semifinals add an emphatic argument as to the section’s top league.
In the state’s second-largest section, it’s rare for four teams from one conference to reach the postseason, never mind go a combined 8-0 in the first two rounds to seize the bracket.
The Bee’s No. 1 team and Cal-Hi state No. 3, Folsom, leads the pack, having earlier beaten the other three DRL teams handily. In Friday’s semifinals, Folsom plays Jesuit and Pleasant Grove takes on Oak Ridge for a trip to the championship game at Sacramento State.
“The league has made everyone better, and it’s the best in Northern California,” Folsom co-coach Kris Richardson said.
A closer look at each program:
Folsom is 26-1 the past two seasons behind junior quarterback Jake Browning, who passed for a state-record 5,248 yards and a NorCal-record 63 touchdowns in 2012, and now has a state-record 68 TDs this season to go with 4,710 yards. Folsom has two 1,000-yard receivers, Will McClure (1,397 yards, 22 TDs) and Josiah Deguara (1,131 yards, 15 TDs), with Troy Knox (900 yards, 10 TDs) ready to join them. The Bulldogs average 147.7 rushing yards, and the defense played big in wins over Jesuit (56-14) and Oak Ridge (35-0) and early against Pleasant Grove (63-39 after Folsom led 35-12 at the half).