Folsom Bulldogs middle linebacker Roger Neal has already forgotten his interception and all his tackles Friday night against Granite Bay. His fumble late in the No. 1 Bulldogs’ 27-14 victory over the No. 5 Grizzlies still festered. When you’re used to winning every game and succeeding on every play, mistakes are magnified. Such is life for all 57 Bulldogs as they improved their regular-season unbeaten streak to 37 games and moved to 5-0 on the season and 1-0 in the rough-and-tumble Sierra Foothill League.
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Perhaps it’s a Southern vs. Northern California thing. Or maybe it’s because both clubs were formed at the same time last year and became immediate impact teams in the USL. It could also be as simple a fact that the players, coaches and fans of Republic FC and LA Galaxy II love to push each others’ buttons. The edgy rivalry is renewed again Saturday night when fourth-seeded Sacramento (13-8-7, 46 points) hosts fifth-seeded Los Dos (14-11-3, 45 points) in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs at Bonney Field.
Rookie defensive end Arik Armstead has played just 26 snaps in the 49ers’ two games and hasn’t recorded an official stat, such as a tackle or quarterback hit. But he was one of the few players who put any semblance of pressure on Ben Roethlisberger last Sunday by disrupting the pocket on two occasions in the 49ers’ 43-18 loss. “Arik is progressing. I mean, we’ve talked about it – he’s a rookie,” coach Jim Tomsula says. “And Arik is working. He’s working his tail off.”
▪ Running back Carlos Hyde says the low hit that briefly sent him to the sideline last Sunday against the Steelers was clean.
Fans of Pacific-12 Conference football teams shouldn’t be upset about not having the best league in the country. That distinction clearly belongs to the Southeastern Conference. At the end of the season’s first month, the Pac-12 now can get back to being what it has always been – wildly entertaining. On Saturday, the schedule shows four TV gems, including Cal at Washington.
The careers of Barry Zito and Tim Hudson took different directions following their final season as teammates in Oakland in 2004. The two will oppose each other Saturday in Oakland when the A’s host the Giants. Both cite their championship seasons with the Giants – Zito’s in 2012 and Hudson in 2014 – as highlights of their respective careers.
▪ Madison Bumgarner’s stare-down of umpire Joe West on Thursday night in San Diego prompts a Side by Side comparison.
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL LINKS
Yogi Berra, who died Tuesday at age 90, captained the star-studded Yankees teams of the late 1940s into the early 60s and was a fan favorite when New York played the Sacramento Solons in an exhibition game at Edmonds Field in 1951. In the midst of their first West Coast swing on a spring training tour against Pacific Coast League clubs, the Yankees drew sellouts against the Hollywood Stars, Oakland Oaks, San Francisco Seals and Solons.
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