Rested and ready after a bye week, 12 of The Bee's Top 20 teams gear up for league openers Friday night.
The most anticipated showdown is in the Delta River League, with top-ranked Folsom hosting No. 4 Oak Ridge in a meeting of 5-0 teams led by impressive quarterbacks.
Oak Ridge sophomore Ian Book has performed beyond his years, and Folsom junior Jake Browning leads the state with 30 touchdown passes. He had a state-leading 63 last fall.
Around the leagues – Each DRL member has a winning record, with defending champion Folsom, No. 3 Pleasant Grove, Oak Ridge and No. 11 Jesuit a combined 20-0.
Ponderosa is 4-1 and Sheldon 3-2.
The Delta Valley Conference has five teams with winning records, headed by No. 2 Elk Grove (5-0). No. 7 Grant (3-2) opens conference play against defending DVC champion and No. 15 Franklin (3-2). No. 18 Davis (4-1) hosts No. 17 Monterey Trail (3-2).
Defending Sierra Foothill League champion and No. 5 Granite Bay (4-1) has not lost since falling to Folsom 30-14 in Zero Week. The Grizzlies open league play at No. 16 Roseville (3-2). No. 6 Del Oro (3-2), which has no local losses this season, opens against Woodcreek (2-3). No. 9 Rocklin hosts Nevada Union (0-5), off to its worst start in more than 35 years.
No. 10 Rio Linda (4-1) and No. 14 Casa Roble (4-1) head the Capital Valley Conference. Defending champion and preseason ranked Del Campo (1-4) opens at rival Casa Roble.
The Pioneer Valley League features two 5-0 teams – No. 19 Colfax and No. 20 Bear River. The teams face off in Lake of the Pines.
The Tri-County League starts with an early showdown between host and No. 12 Yuba City (5-0) and No. 13 Inderkum (3-2). The Honkers won the TCL title last season, halting Inderkum's five-year stranglehold.
Et cetera – River City senior David Vincent rushed for 144 yards and a school-record five touchdowns in a 40-14 win over El Dorado last Friday that moved the Raiders to 2-0 in the Sierra Valley Conference. Vincent's position coach is Anthony Williams, a standout running back for the Raiders in the mid-1980s. Gregory Turner held the previous record of four touchdowns in 2007.
Liberty Ranch of Galt stunned defending SVC champion and previous Bee No. 17 Vista del Lago 20-14 behind Trevon Windley (two touchdown runs) and Ranse Gale, who iced it on a 60-yard touchdown run. Liberty Ranch (4-2) is off to a 2-0 start in the SVC.
The Bee's rundown Sunday of area players who scored on 99-yard runs prompted players from the past to step forward with similar exploits. (The Bee will forward those efforts to the Cal-Hi Sports Record Book and Almanac.)
John Lamb of Highlands returned a kickoff 99 yards against Rio Linda in 1969.
In 1988, Andrew DaCosta of San Juan had two 99-yard kickoff returns for scores, against Cordova and Casa Roble. DaCosta was an All-Metro pick and the Capital Athletic League Player of the Year that season. Said DaCosta: "Such a long time ago, but a time of great reflection. Yes, if we had oxygen on the sideline, I would have used it."
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