High School Sports

November 7, 2013

Preps plus: Five games to watch Friday

The Bee's Joe Davidson previews five notable games on Friday (all start between 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. unless noted)

No. 2 Del Oro (7-2) at No. 5 Rocklin (7-2)

Outlook: The winner takes the Sierra Foothill League championship, and the teams could play again in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoffs. It's happened before, with Del Oro winning in the 2005 D-II section finals and Rocklin returning the favor in 2009. Both are on a roll after enduring brutal early-season scheduling. Rocklin is led by quarterback Logan Webb (1,253 passing yards, 15 touchdowns), running back Evyn Holtz (977 yards, eight TDs) and an offensive line anchored by Spencer Medenwald. Del Oro relies more on the run, with a strong line headed by two-year standout Brandon Johnson. Running back Dylan Kainrath (1,099 yards, 19 TDs) is the focal point, though quarterback Michael Moore (1,432 yards, 13 TDs) has led game-winning drives. It could come down to the kickers, Max O'Rourke of Rocklin and Mason Humes of Del Oro, two of the best in the section. Humes beat Grant and Granite Bay with last-play kicks.

No. 1 Folsom (9-0) vs. No. 4 Pleasant Grove (8-1) at Sheldon

Outlook: The hopes of 9-0 teams facing off for the Delta River League title was derailed last week when Oak Ridge beat Pleasant Grove 28-14. The Eagles hope to bounce back behind quarterback Dre Terrell, running back Ian Broom and top lineman Kyle Dixon, though defensive back-running back Brandon Lewis might miss the game with a troublesome hamstring. Folsom is aiming for a second consecutive 14-0 start behind its dominant offensive line, led by Sam Whitney and Cody Creason. Quarterback Jake Browning (3,458 yards, a state-leading 49 TDs) has hardly been touched, and the run game has 14 TDs, seven by Bailey Laolagi. Wide receivers Will McClure (1,035 yards, 16 TDs), Troy Knox (604 yards, seven TDs) and Josiah Deguara (760 yards, eight TDs) will challenge Pleasant Grove's secondary, too.

No. 17 Whitney (6-3) at No. 16 Antelope (7-2)

Outlook: Just like in last season's Week 10 showdown, the winner takes the Capital Athletic League title. Antelope won last season 35-27 behind two touchdown passes by Tyler McCombs, who is back, along with Whitney's Drew Romo. Antelope's running game is led by Mister Harriel (726 yards, 10 TDs) and Titus Vinson (841 yards, seven TDs), and the defense is anchored by linebacker Anthony Baumgart. Whitney's offense is led by Romo (1,393 yards, 17 TDs), running backs Kwane Wilkinson (514 yards, two TDs) and Zuhair Mirza (513 yards, four TDs) and receiver Kris Corpus (346 yards, seven TDs).

No. 19 Placer (5-4) at Center (6-3)

Outlook: Center, the preseason Pioneer Valley League favorite, hosts Placer, the defending champion, and both teams have do-all standouts who play every down. Placer's Todd Valliere, who has rushed for 1,082 yards and 13 TDs, also can catch passes and play in the secondary and on special teams. For Center, Tyrell Anderson is one of the section's most dynamic players (996 yards and eight TDs passing, 642 yards and seven TDs rushing, plus defense and special teams).

Rio Americano (3-6) at El Camino (5-4)

Outlook: The Raiders can bounce the host Eagles out of the playoff picture with an upset in what Rio players hope isn't the final game for coaching icons Max Miller and Ed Lombardi. Miller and Lombardi, with nearly 500 wins between them, are at a point in their careers when they don't commit long term. El Camino has returned to relevance in recent seasons under coach Adam Reinking, and the Eagles could be a playoff darkhorse if they slip in. El Camino is led by linebacker Quenton Hagen, one of the area's top talents, and lineman Evan Brandt, who helps open holes for running back Greg Scott (839 yards, 11 TDs).

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