Joe Davidson previews five top games in the Sacramento region tonight
No. 1 Folsom (5-0)
at No. 6 Del Oro (2-3)
• Outlook: This Sierra Foothill League contest is the first meeting between these teams since the 2009 playoffs, when Del Oro rallied from a 35-7 halftime deficit to stun the Bulldogs 43-42. Folsom bounced back with a CIF state title in 2010 and won back-to-back Sac-Joaquin Section titles in 2012 and 2013 while going 28-2. Since 2011, Del Oro has won two section titles and reached two CIF state bowls. Folsom can score points in bunches against defenses that can’t get pressure on quarterback Jake Browning (2,021 yards, 32 touchdown passes, one interception), who looks for wide receivers Josiah Deguara and Cole Thompson. But Folsom also will have to contend with perhaps the fastest player on the field, Del Oro wide receiver-defensive back Trey Udoffia, a big-play threat.
No. 3 Grant (4-0)
at No. 2 Elk Grove (4-0)
• When: 7:15 p.m.
• Outlook: The Delta League teams beat on each other last season in Elk Grove’s 7-3 victory, a game both coaches agreed was the most physical one they had experienced in years. Though both are running teams, both can pass, too: Grant with Donovan Brown (four touchdown passes, including three to Ariyon Huff, in last week’s win over Franklin; Elk Grove with impressive sophomore Tyler Vander Waal. Grant expects to be at full strength with the return of two-way players TieNeal Martin and Deodre Whittington-Grays. How Elk Grove nose guard Sai Ta’amu fares against Grant’s strong offensive line will be a key.
No. 5 Oak Ridge (3-1)
at No. 4 Rocklin (4-0)
• When: 7:30 p.m.
• Outlook: These teams played nonleague games in 2012 and 2013, with Oak Ridge winning both close games, but this time they face off as members of the Sierra Foothill League. Rocklin quarterback Max O’Rourke (nine touchdown passes, one interception) also is a threat as a kicker and punter, and running back Riley Clark has scored eight rushing touchdowns. Oak Ridge also is balanced with quarterback Ian Book (1,111 yards, 10 touchdown passes) and running backs Drew Lackowski and Stephen Douglas, who have combined for nine of the team’s 11 rushing touchdowns and also are starting linebackers.
No. 8 Monterey Trail (4-0)
vs. Pleasant Grove (1-3)
• When: 7:15 p.m.
• Outlook: Based on the records, this would be a mismatch, but Monterey Trail coach T.J. Ewing has reminded his players not to overlook Pleasant Grove, which has played one of the toughest schedules in the section (losses to No. 1 Folsom, No. 4 Rocklin and No. 7 Jesuit). This game will feature speedy playmakers, Monterey Trail with quarterback E.J. Viacrusis (five touchdown passes), running back Trey Nahhas (eight touchdowns) and wide receivers Andre Flury and Jermaine Bell) and the Eagles with quarterback Jake Ford (six touchdown passes), running back Damaree Morris (four touchdowns) and wide receiver Sedrick Thomas (three touchdowns).
El Camino (3-2) vs. Vista del Lago (2-3)
• When: 7:30 p.m., at Folsom High School
• Outlook: Though the Capital Athletic League has only one ranked team (No. 14 Christian Brothers), El Camino and Vista del Lago also are title contenders. El Camino is led by quarterback Kamani Elam (eight touchdown passes), running back Maleek Stewart (355 yards, four touchdowns) and linebacker Jim Carter. After Vista started the season with three losses (63-59 to Wood, 43-42 to Ponderosa and 32-25 to Sacramento), the Eagles bounced back with victories over Bradshaw Christian (56-42) and Placer (62-51) behind running back Colby Carrera (427 yards, 10 touchdowns in the two victories).