Four weeks remain in the high school regular season, meaning it’s a full-on scramble in the coming weeks to secure playoff positioning for many. And the opportunity to close in on league championships for the fortunate few adds urgency.
The region has become so balanced, leading to upsets and close games, only two area teams remain undefeated – Antelope and Bradshaw Christian.
No. 3 Del Oro (6-1) vs. No. 9 Rocklin (4-2)
When: Friday at Rocklin, 7:30 p.m.
Outlook: The Placer County rivals meet with both needing a victory to stay in the Sierra Foothill League race. The teams split last season, Rocklin winning the regular-season meeting and Del Oro taking the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II championship. Del Oro last week suffered its first loss, 42-16 to Folsom, while Rocklin was derailed by Oak Ridge 27-15. The Thunder rushed for just 25 yards and allowed seven sacks, although quarterback Cade Wyant threw two touchdown passes. A week after setting a school record with 539 rushing yards in a win at Nevada Union, Del Oro had 115 against Folsom behind Camrion Davis and Dalton Gee.
No. 5 Grant (5-1) vs. No. 11 Monterey Trail (5-1)
When: Friday at Monterey Trail, 7:15 p.m.
Outlook: Both teams need a victory to remain in the Delta League hunt, and both will attempt to run against strong defenses. Grant is powered by diminutive Tyree Marcelle, who has 924 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. Pacers quarterback Cam Davis likes to throw long to Lawrence Hardy, who has scored 11 touchdowns as a receiver, on special teams and on defense. Monterey Trail is led by quarterback Robert Holt, who has passed for 467 yards and seven touchdowns and rushed for 597 yards and seven TDs.
No. 7 Oak Ridge (5-1) vs. Granite Bay (1-5)
When: Friday in El Dorado Hills, 7:30 p.m.
Outlook: Much like the Trojans, Granite Bay is used to late-season games while bearing down on league titles and postseason berths. But the Grizzlies enter this game scratching to stay alive after reaching the playoffs in 17 consecutive seasons. Only Grant’s streak of 25 is longer. The Grizzlies must win their final four regular-season games to finish 5-5 and have a shot at extending their postseason streak. Oak Ridge, which has lost only to five-time Nevada state champion Reed of Sparks, is led by QB Marco Baldacchino, who has passed for 873 yards and 12 touchdowns, and run for 421 and seven TDs. Michael Pittman has rushed for 601 yards and seven touchdowns for Oak Ridge.
No. 12 Franklin (4-2) vs. No. 20 Davis (2-4)
When: Friday at Cosumnes Oaks, 7:15 p.m.
Outlook: A 2-4 team rarely winds up in The Bee’s rankings, but the Blue Devils have beaten Elk Grove (ranked No. 2 at the time) and Sheldon (then-No. 14) in Delta League action. Franklin needs wins to secure a playoff berth, as does Davis. Both teams run the ball well, Franklin with Jalen Lampley (470 yards, seven touchdowns) as the Wildcats average 177.5 rushing yards. Davis is led by Ismael Perez (1,024 rushing yards, six touchdowns) as the Blue Devils average 195.5 yards on the ground. The teams feature two of the region’s most physical players: Franklin linebacker Kaderro Tamondong and Davis tight end Tucker Fisk.
Galt (3-3) vs. Rosemont (1-5)
When: Friday at Galt, 7:30 p.m.
Outlook: Beyond trying to secure a playoff berth in the Sierra Valley Conference, Galt expects to free up senior running back Zach Orman, who is 95 yards from the school rushing record of 4,247 yards set by Mark Hatzenbuhler in 1989. Hobbled by an injury, Orman was held to 23 yards last week in a 46-0 loss at Cordova. Orman, who has run for 965 yards and 13 touchdowns this season, has rushed for 4,152 yards with 52 TDs in three varsity seasons. Rosemont, which has made the playoffs six times since 2008, is playing for pride. But the Wolverines have allowed 63, 65, 45, 62 and 56 points in losses this season, their only win coming over Franklin of Stockton 19-14.
Friday night football
The Bee’s print edition will feature expanded coverage every Sunday, including insight from Joe Davidson, highlights of the top weekend games, how The Bee’s Top 20 fared, scores and more. Can’t wait until Sunday? Go to sacbee.com after the games on Friday nights for highlights, scores, photo galleries and more.
Join us every Friday night at 6:30 p.m. to discuss that night’s games before they start and as they are played. sacbee.com
Where’s Joe D?
The Bee’s Davidson will be at Monterey Trail on Friday for the 11th-ranked Mustangs’ game against No. 5 Grant.
Bee photographers will be at Grant at Monterey Trail and Granite Bay at Oak Ridge on Friday night. sacbee.com/high-school
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Calling on coaches
Area high school football coaches are encouraged to report results immediately after games. Call 916-441-4100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week’s schedule
Games start between 7-7:30 p.m., unless noted
No. 2 Folsom at Nevada Union
No. 3 Del Oro at No. 9 Rocklin
No. 4 Elk Grove vs. Pleasant Grove at Sheldon
No. 5 Grant at No. 11 Monterey Trail
Cosumnes Oaks at No. 6 Antelope
Granite Bay at No. 7 Oak Ridge
Oakmont at No. 10 Whitney
No. 12 Franklin vs. No. 20 Davis at Cosumnes Oaks
No. 13 Roseville at Bella Vista
No. 16 Inderkum at Woodland
No. 18 CBS vs. Rio Americano at Hughes Stadium
No. 19 Capital Christian at Lindhurst
Bradshaw Christian at Rio Vista
Casa Roble at El Camino
Foothill at Bear River
Center at Placer
Colfax at Lincoln
Cordova at Union Mine
Rosemont at Galt
Mesa Verde at San Juan
St. Francis-Watsonville at Delta
Pioneer at River Valley
River City at Yuba City
Liberty Ranch at El Dorado
Ponderosa at Del Campo
Natomas at Marysville
Johnson at Kennedy
Valley Christian at Foresthill
Woodland Christian at Western Sierra
Vista del Lagovs. Mira Loma at Folsom
Laguna Creek vs. Florin at Cosumnes River College
Valley at No. 1 Sacramento, 1 p.m.
No. 14 Sheldon at No. 8 Jesuit, 1 p.m.
Dixon vs. West Campus at Burbank
Highlands vs. Encina at El Camino