Mike Alberghini burns off anxiety and calories by sweeping.
He’ll grab a broom and tidy up the Grant High School football dressing room a good 90 minutes before kickoff, forever a papa bear of sorts tending to untidy youth.
The longtime Pacers coach had the place debris-free on Friday night and moments later implored his attentive group to make senior night matter.
Message received. Message delivered.
Looking much like so many of the fierce and efficient teams Alberghini has led, No. 8 Grant flexed its defensive muscle and offensive balance to defeat No. 13 Davis 24-7 in a Delta League game in Del Paso Heights.
The victory was good tonic for the weary Pacers, who were stunned at upstart Sheldon last week on a long, last-minute scoring drive that resulted in a 20-14 Huskies victory.
“Our problem was we had to stop feeling sorry for ourselves – injuries, a loss,” Alberghini said mid-sweep. “We need to step up. I like this league. Every game is a dogfight, down to the wire. You have to be ready.”
Tyree Marcelle rushed for 113 yards and a touchdown, Cam Davis hit Lawrence Hardy for a 57-yard score, and Jayln Norris had a scoring run for Grant, in the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs for an ongoing section-record 26th consecutive season.
No. 1 Sacramento 62, No. 19 Burbank 20 at Burbank – Tariq Hollandsworth rushed for five touchdowns and DaVon Owens accounted for four scores, including a game-opening 85-yard kickoff return, as the Dragons clinched the Metropolitan Conference championship.
No. 2 Folsom 47, No. 20 Rocklin 14 in Rocklin – Joe Curry passed for 300 yards and six first-half touchdowns, two each to Eric Davis and Brad Jenner, and rushed for a touchdown to lead the Bulldogs over the Thunder in a Sierra Foothill League game.
Curry, whose longest scoring strike was 59 yards to Drake Stallworth, has 36 touchdown passes this season.
Folsom can win its third consecutive SFL title on Friday against No. 3 Oak Ridge at Folsom High School.
No. 3 Oak Ridge 35, Nevada Union 14 in El Dorado Hills – Marco Baldacchino rushed for touchdowns of 30 and 11 yards and threw a touchdown pass, and Devin Kemp and Sam Champlin also rushed for touchdowns as the Trojans beat the Miners in the SFL.
No. 4 Elk Grove 49, Franklin 7 at Elk Grove HS – Jayden Machado passed for 181 yards and six first-half touchdowns, and sophomore Jaden Burns rushed for 180 yards on 15 carries in place of a hobbled Zion Thomas as the Thundering Herd rolled past the Wildcats in the Delta. Machado hit Gavin Reinwald and Jonas McMillan for two touchdowns each for Elk Grove, which had 461 yards of offense.
No. 5 Sheldon 35, Pleasant Grove 18 at Sheldon – Graylon Lindsey rushed for 230 yards and four touchdowns, and Brandon Erwing caught five passes for 90 yards and a score as the Huskies downed the Eagles in the Delta, setting up a showdown against No. 4 Elk Grove on Friday for the league title. Pleasant Grove had won nine consecutive games against Sheldon, now coached by former Eagles coach Joe Cattolico.
No. 6 Antelope 42, Bella Vista 7 in Antelope – Nick Spagnola was 6 of 7 for 110 yards and two touchdowns, Devin Dye rushed for two touchdowns, and section rushing leader Elijah Dotson had 109 yards, including a 3-yard touchdown, for the Titans in the Capital Valley Conference.
No. 9 Jesuit 41, No. 12 Monterey Trail 14 at Jesuit – Lorenzo Burkes rushed for four touchdowns and the defense dominated a run-dominant Mustangs team as the Marauders clinched a playoff berth with the Delta rout.
No. 10 Roseville 42, Ponderosa 14 in Shingle Springs – Nick Martig threw two touchdown passes to Josh Clark, Brendan McMinn rushed for two touchdowns, and Jay Razzano also rushed for two scores, including a 22-yarder set up by a Jimmy Jaggers blocked punt, as the Tigers rolled in the CVC.
Cosumnes Oaks 39, No. 11 Whitney 20 in Elk Grove – Jacob Trach rushed for 203 yards and three touchdowns, including a 94-yard burst, Austin Greer threw two touchdown passes, and Kahlef Hailassie returned a punt 42 yards for a score as the Wolfpack pulled a CVC upset.
No. 14 Vista del Lago 51, El Camino 20 at Folsom – Brent Schaeffer passed for 394 yards and six touchdowns, hitting Brenden Hall 14 times for 247 yards and two scores, as the Eagles remained unbeaten in the Capital Athletic League, setting up a league title showdown against No. 16 Christian Brothers on Friday.
No. 15 Inderkum 60, Moreau Catholic 21 in Hayward – Deo Robinson ran for a 91-yard touchdown, and Victor Jones returned an interception for a score on a pass deflected by Leevi Lafaele as the Tigers rolled in nonleague play.
No. 16 Christian Brothers 48, Casa Roble 18 at Hughes Stadium – Tyler Vander Waal threw three touchdown passes, two to Spencer Webb, Jamarri Jackson returned a kickoff for a score, and Daniel Simoes returned a blocked punt by Matt DeSimone for a score as the Falcons rolled in the CAL.
No. 17 Capital Christian 56, Natomas 0 in Rosemont – The Cougars (7-2, 5-0) rolled past the Nighthawks (4-5, 2-3) to secure at least a Golden Empire League co-championship.
Granite Bay 10, No. 18 Woodcreek 3 in Roseville – Tristian Conde scored on a 9-yard run in the first quarter, and that was all the defensive-minded Grizzlies needed in the SFL game. Granite Bay improved to 18-0 all time against Woodcreek.
Placer 31, Bear River 6 in Auburn – Mario Perez rushed for three touchdowns, Anthony Kerrigan had an 80-yard touchdown run, and the Hillmen held the Bruins to 4 rushing yards in a Pioneer Valley League contest. Placer clinched at least a tie for its fifth consecutive PVL title entering its regular-season finale Friday at Lincoln.
Center 34, Colfax 23 at Colfax – Edmond J’Beilly passed for two touchdowns and Robbie Donnell rushed for 91 yards in the mud to power the Cougars in the PVL.
Liberty Ranch 7, Cordova 6 in Galt – The Hawks recovered a fumble near the goal line with six seconds left to seal a Sierra Valley Conference contest in which both teams are vying for the title with a week to play.
Del Campo 35, Oakmont 14 in Roseville – Tyler Dimino threw two touchdown passes and ran for a score to lead the Cougars in the CVC.
Yuba City 28, River Valley 7 at River Valley HS – Brenndon Schafer-Shalowitz rushed for two touchdowns and threw a touchdown pass to L.J. Smith, and Elijah Cisneros and Jason O’Leary had fourth-quarter interceptions as the Honkers defeated the Falcons in the Yuba City Mayors Cup trophy game. Dylan de la Vega had a 50-yard touchdown run for River Valley.
Sutter 42, Orland 0 in Sutter – Bryce Kunkle rushed for 171 yards and three touchdowns, and Trever Facey had a 60-yard touchdown run to lead the Huskies in a battle of Butte View League unbeatens.