In a flash, the Folsom Bulldogs jumped on their visitors, then expanded the lead, then coasted.
That’s been a familiar theme for the region’s preeminent powerhouse high school football program this decade, and it played out again against a familiar foe on Friday night in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division I quarterfinal at Prairie City Stadium. Tre Green returned an interception 18 yards for a touchdown on the second snap of the game, and Jake Jeffrey again was steady and spectacular as No. 1 seed Folsom raced past No. 9 Franklin 49-21 to extend two remarkable winning streaks.
The Bulldogs (12-0) won their state-leading 28th consecutive contest, and they have prevailed in 14 successive section playoff games and 20 of 21 while looking the part of top seed in eliminating the Wildcats (7-5) for the third season in a row.
Folsom seeks a section title fourpeat, including three in a row in D-I. The Bulldogs’ offensive line played terrific with tackles Kooper Richardson and Jonah Williams and Evan Bennett, Blake Christierson and Kaivan Khazeni on the interior, allowing Jeffrey plenty of time to survey the defense and attack man-coverage schemes. The senior captain passed for 350 of his 435 yards in the first half as Folsom stormed to a 42-7 halftime lead. He threw five touchdown passes – two to Eric Davis and one each to Brad Jenner, Brandon Rupchock and Drake Stallworth – and caught one from Davin Simmons.
No. 2 Elk Grove 58, No. 7 Merced 16 in Elk Grove – Ryan Robards rushed for a school-record 375 yards on 28 carries and five touchdowns and boomed a 37-yard field goal as the Thundering Herd (12-0) rolled up 671 yards of offense to batter the Bears (8-4). Robards now has 2,501 rushing yards, shattering James Kidd’s school mark of 2,358 set in 14 games in 1991.
Jayden Machado passed for 139 yards and hit Gavin Reinwald for a touchdown, and Damario McClean had two interceptions for Elk Grove, which advances to the semifinals against No. 3 Oak Ridge.
No. 3 Oak Ridge 30, No. 6 Cosumnes Oaks 7 in El Dorado Hills – Ian Book threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Tommy Dunnigan and a four-yard strike to Michael Pittman, and Pittman also had a six-yard touchdown run to lead the Trojans (9-3) past the Wolfpack (8-4). Justin Poerio added a 37-yard field goal. Book has accounted for 40 touchdowns this season, including 28 passing scores, and faces Elk Grove next.
No. 2 Antelope 31, No. 7 Sacramento 24 in Antelope – Devaughn Silver, twin brother Darnell Silver and Elijah Dotson each ran for a touchdown, and the Titans (12-0) had nine sacks to beat the Dragons (8-4). Antelope, in a section semifinal for the first time, was led on defense by Josh Cook, Nick Hansen and Davaeon Johnson.
No. 3 Rocklin 42, No. 6 Del Campo 6 in Rocklin – Evyn Holtz rushed for 188 yards and four touchdowns, including a 50-yarder, and William Floyd threw touchdown passes of 33 and four yards to Kier Gibson as the Thunder (9-3) rolled the Cougars (9-3) and moved on to the semifinals at Antelope. Rocklin has eliminated the Cougars in the playoffs three times since 2005.
No. 5 Del Oro 59, No. 4 Wood 49 in Vacaville – Camrion Davis rushed for 127 yards and three touchdowns, Dalton Gee went for 75 and one, Trey Udoffia 61 and two, and the Golden Eagles (6-6) intercepted seven passes, three by Mason Hurst, to outlast the Wildcats of Vacaville (10-2). Hurst returned one interception 35 yards for a score and Justin Burrage had two interceptions as Del Oro earned its 49th career postseason victory.
No. 5 Placer 65, No. 4 Patterson 52 in Patterson – Owen Scott rushed for 265 yards and scored four touchdowns, including an 80-yard kickoff return, Waylen Cozard rushed for 148 yards and three touchdowns, and Jared Halbert had 118 yards and a score as the Hillmen (12-0) held off the Tigers (11-1) in a battle of unbeatens.
No. 3 Inderkum 43, No. 6 Manteca 18 in Natomas – Trajon Cotton threw three touchdown passes, two to Isaiah Crocker, as the Tigers (12-0) defeated the Buffaloes (9-3) to advance to the semifinals against No. 2 Oakdale, a 42-14 winner over Benicia. Oakdale beat Inderkum 27-23 for the title last season.
No. 4 Liberty Ranch 44, No. 8 Los Banos 42 in Galt – Rick Van Houten threw 70- and 65-yard touchdown passes to Christian Torgerson, Kamil Jones rushed for a 71-yard score, Mario Bautista recovered a fumble in the end zone, and Devin Hardaway booted three field goals, including a fourth-quarter 33-yarder that proved the game winner, as the Hawks (8-4) withstood a thrilling rally by the Tigers (7-5) to advance to the championship game for the first time. Liberty Ranch will play No. 3 Sierra of Manteca for the championship on Saturday at 6 p.m. at Elk Grove High School.
No. 6 Bear River 31, No. 2 Capital Christian 21 in Rosemont – Austin Baze rushed for three touchdowns and Jason Voter threw 26- and four-yard touchdown passes to Dave Mastrella as the Bruins (9-3) rallied to beat the Cougars (11-1) to earn a shot at defending their title. Bear River will play top-seeded Sonora on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Elk Grove High.
No. 2 Bradshaw Christian 55, No. 3 Gustine 13 in South Sacramento – Behind a punishing run game, the Pride (10-2) returns to the title game for the fifth time since 2009. Bradshaw Christian – which won championships in 2009, 2011 and 2013 – plays top-seeded Hilmar on Saturday at 6 p.m. at Lincoln of Stockton.