The Bee’s Joe Davidson forecasts the Sac-Joaquin Section football playoffs for regional teams:
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The passing game with Jake Browning is the state’s best, and the offensive line, run game and defense have been strong. A NorCal berth seems inevitable.
Oak Ridge (9-1)
The Trojans’ only loss was to Folsom, 35-0, but a rematch in the title game would be interesting with emerging sophomore quarterback Ian Book.
Granite Bay (7-3)
The Grizzlies have been hampered by injuries, but they vow a run at a D-I three-peat behind quarterback Josh Neal.
Pleasant Grove (8-2)
The Eagles have an excellent leader/playmaker, Dre Terrell, and dangerous speed on defense.
The program’s top team since the 1970s is explosive behind quarerback Wayne Brooks and confident after a win over St. Mary’s.
The lone loss was to Franklin of Elk Grove, another threat, but the Bulldogs’ momentum erases the setback.
The Marauders likely must beat Folsom, which beat them 56-14 last month, but quarterback Jason Elenberger has been hot.
Del Oro (8-2)
The Golden Eagles run, stop the run and prepare as well as any team.
Elk Grove (9-1)
Is there a better runner in the section than Wadus Parker? Are there defenders as active as Noah Letuligasenoa and B’won Canada?
Rio Linda (9-1)
The Knights have the best 1-2 run game in the section with Leo Skattebo and Marcel Brown, and they have dominant lines.
The youngest team in the field is also the biggest and grinds teams with a power/speed running game.
All-purpose stars Calvin Green and Ernest Jenkins are ultra-quick, and defensive tackle Ngalu Tapa is the section’s most dominant stopper.
Yuba City (9-1)
The Honkers, who lost only to Inderkum, draw traditional power St. Mary’s after opening against powerhouse Del Oro a year ago.
The Thunder can pass with Logan Webb, run with Evyn Holtz and defend with Skyler Gonzalez.
Cosumnes Oaks (7-3)
The Wolfpack has the section’s most electrifying non-quarterback skill player, wide receiver Alex Van Dyke, and an offensive-line leader, Kameron Schroeder.
American Canyon (9-1)
The newest school in Napa County has a prolific running back, Jomon Dotson (1,517 yards, 23 TDs).
The runaway winner of the tough Valley Oak League is led by running back Alex Laurel (17 TDs).
Quarterback C.J. Spencer can run or throw and has perhaps the fastest team in the section field.
The Dragons can air it out with quarterback Caden Voges and wide receiver Damen Wheeler, and they have an active defense.
Vista del Lago (7-3)
The Eagles are hungry to return to the final behind quarterback Matt Jimison despite a rash of injuries.
Casa Roble (7-3)
The Rams can stretch teams with quarterback Peyton Wilfley, a pass/run threat, though the opener against Rosemont will be tough.
Christian Brothers (7-3)
The Falcons have star power in tight end-linebacker Hayden Jones, quarterback Chris Guillen and running back Mason Stahley.
Central Catholic (9-1)
The Raiders have a section-record 16 titles in 18 appearances – and it seems inevitable that they will win more.
The Yellowjackets have their best team since the 1980s.
Capital Christian (9-1)
The Cougars have two of the section’s top talents, all-purpose Justice Shelton-Mosley and two-way lineman Nifae Lealao.
The Cougars feature a superb 1-2 punch in quarterback Tyrell Anderson and running back Joe Swen Both are playmakers on defense, too.
The Sutter Creek team, which beat Capital Christian 14-9, is led by running back Donald White (1,016 yards, 12 TDs).
Forget the record; the Hillmen are prolific behind running back Todd Valliere.
Bradshaw Christian (8-2)
The Pride is led by seniors Kevin Williams, a quarterback-defensive back, and Kyle Betts, a running back-defensive back.
Woodland Christian (9-1)
Despite injuries, the inspiration comes from coach Bruce Pielstick. His wife – Lisa, Woodland Christian’s principal – is battling cancer.
Editor’s note: This story was changed Nov. 12 to correct the location of American Canyon High School. The school is in Napa County.