Big Red has come out of the gates in a big, labored crawl before, and then meets, greets and devours its biggest rivals to jumpstart the season.
Big Red is what Jesuit High School has called itself and embraced for decades, and here come the Marauders heading into the Holy Bowl against Christian Brothers at Hughes Stadium on Saturday night, battered with injuries but not buckled.
Jesuit suffered 52-12 and 24-0 losses to Folsom and Granite Bay. The Marauders are thin at quarterback and in the trenches. No shame in those losses, and coach Marlon Blanton assured that his team “will compete” from here on out. Believe him.
Christian Brothers is 2-1 with wins over Burbank and Vanden and a loss to Pleasant Grove.
In the 48th Holy Bowl last season, Jesuit rolled 46-7 in front of some 12,000 fans. Jesuit leads the all-time series 32-14-1, and the Holy Bowl atmosphere is second to none.
Things to ponder for Week 4 action:
▪ Cal-Hi Sports has De La Salle state-ranked third and Folsom fourth, just in time for the teams to decide it on the field.
The last area team that was ranked No. 1 in Northern California not named De La Salle was Grant in 2010 for 14 weeks, and the last area team to finish the season state-ranked No. 1 was Cordova in 1979.
▪ Speaking of Cordova, will the Lancers score any time soon? Cordova has been blanked 58-0, 65-0 and 55-0 zip. A Max Miller sighting during the 64-0 shelling to Davis didn’t help. One of the section’s greatest coaches and personalities was recognized at the half for his championship coaching run with the Lancers.
▪ From 1-9 to 3-0, behold the El Camino Eagles. Second-year coach J.P. Dolliver has a monstrous test at Center on Friday.
▪ Raise your hand if you thought Antelope would start 0-3. No takers. The losses were to Rocklin, Lincoln and Folsom, but one can bet that the offense will click into gear.
▪ Kudos to coaches for going for two and the win in the closing seconds, even if it doesn’t work. To believe in your team is what counts. Joe Cattolico of Roseville went for it late against Oakmont, and lost 21-20, and then the Tigers responded with a 28-0 rout of Rio Americano. Chris Horner went for it against Vista del Lago, was stopped, lost 35-34 and will find out about his team Friday against Ponderosa.
▪ Nathan Valencia gutted and grinded through an 0-10 season in 2018 at Pleasant Grove, vowed to get better, and has tossed 10 touchdowns with no interceptions in a 2-0 start.
▪ Ladon Johnson has rushed for 512 yards – 170.7 a game – for Sheldon during the teams’ 2-1 start.
▪ Brandon Berger of Inderkum is the area’s leading kick scorer with 20 points, a booming leg who is a relative newcomer to football.
▪ Austin Hauptman is a big reason why Whitney has gone from 0-10 in 2018 to 2-1 now. He averages 12 tackles a game.
JoeD picks the preps
We can’t remember how we fared last week on predicted games, but our house wasn’t TP’d, and the company car wasn’t left on blocks, so it’s all good.
Chris Horner of Casa Roble did send us a reminder, screen-snapping our predicted score of Vista del Lago 35, Casa Roble 34, and that’s how it finished. He wonders if we can project this week’s game, or the winning Lotto numbers.
De La Salle (1-1) at No. 1 Folsom (2-0)
When: Friday, 7:30 p.m. (televised on Access Sacramento)
Story line: De La Salle has not lost to a Northern California team in 27 years and 302 games. Folsom challenged the Spartans in a 14-0 loss last season in the most competitive game this decade against Sac-Joaquin Section opposition.
We think we know: De La Salle 24-21
No. 6 Granite Bay (2-1) at No. 12 Vacaville (1-2)
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Story line: Vacaville plays its final game on real grass, the end of an era that includes great players and teams. Granite Bay is sentimental to a point. The Grizzlies aim to win.
We think we know: Granite Bay 24-14
Franklin (2-1) at Grant (0-3)
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Story line: Grant hasn’t started 0-4 since the Korean War, or something like that. Franklin has the big guys in the trenches to battle the Pacers, and both have speed burners.
We think we know: Grant 28-27
No. 10 Sheldon (2-1) at Turlock (3-0)
When: Friday, 7:15 p.m.
Story line: One of this Bee’s best teams takes on the top-ranked local team by The Modesto Bee. Sheldon has three terrific playmakers in Sean Nixon, Ladon Johnson and Wonya Williams.
We think we know: Sheldon 42-40
No. 13 Jesuit (0-2) vs. Christian Brothers (2-1)
When: Saturday at Hughes Stadium, 7 p.m.
Story line: Jesuit has steamrolled this series of late, meaning some of the best action was in the stands where dueling student-rooting sections entertain. Jake Hall of Jesuit and Luke Jones of CB are versatile playmakers.
We think we know: Jesuit 35-31