High School Sports

Honor Bowl hits Placer County and goes beyond touchdowns

It’s called “The Honor Bowl,” and it goes beyond blocking and tackling, though football serves as the backdrop and focal point.

The concept was created by Mark Soto 10 years ago to help recognize and assist and salute first responders, local law enforcement, paramedics and fire fighters before games and during halftime with tributes and reflection.

The first “Honor Bowl” was held in Loomis, and it grew to the point that a series of games with top-tier high school programs included a statewide tour in recent years, including this season with stops in San Diego and Santa Clara at Levi’s Stadium.

On Friday in Loomis, rivals Del Oro and Granite Bay will stand to attention before the kickoff as U.S. Navy Pilot Lou Conter will recite the Pledge of Allegiance. At 98, he is one of the last three survivors of the USS Arizona from the 1941 Japan attack on Pearl Harbor.

“It’s much more than a game,” Del Oro coach Jeff Walters said of the event.

Joe D picks the preps

Last week, we correctly picked Grant to beat Franklin and De La Salle to top Folsom, but we missed on Granite Bay (which lost to Vacaville), and we thought Sheldon would top Turlock in a shootout (Turlock won 14-6), and on the Holy Bowl, where Christian Brothers rallied to beat Jesuit.

So let’s guess and gaffe some more, shall we?

No. Folsom (2-1) at No. 2 Oak Ridge (3-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Storyline: Not since 2006 has Oak Ridge topped its chief rival, and the Trojans are eager for a game after not seeing any field action since Aug. 30. Folsom is smarting from the De La Salle defeat and aims to extend its Sierra Foothill League winning streak to 37.

We think we know: Folsom 45-42

No. 11 Granite Bay (2-2) at No. 5 Del Oro (3-1)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Storyline: If Cordova-Christian Brothers was the area’s top rivalry in the 1980s, and Grant-Nevada Union in the 1990s, then the top rivalry since 2000 very well could be this meeting of Placer County heavies in the SFL. It’s so intense that alums and old-timers stop by to cheer, vent and fume, depending on the scoreboard reading.

We think we know: Del Oro 28-24

No. 8 Elk Grove (2-1) at No. 6 Davis (4-0)

When: Friday, 7:15 p.m.

Storyline: Davis has its best team since the 1990s with size, skill, depth and coaching, and storied Elk Grove is finding its gear with the triple-option attack with diminutive and dangerous QB Carter Harris in a whopper of a Delta League opener.

We think we know: Elk Grove 40-35

No. 7 Rocklin (3-1) at No. 18 Whitney (2-2)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Storyline: The 10th Quarry Bowl rivalry rumble between neighborhood programs figures to include an overflow crowd for early SFL positioning and bragging rights. The teams went a combined 2-18 last season and bounced back fast.

We think we know: Rocklin 35-21

No. 20 Christian Brothers (3-1) at No. 9 Capital Christian (2-2)

When: Friday, 7:15 p.m.

Storyline: In a Capital Athletic League opener, Capital Christian faces a program more its size and speed after enduring crushing losses to national powers in back-to-back setbacks designed to improve the team. CB is riding high after a rousing Holy Bowl win over Jesuit, but stalled momentum here would sting.

We think we know: Capital Christian 42-28

No. 12 Sheldon (2-2) at No. 14 Cosumnes Oaks (3-1)

When: Friday, 7:15 p.m.

Storyine: In a Delta contest, Sheldon aims to find its offense behind QB Sean Nixon and WR Wonya Williams after sputtering at Turlock, and CO and QB Anthony Grigsby Jr. aims to roll on after pulling the program’s biggest win since opening in 2008, beating Monterey Trail.

We think we know: Cosumnes Oaks 35-34

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