High School Sports

How upsets defined a critical week in the Sacramento-area high school football season

The high school football season on the regional front was at first defined by winless or one-loss teams suddenly becoming relevant.

Now it has been defined by upsets.

On Friday, unranked Franklin surprised previous No. 8 Cosumnes Oaks, winning 14-7 with defensive score a refreshing change from the typical seven-touchdown games.

On Saturday, Jesuit upended previous No. 6 Elk Grove 38-35 in Carmichael to officially make the Delta League a free-for-all chase.

Franklin (3-4) is still in the league race at 1-2, thanks to rushing touchdowns from Reagan Fonbuena and DJ Stamps, as well as the defense. The Wildcats recorded five sacks, three by Fonbuena, and had an interception by Josh Trzcinski, who broke up three other passes.

Franklin and second-year coach Evan Boylan finish league play against No. 7 Elk Grove, No. 8 Davis and Sheldon.

Jesuit is alive and well behind a quarterback’s lively arm and good health and the steady calm of veteran coach Marlon Blanton, whose team has battled injuries since August.

Daniel Susac, who missed the team’s first three games to nurse a sore shoulder from a long summer of baseball showcase events, vowed to return to football and passed for four touchdowns and ran for one in the win over Elk Grove. Jesuit is 3-1 under Susac. The Marauders are 3-4 overall and 2-1 in the Delta, losing only to Cosumnes Oaks.

Susac sounds like a leader, crediting teammates, and he speaks for those who wonder if it’s worth playing multiple sports. Susac is a projected high-round draft pick as a catcher in next June’s baseball draft.

“Everything was working today and the offensive line was blocking great,” Susac told The Bee’s Cameron Salerno on Saturday. “We have a lot of momentum right now. My teammates are the reason I still play. I have built so many bonds during my four years at Jesuit. I love playing with them every day.”

Folsom QB shuffle

Folsom coach Paul Doherty is committed to playing both of his standout quarterbacks.

Jake Reithmeier has started six games and played well, and Ari Patu has also impressed in those contests. Patu got the start Friday against Whitney during a 51-24 Bulldogs win. He passed for 46 yards in the first half.

Reithmeier’s started the second half. His first pass was intercepted but he settled down as Daniyel Ngata rushed for three touchdowns. Reithmeier hit Elijhah Badger for two fourth-quarter touchdowns and Cameron Broussard for one to break it open.

Doherty said competition is a healthy thing. And this: if the Bulldogs can roll with two quarterbacks without issue, they can certainly make a run at a CIF State championship three-peat.

Wortham’s historic score

Michael Wortham’s 99-yard fumble return for a touchdown during No. 12 Center’s 45-6 win over Foothill is tied for the longest in regional history, according to CalHi Sports.

Lonnie Trillo had a 99-yarder for Johnson in a 19-7 win over Bishop Armstrong (now Christian Brothers) in 1964. Donald Hair went that far for McClatchy in a 27-18 win over Davis in 1984, as did Johnny Feaster of Vacaville in a 45-14 playoff win over Jesuit in 2007.

The reported state record is 105 yards by A.J. Anderson of Sutter in 2000.

Lancers lore

Cordova won its first game of the season, beating Florin 26-7. On Saturday, the Rancho Cordova Hall of Fame inducted the 1985 Cordova team that was the first in the Sac-Joaquin Section to go 14-0.

The star of that team was Bee Player of the Year Troy Taylor, a quarterback. He had good reason to miss the event. The first-year Sacramento State football coach was in Bozeman, where his Hornets beat No. 6 Montana State 34-21 to improve to 4-2.

Tom Doherty was also inducted for his years as wrestling coach. He was an assistant football coach for the famed Cordova teams of the 1970s.


The Stockton Classic is deemed the biggest prep tournament in Northern California, and the 86-team field spanning six divisions included Bear River, Del Oro, El Camino, Elk Grove, Folsom, Franklin, McClatchy, Nevada Union, Oak Ridge, Rocklin, St. Francis, Vacaville, Vanden, Vista Del Lago and West Campus.

Bee No. 1 St. Francis lost its first two games of the season to Bay Area powerhouses Palo Alto and Archbishop Mitty of San Jose. Rocklin had the best finish out of any area team, placing fourth in the highest bracket and stays put at No. 2 in the rankings.

Vista Del Lago is back in the rankings at No. 20 after upsetting Rio Americano in five sets to move into second place in the Capital Athletic League. The Eagles play first-place Christian Brothers on Wednesday. Vista is led by Maddie Boerstra, Bella Hartline and Jadyn Shaw.

The Sacramento Bee’s football Top 20

1. Folsom (6-1)

2. Inderkum (7-0)

3. Rocklin (6-2)

4. Oak Ridge (5-2)

5. Monterey Trail (6-1)

6. Capital Christian (6-2)

7. Elk Grove (5-2)

8. Davis (6-1)

9. Vacaville (5-2)

10. Del Oro (4-3)

11. Granite Bay (4-3)

12. Center (7-0)

13. Cosumnes Oaks (6-2)

14. Placer (5-2)

15. Vista del Lago (6-1)

16. Pleasant Grove (4-3)

17. Lincoln (4-3)

18. Whitney (3-5)

19. Rio Linda (5-2)

20. Bear River (6-1)

On the bubble (alphabetical order): Amador (5-1), Antelope (4-4), Bradshaw Christian (5-2), Casa Roble (4-3), Christian Brothers (5-2), Colfax (5-2), Del Campo (4-3), Dixon 4-3, East Nicolaus (5-1), Franklin (3-4), Golden Sierra (5-2), Highlands (6-1), Jesuit (3-4), Johnson (5-2), Laguna Creek (5-2), Liberty Ranch (2-3), Nevada Union (4-3), Oakmont (6-1), Ponderosa (4-3), Rio Vista (6-1), Rosemont (6-1), Roseville (5-2), Sutter (5-1), Union Mine (4-3), Wheatland (4-2), Woodland (5-2), Yuba City (4-3).

The Sacramento Bee’s volleyball Top 20

1. St. Francis (29-2)

2. Rocklin (19-10)

3. Oak Ridge (24-6)

4. Cosumnes Oaks (25-7)

5. Nevada Union (34-8)

6. Christian Brothers (21-8)

7. Lincoln (14-6)

8. Del Oro (13-11)

9. Whitney (13-11)

10. Rio Americano (24-9)

11. Woodcreek (16-7)

12. Vacaville (19-4)

13. Pioneer (33-5)

14. Vanden (16-2)

15. Ponderosa (13-10)

16. Pleasant Grove (9-9)

17. Oakmont (12-8)

18. Colfax (16-11)

19. Bear River (15-8)

20. Vista Del Lago (8-8)

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Joe Davidson has covered sports for The Sacramento Bee since 1988 and is award-winning authority on high school sports, specializing in going behind the scenes. Davidson was a high school athlete in Oregon, where he participated in football and track.