High School Sports

Five football games to watch Friday night

No. 2 Grant (6-0) at No. 9 Monterey Trail (5-1)

▪ When: 7:15 p.m.

▪ Outlook: Grant is undefeated in the Delta League, behind strong offensive-line play, the steady passing of Donovan Brown and the power running of back Deshawn Collins (929 yards, 10 touchdowns). The defense has been superb, too, led by linebackers Chris Atteberry, Carl Granderson and Elijah Orr and defensive end Jacques Cheatham. Monterey Trail is coming off a 30-8 loss to Franklin, which lost to Grant 43-14. The Mustangs will run with Trey Nahhas (871 yards, 13 touchdowns) and pass and run with E.J. Viacrusis (940 total yards, 10 touchdowns).

No. 3 Rocklin (6-0) at No. 13 Woodcreek (5-1)

▪ When: 7:30 p.m.

▪ Outlook: Rocklin has had success in the Sierra Foothill League and in Sac-Joaquin Section, and Woodcreek, off to a school-record start, is eager to do the same. Rocklin’s Will Floyd, a junior who replaced starting quarterback Max O’Rourke when he broke his leg, impressed teammates when he led the Thunder to a last-minute 18-15 victory over Del Oro last week. Rocklin also has workhorse back Riley Clark, playmaking receiver-special-teams player Blake Laurin. Woodcreek quarterback Isaiah Harborth’s favorite targets are Lenny Nelson and Malcolm Thomas, and all three play defense.

No. 15 River Valley (5-2) at No. 6 Inderkum (6-1)

▪ When: 7:15 p.m.

▪ Outlook: The Tri-County Conference championship could be decided in this one. Though it’s no surprise Inderkum is in this position, with six league championships since 2007, River Valley has been a surprise. The defining achievement for River Valley and first-year coach Brennan McFadden was a 27-13 victory over No. 16 Rio Linda on Sept. 26. Quarterback Avery Gould, running back Dante Love and wide receiver Devin Cates have been River Valley’s top playmakers, and they’ll challenge Inderkum’s speedy, attacking defense. On offense, Inderkum is led by quarterback Jonathan Henry and running backs Larry Hardy, Jimmie Johnson and Austin Thurman. Inderkum’s only loss was to Monterey Trail.

No. 11 Oak Ridge (4-3) at No. 10 Del Oro (2-5)

▪ When: 7:30 p.m.

▪ Outlook: There is a sense of urgency for these tradition-rich programs who are used to chasing league championships and not scrambling just to stay in the playoff hunt. But the Sierra Foothill League is deep with Folsom, Rocklin and Woodcreek off to good starts. Both teams are led by steady quarterbacks, Logan Hurst for Del Oro and Ian Book for Oak Ridge. Del Oro needs to improve its running game after rushing for just 45 yards on 20 carries in a three-point loss to Rocklin. Running is a strength for Oak Ridge, with Stephen Douglas and Drew Lackowski.

Golden Sierra (5-1) at Bradshaw Christian (3-3)

▪ When: 7 p.m.

▪ Outlook: The Sierra Delta League championship is up for grabs in this matchup of Sac-Joaquin Section small-school ranked teams. Both have prolific offenses – Bradshaw Christian averages 46.5 points, Golden Sierra 36.7 – and both rely on the run, with Bradshaw Christian averaging 358.8 rushing yards and Golden Sierra 291.6. Brenden Nutt (537 yards, 11 touchdowns) and Christian Klahn (402 yards, four touchdowns) lead Golden Sierra’s run game. Grant Dragmire (811 yards, 11 touchdowns) leads Bradshaw Christian, which has won three consecutive games since losing to Vista del Lago 56-42.

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