Sure, Jake Jeffrey and the Folsom Bulldogs’ offense did their thing Friday night. They put up 31 points with several impressive drives and scoring strikes, none better than a 91-yard bomb from Jeffrey to Roger Neal.
But the Bulldogs’ defense is stout and impressive.
Top-ranked Folsom forced three turnovers and converted two into scores as the host Bulldogs blasted the No. 4 Del Oro Golden Eagles 31-0. Folsom improved to 6-0 overall and 2-0 in the Sierra Foothill League. Their regular-season winning streak is now 37 games. Del Oro dropped to 2-3 and 1-1.
“ (The defense is) competitive against our offense every day in practice, and our coaches are always telling us to compete, compete, compete,” said Folsom senior defensive back Matt Torres, who had an interception and a fumble recovery that led to two touchdowns. “The coaches dialed up that coverage on my interception, and on the fumble (recovery), I was just in the right place and the right time.”
Folsom held Del Oro to 114 yards in total offense, blanketing the Eagles’ leading receiver, Trey Udoffia. He had five touchdown grabs entering Friday’s game but was limited to five catches for 21 yards. His longest catch was eight yards.
“Udoffia was our key guy to stop, and we jammed him at the line and had Tre (Green) over the top,” Torres said. “We threw some coverages in just for this game. Great game plan.”
With Udoffia neutralized, Bulldogs defensive linemen Jonah Williams and Ariel Ngata could concentrate on keeping Eagles running back Dalton Gee in check. Gee ran for 81 yards but averaged just four yards a carry. Eagles quarterback Stone Smartt never found a rhythm with his favorite target covered.
“We’re happy with the shutout, but to keep them to just 114 yards, wow, what an incredible defensive effort,” Folsom co-head coach Kris Richardson said. “With the kind of coverage we had, we could keep guys in the box and contain the run. And that’s exactly what we did.”
Jeffrey’s touchdown toss to a wide-open Neal came in the second quarter. Jeffrey, who finished with 107 yards on 21 carries, rolled to his right and took most of the Eagles’ defense with him. He threw a high-arcing ball to Neal along the left sideline, right in front of Folsom’s bench. Neal juked one defender and was gone.
“I think the defender was expecting Roger to lower his pads, and he went for his feet,” Richardson said. “And when Roger saw that, he just threw a little shuffle in there and was gone. What a great play call from (co-head coach and offensive coordinator) Troy (Taylor).”
Jeffrey finished 14 of 15 for 269 yards and two touchdowns, including a 31-yarder to Brad Jenner.
Mark Billingsley is a Carmichael-based freelance writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or @editorwriter001.