There was no way Rio Linda’s Marcel Brown was coming out of Friday night’s Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoff opener at No. 7 Placer.
The highly recruited senior running back limped off the field late in the second quarter with an ankle injury after already having returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown and rushed 57 yards for a score.
But even though he wasn’t 100 percent, Brown was virtually impossible to stop in the second half. He added four more touchdowns on runs of 27, 51, 26 and 64 yards, finished with 303 rushing yards and helped the Knights (9-2) rally for a 62-51 win over the shocked Hillmen (8-3).
Rio Linda advances to the quarterfinals at No. 2 Sierra of Manteca.
Placer, which took advantage of five first-half Rio Linda turnovers, had taken a 39-14 lead with four minutes to go in the second quarter on Ryan Gray’s 5-yard touchdown run.
Brown entered the game having rushed for 1,411 yards and 22 touchdowns.
No. 3 Granite Bay 63, No. 14 Chavez 14 in Granite Bay – Justin Yeaton threw two touchdown passes, Ben Smith rushed for two scores and Sam Cusano returned a punt 63 yards for a touchdown as the Grizzlies (8-3) jumped to a 56-0 first-half lead over the Stockton visitors. The win is the Grizzlies’ sixth consecutive playoff-opening win and hiked their playoff record to 30-10.
No. 1 Grant 42, No. 16 Patterson 23 – DeShawn Collins rushed for 270 yards and three touchdowns, and the host Pacers had 11 sacks and three interceptions in finally blowing past the Tigers. Grant led 14-7 at one point in the first half. David Moala and Jacquez Cheathum had 4 1/2 sacks each for the Pacers (11-0). Grant is in the playoffs for a section record 24thconsecutive season.
Elk Grove 69, Vintage 7 in Elk Grove – Manny Scott-Anderson rushed for 71 yards and scored twice, and he returned two interceptions for touchdowns to spark the rout over the Crushers in Division II, stretching Vintage’s playoff losing streak to eight games dating to 1986.
Eltoro Allen rushed for 184 yards and two scores and Tyler Vander Waal had a touchdown pass to Ryan Robards as the Herd (9-2) rolled up 618 yards despite a running clock in the second half. Elk Grove had six touchdowns called back.
No. 3 St. Mary’s 55, No. 14 River Valley 12 in Stockton – Noah Righetti threw three first-half touchdown passes and rushed for another as the Rams (10-1) cruised to a win over the Falcons (6-5).
No. 4 Del Oro 14, No. 13 Roseville 6 in Loomis – Logan Hurst scored on a 1-yard run after he and his brother Mason connected on a 57-yard pass play, and Dalton Gee had a 13-yard fourth-quarter touchdown run as the Golden Eagles (6-5) defeated the Tigers in a defensive battle. Ben Zahniser scored on a 4-yard run for Roseville (6-5). Ailing Del Oro football manager Wilbur Heath, 75, surrounded by family and friends, watched the game from a gurney near an ambulance to fulfill his wish of watching the Golden Eagles one last time. This was Del Oro’s 10th consecutive playoff-opening win.
No. 6 Rocklin 35, No. 11 Del Campo 7 in Rocklin – Will Floyd passed for two touchdowns and Evyn Holtz ran for two, including a 75-yarder to account for the final score, as the Thunder (9-2) rolled the Cougars (7-4). It was 7-7 at the half. Rocklin beat Del Campo 38-14 in a nonleague game this season and is 2-0 all time against the Cougars in the playoffs.
No. 10 Wood 34, No. 7 Burbank 33 – The visiting Wildcats (7-4) scored with 42 seconds left, then successfully scored a two-point conversion to shock the Titans (7-4).
No. 8 Downey 20, No. 9 Antelope 19 in Modesto – The Knights (10-1) came up with a huge defensive stand on first and goal at their own seven and the Titans’ 44-yard field goal attempt fell short. Antelope (7-4) had a 19-6 lead at one point.
No. 1 Inderkum 60, No. 16 Valley 8 – Larry Hardy rushed for 65- and 60-yard touchdowns and threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Nu’umotu, and Austin Thurman ran for 39- and 3-yard scores as the host Tigers (10-1) rolled over the Vikings. This was Valley’s first playoff appearance since 2000.
No. 2 Sierra 69, No. 15 Rosemont 37 in Manteca – Devin Nunez threw three touchdown passes, all to Hunter Johnson, and rushed for a score and Mark Paule Jr. rushed for three scores as the Timberwolves (10-1) defeated the Wolverines (6-5). Buddy Enriguez threw four touchdown passes for Rosemont, including a 67-yarder to Daniel Tveretinov and 63 yards to Roy Sanders.
No. 1 Bear River 49, No. 8 Orestimba 25 in Lake of the Pines – John Voter III rushed for two touchdowns and returned an interception 10 yards for a score; Kyle Uclaray rushed for 62- and 2-yard touchdowns; and Austin Baze ran for a 68-yard score as the Bruins (9-2) cruised past the Warriors (6-5).
No. 2 Colfax 42, No. 7 Summerville 35 in Colfax – Tim Rawlins’ career school-record 45th touchdown on a 19-yard run, his fourth of the game, gave the Falcons (7-4) the win over the Bears (6-5).
No. 1 Capital Christian 69, No. 8 Vacaville Christian 0 in Rosemont – Justice Shelton-Mosley had a 60-yard punt return for a touchdown, returned an interception 45 yards for a score and rushed for a 35-yard touchdown; Nick Valdez rushed for three touchdowns; and Jacob Norville threw two touchdown passes to Edward Ware and also rushed for a 46-yard score as the unbeaten Cougars cruised to their 11th win of the season.
The Bee’s Joe Davidson contributed to this report.