No. 1 seed Folsom needed a monster performance from senior quarterback Jake Jeffrey, a miraculous comeback and then a last-minute stand to defeat No. 5 St. Mary’s of Stockton 56-49 and avoid the biggest upset of the season Friday night in a wild Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoff semifinal at Folsom High School.
The win sets up a battle of unbeatens on Dec. 5 at 6 p.m. at Sacramento State against No. 2 Elk Grove, a 30-18 winner over No. 3 Oak Ridge. Folsom is trying to win its fourth consecutive section title and third in D-I.
Jeffrey completed 25 of 39 passes for 352 yards and four touchdowns, and rushed for 208 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries in rallying the Bulldogs (13-0) twice from two-touchdown deficits against the Rams (10-3). Christian Huber was his top target, catching nine passes for 116 yards and a touchdown.
Folsom trailed 35-28 at halftime, and Dusty Frampton’s four-yard run to cap a 69-yard drive put St. Mary’s ahead 41-28 with 6:26 to play in the third quarter.
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Jeffrey then threw touchdown passes of 52, 23 and 56 yards, and Tre Green rushed for a four-yard score as the Bulldogs moved ahead 56-42.
But Frampton scored his fourth touchdown of the game with under two minutes to play, then St. Mary’s recovered the onside kick.
The Rams threw four incompletions, and Folsom took over and ran out the clock.
“We saw them on film and could see how good they were, and it was a heck of a battle,” Folsom co-coach Kris Richardson said. “We kept playing, kept competing, came out like gangbusters in the second half. Our guys compete on every snap. What a fun game. Now on to the next one.”
Though it wasn’t easy, Folsom extended its state-leading winning streak to 29 games and has won 15 consecutive section playoff games.
Jeffrey, the Sierra Foothill League Offensive MVP, entered the game having passed for 3,035 yards and 41 touchdowns and run for 617 yards and eight touchdowns.
The Rams had hoped to produce an even bigger upset than their 28-14 win at previously unbeaten Napa last week and came extremely close. While still clinging to a 42-35 lead late in the third quarter, the Rams fumbled at Folsom’s 2-yard line.
No. 5 Del Oro 25, No. 9 Granite Bay 17 in Loomis – Camrion Davis returned an interception 27 yards for a touchdown, Stone Smartt threw a 37-yard scoring strike to Justin Burrage, and Dalton Gee ran for a 25-yard score as the Golden Eagles (7-6) jumped out to a 22-0 first-quarter lead and held off the Grizzlies (7-6) in a battle of Sierra Foothill League rivals.
The win sets up another all-SFL battle for the championship as the Golden Eagles will play No. 3 Rocklin on Friday at 7 p.m. at Sac State. The Thunder defeated No. 2 Antelope 55-35.
Bryan Willhide also had a 22-yard field goal for the Golden Eagles. Isaiah Lewis caught touchdown passes of 22 and 17 yards and Scott Henrichs booted a 23-yard field goal for the Grizzlies.
Brad Fina’s 22-yard strike to Lewis cut Del Oro’s lead to 25-17 with under two minutes to play, but the Golden Eagles recovered the onside kick to secure the win.
The game was a rematch of a Week 10 SFL game in which Del Oro edged the Grizzlies 17-14 to gain a playoff berth. The Golden Eagles went on to beat No. 12 Whitney 34-28 and No. 4 Wood 59-33.
Granite Bay reached the semifinals by topping No. 8 Downey of Modesto 42-31 before stunning top-seeded Grant 24-21 with a 21-point, four-quarter rally.
No. 1 Central Catholic 48, No. 5 Placer 14 in Modesto – Justin Rice rushed for a school-record 308 yards and five touchdowns as the Raiders (13-0) walloped the Hillmen (12-1) to advance to the championship game against Oakdale on Friday at Lincoln of Stockton. Oakdale is the defending champion, though the Mustangs lost to the Raiders 42-37 for the Valley Oak League title on Nov. 6.
Rice – who has verbally committed to Fresno State, where his r brother Jared plays tight end – rushed for touchdowns of 64, four, 32 and five yards and one yard. Josh Frowein also returned an interception 17 yards for a score, and Trae Nichols caught a 17-yard touchdown pass from Hunter Petlansky for the Raiders.
Marcus Ante threw 85- and 30-yard touchdown passes to Derek Haney and Joe Robinson, respectively, but the Hillmen couldn’t get their famed wing-T attack going.
They had only 28 rushing yards on 34 attempts.
Placer featured the second-most-productive offense in the section, trailing only Wood of Vacaville. The Hillmen had thrown for 1,505 yards and rushed for 4,519, an average of 502 yards per game.
Central Catholic, looking to add to its section-leading 18 section titles, seeks its fourth consecutive title and first in D-III. The Raiders also have won three consecutive Division IV state titles.
No. 2 Oakdale 51, No. 3 Inderkum 38 in Oakdale – The Tigers (12-1) pulled to within five points with a touchdown late in the third quarter, but Austin Burke broke away for a 64-yard score and Brad Aquino rushed for a one-yard score – his fifth rushing touchdown of the game – to lead the Mustangs (12-1) and set up a championship game showdown with league rival Central Catholic.
Isaiah Crocker had a 97-yard kickoff return to open the game for Inderkum.
Last year, Oakdale rallied from 20-0 down to beat Inderkum for the D-III championship