Joe Davidson

High school football games to watch this weekend

Coach T.J. Ewing has Monterey Trail players hitting

Football comes down to blocking and tackling, and Monterey Trail High School football coach T.J. Ewing makes sure his players know that simple fact during practice on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016.
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Football comes down to blocking and tackling, and Monterey Trail High School football coach T.J. Ewing makes sure his players know that simple fact during practice on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016.

The third week of the high school football season offers an inter-sectional showdown between defending CIF Northern California champions, a run-heavy team taking on a pass-heavy squad, a winless ranked team challenging an unbeaten team and two rivalry games – one in Placer County and the other at Hughes Stadium.

No. 2 Del Oro (2-0) vs. Bellarmine (2-0)

When: Friday at San Jose City College, 7 p.m.

Outlook: Bellarmine of San Jose used a last-minute drive to beat Del Oro 34-31 during the 2015 regular season en route to the CIF NorCal Division I championship while handing Folsom its only loss. Del Oro went on to win the CIF State Division II-AA title and returns 17 starters, each recalling last season’s loss to the Bells. Del Oro is led by quarterback Stone Smartt, running back Cam Davis and wide receiver-defensive back Mason Hurst. Bellarmine has beaten Menlo-Atherton 34-20 and Clovis North 32-21.

No. 5 Rocklin (1-1) vs. No. 11 Whitney (2-0)

When: Friday at Rocklin, 7:30 p.m.

Outlook: Rocklin holds a 4-2 lead in this series, which has included high-scoring games and defensive battles. Whitney prevailed 28-20 a year ago en route to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoffs, while Rocklin recovered to reach the D-II section final. Whitney is coming off of a 41-21 victory over Granite Bay behind Preston Eklund, who tossed four touchdown passes. Rocklin defeated Napa 28-16 last week as Michael Nolan passed for 180 yards and two touchdowns a week after throwing for 249 yards and three touchdowns in a 21-20 loss to Grant.

No. 6 Oak Ridge (2-0) vs. No. 17 Burbank (0-2)

When: Friday at Oak Ridge, 7:30 p.m.

Outlook: This competitive series – which includes the postseason – resumes with Burbank desperate for a victory after losing to powerhouse programs Clovis (36-0) and Grant (42-11). Against Grant, the Titans surrendered two touchdowns on interception returns and one on special teams. Oak Ridge features quarterback Marco Baldacchino, who threw for two touchdowns and rushed for three in a 41-15 rout of Vacaville last week. He also had three touchdown passes in a 50-18 win over Vista del Lago in an opener. Baldacchino must be aware of Burbank’s D.J. Johnson, a defensive end headed to Miami on scholarship.

No. 7 Jesuit (1-1) vs. No. 16 Christian Brothers (0-1)

When: Saturday at Hughes Stadium, 7 p.m.

Outlook: Both teams are coming off tough losses and eager to beat their rival in the 46th Holy Bowl, which is expected to draw another crowd of about 15,000. Jesuit fell to top-ranked Folsom 42-28 last week after jumping to an early 7-0 lead on Calvin Brownholtz’s 89-yard touchdown pass to Jonathon Amadi. Jesuit’s backup quarterback, Josh Farr, played well in the second half after Brownholtz was sidelined because of a foot injury. Christian Brothers was crushed 39-6 at Manteca in the Falcons’ opener, though CBS does have threats in quarterback Tyler Vander Waal, running back Jamarri Jackson and wide receiver Matt Marengo. Jesuit leads the series 28-14-2.

No. 12 Monterey Trail (2-0) vs. No. 13 Vista del Lago (1-1)

When: Friday at Folsom, 7:30 p.m.

Outlook: The run-heavy veer Mustangs are a contrast to pass-dominant Vista del Lago, which opened in Folsom in 2007, three years after Monterey Trail. Both teams are led by senior quarterbacks. Robert Holt is a run-pass threat for Monterey Trail, and Vista’s Brent Schaeffer completed 33 of 52 passes for 451 yards and five touchdowns in a 34-27 win over Ponderosa last week. Schaeffer must keep his eye on Monterey Trail defensive backs Bishop Brown and William Madsen, who each returned interceptions for touchdowns in last week’s 48-21 win over Del Campo.

Joe Davidson: 916-321-1280, @SacBee_JoeD


The Bee’s print edition will feature expanded coverage every Sunday, including insight from Joe Davidson, highlights of the top weekend games, how The Bee’s Top 20 fared, scores and more. Can’t wait until Sunday? Go to after the games on Friday nights for highlights, scores, photo galleries and more.


Join us every Friday night at 6:30 p.m. to discuss that night’s games before they start and as they are played.


The Bee’s Davidson will be at San Jose City College, where The Bee’s second-ranked team, the Del Oro Golden Eagles, will face the Bellarmine Bells in a meeting of two defending CIF NorCal champions at 7 p.m.


Bee photographers will be at the Del Oro vs. Bellarmine and No. 11 Whitney at No. 5 Rocklin games on Friday night.


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Area high school football coaches are encouraged to report results immediately after games. Call 916-441-4100 or email

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