When Whitney beat Del Campo 47-28 on Friday, the mood went from reflective and somber to cheerful and inspired.
The surging Wildcats had three honorary captains for the Capital Valley Conference game: Preston, Wyatt and Josh Taylor, the sons of CHP Officer Nathan Taylor, who died after being struck by a sport-utility vehicle March 12 while investigating a traffic collision during a snowstorm on Interstate 80 in the Sierra Nevada.
Whitney coach Paul Doherty asked Taylor’s sons to lead the 10th-ranked Wildcats onto their home field in Rocklin and participate in the coin toss. Jake Cruz passed for 385 yards and six touchdowns, one to Willie Brocchini, the game captain and son of firefighter Andy Brocchini.
17 Points by Rio Americano’s Logan Wheeler in a 25-12 win over Highlands
“It was an awesome night,” Doherty said. “We honored all servicemen and women, and I’m mostly proud of the reception our players gave the boys. Totally genuine, and they embraced the boys into the team. I was thrilled to be a part of it and the great experience for those little boys.”
Rankings – Two games involving top-10 teams from the Sierra Foothill League highlight Friday’s schedule.
Top-ranked Del Oro hosts No. 3 Folsom, and No. 6 Rocklin hosts No. 9 Oak Ridge. All four teams expect to win the SFL and a Sac-Joaquin Section championship. Regardless of Friday’s outcomes, all four appear locks to reach the playoffs again if they win at least two league games.
Del Oro, the defending CIF State Division II-AA champion, moved to No. 1 in The Sacramento Bee’s Top 20 after Sacramento beat Folsom 32-27 to end the Bulldogs’ 64-week run atop the rankings. Rocklin lost 21-20 to Grant, which rose to No. 2 last week but lost 24-17 at Elk Grove on Friday in a Delta League game.
Elk Grove rose two spots to No. 4, one notch ahead of Grant.
More than a kicker – Junior Logan Wheeler accounted for 17 of Rio Americano’s points in a 25-12 victory over Highlands on Friday. He made field goals of 39, 45 and 45 yards and two extra points and returned a kickoff 45 yards for a touchdown. Wheeler also made five tackles for the Raiders, who play longtime rival El Camino on Friday at Del Campo in a Capital Athletic League matchup of 3-2 teams.
385 Jake Cruz’s passing yardage in Whitney’s 47-28 win over Del Campo
Remembering Scorza – Pete Scorza, who led Kennedy to its greatest football success a generation ago, will be remembered before the Cougars’ Metropolitan Conference game against rival McClatchy on Friday. Scorza, who died in August at 65 from multiple myeloma, led Kennedy to a league championship in 1987 and the school’s lone Bee No. 1 ranking early in the 1991 season. Scorza, a Sacramento High and Sacramento State graduate, is in the Kennedy athletic Hall of Fame.
New Del Oro coach – Shawn Huckaby has been named Del Oro’s girls basketball coach. The longtime Golden Eagles assistant replaces Mike Takayama, who died of a heart attack in June. Takayama guided Del Oro, his alma mater, to a section girls record 627 victories with 28 playoff teams and 18 league championships.
The Bee’s Top 20
With last week’s ranking
1. Del Oro (1) 6-0
2. Sacramento (4) 4-1
3. Folsom (5) 5-1
4. Elk Grove (6) 4-1
5. Grant (2) 4-1
6. Rocklin (3) 4-1
7. Jesuit (7) 4-1
8. Antelope (8) 5-0
9. Oak Ridge (9) 4-1
10. Whitney (10) 4-1
11. Roseville (11) 5-0
12. Franklin (14) 4-1
13. Sheldon (12) 4-1
14. Monterey Trail (13) 4-1
15. Vista del Lago (16) 3-2
16. Inderkum (17) 3-2
17. Liberty Ranch (19) 4-1
18. Christian Brothers (–) 3-2
19. Capital Christian (–) 4-2
20. Dixon (–) 4-1
Dropped out: Del Campo, Cosumnes Oaks, Bear River
This week’s schedule
Kickoffs between 7-7:30 p.m. unless noted
No. 3 Folsom at No. 1 Del Oro
Pleasant Grove at No. 5 Grant
No. 9 Oak Ridge at No. 6 Rocklin
No. 8 Antelope at No. 11 Roseville
No. 10 Whitney at Ponderosa
No. 12 Franklin at No. 14 Monterey Trail
Davis at No. 13 Sheldon
No. 15 Vista del Lago vs. Casa Roble at Folsom
River City at No. 16 Inderkum
Union Mine vs. No. 17 Liberty Ranch at Galt
No. 18 Christian Brothers vs. Mira Loma at El Camino
Marysville at No. 20 Dixon
Argonaut at Amador
Bradshaw Christian at Fremont
Burbank vs. Valley at Cosumnes River College
Del Campo at Cosumnes Oaks
El Camino vs. Rio Americano at Del Campo
El Dorado at Rosemont
Encina at San Juan
Florin at Johnson
Foothill at Center
Galt at Cordova
Lincoln at Bear River
McClatchy at Kennedy
Mesa Verde at Natomas
Nevada Union at Woodcreek
Oakmont at Bella Vista
Placer at Colfax
Rio Vista at Highlands
River Valley vs. Woodland at Pioneer
West Campus at Lindhurst
Western Sierra at Delta
Yuba City at Rio Linda
Laguna Creek at No. 2 Sacramento, 1 p.m.
No. 4 Elk Grove at No. 7 Jesuit, 1 p.m.
Woodland Christian vs. Valley Christian at Highlands, 7 p.m.