The sky didn’t fall after all.
A winning streak of magnificent proportions did on Sept. 16, but not the collective spirit, hopes and dreams of what remains the area’s preeminent high school football powerhouse.
With Joe Curry firing six touchdown passes and passing for 334 yards, and the defense stifling a prolific offense, third-ranked Folsom rolled top-ranked Del Oro 42-7 on Friday night in Loomis in an outcome no one dared project.
It’s not a stunner that the Bulldogs prevailed, as they have flexed their considerable muscle this decade with one regular-season loss since 2011. It’s the manner in which Folsom took apart the Golden Eagles that has the rest of the Sierra Foothill League and Sac-Joaquin Section realizing that the Bulldogs have a lot of bite left.
Folsom (6-1, 3-0 Sierra Foothill League) lost to Sacramento 32-27 in a nonleague game amid four turnovers and a spirited Dragons effort, and the Bulldogs had a chance to do something about it. Get mad and get better, and that’s what has happened.
The loss snapped a state-leading 48-game regular-season winning streak and emphatically reminded the Bulldogs that winning streaks do stall out, presenting new challenges.
One streak remains intact: a 15-game run in the SFL since the Bulldogs were realigned from the Delta League. And there’s another streak in the works as well: a section-championship five-peat.
Folsom bounced back from the Sac High setback with a 42-21 rout of Woodcreek, followed by a 42-0 beating of Granite Bay, and then this shelling of a Del Oro team that returned 17 starters from its CIF State Division II championship team.
“This is a the big one,” Folsom coach Kris Richardson said before the game. “It’s a great challenge for our defense, because Del Oro has been playing great.
“Since that loss, our guys have responded big. They’ve been great. Credit Sac High, but it wasn’t our best game. That was not Folsom football.”
Friday was a blast of Folsom football. Curry has played admirably as a first-year varsity starter, and he was at his best here. He is poised in the pocket and has the luxury of a fleet of skilled and speedy receivers. Curry was sacked once, a credit to a line that had been cleaned out by graduation, including All-American tackle Jonah Williams, now starting for top-ranked Alabama.
“One thing we’ve done a really good job of is taking what the defense gives us,” Richardson said. “Load the box to stop the run and we’ll pass. Or we can grind you for 400 yards rushing. The offensive line has been playing lights out. And we know we’re still going to take everyone’s best shot. Nothing’s changed. We still want to win every week, create new challenges. That’s football. If it was easy to go 10-0 every year, it wouldn’t be a challenge.”
Del Oro has a new challenge as well: Regroup in a hurry. It plays at rival Rocklin next week.
Last season, Del Oro started 2-6, including a 31-0 loss at Folsom, and recovered to win its final eight games, punctuated by a 6-0 showing in the playoffs.
Del Oro coach Casey Taylor implored his bunch to learn from this setback and to recover. This is nothing new.
“We love our guys, a great group with great senior leadership,” Taylor said. “Folsom is the best team we’ve seen all year.”
Taylor said before the game, “We want to see how good we are. Folsom’s been the area’s best team the last few years. This is a great test for us. Maybe we’re legit and we make a serious run again. Maybe we’re not there yet and we need more work.”
Curry capped Folsom’s opening drive with a 23-yard touchdown pass to Joe Ngata on 4th and 22. He hit Drake Stallworth for a 5-yard score, Jack Sa for 30 yards and Brad Jenner for scoring tosses of 5 and 30 yards. Jenner is Folsom’s defensive leader at linebacker.
Curry also hit a streaking Eric Davis for a 45-yard score to make it 42-0 early in the fourth quarter. The senior has passed for 2,034 yards and 27 touchdowns and has been, “Terrific,” according to Richardson.