Joe Davidson

Prep preview: Teams vie for football playoff berths

Four weeks remain in the high school regular season, meaning it’s a full-on scramble in the coming weeks to secure playoff positioning for many. And the opportunity to close in on league championships for the fortunate few adds urgency.

The region has become so balanced, leading to upsets and close games, only two area teams remain undefeated – Antelope and Bradshaw Christian.

No. 3 Del Oro (6-1) vs. No. 9 Rocklin (4-2)

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

Outlook: The Placer County rivals meet with both needing a victory to stay in the Sierra Foothill League race. The teams split last season, Rocklin winning the regular-season meeting and Del Oro taking the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II championship. Del Oro last week suffered its first loss, 42-16 to Folsom, while Rocklin was derailed by Oak Ridge 27-15. The Thunder rushed for just 25 yards and allowed seven sacks, although quarterback Cade Wyant threw two touchdown passes. A week after setting a school record with 539 rushing yards in a win at Nevada Union, Del Oro had 115 against Folsom behind Camrion Davis and Dalton Gee.

No. 5 Grant (5-1) vs. No. 11 Monterey Trail (5-1)

When: Friday at Monterey Trail, 7:15 p.m.

Outlook: Both teams need a victory to remain in the Delta League hunt, and both will attempt to run against strong defenses. Grant is powered by diminutive Tyree Marcelle, who has 924 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. Pacers quarterback Cam Davis likes to throw long to Lawrence Hardy, who has scored 11 touchdowns as a receiver, on special teams and on defense. Monterey Trail is led by quarterback Robert Holt, who has passed for 467 yards and seven touchdowns and rushed for 597 yards and seven TDs.

No. 7 Oak Ridge (5-1) vs. Granite Bay (1-5)

When: Friday in El Dorado Hills, 7:30 p.m.

Outlook: Much like the Trojans, Granite Bay is used to late-season games while bearing down on league titles and postseason berths. But the Grizzlies enter this game scratching to stay alive after reaching the playoffs in 17 consecutive seasons. Only Grant’s streak of 25 is longer. The Grizzlies must win their final four regular-season games to finish 5-5 and have a shot at extending their postseason streak. Oak Ridge, which has lost only to five-time Nevada state champion Reed of Sparks, is led by QB Marco Baldacchino, who has passed for 873 yards and 12 touchdowns, and run for 421 and seven TDs. Michael Pittman has rushed for 601 yards and seven touchdowns for Oak Ridge.

No. 12 Franklin (4-2) vs. No. 20 Davis (2-4)

When: Friday at Cosumnes Oaks, 7:15 p.m.

Outlook: A 2-4 team rarely winds up in The Bee’s rankings, but the Blue Devils have beaten Elk Grove (ranked No. 2 at the time) and Sheldon (then-No. 14) in Delta League action. Franklin needs wins to secure a playoff berth, as does Davis. Both teams run the ball well, Franklin with Jalen Lampley (470 yards, seven touchdowns) as the Wildcats average 177.5 rushing yards. Davis is led by Ismael Perez (1,024 rushing yards, six touchdowns) as the Blue Devils average 195.5 yards on the ground. The teams feature two of the region’s most physical players: Franklin linebacker Kaderro Tamondong and Davis tight end Tucker Fisk.

Galt (3-3) vs. Rosemont (1-5)

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

Outlook: Beyond trying to secure a playoff berth in the Sierra Valley Conference, Galt expects to free up senior running back Zach Orman, who is 95 yards from the school rushing record of 4,247 yards set by Mark Hatzenbuhler in 1989. Hobbled by an injury, Orman was held to 23 yards last week in a 46-0 loss at Cordova. Orman, who has run for 965 yards and 13 touchdowns this season, has rushed for 4,152 yards with 52 TDs in three varsity seasons. Rosemont, which has made the playoffs six times since 2008, is playing for pride. But the Wolverines have allowed 63, 65, 45, 62 and 56 points in losses this season, their only win coming over Franklin of Stockton 19-14.

Joe Davidson: 916-321-1280, @SacBee_JoeD

Friday night football

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 sacbee.com after the games on Friday nights for highlights, scores, photo galleries and more.

Live chat

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

Where’s Joe D?

The Bee’s Davidson will be at Monterey Trail on Friday for the 11th-ranked Mustangs’ game against No. 5 Grant.

Photo galleries

Bee photographers will be at Grant at Monterey Trail and Granite Bay at Oak Ridge on Friday night. sacbee.com/high-school

Sports Night newsletter

Sign up for The Bee’s nightly email with the latest results, plus links to game stories, photo galleries, scores and more. sacbee.com/newsletters

Calling on coaches

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

This week’s schedule

Games start between 7-7:30 p.m., unless noted

Friday

Top 20

No. 2 Folsom at Nevada Union

No. 3 Del Oro at No. 9 Rocklin

No. 4 Elk Grove vs. Pleasant Grove at Sheldon

No. 5 Grant at No. 11 Monterey Trail

Cosumnes Oaks at No. 6 Antelope

Granite Bay at No. 7 Oak Ridge

Oakmont at No. 10 Whitney

No. 12 Franklin vs. No. 20 Davis at Cosumnes Oaks

No. 13 Roseville at Bella Vista

No. 16 Inderkum at Woodland

No. 18 CBS vs. Rio Americano at Hughes Stadium

No. 19 Capital Christian at Lindhurst

Other games

Bradshaw Christian at Rio Vista

Casa Roble at El Camino

Foothill at Bear River

Center at Placer

Colfax at Lincoln

Cordova at Union Mine

Rosemont at Galt

Mesa Verde at San Juan

St. Francis-Watsonville at Delta

Pioneer at River Valley

River City at Yuba City

Liberty Ranch at El Dorado

Ponderosa at Del Campo

Natomas at Marysville

Johnson at Kennedy

Valley Christian at Foresthill

Woodland Christian at Western Sierra

Vista del Lagovs. Mira Loma at Folsom

Laguna Creek vs. Florin at Cosumnes River College

Saturday

Valley at No. 1 Sacramento, 1 p.m.

No. 14 Sheldon at No. 8 Jesuit, 1 p.m.

Dixon vs. West Campus at Burbank

Highlands vs. Encina at El Camino

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