Joe Davidson

Big rivalry, winless team rising, facial-hair advantage highlight area football games

'Fast, prolific, fun': Four of The Bee's ranked teams to watch

Marco Baldacchino leads Oak Ridge as one of The Sacramento Bee's top 20 football teams. Here's a look at the Trojans and three others squads to watch.
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Marco Baldacchino leads Oak Ridge as one of The Sacramento Bee's top 20 football teams. Here's a look at the Trojans and three others squads to watch.

Friday night in Loomis marks the 20th year of a great high school football rivalry and one of the region’s most spirited.

What a way to kick off the Sierra Foothill League schedule.

Del Oro leads Granite Bay 11-9 in a series that has revved up Placer County as both programs have produced SFL champions, Sac-Joaquin Section crowns and even CIF State titles.

Top-ranked Folsom remains the favorite in the SFL, having won all 18 games in league play since coming aboard via realignment before the 2014 season.

But a Folsom four-peat is no gimmie, given the strength and depth of the best league in Northern California.

Granite Bay is ranked second by The Bee and Del Oro fifth, with No. 3 Oak Ridge and No. 7 Rocklin also expecting a run at the title. The SFL teams are a combined 18-2 with the losses coming to out-of-section or out-of-state competition.

The Delta League is the region’s second-best league, and it offers a whopper of an opener with No. 8 Grant playing No. 10 Franklin where speed and skill will be in abundance.

Five games to watch Friday

All kickoffs are between 7-7:30 p.m.

No. 2 Granite Bay (4-0) at No. 5 Del Oro (3-1) – Few home settings are as festive and fun as what Del Oro offers in Loomis, and may the best defensive stops earn game balls in what figures to be a fight to the finish.

No. 8 Grant (2-1) vs. No. 10 Franklin (3-0) – Playing at Cosumnes Oaks, Franklin coach Mike Johnson challenged his squad to grow up fast, to grow whiskers, or get plowed under even faster against the size of Grant, heavy in the trenches and in facial hair across the roster.

No. 20 Bear River (4-0) at El Dorado (2-1) – Luke Bagett has quietly been effective at quarterback for surging Bear River, which faces a promising one in sophomore Danny Bell under first-year coach Justin Reber.

Cosumnes Oaks (0-3) at Oakmont (3-0) – If a winless team is going to topple an unbeaten, it happens here, as Cosumnes Oaks is talented and eager, and that has veteran Oakmont coach Tim Moore stressing opportunity and focus.

Placer (3-1) at Vista del Lago (2-2) – Would the over-under for points scored here be 70, 84, 100? The defensive coordinators are urging for stops and low point totals as Vista officially dedicates its new home field.

This week’s schedule (Sept. 22-23)

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


Top 20

No. 1 Folsom at Woodcreek

No. 2 Granite Bay at No. 5 Del Oro

Pioneer at No. 4 Inderkum

Nevada Union at No. 7 Rocklin

No. 8 Grant vs. No. 10 Franklin at Cosumnes Oaks High

No. 9 Capital Christian at Marysville

No. 17 Monterey Trail at No. 11 Sheldon

Pleasant Grove at No. 12 Jesuit, 4:30 p.m.

Davis at No. 13 Elk Grove

No. 14 Antelope at Ponderosa

No. 15 Del Campo at Roseville

No. 18 Whitney at Bella Vista

No. 19 Christian Brothers at Winters

No. 20 Bear River at El Dorado

Byes: No. 3 Oak Ridge, No. 16 River Valley

Other games

Cosumnes Oaks at Oakmont

Dixon at Natomas

Lindhurst vs. Mesa Verde at San Juan High

Florin vs. McClatchy at Monterey Trail High

Johnson vs. Burbank at Rosemont High

Valley vs. Laguna Creek at Cosumnes River College

Argonaut at Bret Harte

Linden at Amador

Encina at Golden Sierra

San Juan at Bradshaw Christian

River City at Rio Linda

Yuba City vs. Woodland at Pioneer High

Casa Roble at Lincoln

Foothill at Cordova

Liberty Ranch at Hughson

Mira Loma at Galt

Placer at Vista del Lago

Rosemont at El Camino

Esparto at Delta

Incline at Foresthill

Portola vs. Valley Christian at Highlands High

Sutter at Ripon

Western Sierra at Hamilton

Wheatland at Colfax


Kennedy at No. 6 Sacramento, Kennedy forfeit

Rio Vista at Harker-San Jose