League play started with a bang, including some head-to-head duels with ranked teams and a near upset for an upstart against a struggling program.
And since these are power rankings based on strength of schedule as much as results and not standings based simply on wins and losses, there was slight movement and no newcomers to the fray, though there are new teams in The Bee’s bubble collection, and there was movement in our Sac-Joaquin Section Top 20.
No. 2 Granite Bay beat No. 5 Del Oro 28-21 in the Sierra Foothill League on Friday as Evan Tattersall rushed for three short touchdowns and then was on hand Saturday to see Cal admirably battle No. 5 USC to the wire in Berkeley. Tattersall and teammate Will Craig, a lineman, are headed to Cal on scholarship.
Franklin moved up two spots to No. 8 and Sheldon inched up two spots to No. 9 after winning Delta League games, and how fitting that the programs face off Friday.
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Grant slipped two spots to No. 10 after losing to Franklin 17-9, and the Pacers now prepare for No. 13 Elk Grove in a rivalry that has had some great moments, dating to the mid-1980s.
Capital Christian slipped two spots to No. 11, not because it had to rally to beat one-win Marysville but because the Cougars must remain below Grant, which won 19-0 when the teams met Sept. 8.
THE BEE’S TOP 20
With last week’s ranking in parentheses
1. Folsom (1) 5-0
The Bulldogs have won 19 consecutive Sierra Foothill League games and are 100-9 this decade, so yes, they have been the regional standard that everyone aims for.
2. Granite Bay (2) 5-0
From four wins a year ago to this fast start with victories over Jesuit, Vacaville and Del Oro, the Grizzlies can really turn heads and helmets with a win over Folsom.
3. Oak Ridge (3) 4-0
The Trojans are rested and ready for a title run after a bye, and players are so into this season that they checked out the Del Oro-Granite Bay game for a peek of what looms.
4. Inderkum (4) 5-0
The Tigers have not been tested since the opener at Elk Grove, outscoring the last four opponents 259-20 with three shutouts, but things figure to tighten a bit now.
5. Del Oro (5) 3-2
The Golden Eagles returned one starter from last season’s CIF State bowl team – linebacker Andrew Birch – and pushed Granite Bay to the end in a gritty effort.
6. Sacramento (6) 3-1
The Dragons are breathing fire in frustration after Kennedy elected to forfeit, and they are protective of their school’s image and that of their fans.
7. Rocklin (7) 4-1
The Thunder will find out what they have in a hurry with league games at Oak Ridge and at Del Oro, and the defense will surely be tested.
8. Franklin (10) 4-0
Following a spirited win over Grant, coach Mike Johnson bear-hugged his son, Brady Johnson, a receiver who has grown up with this sport.
9. Sheldon (11) 2-1
The Huskies dispatched Monterey Trail and now prepare for another Delta League tilt with Franklin coming for a visit, meaning there are no easy outs on this schedule.
10. Grant (8) 2-2
The Pacers had one play against Franklin, a 98-yard touchdown reception for Paris Warren, but it’ll take a lot more of those to win the Delta League, and the coaches have reminded the squad of such – loudly.
11. Capital Christian (9) 3-1
D’Marcus Ross was the boss, rushing for four touchdowns in the second half to rally past Marysville, so yes, the Golden Empire League will put up a gallant fight.
12. Jesuit (12) 2-2
Name a two-way player who competes as hard and has hair as great as Jason Gallagher, who can rumble in for touchdowns at fullback or prevent scores as a linebacker.
13. Elk Grove (13) 2-2
Jaden Burns, Jake Jordan, Tre’von Frazier and Zion Thomas combined to rush for 454 yards and eight touchdowns against Davis, and they saluted the Hammerhead linemen for all of it.
14. Antelope (14) 4-0
Coach Matt Ray is a quarterback at heart but had his Titans rush 49 times for 386 yards against Ponderosa, with Moses Paul and Mhari Roberts combining for 268 of them.
15. Del Campo (15) 4-0
Marshaun Hunter has done a lot of everything for the surging Cougars – offense, defense, special teams – and more is needed with Whitney coming up.
16. River Valley (16) 4-0
Dawson McPeak has played like a senior leader, passing for 828 yards and 11 touchdowns, and the wing-T ground game is averaging 243.3 yards to make for a tough matchup for all comers.
17. Monterey Trail (17) 2-2
The losses have been to Del Oro and Sheldon, but this is still a team to fear, as all T.J. Ewing squads are.
18. Whitney (18) 2-2
The Wildcats feature one of the best pass-catch combos in the region with Preston Eklund and Justin Kraft, and it’ll be another air show against Del Campo.
19. Christian Brothers (19) 2-2
Gunnor Faulk and Spencer Webb have been teammates since elementary school, and they connected yet again with three more touchdown pass-catch moments against Winters.
20. Bear River (20) 5-0
The Bruins know full well that the Pioneer Valley League is a great one with Colfax, Lincoln, Placer, Center and Foothill, and the bye week comes at the right time.
Bubble teams (alphabetical order): Colfax (5-0), Cordova (3-2), Cosumnes Oaks (1-3), Galt (3-1), Highlands (4-0), Lincoln (4-1), Nevada Union (2-3), Oakmont (3-1), Placer (3-1), Pleasant Grove (2-2), Rio Americano (3-1), Rio Linda (4-1), River City (4-1), Vista del Lago (2-3), Woodland (4-1), Yuba City (3-2).
The Bee’s Sac-Joaquin Section Top 20
From 190 schools in the second-largest of California’s 10 sections.
1. Folsom (5-0)
2. Granite Bay (5-0)
3. Oak Ridge (4-0)
4. Del Oro (3-2)
5. Central Catholic-Modesto (3-0)
6. Inderkum (5-0)
7. Sacramento (3-1)
8. Oakdale (3-1)
9. St. Mary’s-Stoctkon (3-2)
10. Manteca (3-1)
11. Rocklin (4-1)
12. Franklin (4-0)
13. Sheldon (3-1)
14. Grant (2-2)
15. Capital Christian (3-1)
16. Jesuit (2-2)
17. Elk Grove (2-2)
18. Vacaville (2-3)
19. Antelope (4-0)
20. Del Campo (4-0)
This weekend’s schedule (Sept. 29-30)
All games start between 7- 7:30 p.m., unless noted.
No. 1 Folsom at No. 2 Granite Bay
No. 3 Oak Ridge at Woodcreek
Yuba City at No. 4 Inderkum
Nevada Union at No. 5 Del Oro
No. 8 Franklin at No. 9 Sheldon
No. 13 Elk Grove at No. 10 Grant
No. 11 Capital Christian at Coeur d’Alene-Idaho
Oakmont at No. 14 Antelope
No. 18 Whitney at No. 15 Del Campo
No. 16 River Valley at Rio Linda
Pleasant Grove at No. 17 Monterey Trail
No. 19 Christian Brothers vs. Stagg at Hughes Stadium
Byes: No. 7 Rocklin, No. 20 Bear River
Ponderosa at Bella Vista
Roseville at Cosumnes Oaks
Mesa Verde at Dixon
Bret Harte at Winters
Valley at Kennedy
Argonaut at Calaveras
Sonora at Amador
Foresthill at Quincy
University Prep at Union Mine
Valley Christian at Incline
Woodland Christian at Esparto
River City at Pioneer
Golden Sierra at San Juan
Delta Charter-Tracy at Delta
Franklin at Galt
Natomas at Center
Rio Americano at Highlands
Johnson vs. McClatchy at Rosemont
Encina vs. Bradshaw Christian at El Camino
Laguna Creek vs. Burbank at Cosumnes River College
Florin at No. 6 Sacramento, 1 p.m.
Davis at No. 12 Jesuit, 1 p.m.
Ferndale at El Dorado
Lindhurst vs. Marysville at Yuba College