The football fun starts early on Friday.
No. 7 Jesuit High School hosts No. 12 Granite Bay in a 4:30 p.m. kickoff, not because the Marauders want fans and students to work on their tans (the forecast calls for temperatures in the mid-80s).
There are no lights at Loyola Field, nor have their been since the school opened in 1963. But lights have been discussed for years (neighbors vehemently oppose adding lights, not wanting the glare, the traffic and the noise).
Jesuit will wheel in portable lights for a 7 p.m. kickoff against nearby rival Rio Americano on Sept. 14. Rio Americano also is without lights since opening in 1963 (same issues) and has in recent seasons played Friday night games at Del Campo in an effort to soak in some atmosphere (Del Campo succeeded in getting stadium lights in 2011).
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A peek at five Friday night games of note (all games kick off between 7-7:30 p.m., except Jesuit)
No. 10 Antelope (1-1) at No. 1 Folsom (1-1)
Folsom is buzzing from its buzzsaw rout of then No. 2-ranked Jesuit, 51-14, and Antelope is still comprehending how it surrendered the final four touchdowns in a loss to Lincoln, 35-27. Titans coach Matt Ray wanted to up his schedule with a distinct Sierra Foothill League feel, and he has, starting with an opening-night win over Rocklin, 24-22. But can the Titans pressure Kaiden Bennett, who shredded Jesuit for four first-half touchdowns, two to national recruit Joe Ngata? And there’s workhorse back Daniyel Ngata to ponder, too.
No. 5 Inderkum (2-0) vs. No. 19 Sacramento (0-2)
Played at Hughes Stadium, this figures to be a fast and fun one with athletes galore in open space. Inderkum’s run game has steamed Elk Grove 37-13 and American Canyon 69-0 behind backs Raymond Brown, Aaron Espero and JJ Ray. Sacramento has played good defense but hasn’t found its offensive groove in road losses at Rancho Cotate in Rohnert Park, 16-12, and at Chico, 15-14, on a late field goal.
No. 12 Granite Bay (0-2) at No. 7 Jesuit (0-1)
Both teams are eager to find an offensive flow. Granite Bay has managed one field goal this season in falling to Monte Vista of Danville 9-3 and at Nevada power Damonte Ranch, 28-0. Jesuit led Folsom 7-0 after its first drive but stalled from there, falling 51-14. These are storied playoff regulars that rely on the run.
No. 8 Capital Christian (2-0) at No. 9 Grant (1-1)
Capital Christian rejoiced in its opening win at Cosumnes Oaks, the first Division I conquest for the smaller-school Cougars. A victory over Grant would be the greatest in program history, given the tradition of the Pacers and regional impact of famed coach Mike Alberghini. Grant must contain D’Marcus Ross, who has run all over his first two opponents. Grant beat Capital Christian 19-0 last season.
Franklin (1-1) at No. 14 River Valley (2-0)
If there’s an upset in the making, it’s this one, and River Valley coaches are urging players to be wary of the speed of Franklin, particularly Josiah Allen, a running back who also plays on special teams. Franklin is coming off a 44-7 loss to Rocklin, and River Valley needed a second-half surge to topple River City 21-7.
This week’s schedule
All games kickoff between 7-7:30 p.m., unless noted.
No. 10 Antelope at No. 1 Folsom
No. 2 Oak Ridge at Reed
Windsor at No. 3 Del Oro
Bishop Manogue at No. 4 Placer
No. 5 Inderkum vs. No. 19 Sacramento at Hughes Stadium
No. 6 Monterey Trail at Spanish Springs
No. 12 Granite Bay at No. 7 Jesuit, 4:30 p.m.
No. 8 Capital Christian at No. 9 Grant
Damonte Ranch at No. 11 Rocklin
No. 13 Sheldon at Kennedy
Franklin at No. 14 River Valley
No. 16 Christian Brothers at Vanden
No. 17 Bear River at Pershing County
No. 19 Casa Roble at Vista del Lago
Argonaut at Hughson
Burbank at Vacaville
Central at Whitney
Del Campo at McQueen
Douglas at Union Mine
Esparto at Woodland Christian
Foresthill at Portola
Galt at Linden
Golden Sierra at Orestimba
Laguna Creek at Dublin
McClatchy at Foothill
Liberty Ranch at Amador
Natomas at Rio Vista
Oakmont at Bella Vista
Pitman vs. Pleasant Grove at Sheldon
Ponderosa at El Dorado
Rio Americano at Roseville
Rio Linda at Cordova
River City at Cosumnes Oaks
Rosemont at Dixon
Vacaville Christian at Delta Valley
Christian at Fort Bragg
Valley vs. Vallejo at Cosumnes River College
Western Sierra at Maxwell
Woodcreek at El Camino
Woodland at Davis
Yuba City at Fairfield