Joe Davidson

Still think Folsom schedules soft? Bulldogs ready for test at Southern Section power

Folsom Bulldogs’ Caleb Nelson gets ready inside the locker room before playing the Jesuit Marauders last season.
Folsom Bulldogs’ Caleb Nelson gets ready inside the locker room before playing the Jesuit Marauders last season. Sacramento Bee file

The rumblings have rumbled for years.

The Folsom Bulldogs don’t play anyone, as if they line up against blocking sleds and run routes into the end zone. In this era of social media, everyone is an expert.

Folsom coaches and players shrug it all off. The top-ranked Bulldogs — winners of three CIF State titles this decade — have scheduled up in recent years, including this season when they opened at national powerhouse De La Salle, suffering a 14-0 loss while giving the Spartans one of their toughest games against Northern California competition since 1992.

On Friday, Folsom takes on its first Southern Section program of note when it visits Chaminade of West Hills, ranked 17th in the state by Cal-Hi Sports (Folsom is No. 9 after starting the season No. 4). Chaminade won a state title in 2013.

A closer look at five area games of note (kickoffs between 7-7:30 p.m.):

No. 1 Folsom (2-1) at Chaminade (2-1) The prolific Bulldogs will test the stout defense of the Eagles, who have wins against Paraclete of Lancaster and Mission Hills of San Marcos, both ranked in Cal-Hi’s state Top 25 most of last season. The loss was state No. 5 Oaks Christian. Folsom has been led by quarterback Kaiden Bennett, center Kaden Richardson, wide receivers Joe Ngata and Elijhah Badger, and unsung performers such as Caleb Nelson, who plays all over the field.

Cosumnes Oaks (2-1) at No. 6 Monterey Trail (3-0) — Both teams run a ton so this one may be over by 9 p.m. And both teams have game breakers, Cosumnes Oaks with Jacob Trach and the Mustangs with Jehiel Budgett and Zach Larrier. Trach is coming off of a 383-yard, six-touchdown effort against River City. Budgett ran for 220 yards and four scores against Spanish Springs of Nevada, while Larrier makes plays at quarterback and on defense.

No. 10 Antelope (1-2) at No. 7 Capital Christian (3-0) Antelope edged Rocklin in an opener, lost a big lead in an agonizing loss to Lincoln and trailed 41-0 at the half against Folsom, losing by the same score, so this is one angry bunch. QB Nathan Lucero will be countered by Capital Christian’s Cooper Crick, who dazzled against Grant with 235 passing yards and four touchdowns in a 42-14 victory. D’Marcus Ross is a punishing runner who went for 233 yards and two TDs against Grant.

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No. 20 Ponderosa (3-0) at No. 17 Casa Roble (3-0) — Both programs have experienced glory and misery over the decades, and both are in an upswing now. Ponderosa seeks just its third playoff team since 2007 and Casa Roble aims to return for the second year in a row after a three-year drought. Devin Carmona, Austin Gandy and Marciano Huston give Casa a 1-2-3 offensive punch while Ponderosa features Jake Chaney, Elijah Henderson and Ty Uber.

No. 9 Jesuit (0-2) vs. No. 19 Christian Brothers (2-1) — Played at Hughes Stadium on Saturday night, another crowd of 15,000 is expected to see rivals that have faced off since 1969 in the Holy Bowl. Jesuit has been stalled by stiff competition (Folsom, Granite Bay) and injuries while the Falcons sweated out two early wins before falling to Vanden. The vibe for the Holy Bowl remains as good as it gets for any matchup in Northern California.

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Watch highlights from Friday, Aug. 31 high school football games and vote for your favorite in our Highlight of the Week poll at sacbee.com.

This week’s schedule

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

Top 20

Friday

No. 1 Folsom at Chaminade

Sacramento at No. 3 Del Oro

Vista del Lago at No. 4 Placer

Cosumnes Oaks at No. 6 Monterey Trail

No. 10 Antelope at No. 7 Capital Christian

Vacaville at No. 8 Granite Bay

No. 11 Rocklin at Liberty

Turlock at No. 12 Sheldon

No. 14 Bear River at Liberty Ranch

No. 15 Grant at Franklin

Shasta at No. 16 Elk Grove

No. 20 Ponderosa at No. 17 Casa Roble

Saturday

No. 9 Jesuit vs. No. 19 Christian Brothers, Hughes Stadium, 7 p.m.

No. 13 River Valley vs. Pleasant Valley at Yuba City, 7 p.m.

Byes: No. 2 Oak Ridge, No. 5 Inderkum, No. 13 River Valley

Other games

Friday

Amador at Union Mine

Burbank at Del Campo

Center at El Camino

Chico at Yuba City

Colfax at Colusa

East Nicolaus at Bradshaw Christian

Cordova at Rosemont

Delta at San Juan

Davis at Pioneer

Foresthill at Vacaville Christian

Dixon at Armijo

Las Plumas at Lindhurst

Kennedy at Bear Creek

Natomas at Foothill

River City at Escalon

Pleasant Grove at Woodcreek

Roseville at Rio Linda

Western Sierra vs. Esparto

Saturday

Mesa Verde at Encina, 11 a.m.

Valley Christian vs. Turlock Christian, 7 p.m.

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