Joe Davidson

How Folsom football suddenly got a lot better (think trenches)

The Folsom Bulldogs come on the to the field before hosting the Jesuit Marauders in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division I third-round playoff game, Friday Nov. 24, 2017.
The Folsom Bulldogs come on the to the field before hosting the Jesuit Marauders in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division I third-round playoff game, Friday Nov. 24, 2017. Sacramento Bee file

OK, this suddenly seems unfair.

As if the Folsom Bulldogs were not already a formidable football bunch with their array of skill players, tradition and penchant for habitually stomping on defenses, there is now this revelation: the linemen are getting into the act.

On Friday night at Rocklin, the top-ranked Bulldogs unleashed yet another piece to their arsenal. Kaiden Bennett hit DeShawn Lynch for a short pass, and Lynch did the rest, barreling downfield for an 80-yard touchdown.

That would be the 6-foot-4, 265-pound Lynch, normally a tackle but clearly a guy in the trenches with tight end skills. It highlighted a 48-0 victory and no doubt will help thrust Lynch onto the recruiting scene as a big guy who can scoot.

He is only a junior, having shown flashes of his speed on kickoff teams last season and in basketball last winter.

Opinion

Imagine the glee of Kris Richardson, a lineman in his day. The coach jumped out of his skin watching the big kid roll.

“That was something, just phenomenal,” Richardson said. “We’ve seen DeShawn’s freakish ability to catch the ball, and at his size, he runs like a deer. We wanted to give him some touches.”

JV_022818_SHELDON_FOLSOM 48.JPG
Sheldon Huskies center Chris Wriedt (23) fakes right before going left to score between Folsom’s Deshawn Lynch, right, and Mason Forbes in a playoff game on Feb. 28. Jose Luis Villegas Sacramento Bee file

Assistant coach Doug Cosbie liked the call. He’s a tight end from a previous era, with the Dallas Cowboys. Cosbie and Richardson told Lynch what to expect after catching the ball.

“We told him the safety will go low on him as no one wants to go face-to-face with a 265-pound guy running that fast,” Richardson said. “He high-stepped and turned up field and they didn’t catch him. Just a lovable kid who can really play. Everyone had a great time watching the big kid chugging downfield.”

Chandon comes aboard

As if the emergence of Lynch wasn’t enough, Folsom suddenly has another promising prospect in action. Pierre Chandon played his first game for Folsom on Friday, the 6-3, 255-pound senior defensive end having sat out the first half of the season per transfer rules.

His family moved to Folsom in February from Nevada and enrolled him into classes, but because it was not deemed a full family move, Chandon had to comply with CIF transfer rules. Chandon as a sophomore and junior led the state of Nevada in sacks.

Richardson said Chandon immediately becomes the team’s top defensive player.

“He showed flashes of it against Rocklin, and he’s playing on the offensive line, too,” Richardson said. “He’s a big boost. We’ve got a really good thing going right now. Obviously, winning helps, but the work ethic, sharing the ball, it’s been great.”

But when you’re high profile like Folsom, there are detractors. Regional football followers bemoan on social media, or in the stands, that the playing field is not level when players come to Folsom from as far as Nevada.

Brothers Daniyel and Joe Ngata and Kaiden Bennett came to Folsom before their freshman seasons but are still widely considered, “Reno transfers.” No, they grew up in Reno, and incoming freshmen are not technically transfers. Pierre is in fact a transfer, and the Folsom coaches are not about to apologize for having players from out of state who are cleared to compete.

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Monterey Trail Metro mess

The coaches didn’t want to go, but here they are, in the Metropolitan Conference.

If Friday is an indicator, the Metro will continue to be plowed by the No. 3 Mustangs, begrudgingly realigned from the Delta League for a four-year cycle. Monterey Trail steamed past River City 76-0 on Friday with a second-half running clock and figures to keep rolling in a league that, outside of the 6-0 Mustangs, includes no programs with a winning record.

The league includes struggling McClatchy (1-5) and Laguna Creek (1-5).

Monterey Trail is in the Metro for all sports as part of the Sac-Joaquin Section’s guidelines of scope of program. This means that while the Mustangs fared well in the Delta in football over the years, the other sports did not in terms of wins and losses, thus the switch to a league deemed more competitively balanced.

There are football exceptions, however. Grant last decade was in the Metro and crushed teams to the point players were getting injured.

It’s something to consider again — Monterey Trail in a different league for football only, because no one gains with the Mustangs crushing teams with second stringers in the second quarter.

Follow The Bee’s Joe Davidson: jdavidson@sacbee.com, @SacBee_JoeD, sacbee.com/high-school.
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