Joe Davidson

Believe it: Prep football regular season ends in less than a month. We break down Top 20

Watch highlights from Lincoln’s win over Oakmont

Highlights from Lincoln's 28-3 win over Oakmont in high school football on Friday, Sept. 28, 2018.
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Highlights from Lincoln's 28-3 win over Oakmont in high school football on Friday, Sept. 28, 2018.

How’s this for fast-forward living?

The regular-season for high school football concludes in less than a month, on Oct. 26.

League championships used to mean something, and coaches insist they still do. League banners represented a primary goal certainly before the CIF regional and state playoff formats came into play in 2006.

But after a 10-week regular season now, teams that end up competing for CIF State crowns play as many as six extra games. This includes Folsom, which went 16-0 in 2014 and 2017.

This week, league races will heat up, and teams need to stay within reach of the top to be considered for the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.

Here is our weekly peek at The’s Bee’s Top 20 (keep in mind that strength of schedule is important as these are power rankings and not win-loss standings):

The Bee’s Top 20

With last week’s ranking in parentheses.

1. Folsom (1) 5-1 — A year ago, Kaiden Bennett was a pass-run QB threat. He has excelled as a drop-back passer this season with remarkable results: 1,694 yards at an 80-percent clip.

2. Del Oro (2) 6-0 — The Golden Eagles are suddenly bowlers, starting last week’s bye week with a rumble at the lanes. Oak Ridge visits Friday.

3. Monterey Trail (3) 6-0 — Receiver Andre Crump is fast, productive, a leader – and he sports perfect grades. Good living.

4. Placer (4) 6-0 — Revenge: The Hillmen blew out a Nevada Union team 63-12 that handed them their lone regular-season loss in 2017.

5. Inderkum (5) 6-0 — The Tigers didn’t flinch when facing 6-0 Woodcreek. They just scored to the tune of a 51-7 rout.

6. Oak Ridge (6) 5-1 — The Trojans bottled up an athletic and speedy Grant team 33-6 as the defense continues to improve.

7. Capital Christian (7) 7-0 — The Cougars have received stellar line play and defensive efforts in rolling to what should be a 10-0 start.

8. Sheldon (8) 6-1 — The Huskies have a QB in Francisco Salinas who can air it out, including back-to-back games with 75-yard TD bombs.

9. Grant (9) 3-3 — A week after beating Granite Bay in overtime, the Pacers stalled out at Oak Ridge. This is how young teams grow up fast.

10. Granite Bay (10) 3-4 — How can the Grizzlies be ranked this high? They belted Jesuit 27-12 earlier this season without six starters.

11. Jesuit (11) 4-2 — The winning streak is four now and Isaiah Rutherford has found his extra gear at RB after being slowed with an ankle injury.

12. Bear River (12) 6-0 — The Bruins, 22 players strong, put on a defensive clinic in beating prolific Center 16-7.

13. Elk Grove (13) 3-3 — The key for the Thundering Herd (or anyone) is defense. The next test is Jesuit.

14. Antelope (15) 4-3 — The Titans can make more noise with a win over 6-1 Woodcreek in what should develop as a rivalry.

15. Center (16) 5-1 — QB Michael Wortham is one of the region’s gritty, unsung leaders. He plays hurt and inspired.

16. Colfax (19) 6-0 — The Falcons are in the same Pioneer Valley League that includes Bear River and Center.

17. Rio Linda (20) 5-1 — The Knights have won five in a row after opening with a loss at Center, thanks in large part to Cameron Skattebo.

18. Ponderosa (14) 5-1 — The Bruins lost a shootout to Rio Linda and get another stiff test against Lincoln with league-title hopes in the balance.

19. Casa Roble (17) 5-1 — The Rams lost only to Ponderosa and expect to own the Golden Empire League.

20. Lincoln (-) 3-3 — Welcome back, Zebras, who face Ponderosa next with Placer looming in Week 10.

Dropped out — Woodcreek

Bubble teams — (in alphabetical order): Bradshaw Christian (4-2), Burbank (4-3), Cosumnes Oaks (3-4), Davis (3-3), East Nicolaus (5-0), Foothill (4-2), Nevada Union (3-3), Oakmont (3-3), River Valley (4-2), Rocklin (2-5), Vista del Lago (4-3), Winters (6-0), Woodcreek (6-1), Yuba City (3-3).

This week’s schedule

All games kick off between 7-7:30 p.m. Friday, unless noted.

Top 20

Whitney at No. 1 Folsom

No. 6 Oak Ridge at No. 2 Del Oro

Kennedy at No. 3 Monterey Trail

No. 4 Placer at No. 17 Rio Linda

River Valley at No. 5 Inderkum

No. 7 Capital Christian vs. Sacramento, Saturday

Rocklin at No. 9 Grant

No. 11 Jesuit at No. 13 Elk Grove

Lindhurst at No. 12 Bear River

Woodcreek at No. 14 Antelope

Foothill at No. 15 Center

Marysville at No. 16 Colfax

No. 18 Ponderosa at No. 20 Lincoln

No. 19 Casa Roble at Pioneer

Byes: No. 8 Sheldon, No. 10 Granite Bay

Other games

Christian Brothers at El Camino

Rio Americano at Del Campo

Yuba City at Bella Vista

Franklin at Cosumnes Oaks

Oakmont at Nevada Union

Florin at Cordova

River City at Burbank

Encina at Foresthill

Delta at Western Sierra

Golden Sierra at Highalnds

San Juan at Rio Vista

El Dorado at Rosemont

Galt at Bradshaw Christian

Union Mine at Liberty Ranch

Mesa Verde vs. Dixon at San Juan

Natomas vs. Valley at Cosumnes River College

McClatchy vs. Laguna Creek at Hughes Stadium

Follow The Bee’s Joe Davidson:, @SacBee_JoeD,