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.
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
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