If you look beyond the top dog, the Sierra Foothill League features plenty of intriguing games and rivalries.
Oak Ridge and Del Oro have squared off since the 1980s, with the Trojans owning an 8-6 advantage over their rivals from Loomis over the last 14 seasons.
“It’s been a good series, very competitive,” Oak Ridge coach Eric Cavaliere said. “It should be a great game.”
They embody a rivalry at its finest — competitive games and bragging rights up for grabs.
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Folsom High School, in that regard, has no real rival as the Bulldogs continue to plow through the SFL unbeaten since arriving in 2013.
A closer look at five area games of note:
No. 6 Oak Ridge (5-1) at No. 2 Del Oro (6-0)
Del Oro needs a win to keep pace with Folsom in the SFL as the teams meet in Week 10 in what could be the title match. The Golden Eagles, with 17 starters back from a Sac-Joaquin Section championship runner-up squad, has scored on offense, defense and special teams in dominating the early schedule, including Johnny “Rocket” Guzman, one of the fastest and most versatile players in the state. Oak Ridge has bounced back strong from its 62-6 loss at Folsom by beating Rocklin 38-14 and Grant 33-6 as Matt Jenner has found his groove again at quarterback.
No. 4 Placer (6-0) at No. 17 Rio Linda (5-1)
Neither team can afford a loss if it expects to win the newly created Foothill Valley League championship. Placer has scored 69, 70, 70 and 63 points in its last four contests behind a devastating wing-T ground game that includes Marshall Chapman (798 yards, 19 touchdowns), Hans Grassman (828, 13) and Brad Bishop (482, six). Rio Linda has a power back with speed in Cameron Skattebo (1,230 yards, 16 TDs). Is passing the ball even allowed here?
River Valley (4-2) at No. 5 Inderkum (6-0)
The Capital Valley Conference includes front runner Inderkum, which has the league’s most prolific offense and most stingy defense, and upstart River Valley, led by standout QB Dawson McPeak. Inderkum had had 15 players rush for a combined 2,527 yards and 40 touchdowns, including 11 scores from Johnny Williams and nine from Raymond Brown.
No. 11 Jesuit (4-2) at No. 13 Elk Grove (3-3)
The Marauders roar into this one as the defending Delta League champions riding a four-game winning streak after injuries cast a shadow over losses to Folsom and Granite Bay. Jesuit is healthy now, including RB Isaiah Rutherford, who has scored seven times in the last three games. Elk Grove is young but promising with QB Carter Harris, who has rushed for 907 yards and nine touchdowns, and RB Tre’von Frazier, who has gone for 436 and six.
No. 18 Ponderosa (5-1) at No. 20 Lincoln (3-3)
The Foothill Valley League isn’t just about Placer and everyone else, but Ponderosa and Lincoln need a win here to keep pace. The Bruins last won a league title in 2007 (under then-coach Jason Tenner) and the host Zebras last did so in 2009 (under then-coach Ken Lowe). One of the best QB-WR duos in the state is Lincoln’s Tommy Turner and Harry Rounds.
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 Highlands
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