Granite Bay’s meeting at Folsom on Friday is a subplot to the regular season fast winding up.
The most intense battle within the Sierra Foothill League for the top-ranked Bulldogs was waged in a September league meeting when SFL administrators floated a suggestion that Folsom move out of the league on the basis of competitive equity and player safety.
Said Granite Bay coach Jeff Evans to The Bee in a follow-up story, “No doubt Folsom should play independent. What they are doing is not high school football, not public high school football, anyway.
“It is not sour grapes. We can all handle losing because we are in this for more than just wins, but something has to be done.”
Folsom coaches said they felt ambushed. They insist they do not want out of the SFL and maintain they will play on.
Will the coaches even meet and greet before kickoff?
No. 10 Granite Bay (3-4) at No. 1 Folsom (6-1)
The Grizzlies need at least one more victory in the final three SFL games to have a shot at extending their playoff streak to 20 successive seasons. After this, they play at Oak Ridge and then at home against Rocklin. Folsom is roaring toward a Week 10 showdown against No. 2 Del Oro behind QB Kaiden Bennett, who has 30 touchdowns and two interceptions, none since the opener at De La Salle. Tyler Hardeman leads the Bulldogs with 4 1/2 sacks (the team has 16).
No. 2 Del Oro (7-0) at No. 9 Grant (4-3)
The Golden Eagles sizzled in taking apart Oak Ridge 56-21 last week, leading 48-7 at one point, and can ill-afford a let down now. The Pacers have their youngest team under coach Mike Alberghini, the head man since 1991, but they have impressed with rallies to beat Granite Bay and Rocklin behind QB Xavier Johnson.
Burbank (5-3) at No. 3 Monterey Trail (7-0)
This will be a meeting of speed as both Metro League leaders have a surplus of skill guys, including quarterbacks Lavelle Bailey at Burbank and Zach Larrier at Monterey Trail. This is the only competitive league game for either of these programs, and the intensity should be clear.
No. 18 Antelope (5-3) at No. 5 Inderkum (7-0)
In this meeting of Capital Athletic League unbeatens, the host Tigers (3-0 CAL) boast of a lot of speed and skill, and Antelope (4-0 CAL) must keep pace offensively to avoid a blowout, meaning plenty of touches for the versatile Carter Sullivan. Inderkum has been equally as tough on defense with 25 sacks, five by Devon Williams and four by Shamar Brown.
Foothill (5-2) at No. 12 Bear River (7-0)
Foothill has surged, already producing the most wins for the program in a season since 2009, but it wasn’t enough for second-year coach Anthony Eustace to keep his job. He was relieved of duties before last week’s upset over Center for unspecified reasons. Bear River, meanwhile, rolls on, including on defense, a unit led by Jared Baze. He has 10 of his team’s 23 sacks.
This week’s schedule
All kickoffs between 7-7:30 p.m. Friday, unless noted.
No. 10 Granite Bay at No. 1 Folsom
No. 2 Del Oro at No. 9 Grant
Burbank at No. 3 Monterey Trail
No. 4 Placer at Oakmont
No. 18 Antelope at No. 5 Inderkum
No. 6 Oak Ridge at Whitney
Pleasant Grove at No. 8 Sheldon
Davis at No. 9 Jesuit, Saturday, 1 p.m.
Foothill at No. 12 Bear River
Franklin at No. 13 Elk Grove
No. 14 Colfax at Lindhurst
No. 15 Center at Marysville
No. 16 Rio Linda at No. 17 Lincoln
Nevada Union at No. 19 Ponderosa
Woodland at No. 20 Casa Roble
Bye — No. 7 Capital Christian
Christian Brothers at Vista del Lago
El Camino at Del Campo
Bella Vista at River Valley
Yuba City at Roseville
Pioneer at Dixon
Florin at Natomas
McClatchy at River City
Foresthill at Woodland Christian
Valley Christian at Delta
Golden Sierra at Vacaville Christian
Highlands at San Juan
Rio Vista at Linden
Bradshaw Christian at Union Mine
Galt vs. Rosemont at Liberty Ranch
Johnson vs. Valley at Rosemont
Laguna Creek vs. Kennedy at Cosumnes River College
Mira Loma vs. Mesa Verde at El Camino