The finish line to the high school football regular season is almost here.
The last games will be played Friday, with just a few Saturday. Later that day, the good folks at the Sac-Joaquin Section office will crunch data, compare scores, strength of schedule and more in seeding seven divisions for the playoffs that start next week, except those with opening-round byes.
Here’s a peek at this week’s Bee rankings with comments. Keep in mind that these are power rankings with emphasis on strength of schedule. These are not win-loss standings, so that’s why there are teams with 4-5 or 5-4 records. Teams with four wins will get into the playoffs.
The Bee’s Top 20
With last week’s ranking in parentheses.
1. Folsom (1) 8-1 — The Bulldogs put on a clinic in taking apart Grant 53-7 as no starters saw action in the second half, a trend for much of this season. Kaden Richardson isn’t just a stellar center and line leader. He’s a 4.0 student, too.
2. Del Oro (2) 9-0 — The Golden Eagles roared through the season’s first seven weeks unchallenged, then narrowly escaped pressure-cooker games against Grant and Rocklin. Folsom looms large next.
3. Monterey Trail (3) 9-0 — The Mustangs are a win away from securing the program’s first 10-0 regular season, which is nice. But the real goal is to return to the section Division I championship game for the third time.
4. Placer (4) 9-0 — The Hillmen charge along using depth, discipline and defense to devour all comers. Division III is theirs for the taking.
5. Inderkum (5) 9-0 — The Tigers can run with speed, throw, defend and also block and play special teams. Complete outfit.
6. Capital Christian (7) 9-0 — The Cougars have had good teams before, but this is the program’s greatest team led by leaders such as Will Buck. This is Capital’s highest ranking ever.
7. Sheldon (8) 8-1 — The winning streak is eight after a spirited 27-21 overtime win to beat defending Delta League champion Jesuit. Tyrell Smith and Francisco Salinas earned game balls, as has a stellar coaching staff.
8. Granite Bay (16) 4-5 — The Grizzlies have big wins over Jesuit and Oak Ridge and seek to extend their playoff streak to 20 successive seasons.
9. Jesuit (9) 6-3 — The Marauders have losses to Folsom, Granite Bay and Sheldon, and figure to make some noise in the Division II playoffs.
10. Oak Ridge (6) 6-3 — The Trojans have setbacks to Folsom, Del Oro and Granite Bay, but still have the drive and talent to reach the section D-I final.
11. Grant (11) 4-5 — The Pacers beat Granite Bay and Rocklin, nearly stunned Del Oro and then were taken to task by Folsom. This is a young team that has come of age.
12. Elk Grove (12) 5-4 — The Thundering Herd clinched yet another playoff berth after rallying to beat Cosumnes Oaks. This is a threat in Division II.
13. Antelope (15) 5-4 — The Titans ramped up their schedule to be playoff ready. They’re ready now.
14. Colfax (14) 9-0 — The Falcons rejoiced in a thorough victory over rival Bear River to lock up the Pioneer Valley League and now seek another section banner.
15. Bear River (11) 8-1 — There’s no shame losing to rival Colfax, but what really stings are the nagging injuries to heart-and-soul grinder Tre Maronic.
16. Center (14) 7-2 — The Cougars opened the season with a win over Rio Linda and will again be a playoff factor.
17. Rio Linda (17) 7-2 — The Knights have losses to Center and Placer, and have grown from it. Anyone out there able to take Cameron Skattebo head on?
18. Ponderosa (18) 6-3 — The Bruins have losses to Lincoln, Rio Linda and Placer. They need a win over Oakmont to feel good again.
19. Casa Roble (19) 8-1 — The lone loss was to Ponderosa, though the Rams have recovered to roll through the Golden Empire League.
20. Woodcreek (-) 7-2 — The losses were to Inderkum and Antelope, but the Timberwolves have already set a school record for wins in a season.
Dropped out — Christian Brothers
Bubble teams (in alphabetical order) — Bradshaw Christian (6-3), Burbank (5-4), Cosumnes Oaks (4-5), Christian Brothers (5-4), Davis (5-4), Del Campo (3-6), Dixon (5-4), East Nicolaus (8-0), Foothill (6-3), Highlands (6-3), Lincoln (5-4), Rio Vista (8-1), River Valley (5-3), Rocklin (2-7), Sacramento (4-5), Union Mine (4-4), Vista del Lago (4-5), Winters (9-0), Yuba City (5-4).
This week’s schedule
All games start between 7-7:30 p.m. Friday, unless noted.
No. 1 Folsom at No. 2 Del Oro
No. 3 Monterey Trail vs. McClatchy at Hughes Stadium
No. 4 Placer at Lincoln
Roseville at No. 5 Inderkum
No. 6 Capital Christian at Vista del Lago
No. 7 Sheldon vs. Franklin at Cosumnes Oaks High School
Rocklin at No. 8 Granite Bay
No. 9 Jesuit vs. Pleasant Grove at Sheldon High School
No. 12 Elk Grove at No. 10 Oak Ridge
No. 11 Grant at Whitney
No. 13 Antelope at River Valley
No. 16 Center at No. 14 Colfax
No. 15 Bear River at Marysville
No. 17 Rio Linda at Nevada Union
No. 18 Ponderosa at Oakmont
No. 19 Casa Roble vs. Mesa Verde at San Juan High School
No. 20 Woodcreek at Yuba City
Rio Americano at El Camino
Cosumnes Oaks at Davis
Christian Brothers vs. Sacramento at Hughes Stadium (11 a.m. Saturday)
Mira Loma at Dixon
Woodland at Pioneer
Johnson at Natomas
Valley vs. Cordova at Cosumnes River College
Kennedy at Burbank
Laguna Creek at River City
Encina at Delta
Western Sierra at Woodland Christian
Linden at Highlands
Foothill at Lindhurst
San Juan at Golden Sierra
Vacaville Christian at Rio Vista
Bradshaw Christian at Rosemont
Galt at Liberty Ranch
Union Mine at El Dorado
Bella Vista at Del Campo
Valley Christian vs. Foresthill at Highlands High School (noon Saturday)