Joe Davidson

Why 2018 was best football season in section history and booming one for public schools

Folsom Bulldogs win CIF State Division I-AA championship over Cathedral Catholic of San Diego

Folsom wins state title 21-14 over Cathedral Catholic in a thrilling game.
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Folsom wins state title 21-14 over Cathedral Catholic in a thrilling game.

The final tally offered emphatic football results for regional teams over the weekend.

Folsom High School repeated as CIF State Division 1-AA champion with a dramatic 21-14 overtime victory over Cathedral Catholic of San Diego on Friday night in Norwalk, and Saturday night in front of an overflow home crowd, Rio Linda beat San Gorgonio of San Bernardino 38-35 to win the Division 5-AA crown.

Del Oro lost to Grace Brethren of Simi Valley 21-14 in Division 2-AA, and Colfax fell to San Diego 21-10 in Division 5-A, leaving the region with a 2-2 split in the finals.

For the Sac-Joaquin Section, Folsom and Rio Linda were joined by Hilmar and Denair as CIF state champions, a record haul for the second largest of 10 sections in the state. And each of the section representatives were public schools in a state tournament often dominated by private programs.

“We’re the last section as a public-school holdout,” Rio Linda athletic director Mike Morris said with a laugh.

Final results - Northern California teams won 10 CIF titles this season and Southern California four, including the prestigious Open Division in which Mater Dei of Santa Ana repeated with a 35-21 win over De La Salle of Concord, the only team to beat Folsom in 2018.

Cam the man - Cameron Skattebo’s 420 yards rushing for Rio Linda on Saturday is a regional playoff record, and it pushed the junior to 3,577 yards for the season, the most in NorCal history, according to Cal-Hi Sports.

The previous NorCal record holder was Olito Thompson of Concord, who had 3,488 yards in 2011. The previous section record holder was John Bordenkircher, who had 3,416 in 1997 for Dixon.

The only other section runner to eclipse 3,000 yards in a season was Onterrio Smith of Grant with 3,125 in 1998.

Coaching openings - Christian Brothers, Cosumnes Oaks and Rocklin have football openings, each considered sleeping-giant programs.

Tyler Almond is leaving CB after two seasons as head coach to become defensive coordinator at Dixie College in Utah, having led two playoff teams. Derick Milgrim stepped down at Cosumnes Oaks after five seasons and five playoff teams to spend more time with family.

Greg Benzel leaves Rocklin after 19 years as coach, including a 14-1 section-title team that narrowly lost the CIF State Division II title game in 2009. He stepped down to spend more time with family.

Brotherly pride - On Friday night in Norwalk, Paul Doherty celebrated Folsom’s championship and 14-1 finish.

He is the program’s strength and conditioning coach. On Saturday, Doherty watched brother Kevin, an assistant at Lincoln of San Francisco, celebrate a 24-13 win over Orange Glen of Escondido for the Division 6-A title.

“That’s pretty cool,” Paul Doherty said.

All-Metro plea - Area coaches are encouraged to submit All-Metro player nominations to The Bee by Friday, Dec. 21, and submit all-league teams to


Final football rankings, 2018

1. Folsom 14-1

2. Del Oro 13-2

3. Monterey Trail 12-1

4. Capital Christian 13-1

5. Placer 12-1

6. Inderkum 11-1

7. Sheldon 10-2

8. Jesuit 7-6*

9. Oak Ridge 8-4

10. Rio Linda 13-2

11. Antelope 7-5

12. River Valley 7-6

13. Grant 5-6

14. Granite Bay 6-5

15. Casa Roble 11-2

16. Colfax 13-1

17. Bear River 11-2

18. Woodcreek 8-3

19. Elk Grove 6-6

20. Center 8-4

* Two playoff wins became forfeits