Joe Davidson

High school football preview: Five key games to watch in Week 3

Folsom’s Jake Jeffrey (18), celebrates with Tre Green (24), after Green's touchdown that gave the Bulldogs a 28-14 lead after the two point conversion against Rocklin last season.
Folsom’s Jake Jeffrey (18), celebrates with Tre Green (24), after Green's touchdown that gave the Bulldogs a 28-14 lead after the two point conversion against Rocklin last season. Sacramento Bee file

With league openers looming, this is a bye-heavy week for area teams. For those playing, it’s a chance to sharpen up before the games really count. Here are five key games in Week 3:

No. 1 Folsom (3-0) at No. 18 Burbank (0-2)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Outlook: The Bulldogs seek to extend their state-leading, regular-season winning streak to 35 games. They expect a competitive meeting with the speedy and hard-hitting Titans, who lost to No. 2 Grant and No. 5 Oak Ridge. Jake Jeffrey has settled in nicely as Folsom’s quarterback. He has thrown for 875 yards and 10 touchdowns, to five receivers, and he’s a running threat. Folsom’s Tre Green and Roger Neal have combined to rush for nearly 100 yards a game with six scores. Burbank runs the triple option with Michael Roots, Erik Brown and Jaemyn Hickman, the fastest trio Folsom will face until deep into the playoffs.

35Consecutive regular-season wins by Folsom

No. 8 Rocklin (2-1) at No. 13 Sacramento (2-0)

When: Saturday, 1 p.m.

Outlook: Sacramento expects to return to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III final and needs to face fierce competition before entering the Metropolitan Conference schedule. Rocklin will be the most physical and deepest team the Dragons will face. The Thunder expects to be back at full strength with the return of quarterback William Floyd and running back Evyn Holtz, both of whom sat out last week’s 28-20 loss to rival Whitney for disciplinary reasons. Rocklin must contend with Dragons quarterback Caden Voges, off to another strong start with 616 yards and 10 touchdowns with one interception, and receivers Da Von Owens (11.3 yards per reception, three touchdowns) and Elijah Trosclair (31.9 yards a catch, four scores).

No. 9 Granite Bay (2-0) at Vacaville (1-1)

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Outlook: This has been a terrific rivalry in recent seasons, some games going down to the wire. Vacaville is coming off a 49-45 win over North Section power Enterprise of Redding in which Gabe Caravantes tossed two touchdown passes and Daniel Wright rushed for 252 yards and five scores. Granite Bay has been bolstered by defense, led by safety Sam Cusano and linebacker Ryan MacIntosh. The Grizzlies scored two defensive touchdowns in a 21-7 triumph over Jesuit and had a late stand to hold off Cosumnes Oaks 14-11.

Natomas (3-0) at Highlands (2-1)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Outlook: Natomas seeks its best start in school history as it continues to rebound from its miserable past. The Nighthawks entered last season with a state-leading 32-game losing streak but reached the playoffs. The momentum has carried over, thanks to quarterback Adrian Leyva (six touchdown passes) and running back Terrance March (302 rushing yards, two scores). Highlands is led by quarterback Isaiah Tenette, who has rushed for 839 yards and 13 touchdowns and passed for 380 and four, respectively. He set a NorCal quarterback rushing mark with 465 yards and seven scores in a win over Mira Loma. Joshua Cannon averages 12.3 tackles for Highlands.

839Rushing yards by Highlands quarterback Isaiah Tenette

Winters (1-1) at Dixon (2-1)

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Outlook: The schools have been nonleague rivals off and on for more than 30 years. This one shapes up to be another good game after Winters won 28-23 a year ago en route to a Northern Section championship. Winters graduated most of that team, one of the best in school history, but it already owns a win over a strong Colfax team 41-35 on Sept. 4 as Anthony Carson passed for 195 yards and four touchdowns and ran for 57 and a score. Dixon beat Colfax last week 28-14 as D’Lornn McMullen scored all four touchdowns, including a tackle-breaking, 85-yard punt return. Dixon also converted twice in punt formation and recovered an onside kick.

Ranked teams with byes this weekend: No. 2 Grant, No. 4 Del Oro, No. 7 Antelope, No. 10 Franklin, No. 11 Jesuit, No. 14 Bear River, No. 15 Cosumnes Oaks, No. 16 Whitney, No. 19 Roseville and No. 20 Capital Christian.

Joe Davidson: 916-321-1280, @SacBee_JoeD