Joe Davidson

Top-ranked Folsom Bulldogs roll on, beat Burbank Titans 56-20

Another game, another opponent, another victory.

Life continues to be good for the Folsom Bulldogs, who continue to devour all comers in Sac-Joaquin Section football.

On Friday night on Florin Road, The Bee’s top-ranked outfit pulled away from a 14-14 score early in the second quarter and rolled No. 18 Burbank 56-20 to cap nonleague play with a head of steam heading into an intriguing and challenging Sierra Foothill League schedule.

Jake Jeffrey continued his hot start for Folsom (4-0) as successor of record-setting quarterback Jake Browning, now starting at Washington.

Jeffrey, as poised and confident as he is effective, passed for 276 yards and five touchdowns, four in the first half. He hit Christian Huber for a 36-yard score, then Jack Sa for a six-yard touchdown, Huber again from 49 and Tre Green from 20, and then capped it with a 31-yard strike to Huber.

Folsom also showed its balance with a proficient running attack. Green ran for scores of eight and one yards, and Drake Stallworth punctuated a strong defensive game for the Bulldogs with a 91-yard fumble recovery with 1:35 left to play. He scooped up a bouncing ball and bolted the other way.

About the only player to find continued success against the Bulldogs’ defense was running back Michael Roots, who ran for 202 yards. Erik Brown ran for touchdowns of 10 and 36 yards for the Titans, who have made their case for best 0-3 team in the state.

Burbank has losses to No. 2 Grant and No. 5 Oak Ridge in a treacherous schedule designed to help the Titans develop. Burbank looms as the overwhelming favorite to repeat as Metropolitan Conference champion.

Folsom extended its state-best regular-season winning streak to 36. Folsom last lost to a regular-season foe – or anyone from its section – in 2011.

Since then, Folsom has won three section Division I championships, a NorCal title and a CIF State Division I championship, capping a 16-0 season last year. The last two losses for Folsom came against national superpower De La Salle of Concord, in the 2012 and 2013 NorCal Open Division title games. No NorCal team has beaten De La Salle since 1991, a 261-game unbeaten streak.

Before the game, Titans public address announcer Tom McElheney announced the names of the Folsom players on the 2014 state roster, a classy gesture that kicked off a great night of football in ideal conditions.

Only one starter is back for Folsom, but he’s a big one: left tackle Jonah Williams, headed to Alabama via scholarship. The right tackle is equally as imposing. He is Kooper Richardson, son of Folsom co-coach Kris Richardson. The tackles have mauled foes this season with effort, technique and sheer power.

The other linemen, every bit as crucial to the Folsom machine, are Kaivan Khazeni, Josh Kim, Blake Christierson and Mason Roush.

On Jeffrey’s 49-yard screen pass to Green that made it 28-14, Kooper Richardson led the way, a big man running down hill.

“We’ve been playing really well, and getting better,” coach Richardson said. “We’re running the ball well, passing well, protecting our quarterback. If we protect Jake, he’ll beat you. He’s the real deal.”

A 4.0 student, Jeffrey was a standout receiver last fall, catching 14 touchdowns. He was excited to take the reins of this program, and he’s looked the part of leader.

Folsom opens SFL play against No. 9 Granite Bay next week. The Bulldogs are also unbeaten at 3-0 with a bye week mixed in.

Joe Davidson: 916-321-1280, @SacBee_JoeD

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