After his first victory as Folsom High School’s coach in 2005, Kris Richardson received a hug, a high-five and a kiss from his wife, Kelly.
Should he cap a third successive 10-0 regular season tonight with a victory over Woodcreek, Richardson expects the trifecta bit of affection and – as a bonus – a cake from Kelly. A week after Terry Stark earned his 100th victory in 10 seasons at Inderkum, Richardson can duplicate the feat with the Bulldogs, who morphed from a solid program in 2005 into a regional power under him.
Folsom produced five- and six-win teams in Richardson’s first three seasons before taking off. The Bulldogs peeled off records of 9-2, 11-2, 14-1, 11-3, 14-1, 14-1 and the current 9-0 mark. The Bee’s top-ranked team, Folsom finished No. 1 in 2012 and 2013 and seeks a three-peat while targeting the CIF State Division I title.
Richardson once burdened himself with most of the coaching duties before Troy Taylor became a co-coach last season. The best of friends share the duties, and neither looks exhausted.
“If you’re trying to do this job as a one-man show, you’re not going to last,” Richardson said. “Coaching is the part of this that everyone loves, but there’s the fundraising, the grade checks, the snack bar organization, the year-round things, and it can be a massive job.
‘You’ve got to have great assistant coaches and coaches at all levels, or a great co-coach, and we have all that. And you have to have a great wife, and I do, because Kelly understands what we’re doing, supports it and has completely bought in. She’s a real hero here.”
After just trying to field a .500 team early in his tenure at Folsom, Richardson now embraces the role of favorite. A Folsom victory tonight will make the Bulldogs the top seed in the Division I playoffs. A core of Bulldog seniors, led by record-setting quarterback Jake Browning, has not lost a regular-season game on the varsity, entering tonight with a records of 29-0 and 37-2 overall, losing only to De La Salle in the 2012 and 2013 CIF NorCal Open game. The teams won’t play this season after a change in the CIF Bowl selection process, leaving De La Salle in the Open and Folsom in Division I.
“There’s a quiet confidence, not cocky, and we approach every game as a big game,” Richardson said. “We’ve played a lot of people this year, we’re healthy, we’re playing great. It’s a perfect time for more.”
Eagles misery – El Camino went 6-4 last season and just missed the playoffs. The Eagles expected another 6-4 finish this season after a 35-32 loss to No. 11 Christian Brothers, but the sting of a forfeit has the Eagles in a foul mood.
A new student from out of state didn’t have all of his transfer paperwork signed off, making him ineligible. The reserve played five snaps late in a 36-12 nonleague victory over Valley on Sept. 12, and the snafu – not caught until weeks later – dearly cost the Eagles. The best El Camino, now 4-5 instead of 5-4, can hope for is a victory over 0-9 Mira Loma and a favorable section draw. No 5-5 team qualified for the playoffs last season.
El Camino coach Adam Reinking hopes the Eagles’ 35-32 win over likely playoff-bound Rosemont, a tough-luck 28-21 loss to 7-2 American Canyon after a late game-tying score was called back and the close loss to CBS will help their cause.
“It hurts because last year we missed on the playoffs because we didn’t have enough opponent wins, and this year, we played a tougher schedule, played tougher and had close losses with nothing to show for it,” Reinking said.
Et cetera – Tim Rawlins of Colfax leads the area with 186 points on 31 touchdowns – including 24 rushing and six receiving – and Austin Rigsby of Union Mine is second with 150 points and 25 touchdowns (23 rushing).
▪ John Horn of Yuba City is tied for the state lead with 10 interceptions, and Edward Ware of Capital Christian is third with nine.
▪ Eric Davis of Rosemont leads the section with 736 return yards, ahead of Dejon Glover (731) of Natomas and Ryan Robards (619) of Elk Grove.
▪ Matt Krieg of Vista del Lago leads the section in kick scoring with 62 points, one ahead of Troy Calderara of Folsom.
▪ Trey Nahhas of Monterey Trail tops the area with 1,549 rushing yards, followed by Grant’s DeShawn Collins (1,485).
▪ Cole Thompson of Folsom leads the area with 19 touchdown receptions, and teammate Josiah Deguara is second with 14.
Follow Joe Davidson on Twitter @SacBee_JoeD.