▪ Folsom (10-0): The Bulldogs, unbeaten in section play since 2011, are this field’s most experienced team. With record-setting quarterback Jake Browning, a punishing run game and dominating lines, they should three-peat.
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▪ Jesuit (8-2): The Marauders are balanced with quarterback Cole Brownholtz, running back Beau Bisharat, receiver Isaiah Bailey and a motivated defense after getting beaten and bruised by Grant in Week 10. In the 2013 playoffs, Jesuit challenged Folsom in 42-35 loss.
▪ Granite Bay (7-3): The Grizzlies have won five section titles, including D-I in 2011 and 2012. USC-bound linebacker Cameron Smith craves a big finish.
▪ Merced (8-2): The Bears, a section force in the late 1980s and early 1990s, are fast at the skill positions and on defense. Their only losses were to Fresno powers Clovis West and Edison.
▪ Napa (8-2): A victory over rival Vacaville is telling because Vacaville beat Granite Bay 13-7, and Napa could face Granite Bay in the second round.
▪ Monterey Trail (6-4): Close losses to Jesuit and Elk Grove and a halftime lead against Grant show that the Mustangs can compete with anyone, and running back Trey Nahhas is hard to stop.
▪ Cosumnes Oaks (8-2): Quarterback Jaaron Stallworth makes plays and is a leader, but the Wolfpack opens against Monterey Trail – and Folsom is on the same side of the bracket.
▪ Grant (10-0): The Pacers have the best offensive line in school history, prolific running back DeShawn Collins, an attacking defense and coach Mike Alberghini, who has won six section titles.
▪ Elk Grove (8-2): With a fleet of fast, tough backs, a superb offensive line and dominant nose guard Sai Taamu, the Herd could be headed for a rematch against Grant, which won 26-19 early last month.
▪ Rocklin (8-2): Will Floyd has stepped up at quarterback, defensive tackle Chase Hatada dominates and the defense is physical.
▪ St. Mary’s (9-1): A wide-open passing attack gives opponents fits, and a second-round game against Rocklin would be a classic of contrasting styles.
▪ Del Oro (5-5): Never mind the record, the defending champs have improved tremendously, play tough defense and can air it out with quarterback Logan Hurst. The run game is the key.
▪ Vacaville (8-2): The Bulldogs, the last section team to beat Folsom (in the 2011 section finals), are led by quarterback Chad Hekking. They have a big nonleague win over Granite Bay.
▪ Burbank (7-3): The Titans are fast with quarterback Harrison Anderson and they smother teams on defense. They have won seven straight but lost to Grant 20-0 in the season opener.
▪ Inderkum (9-1): With Jonathan Henry, Jimmie Johnson, Larry Hardy and Austin Thurman, the Tigers are the fastest team in the field as they seek their first section title.
▪ Sierra (9-1): The upstarts from Manteca beat longtime power Oakdale and have the section’s most prolific running back in Mark Paule (1,714 yards, 37 touchdowns).
▪ Oakdale (9-1): The Mustangs, who use the wing-T to set the tempo and control the clock, were champions in 2012 and played in the title game in 2010 and 2011.
▪ Rio Linda (8-2): The Knights are led by Marcel Brown, one of the field’s top running backs, quarterback Zak Burden and dominating defensive linemen Fila Hingano and Hunter Clark.
▪ Vista del Lago (7-3): The Eagles’ point-a-minite offense is led by quarterback Matt Jimison and running back Colby Carrera; Jimison led them to the title game in 2012.
▪ Manteca (8-2): The defending champion Buffaloes lost only to Division IV top seed Central Catholic and rival Oakdale.
▪ El Dorado (10-0): An unbeaten team usually isn’t considered a dark horse, but the Cougars are on a collision course with Inderkum in the second round.
▪ Central Catholic (7-3): The two-time defending CIF D-IV state champions and 17-time section winners are led by running back Justin Rice.
▪ Sonora (9-1): The Wildcats have won nine straight since losing to Oakdale 28-14; they’ve had three shutouts and allowed seven points two other times in their past six games.
▪ Los Banos (8-2): The Tigers, whose only losses were to larger schools Madera and Davis of Modesto, could play rival Sonora in the semifinals.
▪ Center (6-4): Though small in numbers and stature, coach Digol JBeily said his team competes as hard as any for which he’s coached or played.
▪ Bear River (8-2): The Bruins last won a section title 20 seasons ago, and co-coach Terry Logue said this year’s team has the same championship moxie, led by running back/linebacker John Voter.
▪ Colfax (6-4): The Falcons, winners of four section titles in seven title-game appearances, have the field’s best running back, Tim Rawlins.
▪ Mariposa County (7-3): The Grizzlies, led by a staunch defense, have won six of their past seven games.
▪ Amador (6-4): The Buffaloes try to set the pace with their running game, which averaged 205 yards a game.
▪ Capital Christian (10-0): The Cougars feature playmaker Justice Shelton-Mosley, a stifling defense led by defensive back Edward Ware and steady quarterback Jacob Norville.
▪ Modesto Christian (9-1): The Crusaders’ only loss was 23-22 in a season opener at Capital Christian, and there’s been talk of a rematch since.
▪ Bradshaw Christian (7-3): The Pride, which won the D-VII section title last season and three D-VI titles since 2009, has rushed for 4,001 yards and 45 touchdowns.
▪ Golden Sierra (8-2): The Grizzlies, who reached the D-V finals title game last season, rely on a run game that has averaged nearly 300 yards.