Joe Davidson

Five high school football playoff games to watch Friday night

Monterey Trail's Trey Nahhas (32) evades C.J. Garmon (9) of Inderkum High School as he makes his way to the endzone during the first half at Inderkum on Friday, Sept. 6, 2014.
Monterey Trail's Trey Nahhas (32) evades C.J. Garmon (9) of Inderkum High School as he makes his way to the endzone during the first half at Inderkum on Friday, Sept. 6, 2014.

The Bee’s Joe Davidson previews five key area games Friday night.

Monterey Trail (6-4)

at Cosumnes Oaks (8-2)

▪ When: 7 p.m. ▪ Level: Division I

▪ Outlook: These Elk Grove Unified School District schools – just five miles apart – meet for the first time in a Sac-Joaquin Section playoff game. Monterey Trail has played in two Division I title games. Cosumnes Oaks is in the Division I playoffs for the first time after competing in lower divisions. Both teams will need strong defensive efforts. Monterey Trail must deal with the playmaking ability of Wolfpack quarterback Jaaron Stallworth (21 total touchdowns), while Cosumnes Oaks must slow Mustangs running back Trey Nahhas (1,894 yards, 26 touchdowns).

Roseville (6-4) at Del Oro (5-5)

▪ When: 7 p.m. ▪ Level: Division II

▪ Outlook: This is an intriguing playoff opener between longtime Placer County rivals that had to win games down the stretch to secure playoff berths. Defending champion Del Oro locked up second place in the Sierra Foothill League by beating Granite Bay 20-7 behind a superb defense that features linebackers Dalton Bannister and Grant Meteer, defensive lineman Logan Woods and the secondary of Tanner Robison, Ben Hart, Dalton Gee, Mason Hurst and Trey Udoffia. Roseville is led by quarterback Mike Dobler, running back Ben Zahniser, linebacker Ryan Andrada and two-way players Bryce Crouch and Kyle Powers.

Antelope (7-3) at Downey (9-1)

▪ When: 7 p.m. ▪ Level: Division II

▪ Outlook: Antelope, which finished second in the Capital Valley Conference behind Cosumnes Oaks, is in the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season and seeks its second win. Downey, in the postseason for just the third time since 1991, has an impressive record, but the Knights were given the eighth seed because the Modesto Metro Conference wasn’t considered especially strong. Antelope quarterback Montel Aaron has looked sharp since missing two games with a concussion, and the running game is fast with Devaun Welch (871 yards, 10 touchdowns) and Mister Harriel (534 yards, eight touchdowns). Downey quarterback Paul Wilson has passed for 2,438 yards and 30 touchdowns and rushed for 482 yards and 14 scores.

Del Campo (7-3)

at Rocklin (8-2)

▪ When: 7 p.m. ▪ Level: Division II

▪ Outlook: The last time these teams played, Rocklin won 38-14 on Sept. 5 to spoil Del Campo’s celebration of its new field. Rocklin won 23-0 in 2005 in the only playoff meeting between these teams. Rocklin last won a playoff game in 2009, when it went 14-1. The quarterbacks are key, Ben Purcell (1,331 yards, 13 touchdowns) for Del Campo and Will Floyd (881 yards, 12 touchdowns) for Rocklin.

Rio Linda (8-2) at Placer (8-2)

▪ When: 7 p.m. ▪ Level: Division III

▪ Outlook: Rio Linda beat Placer 32-12 in Division II in 1998 in the only playoff meeting between the schools. Rio Linda’s lone title came 10 seasons ago in Division III, and Placer won five Division II titles from 1975 through 1981. Both teams rely on the run but have playmaking quarterbacks, Rio Linda with Zak Burden (1,370 yards, 17 touchdowns) and Placer with Clark Pietromonaco (1,316 yards, 13 touchdowns). Placer has rushed for 2,818 yards (8.4 average) and 45 touchdowns. Rio Linda has rushed for 3,320 (8.0 average) and 40 scores, including 1,411 yards and 22 touchdowns from Marcel Brown.

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