Joe Davidson

Prep football: Record 10 unbeaten teams remain in Sac-Joaquin Section football playoffs

Video: Breaking down the prep football playoffs

The Bee's Joe Davidson breaks down the top teams and trends for the Sac-Joaquin Section high school football playoffs.
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The Bee's Joe Davidson breaks down the top teams and trends for the Sac-Joaquin Section high school football playoffs.

A record 10 undefeated teams remain after the opening round of the Sac-Joaquin Section football playoffs. They include area teams Folsom and Elk Grove in Division I, Antelope in D-II, Inderkum and Placer in D-III and Capital Christian in D-V.

The Sierra Foothill League was the section’s strongest conference, going 5-0 in playoff openers with Folsom and Oak Ridge prevailing in D-I and Del Oro, Granite Bay and Rocklin triumphing in D-II.

A closer look at five playoff games to watch Friday night:

Franklin (7-4) at Folsom (11-0)

Division I

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Outlook: Franklin lost big to Folsom in the second round in each of the past two seasons, but this is a new Folsom team. That gives the D-I field a renewed sense of hope against a powerhouse that hasn’t lost to a section team since 2011. A three-year mainstay for Franklin has been Lamar Jackson, a national recruit who has played defensive back and running back but will start at quarterback. He is a running and passing threat, as is Folsom’s Jake Jeffrey (2,600 passing yards, 597 rushing, 44 total touchdowns). Folsom dominates on the offensive line with tackles Kooper Richardson and Jonah Williams, and the defense has been formidable if unsung.

Cosumnes Oaks (8-3) at Oak Ridge (9-2)

Division I

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Outlook: While Oak Ridge has been a championship contender for decades, playing in its first title game in 1986 and reaching the D-I final in 2012 and 2013, this is new to Cosumnes Oaks, which opened in Elk Grove in 2008. The Wolfpack has not won a second-round game, and it won’t be easy against an Oak Ridge team led by Notre Dame-bound quarterback Ian Book (2,664 passing yards with 26 touchdowns, 686 rushing yards with 12 scores) and receivers Tommy Dunnigan (788 yards, eight TDs) and Kevin Kassis (839 yards, 10 TDs). Oak Ridge also rushes for 182.8 yards a game. Cosumnes Oaks is fast and dynamic with running back Dante Davis, who has been at his best the past two weeks in going for 328 yards and five scores against Ponderosa and 194 and three in a playoff win over Lincoln of Stockton. He has 1,530 yards and 24 touchdowns, and quarterback Maurice Hayden has settled in nicely of late, too.

Sacramento (8-3) at Antelope (11-0)

Division II

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Outlook: Sacramento has played football since the 1930s as one of the oldest schools on the West Coast, and Antelope is just getting warmed up, having opened in 2008. The Dragons earned their first playoff victory two years ago, and Antelope seeks its first second-round victory as both teams are headed by standout quarterbacks. Sac High’s Caden Voges has passed for 2,600 yards and 37 touchdowns this season and 11,245 and 141, respectively, for his three-year career spanning 38 games. Dragons wide receiver Elijah Trosclair is a deep threat, and running back Tariq Hollandsworth has rushed for 1,223 yards and 20 scores. For Antelope, Temple-bound quarterback Montel Aaron (2,008 passing yards, 25 touchdowns) has top targets Ryan McCombs (690 yards, nine TDs) and Davaeon Johnson (571 yards, seven TDs) and a 1-2 running attack with Elijah Dotson (1,480 yards, 15 TDs) and Devaughn Silver (860 yards, nine TDs).

Del Campo (9-2) at Rocklin (8-3)

Division II

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Outlook: Rocklin has beaten Del Campo in the playoffs three times – 35-7 in 2014, 23-0 in 2005 and 45-7 in 2006 – and it beat the Cougars 54-35 early this season when William Floyd passed for 354 yards and six touchdowns, three to big tight end Wesley Preece. Evyn Holtz has been on a tailback tear for the Thunder, rushing for 292 yards and three scores and catching one in a 34-14 playoff-opening win over Burbank last week. Del Campo quarterback Ben Purcell has set numerous Del Campo passing records and will need a high-scoring game for the Cougars to have a shot.

Bear River (8-3) at Capital Christian (11-0)

Division V

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Outlook: Defending champion Bear River limped into the playoffs with several key starters sidelined, some for the season. The Bruins were riding a three-game losing streak before beating Ripon 20-7 in a playoff opener. Capital Christian, the D-VI champion last season, rolls on with offensive balance headed by quarterback Jacob Norville and running back D’Marcus Ross and a strong defense that shut down Highlands last week behind stoppers Jack Haney, Bailey Hefner, Weston Jones and Ross. This week, they’ll focus on Bruins quarterback Jason Voter.

Joe Davidson: 916-321-1280, @SacBee_JoeD

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