Joe Davidson

By land and air, dynamic duo gets prep football season off to roaring start

Which prep football team will be Sacramento area's best? Plenty of candidates

Who's No. 1 as the 2016 high school football season begins in the Sacramento region? The Sacramento Bee's Joe Davidson has some strong thoughts about that. See who Joe tabs as the best and where the other top teams fall on his list.
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Who's No. 1 as the 2016 high school football season begins in the Sacramento region? The Sacramento Bee's Joe Davidson has some strong thoughts about that. See who Joe tabs as the best and where the other top teams fall on his list.

Greg Cabral woke up with sore legs Saturday morning, and Joe Curry felt a bit of arm fatigue at the breakfast table Sunday.

They might just be warming up after their dazzling varsity starting debuts. Del Campo’s Cabral and Folsom’s Curry were the focal points for their teams in season openers – one by land, the other by air.

Cabral, a junior, rushed for 358 yards and three touchdowns on 35 carries in the Cougars’ 26-21 victory over Merced on Friday night. The victory bumped up Del Campo to No. 16 in The Sacramento Bee’s Top 20.

On Saturday, Curry, a senior, completed 25 of 32 passes for 564 yards and six touchdowns, four to Drake Stallworth, as top-ranked Folsom topped Idaho power Coeur d’Alene 55-36. The six scoring passes came in the first half.

Del Campo coaches initially had Cabral rusing for 385 yards, but one carry was nullified by a penalty the coaches spotted on film Saturday. The school record of 382 yards set by Ryan Dimino in 2009 – when he earned Bee Player of the Year honors – still stands, for now.

Cougars coach Mike Dimino, father of Ryan and Cougars quarterback Ty Dimino, plans to run Cabral plenty.

“Cabral was great,” coach Dimino said.

Curry was, too, according to Folsom coach Kris Richardson. Curry’s passing numbers rank fourth in Folsom history. Jake Browning, in his first varsity game in 2012, passed for a NorCal-record 689 yards and 10 touchdowns in a 68-28 win over Woodcreek. In 2013, Browning threw for 596 yards and eight touchdowns in a 67-36 victory over San Ramon Valley. In 2011, Tanner Trosin passed for 601 yards and five touchdowns in a 49-46 win over Deer Valley of Antioch.

“Joe Curry was terrific,” Richardson said. “We had great line play and his receivers made plays.”

On Friday, Del Campo hosts No. 17 Monterey Trail, a run-heavy team led by Robert Holt, and Folsom hosts No. 5 Jesuit, led by quarterback Calvin Brownholtz.

Football always comes down to blocking and tackling, and the Sacramento area features a number of high school football players who are standouts. Here are the best of the best, the most skilled players to look for in 2016. Some have playoff experi

Debut win – Jacob Norville passed for 285 yards and four touchdowns on 10-of-15 accuracy, and D’Marcus Ross ran for 245 yards and three scores on 11 carries as Capital Christian beat Rosemont 63-19 Friday, giving first-year coach Ron Gerringer win No. 1 with the program.

The schedule toughens with Modesto Christian, Central Coast Section power Aptos and Bee No. 2 Del Oro looming.

Linemen pave way – El Dorado beat Ferndale of the North Coast Section 34-7 Saturday, making the 644-mile round trip seem shorter.

Rhogin Youngblood rushed for 205 yards and four touchdowns on 22 carries, leaving coach Joe Volek to praise his offensive linemen: Bill Bumbaca, Daniel Hall, Anthony Morris, Sam Thomas and Vince Ward.

Gracious hosts – Del Oro players dined with their counterparts from St. Paul of Santa Fe Springs (a suburb of Whittier) on Friday morning on the Loomis campus, treating their visitors with good eats and conversation. Del Oro won 44-20 after leading 38-0 behind quarterback Stone Smartt and running back Cam Davis. Smartt passed for a touchdown and ran for a score, and Davis rushed for three touchdowns.

Del Oro hosts North Section power Pleasant Valley of Chico on Friday.

Folsom paid for lodging for Coeur d’Alene, which made a 16-hour bus trip from northern Idaho. The game came about through Richardson and Vikings assistant coach Jeff Schroder. They were teammates at Diablo Valley College. The teams also will meet next season.

Full circle – Anthony Linebaugh was the first football coach at Liberty Ranch when the school opened in Galt in 2009, and he guided the Hawks to a 9-4 record in 2011. In his first game back as coach, Liberty Ranch beat River City 13-9 on an Ibn Frazier touchdown run, two Devin Hardaway field goals and a late defensive stand.

Linebaugh coached the previous four years at San Marcos High in Santa Barbara. He replaced Warren Schroeder, who stepped down in January to spend more time with his 9-year-old son, Timmy, who is battling lymphoma.

Joe Davidson: 916-321-1280, @SacBee_JoeD

The Bee’s Top 20

With last week’s ranking

1. Folsom (1) 1-0

2. Del Oro (2) 1-0

3. Elk Grove (3) 1-0

4. Grant (5) 1-0

5. Jesuit (8) 1-0

6. Rocklin (6) 0-1

7. Oak Ridge (10) 1-0

8. Granite Bay (7) 0-1

9. Burbank (9) 0-1

10. Inderkum (4) 0-1

11. Christian Brothers (12) 0-0

12. Antelope (13) 1-0

13. Franklin (15) 1-0

14. Whitney (16) 1-0

15. Sacramento (14) 0-1

16. Del Campo (17) 1-0

17. Monterey Trail (19) 1-0

18. Vista del Lago (11) 0-1

19. Placer (18) 0-1

20. Roseville (–) 1-0

Joe Davidson

This week’s schedule:

Kickoffs between 7-7:30 p.m. unless noted

Top 20


No. 5 Jesuit at No. 1 Folsom

Pleasant Valley-Chico at No. 2 Del Oro

No. 9 Burbank at No. 4 Grant

Napa at No. 6 Rocklin

Vacaville at No. 7 Oak Ridge

No. 14 Whitney at No. 8 Granite Bay

No. 10 Inderkum at El Cerrito

Lincoln at No. 12 Antelope

No. 17 Monterey Trail at No. 16 Del Campo

No. 18 Vista del Lago at Ponderosa

Nevada Union at No. 19 Placer

No. 20 Roseville at Rio Linda

Other games


Rosemont vs. Woodland at Pioneer


Casa Roble at Sheldon

Cordova at Chavez-Stockton

De Anza at Bradshaw Christian

Del Mar-San Jose at El Dorado

Delta at Denair

El Camino at Bella Vista

Encina vs. Mira Loma at El Camino

Fairfield at Pioneer

Foothill at Oakmont

Kennedy at Oakland

Liberty Ranch at Los Banos

Lindhurst at Highlands

McClatchy at River City

Maxwell at Woodland Christian

Mesa Verde at Golden Sierra

Modesto Christian at Capital Christian

Pleasant Grove at Cosumnes Oaks

Rio Americano at Center

Rio Vista at Amador

Ripon at Galt

San Juan vs. Florin at Monterey Trail

Sutter at Dixon

Union Mine at Bear River

Valley at Natomas

Western Sierra vs. Biggs at Mahany Park

Wheatland at Marysville

Wood vs. River Valley at Vacaville

Woodcreek at Davis


No. 11 Christian Brothers at Manteca

West Campus at Johnson, 1 p.m.

Yuba City at Castlemont-Oakland, 3 p.m.

Valley Christian vs. Big Valley Christian-Modesto at Highlands

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