Bouncing around the football regions in a forward lean, from Aggie quarterbacks to Hornet heavies, to a local JC showdown of state-ranked rivals and to a Bear of a stopper in Berkeley:
Aggie attackers – UC Davis doesn’t have a quarterback controversy.
It has a quarterback luxury.
Jake Maier is the established starter, the next Aggies passing marvel. The sophomore has 2,052 yards and 14 touchdowns for UCD, which is 3-3 and on the fast track to halt its uncharacteristic 6-year run of non-winning seasons.
C.J. Spencer gets his snaps, too, as a designated runner out of shotgun formation with eyes on the end zone. The junior rushed for three scores and Maier passed for two in a 41-38 loss to Eastern Washington on Oct. 7, the last time the Aggies played before a bye. They visit Northern Arizona on Saturday in Big Sky Conference action. Spencer has five rushing touchdowns this season as the Aggies aim to hit defenses with versatility.
“They’re both awesome,” UCD receiver Keelan Doss said of Maier, who hails from La Habra, and Spencer, an Inderkum High School graduate. “C.J. is a touchdown machine. Jake’s the best passing quarterback I’ve ever known.”
Spencer’s eagerness and athletic skills make it impossible not to get on the field.
“C.J. wants to be the quarterback here in the worst way,” UCD coach Dan Hawkins said. “He always asks, ‘What do you want me to do, Coach?’ They’ve accepted their roles. They’re special.”
Hammering Hornets – Sacramento State is 3-3 and a win away from matching the win total of the previous two seasons combined in large part due to the large guys up front.
The Hornets returned all five starters on the offensive line, and they will lead the way against North Dakota on the road on Saturday in a Big Sky contest.
“We’re nothing without those guys,” said Sac State running back BJ Perkinson, who rushed 155 yards in the 41-21 victory over Idaho State last Saturday.
Sac State’s line is California grown: tackles Jonathan Bade of American Canyon and Taylor Tappin of Windsor, guards Lake Aiono of West Covina and Wyatt Ming of Stockton, center Ivan Espiritu of Reedley and tight end Stone Sander of Placer High in Auburn.
JC rumble – There are 68 community college football teams in California, which is more than the rest of the nation combined. Only three sport perfect records, and one of them plays its chief rival Saturday at 4 p.m. at Hughes Stadium.
State-ranked No. 5 Sacramento City College hosts No. 3 American River in a National NorCal League contest. Sac City is 6-0 and ARC is 5-1.
It is the first time the two programs have been unbeaten for a head-to-head meeting this late in the season, and it is the first time both have been state ranked in the top 10 at the same time.
Both teams are led by Bee All-Metro quarterbacks, ARC by Hunter Rodrigues of Whitney and Peyton Wilfley of Casa Roble, and Sac City by Jayden Machado of Elk Grove.
Machado has passed for 1,446 yards and 14 touchdowns and Rodrigues 1,157 and 12. Wilfley came off the bench in injury relief at San Mateo and passed for 295 yards and three touchdowns to key a 21-20 victory.
Bear intentions – Jordan Kunaszyk has been making tackles his entire football life, and his 11 stops and 2.5 sacks resonated throughout Cal’s 37-3 shelling of then-No. 8 Washington State on Oct. 13 in Berkeley.
The Roseville High graduate also forced a fumble and had an interception in earning him Walter Camp National Player of the Week honors, the first for a Bears defender. Kunaszyk had 178 tackles his last two campaigns of high school and was the state leader with 118 stops at ARC in 2015.
Defensive – Hawkins of UCD on the wide-open, high-scoring theme of college football, “It’s what modern-day football is all about. I don’t know why anyone would want to be a defensive coordinator these days.”