First round playoff football preview
The postseason is finally here. Some coaches call it “the real season”. Many Gold Country Media-covered teams earned first-round byes, so we’ll give a look to what games our bye teams will be watching this week. This Friday, it gets real.
NO. 12 WOODCREEK (7-3) AT NO. 5 JESUIT (7-3), SATURDAY, 1 P.M.
Woodcreek began the season with six straight wins but dropped three of its last four to close the season. Co-coaches Brad Hunkins and Kyle Stowers will need to come up with a solid game plan for the Marauders on Saturday afternoon in Carmichael. Jesuit has a pair of national recruits in Isaiah Rutherford, who has committed to Notre Dame, and Laiatu Latu, who has several Pac-12 teams calling. Jesuit’s three losses are to nationally ranked Folsom, Delta League champion Sheldon and Granite Bay, who awaits the winner of this 5-12 matchup.
NO. 9 LINCOLN (5-5) AT NO. 8 TRACY (7-3), 7 P.M.
Lincoln gave Placer everything it had and then some in last Friday’s Foothill Valley League championship game. Tommy Turner and Harry Rounds proved that they are one of the best quarterback-receiver tandems in the entire section. The Tracy Bulldogs out of the Tri-City Athletic League have a strong pass-catch connection as well in QB Logan Fife (1,969 passing yards, 27 TDs) and receivers Trevion Shadrick-Harris (773 yards, 11 TDs) and Trevor Pope II (682 yards, 12 TDs). The winner gets to travel to Loomis to face No. 1 Del Oro next Friday.
NO. 9 ORESTIMBA (7-3) AT NO. 8 LOS BANOS (7-3), 7 P.M.
The winner of this game visits Division V No. 1-seed Colfax Nov. 9. Orestimba, whose quarterback Jacob Bettencourt is the third leading passer in the Sac-Joaquin Section, may be short-handed in this matchup. Some of its players could be facing suspensions, per reports, for their actions in a brawl during last Friday’s season finale against Gustine. Los Banos, who tied for the best record in the Western Athletic Conference at 6-1, features the league’s top running back in Justin Incaprera and his 132 rushing yards per game.
NO. 11 DIXON (6-4) AT NO. 6 CENTER (7-3), 7 P.M.
Bear River, the D-V No. 3 seed awaits the winner here. Certainly, there is some familiarity with fellow Pioneer Valley League foe Center, whom the Bruins won a 16-7 defensive tug-of-war back on Sept. 28 in the PVL opener. Dixon’s lone defeat in the Golden Empire League was to Casa Roble, the No. 3 seed in the D-IV bracket. Center will have its work cut out trying to corral Rams’ running back Tyler Boston, who averages nearly 220 yards per game on foot.
NO. 10 CHRISTIAN BROTHERS (5-5) AT NO. 7 YUBA CITY (6-4), 7 P.M.
Despite Placer falling to a No. 2 seed in Division III, the Hillmen will still have home-field advantage up until the Section final, which will be played at either Sacramento State or Lincoln High School in Stockton. They get the winner of the 7-10 matchup between Christian Brothers, whose best win came in the opening week with a one-point victory over Burbank, and Yuba City, who defeated upstart Woodcreek last Friday to ensure a home game in the opening round.
NO. 9 GREGORI (5-5) AT NO. 8 EDISON (8-2), 7 P.M.
Edison had its best regular season since 2002 and features freshman sensation Raleek Brown, who has 2,127 all-purpose yards and 23 touchdowns and two sacks and two interceptions on defense. Gregori’s best win came against Modesto, who is the No. 12 seed in Division I. But don’t get too excited to see a long playoff run from either of these teams. The winner of this game gets to play Folsom in Round 2.
NO. 11 COSUMNES OAKS (4-6) AT NO. 6 TURLOCK (7-3), 7 P.M.
The Central California Athletic League champion Bulldogs play host to the Wolfpack, who last week fell to Davis, who coincidentally will also be playing in Turlock this week against No. 7 Pitman. Turlock went 5-1 against Sac-Joaquin Section playoff teams this season while Cosumnes Oaks went 0-6 against such competition. The winner goes to El Dorado Hills next Friday to face the No. 3-seed Oak Ridge Trojans.