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Top seed Golden Eagles brace for Tracy Friday night

By: Mike Ray
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LOOMIS– The body of work put forth by the Del Oro football team this season undoubtedly helped influence the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section playoff seeding committee when the Golden Eagles were awarded the No. 1 seed in the Division II bracket.

And, this season, in a top-heavy D-II tournament, that No. 1 seed and the home-field advantage that it carries through to the section finals could play in the Golden Eagles’ favor.

“It’s a huge to be able to play at home but now you have to go out and use it to your advantage,” said Del Oro coach Jeff Walters. “We’re pleased with the 1-seed, but now the work starts.”

For Del Oro (9-1), after coming off last week’s first-round bye, the Golden Eagles figure to get tested right off the bat this Friday when an athletic, talented Tracy team comes to Loomis for a 7 p.m. quarterfinal showdown.

Tracy, the No. 8 seed, pulled away from No. 9 seed Lincoln last Friday to the tune of 49-28, using an arsenal of weapons to subdue the Zebras.

The Del Oro-Tracy game is one of four attractive D-II quarterfinal games on Friday’s docket. Elsewhere, on the Golden Eagles’ side of the bracket, No. 4 Granite Bay will host No. 5 Jesuit, a 49-7 win over Woodcreek Saturday.

Meanwhile, in the lower half of the bracket, No. 2 seed Central Catholic of Modesto hosts No. 10 seed Elk Grove and No. 3 Inderkum will entertain No. 11 Downey.

Walters scouted last Friday’s Tracy-Lincoln game and came away the fact that the Bulldogs, who played in the D-I  bracket last season and were eliminated in the second round by Folsom, are “athletic and talented”.

“They run a flex-bone offense and run it well,” said Walters. “We don’t see that a whole lot so we’ll have a challenge in front of us.”

Tracy has some big-play athletes, including Trevor Pope II, who has rushed for 803 yards. Last Friday, Pope II broke off a 98-yard touchdown run against the Zebras.

Running back Elias Williams is another Bulldogs threat with 978 yards on the ground and 17 scores while quarterback Logan Fife has thrown for 2,153 yards and 27 touchdowns.

Friday’s game will have special playoff pricing with tickets $10 for adults and $7 for students (K-12) and Seniors. Persons wishing to buy tickets online should visit the section’s website at cifsjs.org and proceed to the GoFan link.