Prep grid playoffs: It’s like March Madness in November
If Thanksgiving is just around the corner, the prep football playoffs must be heating up. It’s like March Madness in November -- one loss and you’re out. With that in mind, here’s some CIF Sac-Joaquin Section playoff tidbits from last weekend that caught our attention:
Despite the best efforts of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section’s “new” playoff format to bring more competitive equity to its seeding and bracketing process, a quick look at last Friday’s scoreboard shows there’s no denying that there were still plenty of lopsided quarterfinal blowouts.
In last Friday’s action, no fewer than 12 of the 26 second-round games were decided by scores of four touchdowns or more. So far, after two weeks of action, 16 playoff games have gone to running clock status.
In games of note, Folsom scored 50 first-quarter points in a 64-28 rout of Edison of Stockton. Colfax had 49 first-half points in a 56-21 verdict over Los Banos and Monterey Trail zapped out to a 42-7 lead at the break in a 63-7 pummeling of Colin Kaepernick’s alma mater, Pitman of Turlock.
Still going strong
Remember Bishop Manogue running back Peyton Dixon, who put up a 432-yard, six-touchdown night back in August against Placer? Well, he’s still going strong.
Dixon ran for 247 yards and scored three touchdowns in Manogue’s Northern Nevada 4A semifinal, a 44-7 playoff win over Spanish Springs last Friday. Dixon has now rushed for 2,313 yards and scored 39 touchdowns. Manogue (10-3) plays Damonte Ranch for the Northern Nevada crown Friday.
Bruins throw changeup
With just 22 players on its roster, it’s been a team effort at Bear River this football season. That was never more evident last Friday when Bear River may have caught the Center Cougars by surprise when the Bruins started back-up quarterback Colton Jenkins under center.
“We had been tinkering with it a bit,” said Bear River co-coach Terry Logue about the switch that allowed versatile Calder Kunde to take snaps at both running back and wide receiver. “We wanted to get Calder some more touches and this was one way to do it.”
Jenkins played admirably in his first start of the season as he ran the offense well and hit on 2 of 2 passes for 40 yards as Bear River eliminated Center, 28-13.
Hunter Daniels led Bear River’s offense with 110 yards on 23 carries and a pair of scores while Kunde added 48 more yards on 10 carries and Tre Maronic 47 additional yards on 13 attempts.
Speaking of Bear River, the Bruins, Colfax, Ripon and Sonora, for the second straight year, are the four D-V playoff semifinalists.
A year ago in the semis, Bear River hosted Ripon, defeating the Indians, 14-7, and Colfax went on the road and defeated Sonora, 56-55. This Friday the roles are switched with Bear River, the No. 3 seed visiting No. 2 seed Ripon and Colfax, the No. 1 seed, hosting No. 4 seed Sonora.
Some wondered if the 59 points by Colfax last Friday against Los Banos was a school playoff record. No. The Falcons in 1999 defeated Brookside Christian of Stockton, 69-20.
What was a school record for the Falcons was Colton Reeves’ 88-yard kickoff return that went for six points in the second quarter. The return was the fourth kickoff return in his career. Reeves had three kickoff returns for scores last season against Golden Sierra, Placer and Center. The old record of three was held by Chris Estes, set in 1988-89.
First Time Meeting
Although Del Oro and Jesuit have scrimmaged each other in years past, Friday’s D-II semifinal matchup in Loomis will be the first ever playoff meeting between the Golden Eagles and the Marauders.
The two teams were lined up to collide in the 2016 D-II finals but the Marauders, the No. 4 seed, were upset by No. 8 Inderkum, 52-35. Del Oro went on to defeat Inderkum, 35-13, for the title.