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FRIDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL PREVIEW

By: Nick Pecoraro
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Games that count opened up in the Capital Valley Conference, Delta, Sierra Foothill, Capital Athletic Leagues last Friday. Many teams have a scheduled bye week before Pioneer Valley, Foothill Valley and Sacramento Metropolitan Athletic Leagues get underway next week. But between now and then:

 

GRANT (2-2) AT GRANITE BAY (2-3, 0-1), 7 P.M.

This will be Grant’s initiation into the Sierra Foothill League. What better way for a longtime SFL stalwart like the Grizzlies to welcome the Pacers? Granite Bay will be looking to rebound -- as they have proven to do this season -- from a crushing loss against Del Oro last week. As long as Mike Alberghini is on the Grant sidelines, the Pacers are always a threat.

 

WHITNEY (0-4, 0-1) AT DEL ORO (5-0, 1-0), 7 P.M.

Del Oro looks like they could be a legitimate challenger to Folsom for the SFL throne. The team left rival Granite Bay last week with a huge 42-7 victory, but head coach Jeff Walters quickly reminded his team not to be satisfied. The Golden Eagles look to move to 6-0 for the second time in the past three years against a winless Whitney squad. Aiden Foster was the latest Del Oro flavor-of-the-week weapon in the Golden Eagles’ artillery last week with two rushing touchdowns against the Grizzlies.

 

ROCKLIN (2-3, 1-0) AT OAK RIDGE (3-1, 0-1), 7 P.M.

The Thunder is riding the momentum of a Quarry Bowl victory over Whitney into El Dorado Hills to face the Trojans, who look to rebound from a 62-6 blowout loss at Folsom last week. Cade Wyant of Rocklin vs. Matt Jenner of Oak Ridge should provide an entertaining quarterback duel, but each should be cautious with their passes. Lurking in the secondary are Rocklin’s Cole Douglas and Oak Ridge’s Avant Jacobs.

 

ROSEVILLE (2-3, 0-1) AT ANTELOPE (2-3, 1-0), 7:15 P.M.

After starting 2-0, injuries have played a big role in Roseville’s three-game slide. Quarterback Alex Nicholas and running back Aaron Shima, a combined 1,360 yards and 14 touchdowns of offense, have been sorely missed. The Tigers’ defense will have to set the pace against the Titans, whose two wins over Rocklin and Yuba City have come by a total of just three points.

 

WOODCREEK (5-0, 1-0) AT BELLA VISTA (0-4, 0-1), 7:15 P.M.

Co-coaches Brad Hunkins and Kyle Stowers have the Timberwolves off to their best start in program history. Barring any setbacks, a winless Bella Vista squad will likely not challenge Woodcreek, who looks forward to a Week 7 showdown with another Capital Valley Conference unbeaten, Inderkum, who through four games is outscoring their opponents by an average of nearly 50 points.

 

OAKMONT (2-2) AT CORDOVA (1-4), 7:15 P.M.

In wins, the Vikings have gotten it done with defense and the run game. In losses, they’ve been haunted by ill-timed turnovers. Oakmont will need to stick to the former and play a clean 48 minutes to head into its FVL opener next week against Lincoln with a winning record.

 

COLFAX (4-0) AT WHEATLAND (2-2), 7:15 P.M.

The Falcons lay their unblemished record on the line on the road against Wheatland, who scored victories over both Marysville and Lindhurst, two teams Colfax still has on its PVL slate over the next month. Alex Weir leads all PVL QBs with over 220 passing yards per game and 13 touchdowns while Jake Green paces all league wideouts with 117 yards per game and six TDs.

 

DEL CAMPO (0-4, 0-1) AT VISTA DEL LAGO (2-3), 7:15 P.M.

It’s hard to imagine a Mike Dimino-coached Del Campo team without a win through its first four games, especially after going 12-1 last year. The Cougars likely will not remain winless, but they’ll have a tough couple of weeks ahead at Vista and Capital Christian. The young Eagles, meanwhile, responded nicely from a pounding at Placer the week prior with a 49-21 road win on the road at El Camino. And by the way, Vista QB Grant Patterson leads the entire section in passing yards.

 

LINCOLN (2-2) AT EUREKA (5-0), 7:30 P.M.

The Fighting Zebras are in for a long trip Friday, heading nearly 300 miles north to face a 5-0 Eureka squad. It will be an even longer trip if Lincoln can’t find a way to contain Loggers’ QB Cruz Montana, who is the top passer in the Humboldt Del Norte Big 4 league of the North Coast Section. Lincoln has some firepower of its own with QB Tommy Turner.

 

UNIVERSITY PREP (2-2) AT WESTERN SIERRA (1-3), 7:30 P.M.

Quarterback Aiden Lucia leads all Sacramento Metropolitan Athletic League signal-callers in most of the major statistical categories by a wide margin, including passing yards (1,158), completion percentage (.546) and touchdowns (10). The rub is that he also owns a share of the lead with nine interceptions. Wolves’ wideouts Chris Delaloye, Oscar Hernandez and Christopher Shimp own three of the top five SMAL receiving numbers.

 

PLACER (5-0), BYE

Opposing teams should sleep a little easier this week as nobody has to play the red-hot Hillmen. Placer in the last three weeks, has scored 69, 70 and 70 points. After the bye week, Placer opens up FVL play at home against Nevada Union. Other than the state championship game loss to Crenshaw last season, the Miners were the only other team to upend the Hillmen.

 

FORESTHILL (2-3), BYE

The Wildfires suffered a 42-6 mugging from Hiram Johnson Friday. Foresthill will need to use the next week and a half to regroup and get healthy. Waiting in the wings for a Sept. 28 Sacramento Metropolitan Athletic League opener is Western Sierra Collegiate Academy, who has beaten the Wildfires in each of the past two seasons.

 

VALLEY CHRISTIAN (1-3), BYE

The Lions need to use this bye week to get healthy, first and foremost. Freshman quarterback Tommy Fasig went down in last week’s loss against Coral Academy of Science in Reno. If he can come back healthy next week, it allows VCA to be more versatile and dynamic in its skill positions, moving Bradyn McIntosh from under center to wide receiver.

 

BEAR RIVER (5-0), BYE

 

It may be a bye week for the Bruins, but Sept. 28 can’t come fast enough for the Pioneer Valley League opener at home against Center. If Colfax beats Wheatland and Foothill beats Rio Linda this week, we will have two matchups where all four teams are 5-0 heading into league play. The new-look PVL should be a blast this season.

 

FOLSOM (4-1, 1-0), BYE

Much like Placer, the opposition is glad to not see the Bulldogs on the Week 6 slate. The bad news for everyone, however, is that Kris Richardson’s bunch has two weeks to reload for the remainder of the season. Could we see an SFL winner-take-all blockbuster between the undefeated Bulldogs and Del Oro in the final week of the regular season? We hope so.