Bruins Get No Breather With 1st Round Playoff Foe
Bear River football co-coach Terry Logue was having a pretty good Saturday afternoon last weekend. His Bruins were coming off a 43-12 win over Foothill on Friday night to complete an 8-2 regular season. The longtime Bear River coach then spent the most of the day in Rocklin watching Sierra College outlast San Joaquin Delta in a key Valley Conference football game.
But at 4:30 p.m. Saturday when the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section released its Div. IV playoff brackets, Logue’s day took a turn south.
“We were expecting to be on the road at Dixon,” said Logue. “We figured that we would be the No. 11 seed and Dixon would be No. 6. Apparently, it didn’t work out that way.”
Because the CIF reserves the right to move teams for injustices in the seeding process, the Bruins indeed stayed in their No. 11 spot but instead of meeting Dixon, Bear River will open the playoffs at No. 6 seed Central Catholic of Modesto at 7 p.m. this Friday night.
“It took us by surprise,” said Logue. “It’s a whole different trip and opponent for us.”
In developing a playoff bracket, one of the CIF’s first priorities is to identify the best four teams in the field and then try and seed accordingly. In this year’s tough Div. IV bracket, that was done by separating No. 1 Placer, No. 5 Los Banos, No. 6 Central Catholic and No. 7 Center.
The move by the section of Central Catholic to the No. 6 spot keeps the Raiders on the opposite of the bracket from Placer and Los Banos.
“The division four bracket looks as tough as I can ever remember it,” said Escalon coach Mark Louriero whose Cougars drew a No. 8 seed and will host No. 9 Calaveras. “There are four 8-2 teams that are on the road.”
One of those will be the Bruins who drew the Western Athletic Conference champion Raiders who also are 8-2. Central Catholic’s lone losses this season came 48-30 to Placer and 45-42 to Div. I No. 4 seed Downey. One of Central’s win is a 28-21 win over St. Mary’s of Stockton, a No. 7 seed in the Div. II playoffs.
Central is led by the 1-2 “Ray-Rey” running punch of Ray Lomas and Rey Vega. Lomas has accounted for 1,277 yards on the ground and 19 touchdowns while Vega, who ran for over, 3000 yards in two seasons at Beyer, has 520 yards and 11 touchdowns in just four games after having to miss the first six games of the season due to a CIF transfer ruling.
“They’re very good,” said Logue. “Thos two backs look to be explosive and can break one every time they touch it. It will be a challenge.”
In other first round Friday match-ups involving local area teams, in Div. IV, No. 1 Placer will host No. 16 Hilmar and No. 10 Center, the second place finisher in the PVL, will play at Dixon.
In Div. II, No. 15 seed Del Oro will be at No. 2 seed Yuba City while in Div. III, No. 15 seed Lincoln plays at No. 2 seed Vista del Lago on Thursday night at Folsom High.
In Div. VI, No. 1 seed Foresthill drew a first round bye and will host the Ripon Christian-Elliot Christian winner on Fri. Nov. 16.