Bruins get their shot at Falcons
Playoff berths are secure. The Colfax High football team has already clinched at least a share of the Pioneer Valley League title. And Bear River appears to have recovered from its two-game slide in October.
Yet there is always a lot riding on a Bruins-Falcons clash on the football field. The longtime rivals will meet at Lake of the Pines tonight in an enticing regular season finale.
Colfax brings its high powered offense and unsung defense into the showdown. The Falcons (9-0 overall, 4-0 PVL) are looking to cap a perfect regular season and state their case for a No. 1 seed in the upcoming Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs. Escalon (9-0), the defending section champion, is the other favorite for the top seed.
Bear River is headed to the playoffs after back-to-back losses to Placer and Center last month. The Bruins (8-2, 2-2) would get a major boost heading into the postseason, and probably another home game, if they can pull the upset. They will be a part of a tough Div. IV field.
“I think our kids are ready for the challenge,” Bear River co-coach Scott Savoie said. “It’s unfortunate that we’re not in a position that we thought we might be in — to play for a PVL championship. But we did lock the playoffs last week and we’re excited to play against Colfax. It’s a game we’ve been thinking about, talking about and pointing to all year.”
Bear River quarterback James Harris is ready to go after he left last week’s game at Foothill in the first half after taking a hit to the head. Savoie said Harris was cleared to play on Tuesday and has practiced all week.
The Falcons are also recovered after a wild night last Friday. The lights went out in Colfax in the first quarter and the teams resumed the game two and a half hours later in Lincoln. The Falcons were unfazed, crushing the Zebras, 56-14.
Senior Hunter Perez has rushed for 1,686 yards on the season. Senior quarterback Austin Young has passed for 2,055 yards while completing 63 percent of his passes.
“It’s a huge challenge,” Savoie said. “They’re obviously a very balanced team. They have lots of weapons on offense with a big trigger man that throws the ball real well. If that weren’t enough, they’ve got a great defense too. We have our hands full.”
Del Oro (8-1) at Woodcreek (5-4)
The Golden Eagles are soaring toward a top seed in the playoffs, but a slip-up tonight could cost them a shot at even greater glory.
The Timberwolves have been inconsistent, but they’re definitely dangerous. Woodcreek beat Casa Roble and Whitney earlier this season. Last week the T’Wolves fell flat in a 37-0 loss to Nevada Union at home.
Meanwhile Del Oro put together one of its most impressive performances of the season in a 45-20 romp over Roseville last Friday. Bobby Heatherington passed for 216 yards and three touchdowns — two to tight end Alex Bertrando. Nick O’Sullivan added 134 rushing yards.
The Golden Eagles remain atop CalHi Sports’ Division II North Bowl rankings, but they must win a section crown to be eligible for a bowl invitation.
Placer at (7-2) at Foothill (3-6)
The Hillmen will tune up for the postseason tonight, then wait to hear their playoff fate on Saturday.
For a second straight year, Placer is teetering between Division III and IV. Several playoff projections, including one from MaxPreps, have the Hillmen landing as a high seed in Division III. With an enrollment of 1,335, Placer would be the smallest school in Div. III.
But Friday’s outcomes could alter the playoff picture. The Hillmen know they need a victory to lock up a home game in the opening round. A Placer win and a Colfax loss at Bear River would also give the Hillmen a share of the PVL title.
Foothill is winless in PVL play, but the Mustangs have a couple of dangerous players in quarterback David Sanders and tailback Dillon Paris, who combine for nearly 200 rushing yards per game. Senior Kelly Bender is one of the top receivers in the PVL, Bender has 40 catches on the season for 860 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Foresthill (8-1) at Delta (6-3)
The Wildfires can cap a perfect run through the Sacramento Metro Athletic League with a victory in Clarksburg.
Foresthill blanked Delta 28-0 back on Sept. 30 and wrapped up its first league championship with a 42-6 win over Woodland Christian last week. The Wildfires played the first half of last week’s contest on Friday and the second half on Saturday afternoon after a power outage in the region Friday night.
Look for the Wildfires’ defense to come up big as seniors Tyler Giles and Jordan Boyer dominate up front.