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Foresthill needs 1 more win to reach SJS title game

By: Matthew Kimel, Journal sports editor
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Foresthill is ready for some football.
 
The top-seeded Wildfires, coming off a bye in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Div. VI playoffs, have been preparing for No. 4 Ripon Christian for more than two weeks.
 
They know their schemes, tendencies and intentions. And they know what’s at stake.
 
With a win Friday at Foresthill, the Wildfires would be making a repeat visit to the section title game, which will be played in Lodi on Saturday, Nov. 24 against either No. 6 Big Valley Christian or No. 2 Brookside Christian.
 
To get there, Foresthill (9-1) will have to contain the Knights’ star running back, Andrew Brown, who has rushed for 1,410 yards and 21 touchdowns, caught 34 passes for 773 yards and 11 scores, and even thrown two TD passes. 
 
“He’s fantastic,” Foresthill coach Jim Herlehy said of Brown. “He’s fluid. He’s one of those athletes that’s fluid and explosive. He can do a little hip twist and he’s gone.
 
“He’s the main focus of their offense. They’ll run with him, pass with him or use him as a decoy. He’s real good. We got to be careful not to spend too much attention on him.”
 
The Wildfires feel they have several things going their way heading into the contest: from the high altitude, to home-field advantage and not having to compete in a first-round battle.
 
“They had to game plan for Elliot (Christian) and we had two weeks to focus on them,” said two-way senior Rocky Thompson. “We went light last week, no hitting. This week we’re getting after it.”
 
Said quarterback Tommy Sawyer: “They’ve got to travel. I think we definitely have an advantage. We got the home-field crowd. When we’re at home we have a different attitude. The climate will help, too. It will be cold, it might even be raining. We’re more of a pound-and-bruise type of team, try to out-muscle you.”
 
Reach Matthew Kimel at matthewk@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @matthewkimel