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PVL Football

Hillmen, Falcons, Bruins Loom As PVL Grid Favorites

PVL Coaches Tag Placer In Favorite's Role
By: Mike Ray, Gold Country News Services
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If you’re a Pioneer Valley League football fan, take a seat, get comfortable and buckle up for what should be a white knuckle of a wild ride to determine this year’s PVL grid supremacy. For the first time in recent memory, three PVL teams will enter league play Friday night each holding on to rankings in the Sacramento area’s Top 20. Placer at No. 10 leads the way closely followed by Bear River at No. 11 and Colfax at No. 15. What’s more, Placer (4-1), which as a team has already rushed for 2,316 yards this season through five games, is leading the state in scoring at an astonishing 61.6 points an outing. Colfax (5-0), meanwhile, is averaging 48.0 points a game and has drawn enough attention to be ranked 5th in the most recent Cal-Hi Sports North Div. III state bowl rankings. And, not to be outdone by their two PVL rivals, Bear River (5-0) possesses one of the stingiest defenses in the state allowing just 36 points in five games or 7.1 a contest. So, what gives this season? “Obviously, it looks like this is going to be a tough league race,” said Bear River co-coach Scott Savoie. “Placer has a lot of weapons and so does Colfax. It’s going to come down to who comes to play every night.” Colfax coach Tony Martello, who has directed his Falcons to seven Pioneer Valley League championships since the inception of the league in 2002, can’t remember this top heavy of a league in quite awhile. “Placer has a ton of speed and talent,” said the Colfax coach. “Bear River is very good too and Lincoln and Foothill will step up and bite you if you don’t watch out. We play Center Friday and their speed scares me to death.” Both Bear River co-coaches Savoie and Terry Logue, Colfax’s Martello and Ken Lowe at Lincoln tagged Placer as the team to beat this season but Hillmen coach Joey Montoya isn’t buying it. “I think until someone dethrones Colfax that they’re the team to beat,” said Montoya. “They’re 5-0 and the the reigning champions. Bear River has a very, very good football team. They really impress me and will be right there." One thing PVL fans should take note of, despite what happens in league games this season, the PVL title winner shouldn’t get too giddy has there’s a good chance that all three of the PVL’s favorites – Placer, Bear River and Colfax – could all end up together in the section’s Div. IV playoffs. So, anyway, here’s how the PVL should shape up this season: 1.Placer (4-1) - The last time the Hillmen won a league championship Bill Clinton (1998) was president. Going back even further, the last time the Hillmen won a section championship, Ronald Reagan was in the oval office. In other words, Hillmen fans and followers are starving for a league and or section crown. That, however, could change this season. With an influx of team speed, size, athleticism at the skill positions and some talented transfers, the Hillmen could go all the way. 2.Colfax (5-0) – The Falcons are the smallest school in the PVL but no one is shedding any tears for Martello and Company. “They have the best run-pass balance that I’ve seen a Colfax team have in a long time,” said one PVL coach. “They’re young on defense but they’re improving every game. They weren’t supposed to win it last year and they did. Don’t count them out.” 3.Bear River (5-0) – The fruits of two back-to-back 10-0 JV teams have come together this season at Lake of the Pines and opponents are paying the price. The Bruins have always used tough defense as a trademark over the years and nothing has changed this season. On offense, Bear River’s new wing-gun spread attack is proving to be efficient with James Harris at the controls. Bear River’s defensive front four led by Dillon Huffman (6-2 260) and Garrett Jensen (6-2, 250 ) may be the best in the league. 4.Lincoln (1-4) – The Zebras have one of the best backs in the league in Isaac Allen who has amassed 867 yards and scored nine touchdowns already this season. Lincoln’s big problem is that they’ve surrendered 202 points in five games. 5.Foothill (3-2) – Foothill started off the season with consecutive wins over El Dorado, Oakmont and Amador. However, the Mustangs now have fallen on hard times with losses the last two weeks to Bradshaw Christian and Mira Loma. One of the more exciting players in the league is Foothill running back Dillon Paris, a 5-7 150-pound dynamo who has rushed for 652 yards and eight touchdowns in just four games. 6.Center (2-3) – After going winless in its debut PVL season in 2010, the Cougars, with only 26 players, have their work cut out for themselves this season