Checked out the Folsom Bulldogs in practice this week and they looked predictably fast, crisp, efficient, dazzling and dangerous. No surprise here.
Can you think of an offensive unit that returned so many key cogs around here - ever? Back for more fireworks and fun this fall are quarterback Dano Graves (an astounding 66 total touchdowns last season), receivers Tyler Trosin and Kori Babineaux and fullback Jordan Richards, a superb blocker, pass catcher, leader and scholar.
What's more, Folsom has key two-way linemen back in the fold in Tucker Kearney, Stephen Sippel and Kenny Engstrom, all 4.0 students or better and all as tough and sturdy as they are academically sound. The linemen know they have their hands full with the size and power of Grant's linemen, and they invite the challenge as the countdown begins to the kickoff showcase pitting Folsom's skill, precision and ballistic offense against the Pacers' ferocity, burst and athleticism.
It's a shame only 5,000 can wedge into Folsom's Prairie City Stadium, so help the Fire Marshall with his arms crossed and sterm gaze to ensure bodies are not on the shoulders of others like a 1972 Rolling Stones concert. The game will be on ESPN2, so get ready to pass to popcorn.
So what happens?
Does Grant use a running game with new featured back Shaq Thompson, who can hammer foes with inside runs or run away from a pack with breakaway speed to keep the ball away from Folsom, much like Del Oro did to upend the Bulldogs in the second half of a playoff game last season? And can Folsom come up with defensive stops with Richards, Sam Leuken, Burton DeKoning and Alec Grodecki, all working under new defensive coordinator Max Miller, and old name in coaching in the region?
On Saturday morning, I will watch Grant scrimmage in Del Paso Heights, and at 3 p.m. I will watch Rocklin scrimmage at Sheldon. I will post updates here on the blog and on Twitter at @sb_joedavidson. Stay tuned. It gets good now.