A quick peek at some games of note for Week 3 (or Week 4 if you factor in Zero Week). All games Friday, 7-7:30 p.m. kickoff, unless noted
Readers, fans, followers, alums and players are encouraged to offer thoughts, insight and predictions, provided you do so without trashing any teams, teenagers or towns. Trolls, we're especially talking to you.
* Grant (2-1) at Lincoln-Stockton (3-0),
Saturday, 3 p.m.
This is a matchup of the Sac-Joaquin Section's top two teams, and teams that could meet again in the Division I playoffs (Grant's enrollment appears to have the Pacers clearly headed to the large-school field). The host Trojans duck no one, having already downed previous Bee No. 1 Pleasant Grove 50-49 in double overtime by going for the win. Lincoln has balance in QB Zack Greenlee and RB Justin Davis and superb line play. Grant is banged up but still tough defensively with the ultimate game-breaker in RB Shaq Thompson, who may play QB if Terry Shine is out with a hand injury.
Oak Ridge (3-0) at Del Oro (2-1)
This is a longstanding rivalry between regional powers who have combined to win 11 section titles since 1989 . Expect more fireworks here. Del Oro has balance with Nick O'Sullivan and Brandon Monroe running the ball and Bobby Heatherington at quarterback. Oak Ridge has an impressive junior passer in Jason Samuels and a running game that includes Preston Dean. How Del Oro deals with Oak Ridge all-purpose star Dylan Collie is the key.
Sheldon (2-1) at Elk Grove (3-0)
A matchup of coaching pals in Sheldon's Josh Crabtree and Elk Grove's Chris Nixon with some superb skill players to look for. Elk Grove hasn't been challenged yet as it hasn't faced a foe anyone expects to compete for a league title. Sheldon has been pushed in each game and is led by Davon Chapple, Josh Hadley and Nate Iese. Elk Grove is paced by Steven Moore, Deon Ransom, Matt Nugent and Robert Frazier.
Placer (2-0) at Casa Roble (1-1)
Casa Roble won a thriller in Auburn last season and now gets to host the Hillmen, who feature a devastating wing-T attack with a bevy of backs. Placer has scored 65 or more in two routs. And guess what ails Casa these days? Defense. The Rams gave up 70 to Woodcreek and edged Vista del Lago 50-49 in overtime.
Granite Bay (3-0) at Vacaville (2-1)
This has been a wildly entertaining series of late, and expect more of the same. The different likely is Grizzlies QB Brendan Keeney, who has dominated so far with his arm, legs, poise and toughness. Vacaville might be wise not to kickoff to Tony Ellison, who had a 97-yard return for a score in a rout of Clovis West.
Nevada Union (3-0) at Chico (2-0)
Yes, Chico is unbeaten, but it hasn't faced a defense like the one the Miners will unleash, headed by Hank Humphers and Tanner Vallejo. Miners QB Kyle Cota has not thrown an interception as he continues to sparkle in his first varsity season.
McNair-Stockton (2-0) vs. Pleasant Grove (2-1)
The last time Pleasant Grove encountered a Stockton team it lost 50-49 in double overtime to Lincoln. McNair is unbeaten because it has run over teams, also the primary strength for the Eagles, who routed Fairfield 63-8 as Mark Jenkins rushed for five touchdowns.
Woodcreek (3-0) at Bear River (3-0)
The host Bruins believe they have their toughest offensive line in years, and so far, it shows with offensive balance keying the early surge. But this is clearly Bear River's toughest task. Woodcreek has scored 163 points, including 70 on Casa Roble, behind quarterbacks Shaun Mize and Stephen Nogosek.
Del Campo (2-1) at Rocklin (1-2)
The visiting Cougars have played tough with a third-string quarterback due to injuries and a new-look offense that features hard-charging back J.D. Milan, who keyed a 21-14 win at Jesuit. Rocklin has tough losses to Oak Ridge and Whitney, but has competed admirably. No surprise considering the program coach Greg Benzel has.
Jesuit (1-1) vs. Christian Brothers (0-3)
Saturday at Hughes Stadium, 7:30 p.m.
Someone within the Jesuit football family entered into the MaxPreps data base that the Marauders beat Del Campo 34-0 on Saturday, perhaps as a gag. In truth, the Marauders lost 21-14. Regardless, Jesuit is the clear favorite here in Holy Bowl XLI as CBS has struggled to score, to defend and to stay healthy. Still expect a crowd of some 15,000.
Reno (2-0) at Inderkum (1-1)
The host Tigers lost to Salesian of Richmond 31-21 and then belted Florin 53-6 with dominating defense and a wing-T led by Hunter Royal. Reno is unbeaten but has it experienced the sort of speed that Inderkum is about to unleash?
Whitney (2-0) at Coeur d'Alene, Idaho (3-0)
Saturday, 7 p.m.
The Wildcats and national recruit QB Jake Rodrigues take on the No. 1 ranked team in Idaho, led by a crew of recruits. The Vikings have scored 37, 32 and 52 points.