November 18, 2011
Fearless Bee predictions of second-round prep football playoffs tonight

A quick peek at some of the Sac-Joaquin Section playoff games tonight with predictions.

We invite predictions to liven up the chatter over lame late-night posts after the games with, "You blew that one, moron!"

Reminder that we will post scores, updates and comments on prep games from around the section tonight on Twitter: @sb_joedavidson

You can follow those Tweets on the blog here, in the far right column. Our Friday night Preps Live Chat will not be running the rest of the playoffs...

Playoff forecast
Division I
Franklin 28, Lincoln-Stockton 27 - Wildcats are perfectly primed for an upset here, especially if they can contain standout RB Justin Davis, who had 352 yards against Sheldon last week; Franklin is sky high after win at Nevada Union, the program's first playoff win in the school's rather short history.

Granite Bay 35, Oak Ridge 24 - Grizzlies are delighted to have another home game after Oak Ridge upended higher-seeded Burbank in opener. Grizzlies have great balance and line play; QB Brendan Keeney and RB Arik Bird and TE Spencer Briare are standouts. Oak Ridge wins if Shay Mueller, Preston Dean, Dylan Collie, Jacob Sipes and Jon David Smith have big games - like last week.

Grant 35, Bethel 14 - Yes, Bethel is 10-1 and has won 10 straight and yes Grant is 8-3, but compare the schedules. Grant played a superior schedule and has superior team speed and it has a guy named Shaq. Bethel barely got past a 5-5 Jesuit team 24-17 in an opener, and Bethel looked bad with a late-hit, cheap shot blow to Jesuit quarterback Thomas Sperbeck, well after the whistle. If cheap-shotted, Grant players react a bit differently.

Pleasant Grove 42, Pitman 14 - The defending champion Eagles have won nine straight, average 55 points and have been torqued from start to finish on defense only against Lincoln-Stockton. Pitman is piping mad it didn't get a higher seed after going 9-1 in regular season, losing only by three to unbeaten Buhach Colony. Then do something about it here, Pitman. PG has great line play on offense and defense, unsung leaders in Tony Slavich and Cody Demps and real difference maker talents in Arik Armstead, Mark Jenkins, Isaiah Saunders and brothers Brandon and Desmond Lewis.

Division II
Buhach Colony 35, Del Campo 17 - For such a young team, it's been an impressive season for Del Campo, and it now encounters a veteran team with national recruits dotting the lines. Both teams are run heavy. Buhach does it as well as any team in the section.

Vacaville 35, St. Mary's 34 - Great matchup of storied programs, top-tier coaches and contrasting styles. Vacaville lives to run with backs such as Melvin Moore and St. Mary's goes with the pass-heavy spread. Vacaville beat Granite Bay, which beat St. Mary's, which doesn't mean a whole lot here, but we offer it anyway.

Folsom 48, Inderkum 28 - Would it be a major shock to the senses if Inderkum won? No, because it's a Terry Stark coached team, but also consider that Inderkum has the youngest team in the playoffs - four senior starters - and experience counts big time now. Inderkum has the sort of run-heavy, clock-chewing wing-T that can cause fits for Folsom, but Folsom is healthy and can use some of its best athletes in the secondary now, including J'Juan Muldrow, Carson McMurtrey, Phillip Carter and Tanner Trosin.

Elk Grove 42, Beyer 14 - Welcome to Elk Grove, Beyer, nice seeing you. The host Herd could score in the 50s - they have several times - with its brutish and effective offensive line, its terrific 3-headed backfield if Robert Frazier, Wadus Parker and Deon Ransom (Ransom has 10 rushing scores in the last two weeks) and the defense is superb, anchored by NG Matt Nugent.

Division III
Oakdale 35, Vista del Lago 30 - Vista, with its first playoff win under its belt, takes on the top seed in what's called "The Corral." Oakdale loses there about as often as the Packers lose games this season. How Vista's Aaron Young, Chris Cooper and Logan Smith fare is paramount.

Casa Roble 42, Los Banos 35 - The Rams have a wealth of weapons on offense, headed by QB Mitch Samson, WR Frankie Patalano, WR Tyler Young, RB Kody Jones and more. The defense has a head buster in Cameron Buell.

Whitney 21, Cosumnes Oaks 20 - Tough game to forecast. Cosumnes Oaks was terrific defensively in beating No. 3-seeded Manteca 14-0, and Whitney erupted on Pioneer 48-21. CO has the sort of run offense to keep Whitney ace QB Jake Rodrigues waiting on the sidelines. CO is faster overall, but Whitney has more playoff experience, and is at home, which never hurts.

Del Oro 42, Placer 21 - Great renewal of a decades-old rivalry with two terrific run teams that can also pass to keep things honest. Del Oro has lost only by a field goal to state power and 10-0 Westlake. Placer lost shootout games to Casa Roble and Colfax. Unsung Del Oro leaders such as Tanner Huber, Kevin Love, Daniel Thomas, Alex Bertrando and Skyler Rand are the keys. For Placer, can anyone on Del Oro's great offensive line completely negate NG Eddie Vanderdoes?

Division IV
Escalon 35, Sonora 7 - Cougars are riding longest winning streak in state with 23 straight wins, including state D-III bowl win last year, and this Escalon team might be better.

Central Catholic 38, Argonaut 13 - CC is a machine, with a record 15 small-school titles out of 17 title appearances. Loss this year was by a point to St. Mary's, which barely lost to Granite Bay.

Colfax 42, Liberty Ranch 20 - This is all new territory for Liberty Ranch, though RB John Wiernicki fears no challenge as he plows ahead for yards and touchdowns. Colfax has a wealth of experience and great balance with QB Austin Young and RB Hunter Perez.

Division V
Highlands 21, Millennium 13 - Highlands has a close loss to Bradshaw Christian and has major athletes such as sack master Ray Edwards. Millennium is 10-0, yes, but against who?

Le Grand 35, Rio Vista 14 - Rio Vista might want to re-apply for admission back to the North Section. These small-school Sac-Joaquin Section schools can play. Le Grand has visions of a state small-school bowl.

Division VI
Bradshaw Christian 44, Ripon Christian 12 - The Pride seeks another title and more trips into the end zone as one of the top rushing teams in the state. Ripon is 7-4.

Foresthill 35, Vacaville Christian 28 - Great small-school shootout, but favor the team coming off a bye. Foresthill hasn't won a football section title.

Joe Davidson and Mike Finnerty co-host The SureWest Sports Radio Show on Saturday from 9-10 a.m. on ESPN1320.



About the Prep blog

Bee staff writers Joe Davidson and Bill Paterson provide news, analysis and insight on the area high school sports scene in their Prep Blog. Have a question to ask them? Send them an email any time at jdavidson@sacbee.com or bpaterson@sacbee.com.

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