A peek at some games of intrigue as we apply the eye black to another week of high school football action...
No. 7 Burbank (2-0) at No. 5 Del Oro (0-2)
Expect a lot of running here with the host Golden Eagles going with Brandon Monroe and the strength of the team - the offensive line. Burbank counters with speed backs who can also run with power, including quarterback Ernest Jenkins, an expert in the triple-option and who tore off a 75-yard touchdown sprint in beating Grant 36-27.
No. 2 Franklin (3-0) at No. 12 Cosumnes Oaks (3-0)
The newish schools in Elk Grove finally face off in football, and now let the talkers either gloat or pipe down a bit. Players have chirped for well over a year about which program is better as both share the same facility. We'll soon find out.
No. 3 Pleasant Grove (2-1) at No. 13 Inderkum (2-0)
The host Tigers tried to get Grant on the schedule but it didn't work out so say hello to Pleasant Grove, a Division I power of late. Dre Terrell hit Wyatt Demps for four touchdown passes last week to beat Nevada Union and Inderkum looks to stall that momentum with sack-heavy defensive lineman Dedric Allen.
Vacaville (2-0) at No. 6 Granite Bay (0-2)
Never boring when these teams lock up, including last season when Vacaville won and went on to take the D-II section title. Granite Bay recovered just fine, of course, winning the D-I section crown. An 0-3 start for Granite Bay would be a first for a program that started varsity play in 1997.
No. 11 Grant (1-2) at No. 10 Oak Ridge (3-0)
Oak Ridge is eager to knock the Pacers down another notch after Grant fell to Nevada Union and Burbank and fell out of The Bee's Top 10 for the first time since the first week of the 1991 season. The host Trojans have a superb quarterback leader in Jason Samuels and a strong defense, and Grant counters with team speed and a breakaway back in Marquise Carter-Petit.
Casa Roble (1-2) at No. 8 Placer (2-0)
It's always a shootout when these teams play, and expect the same here. Both teams rely on runners, Casa Roble with Kody Jones and Placer with Michael Robinson and Isaac Brahce - and both teams have talented, big lines.
Chico (2-0) at No. 4 Nevada Union (2-1)
The Northern Section, desperate for promising results against Sac-Joaquin Section powers, is at it again here. NU is irked with late turn-of-events that resulted in Pleasant Grove winning a thriller, and Miners need a good outing here heading into a showdown at No. 1 Elk Grove.
No. 1 Elk Grove (3-0) at Sheldon (2-1)
This is a big-time trap game for the Thundering Herd, coming off a slug-fest 19-16 win at Del Campo and Sheldon rolling in two wins under first-year coach Herbie Berry, who led Elk Grove to the playoffs in the late 1980s as a player. Elk Grove is fast, and so is Sheldon with back Curtis Juniel.
Oakmont (1-2) at Roseville (0-3)
This one always matters because of the rivalry, and because the host Tigers are celebrating the schools 100th anniversary. Roseville, with 18 new starters from last season, lost tough recent games to Rio Linda (24-20) and Folsom (24-7) and Oakmont has had a win over Foothill (43-34) and a shootout loss to Woodcreek (52-27).
Rocklin (1-2) at No. 14 Del Campo (1-2)
The Thunder lost competitive early games at Pleasant Grove (35-21) and at Oak Ridge (16-7) and then bounced rival Whitney out of The Bee's Top 20 with a 6-0 win behind backup quarterback Logan Webb and running back Raymon Kendall. Del Campo last week had top-ranked Elk Grove beaten - until the final seconds.
No. 18 Antelope (2-1) at Woodcreek (2-1)
This game pits teams mere miles apart and athletes who know each other well, and expect a ton of touchdowns. The host Titans are led by big lines and a play maker in Tyler Winston. Woodcreek counters with quarterback ace Stephen Nogosek and running back Mitchell Layton.
Deer Valley (2-0) at No. 9 Folsom (3-0)
The visitors from Antioch are off to a fast start and will be tested against a spread offense that lit them up a year ago behind Tanner Trosin, now at Cal Poly. In his place is Jake Browning, who has thrown 16 touchdowns this season, going for 10, 4 and 2 in successive weeks as the Bulldogs have gone for 68, 31 and 24 points.
Bella Vista (3-0) at Yuba City (3-0)
The Broncos are off to a promising start under first-year coach Tom Ingles, who won 247 games and three state titles in Washington. The host Honkers haven't been this hot out of the gates in years, and it's do balance with quarterback Elkins Taylor and backs Nate Van Dusen and Omar Herrera.
Dixon (2-0) at Winters (2-0)
The Rams rolled McClatchy and Natomas and will find a much tougher challenge here in a rivalry that dates back decades. Winters was a regional small-school power in the 1970s and '80s and into the '90s.
Wheatland (2-0) at Lincoln (2-0)
The Pirates of the North Section have blasted past Lindhurst (62-0) and Marysville (56-6) and need a good showing here heading into a monster showdown with powerhouse Sutter. Lincoln, two years removed from a 10-0 season, rolled Natomas (48-7) and Highlands (50-8) behind backs Davis Dykstra and James Hubbard.
Foresthill (2-1) at Woodland Christian (3-0)
The Wildfires beat Marysville 36-19 and Valley Christian 32-13 with balanced attacks, and Woodland Christian has overcome the loss of players via transfer or just not playing this season for a fast start, including a 34-16 win over San Juan, the same team that beat Foresthill 18-6.
Union Mine (0-2) at Ponderosa (2-0)
A virtual neighborhood game up Highway 50, the Diamondbacks are desperate to find an offense after injuries and lack of punch have slowed them, including tailback Sean Tow. Ponderosa has rolled Valley (63-0) and Cordova (45-8) with winless Natomas and ranked Rio Linda looming before the murderous Delta River League that opens with Jesuit, Pleasant Grove, Oak Ridge and Folsom in that order.
No. 15 Jesuit (2-0) vs. No. 16 CBS (3-0), 7:30 p.m.
Refurbished Hughes Stadium will have a crowd of upwards of 16,000 as the venerable private schools play in Holy Bowl XVLII and Jesuit leading the series 25-14-2. It's been years since both teams came in ranked and unbeaten. Jesuit includes quarterback leader Thomas Sperbeck, who was coached last season by Dan Carmazzi, now back at his alma mater of CBS after 35 years at Jesuit.
Davis (2-1) at Rio Americano (1-2), 1 p.m.
Davis has come on strong since opening with a loss to Yuba City, and it has a nifty back in Winfred Roberon, a fast receiver in C.K. Hicks and a quarterback leader in Grant Dickerson. Rio Americano has a tough opening loss to Casa Roble (28-20) and hasn't scored much since, losing to Jesuit 45-7 and Golden Sierra 28-7.
- Joe Davidson
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