By Bill Paterson
It was the game that many football fans wanted to see but that the coaches had tried to sidestep for years.
No. 5 Pleasant Grove defeated No. 7 Burbank 14-12 Friday night at Sheldon High School as both teams clearly showed they know each other well.
Burbank coach John Heffernan and Pleasant Grove's Joe Cattolico are good friends dating to their days in the Bay Area. Their teams scrimmage each other before the start of the season.
But they don't like to play each other once the season begins. Their only previous meeting came last year, when Burbank defeated the Eagles 32-27 in the second round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs.
"It wasn't by choice," Heffernan said of Friday's game. "They needed a game, and we needed a game. So we said, 'Let's do this once.' It's hard, but it's good to play because you know you are going to get a competitive game."
While both teams normally feature explosive offenses, this game turned into a battle of wills and attrition. There were few big plays.
The one exception was Calvin Green's dazzling 28-yard burst down the left sideline that enabled the Titans (1-1) to close to 14-12 with 4:02 to play in the third quarter. It was the longest offensive play of the evening.
But Pleasant Grove (2-0) stopped Ernest Jenkins' two-point conversion run short of the end zone.
The Titans wouldn't get another chance against a tough Pleasant Grove defense led by linebacker Ennis Mayberry, who had 13 tackles.
Three times in the fourth quarter, Pleasant Grove forced the Titans to give up the ball on downs.
Meanwhile, the Eagles kept grinding away as junior Demaree Morris, filling in for injured Ian Broom, ran hard behind his stout offensive line of Isaiah Tharp, Joseph Kinard, Kyle Dixon, Diego Cervantes and Dylan Kaiser.
Morris finished with 106 yards, including a 3-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, on 31 carries. Chad Philipps made the PAT and booted another after Dre Terrell's 3-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
No. 3 Elk Grove 60, Foothill-Palo Cedro 7 in Elk Grove - Wadus Parker rushed for 146 yards and two touchdowns on seven carries, and Tommy Arnold completed all seven of his passes with three touchdowns, including an 83-yarder to Noah Letuligasenoa. Ryan Robards had a 93-yard kickoff return for the Herd (2-0).
No. 6 Oak Ridge 23, No. 8 Rocklin 21 in El Dorado Hills - Ian Book threw touchdown passes of 35 yards to Trent Buenzli and 2 yards to Jacob Sipes, Tanner Hughes ran for a 1-yard score, and Ryan Lamb booted a 23-yard field goal as the Trojans (2-0) held off the Thunder (0-2).
No. 10 Inderkum 48, Bethel 14 in Natomas - Arizona State verbal commit Jordan Thomas had 12 tackles, two interceptions and a sack, and Terrence White rushed for 125 yards and three touchdowns and caught a touchdown pass as the Tigers (2-0) beat the Jaguars (1-1).
Monterey Trail 32, No. 12 Antelope 21 in Antelope - Trey Nahaas rushed for 162 yards and three touchdowns on 13 carries and Donovan Robinson added touchdowns runs of 25 and 18 yards as the Mustangs (1-1) beat the Titans (1-1).
No. 14 Roseville 22, No. 13 Rio Linda 14 in Roseville - The Tigers continued an impressive start to the season with a win over the Knights (0-1), but a scary incident overshadowed the game.
With less than 10 seconds left to play, public address announcer Ron Grove (also the Roseville girls volleyball coach) fell to the floor, and the game stopped for five minutes as paramedics revived him.
With the ambulance leaving the field, Roseville's Matt Razzano blocked a field goal attempt in the final seconds. Jake Vaughn scooped up the ball and returned it for a game-ending touchdown.
Kyle Downie went 16 of 22 for 288 yards and the go-ahead touchdown to Jonathan Lopez with just over 6 minutes left in the game.
Grove was reported to be alert at the hospital and was undergoing further tests.
No. 15 Center 20, Chico 18 in Antelope - Joe Swen rushed for 263 yards and two touchdowns on 36 carries to lead the Cougars (2-0) over the Panthers (0-1).
No. 17 Cosumnes Oaks 24, Sacramento 13 in Elk Grove - Alex Kropp threw two touchdown passes, including a 50-yarder to Alex Van Dyke as the Wolfpack (1-1) beat the Dragons (0-1).
No. 18 Vista del Lago 76, Highlands 0 in Folsom - Matt Jimison threw seven touchdown passes, including three to Brad Rittenhouse, as the Eagles (1-1) routed the Scots (0-2).
Oakmont 27, Whitney 21 in Roseville - Jordan Naab's 28-yard pass to Justin Holmes with under a minute to play lifted the Vikings (2-0) over the Wildcats (1-1). Naab also completed touchdown passes of 50, 45 and 14 yards to Namani Parker.
Sheldon 68, Lodi 14 at the Grape Bowl - Nolan Merker passed for a school-record eight touchdowns, four to Taron Johnson, for the Huskies (2-0). Merker had seven touchdown passes in the first half. Johnson also returned an interception for a score.
Christian Brothers 58, Placer 42 in Auburn - Mason Stahley and Chris Guillen each ran for three touchdowns to lead the Falcons (2-0) over the Hillmen (0-2) in a shootout. Todd Valliere rushed for 157 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries for Placer.
Ponderosa 35, Valley 0 at Cosumnes River College - Colby Chiverton threw two touchdown passes, and Conrad Washington had two interceptions for the Bruins (2-0).
Colfax 35, El Camino 28 in Colfax - Michael Wilson completed 23 of 30 passes for 307 yards and four touchdowns -- three to Kyle Bryant (six catches, 133 yards) and one to Chas Reisinger (seven catches, 121 yards) -- and Mario Margherita's late interception helped secure the Falcons' (2-0) win over the Eagles (1-1).
Liberty Ranch 21, Lathrop 12 in Lathrop - Trevon Windley had an 80-yard touchdown catch and a six-yard touchdown run and Garrison King intercepted two passes as the Hawks (1-1) beat the Spartans (0-1).
Mesa Verde 28, Mira Loma 22 in Citrus Heights - Tanner Minton threw for two touchdowns, Eric Fink returned a punt 61 yards for a touchdown and Christian Garcia had a 58-yard touchdown run as the Marvericks (1-0) defeated the Matadors (0-2). Johnnie Hilliard scored three touchdowns for Mira Loma.
Woodland Christian 50, Delta 6 in Clarksburg - Walker Perry returned a kickoff 75 yards for a touchdown, ran seven yards for a score and booted a 32-yard field goal as the Cardinals (2-0) topped the Saints (0-2).