By Will James
Home Town Sports
The high school football season is about to move into its second phase this week — the start of league play, and the most crucial of the regular season games.In the case of the newly refortified Sierra Foothill League (SFL), Friday marks the beginning of a brutal succession of head-to-head battles among SFL heavyweights.
Remarkably, six of the seven SFL teams are ranked among the top twelve in the latest Dimino’s Dozen Weekly Poll, and all seven SFL teams are ranked within the top-17 teams. Dimino’s Dozen is prepared by Access Sacramento commentator and CIF-SJS Hall of Fame football coach Jim Dimino.
Four of the seven teams have played for state championships within the last six years, and three of them have brought home the gold.
Suffice to say, the league schedule for SFL teams presents a veritable gauntlet of daunting conference opponents that are accustomed to winning championships on all levels.
Speaking of championships, two of the three SFL teams to capture state titles square-off against each other on Friday evening.
And Access Sacramento will have its cameras focused on a provocative league opener for its live telecast of the Home Town Sports Game-of-the-Week, as the #9 Granite Bay Grizzlies (2-1) invade Folsom to challenge the top-ranked Bulldogs (4-0) at Prairie City Stadium.Broadcast time is 7 pm on Access Sacramento, Comcast & Surewest Cable Channel 17, AT&T U-Verse Channel 14 and www.AccessSacramento.org Push Watch TV-17.
Granite Bay Head Coach, Ernie Cooper, who guided the Grizzlies to a state championship in 2012, is back at the helm again after taking a year off.
Once again he brings another classy football team into the spotlight. The Grizzlies are led by Sr. QB Justin Yeaton, Sr. RB, Lucas Balocchi, Sr. TE, Will Stabbert, and USC recruit, Sr. LB Cameron Smith.
Folsom Co-Head Coaches, Kris Richardson and Troy Taylor, mastermind the most explosive offense in the state.
It’s a deep unit that scores touchdowns so rapidly, most opponents are fully demoralized by halftime.
The offensive barrage is detonated by Sr. QB, Jake Browning, who already holds state records for passing yards and TD passes, and who engineers an offense that is averaging 56 points per game despite its starting line-up generally playing just half the game. Video highlights of Browning’s seven TD passes vs. Burbank last week on Access Sacramento can be seen HERE.
The Folsom Bulldogs have not been defeated by a Sac-Joaquin Section team since 2011, and hold a 2-0 edge in previous head-to-head meetings with Granite Bay.
This third meeting between the two elite programs should be a spicy match-up indeed.