by Will James
Hometown Sports
 
The regular season for high school football has concluded and the post-season is upon us.  Beginning Thursday, because of Friday’s observance of the Veteran’s Day national holiday, opening round playoff games will kickoff throughout the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section.
 
Among the many attractive match-ups, the D-1 pairing of #5 seed Sheldon hosting #11 seed Cosumnes Oaks, presents a south area match-up of teams quite accustomed to barging into the playoffs to challenge the field.  The contest will be featured on Access Sacramento‘s Hometown Sports Game of the Week.
 

Announcers Will James & Jim Dimino for Access Sacramento’s Game of the Week.

This live telecast called by Access Sacramento announcers Will James and Jim Dimino beginning at 7:00 pm, may be seen on Comcast channel 17, Consolidated Communications channel 17, and AT&T U-Verse channel 14.  The game will only be streamed on the NFHS Network.  

 
Sheldon Head Coach, Joe Cattolico, guided the Huskies through the rugged Delta League en route to another excellent 8-2 record, further confirming Sheldon’s return to prominence as a serious SJS title contender.  Sheldon’s only losses were dealt by a pair of heavyweights, #4 seed Jesuit and Nevada state powerhouse, Reno High School.
 
On offense, Tyrell Smith, Ray Brown, Austyn Hurts, and Taejon King lead a deep and potent corp of running backs.  Junior QB, Francisco Salinas has played steady, and adds dimension to the Huskies’ offense with an effective passing attack featuring standout receivers Dom Johnson and Michael Graves.
 
Defensively, the Huskies have allowed just 11 ppg this season.  Two-way lineman Koby Barrett stabilizes the trenches, while LBs Sam Brooks and Oscar Gutierrez, and DBs Eian Moore and Massio Love anchor an aggressive, hard-hitting defense.
 
Cosumnes Oaks ran the gauntlet this year, losing its first three games then slugging its way through a rugged Capital Valley Conference slate to win its last three games and pull even at 5-5 to draw the #11 seed.  Despite their unimpressive record this season, the Pack is not to be played short.
 
Derick Milgrim’s Wolfpack is explosive and has enough punching power to flatten most of the ranked teams on any given night.  While in the process of winning its last three games, the Pack continued to play with greater consistency and better execution.  Suffice to say, the Wolfpack in Week-11 does not match the impressions some scouts may have formed early in the season.
 
While splitting time with Junior Cole Bendle, Senior QB Larry Frierson has significantly elevated his game during the stretch run.  Utilizing the explosive WR quartet of Marque Collins, Jeremiah Moore, Nick Craig, and Kahlef Hailassie, Frierson and Bendle have combined for better than 2000 yards passing and 35 TD.  
 
Collins and Moore each have seven TD receptions.  Collins has also returned two kickoffs for touchdowns, and an interception for a touchdown.  RB Jacob Trach is another big-play back,  compiling 1225 total yards and 9 TD as a RB/REC/KR.  Collins, Moore, and Trach, and occasionally-used WR/KR Corey Perkins, are important pieces of the puzzle.
 
Linebackers Sam Adame and Dakota Van Dyke, and DB Craig form the nucleus of the Wolfpack defense.  The senior trio has compiled  285 tackles, 7 sacks, 2 interceptions and 7 fumble recoveries.
 
Sheldon, with home field advantage and superior statistical accomplishments, appears as a clear favorite in this playoff opener.  Nevertheless, the Huskies must bring their A-Game.  Should the Wolfpack bring their A-Game as well, such a combo is bound to ignite some exciting fireworks.