by Will James

Hometown Sports

It’s Week-5 of the high school football season, non-conference games have concluded, and league play has begun, placing vital importance on the outcomes of all remaining games.  This is particularly crucial in the tough D-1 leagues like the Delta, where every team poses a serious challenge, and none should be taken lightly.

A prime example of Delta League power is on tap in Friday’s telecast of Access Sacramento‘s Hometown Sports Game-of-the-Week when #10 Elk Grove invades Sheldon to battle the 12th-ranked Huskies.

The game may be seen live on Comcast Cable channel 17, Consolidated Communications channel 17, and AT&T U-Verse channel 14.  The game will also be streamed live on accesssacramento.org, and on the NFHS Network.

Elk Grove Head Coach, John Heffernan, received a harsh baptism to Delta League competition last season after playing in the soft Metro League for 13 years while at the Burbank helm.

After getting blasted by #2 Inderkum and Serra (San Mateo) in the first two games, Heffernan’s Thundering Herd clobbered Shasta (Redding), and came from behind to defeat Davis, 21-14 to even the Herd’s record at 2-2.

An impressive brigade of Jr. RBs spark the offensive attack, led by Carter Harris, and ably supported by Tre’von Frazier, Jacob Crook, and Khalani Riddick.

On defense, the Herd is anchored by active LBs  Devin Sullivan, Brandon Grant, and Kade Jordan, and DBs Khalani Riddick and Nick Woolstencroft.

Sheldon Head Coach, Joe Cattolico, has rejuvenated the Huskies since taking charge in 2016, and has directed Sheldon to four straight wins after dropping the opener.

Senior quarterback Francisco Salinas runs the show for Sheldon and defers to a trio of flashy RBs led by RBs Tyrell Smith (596 yds., 9 TD), Justin Williams (365 yds., 6 TD), and Ladon Johnson (228 yds., 4 TD) that carry the load.  Speedy WRs Michael Graves and Dillon Juniel provide excellent targets for Salinas.

Both teams are 1-0 after winning their Delta League openers, and approach Friday’s contest as a crucial encounter that will further separate one half of the Delta League teams from the other half, that will produce crucial leverage for the winners.  Toss a coin on the outcome of this one.