By Will James
As the high school football season creeps deeper into league play and closer to the playoffs, a clearer picture is developing among the heavyweights in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section where the top-ranked Folsom Bulldogs remain the Top Dogs in the top-heavy Sierra Foothill League.
With Folsom in the driver’s seat, the always-intriguing aspect of the SFL race is the wild playoff push by the other power teams, including #4 Oak Ridge, #7 Rocklin, #11 Del Oro, and #12 Granite Bay, and the realization that these perennial playoff heavies must slug it out with each other with hopes of securing one of the playoff berths allotted to the SFL.
Friday evening Access Sacramento‘s Hometown Sports Game of the Week will showcase one such match-up entering Week-7, when the Del Oro Golden Eagles fly over El Dorado Hills to tangle with the Oak Ridge Trojans in a game of paramount importance that both teams regard as a must-win battle.
The live telecast begins at 7:00 pm and may be seen in Sacramento County on Comcast and Consolidated Communications Cable channel 17, and on AT&T U-Verse channel 14. The game will also be streamed live from AccessSacramento.org and on the NFHS Network.
Coming off their bye week, Head Coach Jeff Walters’ visiting Eagles (1-1, 4-2) are well rested, but still smarting after absorbing a tough 30-27 overtime road loss at Whitney marking Del Oro’s first SFL setback.
Senior leadership and experience are key elements in the Eagles’ success, as Quarterback Kal Lunders, Running Back Sheldon Conde, and Wide Receiver Bear Bews spark the offense. The trio of linebackers Blake DeMar, Alden Foster, and Jacob Birch anchors the defense, having collectively ravaged opponents for 116 Tackles, 15 Tackles for Losses, 6 Sacks, 2 Interceptions, a Fumble Recovery, and a Blocked Punt.
Oak Ridge (1-2, 4-2) got back into the win column last week with a rout of Grant after sustaining back-to-back heartbreak losses to Folsom and Rocklin. Trojans’ Head Coach, Eric Cavaliere knows his team must defend home field turf with a victory.
Cavaliere will rely on the passing (63%, 1377 yds, 13 TD) of Junior Quarterback Justin Lamson, the rushing (396 yds, 7 TD) of Dylan Warfield, and the receiving (29 rec., 6 TD) of Avant Jacobs for sufficient scoring. Linebackers Ryan Enney (52 tackles), Daniel LaPiana (42 tackles), and Peyton Vota (33 tackles/5 sacks), and DB Mujahid Samad (2 int.) secure the defense.
This showdown shapes up as a marquee match-up; the type of game not to be missed.