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Panthers Brace for Wolverines’ Invasion on the Hometown Sports Game of the Week
by Will James
Access Sacramento‘s Hometown Sports Game-of-the-Week is shifting gears this week and taking its coverage to the “Big House”, and next level of competition; to Hughes Stadium, and California Community College Football.
The game may be seen in Sacramento County on Comcast Cable channel 17, Consolidated Communications channel 17, and AT&T U-Verse channel 14. The game will also be streamed live from AccessSacramento.org
It’s an interesting, if not provocative match-up of two teams with identical 2-2 records. Both clubs dropped their first two games of the season, then rebounded to notch back-to-back wins and even their records at 2-2 entering Big-8 play.
After seeing his team sputter in its first two games, totaling just 30 points, Sierra College Head Coach, Ben Noonan, has seen his offense explode in its two recent wins, averaging 43 ppg.
In just three games, Freshman QB, Joe Curry, has passed for 663 yards with 70% accuracy, and tossed 10 TD passes. Ryan Graham and James Budgett lead the ground game, combining for 404 yds. and 8 TD. Freshman WR, Hassani Zackery, is Curry’s favorite target, hauling in 24 receptions and 5 TD.
Leading tacklers Amir Murray and Steve Brown are the key run-stoppers, Luz Hernandez sparks the pass rush with 3 sacks, and ball-hawking William Brocchini has registered 3 interceptions.
After a slow start to open the season with two losses, SCC Head Coach, Dannie Walker, has seen his team roll up 76 points in its two victories. Quarterback Jaden Machado is hot, having thrown three TD passes last week in the Panthers’ rout of Shasta. Reuben Lee is the top receiver, and the rushing attack is sparked by Tyrone Roper, Cameren Nelson, and Trey Bussey.
DB, Eurijah Potts and LB Aarmon Euwing are the Panthers’ leading tacklers. Defensive Linemen Alex Rowe and Alema Taamu have teamed for 5.5 sacks, and Potts and Cameren Davis have combined to steal 4 interceptions.
On paper the teams have very similar results and stats over their first four games. The importance of all remaining games has elevated to the vital stage now that conference games are underway. We’ll see which squad is ready to rock, as the curtain is raised in the Big House for the Big-8 opener.
by Will James
Will this be the week that top-ranked Folsom is finally challenged by a CIF Sac-Joaquin Section team? However futile the prospects of victory for area opponents may seem, this question has surfaced again; and stretches one’s imagine to seriously entertain the notion of Folsom being defeated. Nevertheless, based on the magnitude of Friday’s Sierra Foothill League rivalry showdown when the #1 Folsom Bulldogs square-off with the #2 Oak Ridge Trojans, the intrigue of this rivalry match-up represents more than mere window dressing.
This high profile game may be seen 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.
Since their season-opening 14-0 road loss to nationally-ranked De La Salle, the Bulldogs have crushed three opponents including locally- ranked heavyweights, then #4 Jesuit (50-14) and then #8 Antelope (41-0). Last week Folsom blasted highly regarded Southern California powerhouse, Chaminade (West Hills), 70-34. All three games concluded mercifully with a running clock to restrict the measure of damage being inflicted.
Enter undefeated Oak Ridge. The Trojans are rolling after recording routs of three teams from good programs: 56-20 over Lincoln, 42-0 over Vacaville, and last week, 42-13 over Reed of Sparks, Nevada, thus setting the stage for Friday’s showdown which will undoubtedly be preceded by oceans of hype and speculation.
Oak Ridge Head Coach, Eric Cavaliere once again fields another dynamite team. Senior QB, Matt Jenner, is the trigger man for the Trojans’ potent offense averaging 46 ppg. An outstanding leader, Jenner has completed 68% of his passes with six TDs and no interceptions.
Kris Richardson’s Bulldogs have been playing on an entirely different level found somewhere in the upper stratosphere. Despite having been blanked by De La Salle in its opener, Folsom’s high octane offense has been virtually unstoppable since visiting Concord.
Quarterback Kaiden Benett has performed brilliantly. A dynamic double threat, Bennett has led a precision offense that averages 53 ppg., despite the starters being limited to first half playing time.
Folsom’s ground game is excellent, featuring single-back standout, Danyiel Ngata (234 yds., 3 TD). The passing game is another story; an aerial circus so refined, so explosive that it terrorizes opposing secondaries with a sophisticated scheme that showcases a deep and talented receiving corps.
Among its five dangerous receivers, national recruit, Joe Ngata, continues to be a marvel, hauling-in 20 receptions, good for 394 yds. (19.4 ave.) and 7 TD. Elijah Badger has 13 receptions totaling 272 yds. (20.9 ave.) and 3 TD. C.J. Hutton, Parker Clayton, and Danyiel Ngata provide other excellent receiving options for Bennett.
Folsom’s hard-hitting defense should receive abundantly more notoriety, but is over-shadowed by Folsom’s offensive prowess. Tyler Hardeman and Caleb Freeland anchor the defensive line, while LB Dylan Richard and DBs Noah Jenkins and Gavin Davis-Smith provide excellent run support and secondary coverage.
Access Sacramento’s veteran team of announcers, Will James on Play by Play, Jim Dimino with analysis and Lauren Goodman with sideline reports will call the broadcast live.
Come Friday evening, here are some pertinent factors to consider while assessing the degree of competition and speculating the eventual outcome: Folsom will enjoy home field advantage at Prairie City Stadium, Folsom has defeated Oak Ridge the last eleven consecutive meetings, and Oak Ridge is coming off a bye week, well rested, but perhaps not game-sharp.
There you have it, the set-up and prelude to what must be considered the most compelling match-up around the greater Sacramento area. This is the Sierra Foothill League opener for both teams, a collision course that is certain to generate wide spread and far reaching anticipation, countless highlights, and thrilling moments.
Welcome to another episode of the AccessLocal.Tv Podcast. On this show, the Neighborhood News Correspondents are talking about the experiences they’ve had in high school. Their comments and opinions may surprise you! Feel free to chime in with your thoughts on the discussion in the comment section below!
by Will James
For football fans who have a serious need for speed, Friday night would be an excellent time to treat yourself an exciting exhibition of speed when the Inderkum Tigers take-on the Sacramento Dragons on the Hometown Sports Game-of-the-Week.
Friday’s coverage begins at 7:00 pm and may be seen on Comcast Cable channel 17, Consolidated Communications channel 17, and AT&T U-Verse channel 14. The game will also be streamed live on Access Sacramento.org and on the NFHS Network. Announcers again this season are CIF Hall of Fame Coach Jim Dimino, former HS Basketball Coach Lauren Goodman and veteran play-by-play announcer Will James.
Inderkum and Sacramento share an impressive common attribute — blazing team speed. They have boasted some of the most explosive offenses, and fly-to-the-football defenses in the section.
Inderkum Head Coach,Terry Stark, in his 14th year at the Tigers’ helm, sped past the 100-win plateau in 2016, and brings a 115-23 mark into the game.
The backbone of this amazing success is Stark’s potent Wing-T offense that continues to flourish year after year with his backfield filled with a brigade of RBs who can go the distance on any play.
The Tigers enter play 2-0, with a pair of overwhelming victories to start the season. Inderkum spanked Elk Grove, 37-13, then demolished American Canyon, 69-0.
Junior QB J.J. Ray runs Inderkum’s Wing-T the throttle in a backfield that features speed merchants Ray Brown, Johnny Williams, and Aaron Espero. Ray has fired four TD passes in the two wins. TE Isaiah Ward and WR Javi Daniels lead the receiving corps.
The Tigers’ defense, anchored by DE Devon Williams and LB Logan Benoit, is tough on the run and puts heat on opposing QBs.
Sacramento has its hands full against this formidable challenge, but defense has been the Dragons’ strong suit thus far. Despite bringing an 0-2 record into the contest, Sac has allowed just 31 points in a pair of tough road losses, including last week’s heart-breaker; a 15-14 setback to Chico on a FG with just 23 seconds remaining.
Dragons’ Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator, Joe McCray, is the architect of Sac’s stunning 2016 upset of Folsom that snapped the Bulldogs’ remarkable 52-game winning streak against SJS teams.
The Dragons will need another stellar defensive effort Friday night against the Tigers. DE Kyron Smith, LBs Sherman Gay and Corey Jordan, and DB’s Deeon Stevenson and Mychal Williams will lead this effort.
Junior QB Quantrell Jackson, who is still adjusting to his new leadership role. He’ll rely heavily on RBs Javon Felton and Keysean Gooding, WR Mychal Williams, and WR/KR Deyvon Drayton to put a lot more points on the board.
A major buzz of energy should swirl through Hughes Stadium Friday night; with an impact the Dragons hope will translate into a major home field advantage. If the Dragons were to select a song that describes their mission, “Hold that Tiger” would fit nicely.
Announcers Will James and Jim Dimino will call the action of this match-up that’s promising to be a major brawl, and guarantees a massive crowd turnout at Prairie City Stadium; fair warning for those planning to attend this heavyweight contest.
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by Will James
Access Sacramento‘s Hometown Sports Game-of-the-Week enters its 21st year covering high school and college student-athletics in Sacramento County with an attractive season-opening football telecast Fri. Aug. 17 when the Capital Christian Cougars invade Elk Grove to tangle with the Cosumnes Oaks Wolf Pack.
Coverage begins at 7:00 pm, and may be seen on Comcast Cable channel 17, Consolidated Communications channel 17, and AT&T U-Verse channel 14. The game will also be streamed live from AccessSacramento.org and on the NFHS Network.
The Cougars — elevated to D-3 status with their realignment shift from the Golden Empire league to the Capital Athletic League — are led by highly heralded Head Coach Casey Taylor, who, after compiling hall-of-fame level success at Del Oro, guided the Cougars to a 7-4 mark and a playoff appearance in his inaugural season at Capital Christian.
The Cougars will rely heavily on the leadership and stellar play of four-year starter D’Marcus Ross, an imposing force at the RB and LB positions. Key OL/DL returnees Will Buck and Shane Semeit will anchor the lines for the Cougars. The starting QB position, where Trey Jones was the primary signal-caller last season, is yet to be unveiled. Inexperienced Damion Malott Jr., who saw little action last season returns, and the likelihood of a new face emerging as the starting QB remains a distinct possibility.
Taylor’s counterpart — Wolf Pack Head Coach, Derick Milgrim — embarks upon his 5th season at the helm, whose squad has elevated to a D-1 classification after vacating the Capital Valley Conference where he led the Pack to four consecutive playoff appearances, to compete this season in the ultra-rugged Delta League.
The Wolf Pack will also undergo a new leader at QB this season. Sophomore Anthony Grigsby Jr. is solidly entrenched as the starting signal-caller. Grigsby has some potent weapons at his beckoned call, led by dynamic RB Jacob Trach (1093 yds./8 TD in 2017), and WRs Elijah King and Corey Perkins who lead a deep receiving corps, and represent excellence in the secondary. Defensive linemen Nathaniel Giron, Isaiah Carranza, Myles Cannon, and LB Brandon Jennings are the primary run stoppers. Kicker Kevin Duarte will be a difference-maker for Special Teams.
Once again, the Access Sacramento Game of the Week broadcasts will be led by the veteran play-by-play announcer Will James with commentary by CIF Hall of Fame Coach Jim Dimino. The team has been analyzing high school football on Access Sacramento for two decades and more than 200 broadcasts.
Friday’s game represents a first time meeting for both teams, adding further intrigue to a match-up of two teams competing in different leagues, and operating at higher division levels. It’s a season opener that will be filled with plenty of excitement, and sure to answer early questions about how the respective fortunes of these teams will unfold in the 2018 season.