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By Will James
Hometown Sports Game of the Week
For those who wished that last season’s CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division-1 Championship Game at Sacramento State had one more quarter to be played, the next best thing is on the playoff docket for Thanksgiving week Friday when heavyweights Folsom and Elk Grove square-off in a semi-final round marquee match-up of 11-1 teams that’s sure to attract the attention of all area high school football fans.
Most fans who were treated to last year’s 35-27 thriller won by Folsom, will have one more delectable entree added to their holiday plate when the Thundering Herd invades Prairie City Stadium to tangle with the Bulldogs, and Access Sacramento will present its own bountiful sports entree’ with special coverage of this epic battle on the Hometown Sports Game of the Week.
This live telecast may be seen at 7:00 pm on Comcast Cable channel 17, Consolidated Communications channel 17, and on AT&T U-Verse channel 14. The only live internet stream of the game will be available from the NFHS Network. The broadcast will be re-played Sat. Nov. 26 at 11:00 a.m., Sun. Nov. 27 at 3:00 a.m. and Tues. Nov. 29 at 7:00 p.m. on the same channels. The replay broadcasts will also be streamed on AccessSacramento.org and will be available as video on demand from the NFHS Network.
Still haunted, Chris Nixon’s #3 Herd is out to avenge last year’s bitter defeat, and brings plenty of firepower to get the job done. Senior QB Jayden Machado has maneuvered the Wing-T masterfully and completed 67% of his passes for nearly 2000 yards and 31 TDs. Receivers Jonas McMillan, Gavin Reinwald and Damario McLean have accounted for 102 receptions and 25 TDs, while RBs Zion Thomas and Jalen Brown collectively power the ground game with 1176 yards and 14 TD.
On defense, linebackers Dylan Eldred, Jake Bellecci, and George Spithorst, and NT Tyler Gore have accounted for more than 300 tackles and 14 sacks, while ball-hawking DB Davon Frazier has registered 6 interceptions.
Kris Richardson’s top-ranked Bulldogs have once again reigned supreme around the region and counter the Herd invasion with a major offensive arsenal of its own that averages 48 points per game.
Senior QB Joe Curry has guided the Folsom offense with precision and poise, passing for 3096 yards and 46 TD with 68% effeciency and a 130.6 Quarterback Rating. Primary targets Drake Stallworth, Eric Davis, Jack Sa, Ariel Ngata, and Brad Jenner have accounted for 176 receptions and 43 TDs. Davin Simmons, Brandon Rupchock, Kaiden Bennett, and Davis lead the rushing attack with a collective 1897 yards and 20 TDs.
If there is ever a game that should not be missed, this is the one.
By Will James
Hometown Sports Game of the Week
Perhaps the most intriguing of all upcoming high school football playoff games is set to unfold this week, as the long-standing icon of prep football supremacy is on course to collide with one of the newest and most prominent programs in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section.
The Grant High School Pacers, in the midst of its ongoing record-setting 26th consecutive playoff run, visits the Antelope High School Titans Fri. Nov. 18 to tangle with the area’s only upper division undefeated team, in what figures to be a classic match-up of superpowers. This duel of D-2 heavyweights is the focal point of Access Sacramento‘s Hometown Sports Game of the Week.
Announcers Will James and Jim Dimino call this live telecast on 7:00 p.m. on Comcast or Consolidated Communications channel 17, and AT&T U-Verse channel 14 and exclusively on-line on the NFHS Network. Replays can be seen Sat. Nov. 19 at 11:00 a.m., Tues. Nov. 22 at 7:00 p.m. and Wed. Nov. 23 at 11:00 a.m. on the same channels when the game will also be streamed on accesssacramento.org. The game will be available as video-on-demand anytime from the NFHS Network.
Coach Mike Alberghini’s 8-3 Pacers of the power-packed Delta League are as tough and entertaining as ever, boasting huge size advantages in line play and another corps of speedy, big-play backs and receivers.
Senior QB Cam Davis calls signals for the Pacers’ traditional run-dominated offense. Senior RB Tyree Marcelle leads the rushing attack with 1569 yards, 15 TD and better than eight yards per carry. Davis compliments the run game nicely, having thrown for better than 1300 yards and 10 TD, but has also been intercepted eight times. Davis also serves as Grant’s kicker and punter.
Perhaps the most dynamic of all the Pacers’ big-play performers is Lawrence Hardy. The senior WR/DB/KR is the area’s premiere kickoff and punt returner and poses a legitimate threat to go the distance on any return. Despite running pass routes against frequent double coverage, Hardy has gathered 10 touchdown receptions and averages 27 yards per grab.
Hardy is a force on defense as well, having collected 67 tackles, four interceptions and three fumble recoveries. Moreover, he has registered four additional touchdowns on a fumble return, an interception return, a punt return, and a kickoff return.
Coach Matt Ray’s 11-0 Antelope Titans of the equally rugged Capital Valley Conference are paced on offense by excellent yet underrated QB Nick Spagnola, whose glittering 135.6 quarterback rating is among the best in the entire CIF Sac-. Spagnola has completed 63% of his passes while tossing 12 TD passes without an interception.
Rivaling Hardy as one of the area’s premiere and most dynamic players is RB/DB/KR specialist, Elijah Dotson. The senior sensation has accounted for 2613 all-purpose yards and a breathtaking 29 TD. Wide receivers Garrett Chapman and Logan Paulson are excellent primary receivers.
Something’s got to give when these two powerhouses crash head-on, and football fans throughout the area are advised be glued to this bout.
Access Sacramento’s Game of the Week presented opening round D-2 playoff action with the Inderkum Tigers topping the Whitney Wildcats 47.
Announcers Will James and Jim Dimino cal the highlights:
By Will James
Hometown Sports Game-of-the-Week
To say that the Whitney Wildcats’ wide-open spread offense favors the passing attack is a gross understatement. And to imply the Inderkum Tigers’ vaunted Wing-T favors the running game is equally understated.
These contrasting styles are the focus in this week’s opening-round D-2 CIF Sac-Joaquin Section playoff game Thursday in Natomas where the 8th-seeded Inderkum Tigers play host to the 9th-seeded Whitney Wildcats on Access Sacramento‘s Hometown Sports Game of the Week.
This recorded telecast may be seen Friday, Nov. 11 at 7:00 p.m. on Comcast Cable channel 17, Consolidated Communications channel 17, and AT&T U-Verse channel 14. The game will be replayed Sat., Nov. 12 at 11:00 a.m. and Tues. Nov. 15 at 7:00 p.m. on the same channels. The game can also be viewed at these times from AccessSacramento.org
Thursday’s game will be streamed live on the NFHS Network Thursday at 6:50 p.m.
Paul Doherty’s 13th-ranked Wildcats (6-4) average just 110 yards rushing, but more than compensate with 308 passing yards per game to fuel a scoring average of 32 points. Junior QB’s Preston Eklund and Jake Cruz have combined for 35 touchdown passes, but have collectively thrown 12 interceptions. Wide receivers Justin Kraft, Mark Clark, Willie Brocchini, and David Owens have accounted for 144 receptions and 29 touchdowns. Clark and Jason Sanchez lead the ground game, totaling 768 yards and 6 TD.
Despite a passing average of just 86 yards per game, Terry Stark’s 8th-ranked Tigers counter with a superlative rushing attack that averages 283 yards and a scoring average of 37.6. Deo Robinson, Leevi Lafaele, and Lawrence Evans highlight a deep corps of backs with a combined 1539 yards and 18 touchdowns.
Led by linebackers Sateki Tupou, Logan Benoit, and Ryan Gatoloai-Faupula, the Tigers’ speedy defense has accounted for 13 sacks, while DBs Trajon Cotton and Davion Ross have combined for 13 interceptions for a defense that allows just 20 points per game.
For those who appreciate dazzling pass plays and dynamic runs, this match-up is sure to classify as a dynamite attraction.
By Will James
Hometown Sports Game of the Week
We have reached Week-10 of the regular season for high school football in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section and the Sacramento region. It’s a significant measurement marking a point in time when most teams have little or no hope of making the playoffs to extend their season.
But contending teams playing in elite leagues like the Sierra Foothill League, the Capital Valley Conference, and Delta League, relish the opportunity to validate their supremacy, particularly when championship ramifications are attached to the contest and the league title is on the line.
Such is the case in the imposing Sierra Foothill League. Three of the top-five ranked teams in the SJS — #1 Folsom, #2 Oak Ridge, and #4 Del Oro; the defending CIF D 2-AA State Champions, are bunched near the top of the rankings. Moreover, counting #14 Rocklin, four of the top-14 teams in the latest SJS top-20 rankings all reside in the Sierra Foothill League.
To help ensure that football fans in Sacramento County have an opportunity to see this gridiron battle, Access Sacramento will televise this highly anticipated duel on the Hometown Sports Game of the Week. This live telecast may be seen Fri. Nov. 4 beginning at 7:00 p.m. on Comcast Cable channel 17, Consolidated Communications channel 17, and AT&T U-Verse channel 14. The game will be re-played Sat. Nov. 5 at 11:00 a.m., and Tues. Nov. 8 at 7:00 p.m. on the same channels. The game will also be streamed on AccessSacramento.org, and the NFHS Network.
This marquee match-up will be presented at Folsom‘s Prairie City Stadium where attendance estimates range between eight thousand and eleven thousand. Based on the magnitude of its attraction, some local media reps have declared this colossal confrontation as the game of year.
Oak Ridge has won four SJS championships since 1998, but none under current head coach, Eric Cavaliere, whose teams have twice been defeated in the SJS title game in the past four years. In direct contrast, Folsom’s Kris Richardson has guided the Bulldogs to five SJS championships since 2010 including titles in each of the past thee seasons. Both teams enter play with identical 8-1, 5-0 records.
Oak Ridge quarterback Marco Baldacchino leads the Trojans’ balanced offense. The junior signal-caller has passed for 15 TD, rushed for 13 TD, and accounted for nearly 2000 yards in total offense. RB Michael Pittman adds an important dimension to the offense while rushing for more than 700 yards. A deep receiving corps featuring Truman Andrus, Cameron Stone, Austin Eastman, and Justin Poerio will pose a significant threat to the Folsom secondary.
On defense, the Trojans have accumulated 23 sacks and gathered 27 takeaways. Defensive linemen Parker Blomquist and Kyle Brown, and linebackers Andrus, Nate Otto, and Davis Lang have combined for nearly 400 tackles.
On the flip side, Folsom Sr. QB Joe Curry has run the Bulldogs’ offense masterfully. He’s passed for more than 2500 yards with 36 TDs and just 5 interceptions, and boasts a quarterback rating of 133.4. Davin Simmons and Brandon Rupchock headline the ground game which has produced 21 rushing touchdowns. Drake Stallworth, Erik Davis, and Joe Ngata lead a deep rotation of receivers who have combined for more than 2700 yards.
On defense the Bulldogs have registered 35 sacks, 6 interceptions, and 10 fumble recoveries. Brad Jenner, Shawn Johnson, Drew Holt, Tanner Ward, and Ezra Gulewich anchor a stingy defense that allows just 18 points per game.
The stadium will be packed Friday evening, to be sure. With this in mind, fans are encouraged to depart for the game extra-early and arrive at the stadium extra-early. Without an early arrival it seems unlikely that fans will have any success buying a ticket or finding a decent seat to occupy.
A key intangible element lies beneath the surface of this game, which marks the 14th meeting between the teams since 2004. Oak Ridge won the first three meetings. Since then, Folsom has won the next 10 straight meetings; an interesting fact that is sure to add another dimension of motivation for both teams.
Considering the respective locations of the schools situated at higher elevations in Folsom and El Dorado Hills, and their proximity to each other, it’s appropriate to describe this game as an epic battle to determine who’s the king of the hill.
The Sheldon Huskies defeated the Pleasant Grove Eagles 35-18 in Access Sacramento’s Hometown Sports Game of the Week Friday (Oct. 28, 2016).
Will James and Jim Dimino Call the highlights:
A full TV replay of the game may be seen on Sat. Oct. 29 at 11 a.m., Sun. Oct. 30 at 3 a.m., Tues.Nov. 1 at 7 p.m., Wed. Nov. 2 at 11 a.m. on Comcast or Consolidated Communications cable channel 17, AT&T U-Verse channel 14 or from AccessSacramento.org. The game is also Video on Demand from the NFHS Network.
Next week, Access Sacramento presents Oak Ridge at Folsom in a longtime rivalry game on Fri. Nov. 7 at 7:00 p.m.
Access Sacramento presented 10 original all-Sacramento films and a special youth film “Returning Andrew” on Sat. Oct. 8 at the historic Crest Theatre.
This was the 17th annual “A Place Called Sacramento” celebration of local area filmmaking talent.
More than 800 people attend this year’s festival to see the 11 world premiere short films all about Sacramento.
Audience members texted their votes for four specialty awards this year.
And the winners are:
Audience Favorite Film – Regrets
Best Performer in a Leading Role – Elizabeth “Bunny” Stewart from “Afternoon Delight”
Best Performer in a Supporting Role – Jesse Jones from “Happy Accidents”
Best Cinematography – Tim Walton from “Afternoon Delight”
In a vote of the 10 winning writers as a peer review decision for the Producer’s Choice award, there was a tie for “Happy Accidents” written by Nick Coleman and “Afternoon Delight” written by Danna Wilberg.
Other films making their world premiere showing include: “The Black Carnation: by J. Thomas Schuessler, “Capital Treasure” by John Maniaci, “City of Trees” by Eric Sanderson, “Coming Back” by Scott Slotterbeck, “Faster” by Chris Henry, “The Last Laugh” by Darrell Scheiddegger, and “A Neighborhood Lost – Sacramento’s Japantown” by Jeffrey Dym,
Thank you for all the community support and making this the best PCS yet! If you’d like to purchase a DVD copy of these 10 films, or to pre-order a copy of the full stage presentation and movies, please call the Access Sacramento office with a credit card at 916-456-8600 ext. 0
For a detailed list and description of the 10 films and other details, click HERE.
By Will James
Hometown Sports Game of the Week
The rapid development by new high schools into strong competitive programs continues to wrangle the balance of power among high school football teams.
There are more quality teams now ready to compete at a high level than ever before. As a result, the counter-punching in the power leagues like the Delta League, Sierra Foothill League, and Capital Valley Conference is intense when nearly every league opponent is considered a heavyweight threat, and the prospect of sustaining an undefeated record has been too difficult for all but one upper division school in the Sacramento region.
Only Antelope has managed to maintain an undefeated record eight weeks into the season, and four weeks into league play. This impressive stature represents a daunting challenge for Del Campo Head Coach, Mike Dimino, whose Cougars visit Antelope where these Capital Valley Conference rivals take center stage for another battle on Access Sacramento‘s Hometown Sports Game of the Week.
This live telecast may be seen Fri. Oct. 21 at 7:00 p.m. on Comcast Cable channel 17, Consolidated Communications channel 17, and AT&T U-Verse channel 14. The game will be re-played on the same channels Sat. Oct. 22 at 11:00 a.m. and Tues., Oct. 25 at 7:00 p.m. The game will also be streamed on AccessSacramento.org and the NFHS Network.
Rarely in his 13 seasons guiding Del Campo has Dimino’s squad not been entrenched among the upper echelon teams who regularly occupy a spot in the weekly rankings. With an uncharacteristic 3-4 overall record, and 1-3 in the CVC, the Cougars enter play as a definite underdog, but loom as a serious spoiler in the top-heavy CVC that has four teams installed in this week’s Top-20 rankings.
The Cougars are led by Junior QB Tyler Dimino who has recovered from an early season injury and is now running the DC controls at full capacity. His passing efficiency has dramatically escalated in recent weeks, having thrown for six TDs in his last two starts.
His top targets continue to be WRs Ignasio Salsedo and David Joseph, who teamed with Dimino on a 90-yard touchdown connection. Speedy RB Greg Cabral spearheads the ground game and remains among the top rushing leaders in the area. On the other side of the line, hard-hitting LB Ish Cisneros anchors a scrappy, swarming defense.
Thus far, Matt Ray‘s 7th-ranked Titans have handled every challenge successfully, including last week’s 35-34 scare from #17 Cosumnes Oaks. The Titans are formidable. The defending CVC champions ran the table last season with a clean 7-0 record, outslugging other CVC heavyweights Cosumnes Oaks, Del Campo, and Whitney. They appear to be headed in the same direction.
The Montel Aaron era has passed. Senior QB Nick Spagnola has taken the wheel and is leading the Titans’ beautifully, having thrown for better than 1,200 yards and 10 TDs with no interceptions. Wide receivers Garrett Chapman and Logan Paulson are excellent primary receivers, and Senior RB Elijah Dotson is having another stellar year. As a running back/receiver/returner, he’s accounted for 21 TDs.
Dotson also starts at cornerback, accounting for 18 tackles and two interceptions. Chapman, and linbackers Nick Horsley and Viliami Botts also lead a solid defense that has collected 12 takeaways and 13 sacks.
It will take a strong finish for Antelope to run the table again. The Titans will have to withstand a bumpy CVC stretch run that includes a visit to 6-1 Whitney in the regular season finale. But the attraction at hand is the intriguing match-up on Game of the Week.
The competitive quality of the Cougars-Titans rivalry continues to escalate and has produced some excellent recent battles. Del Campo and Antelope have met on three previous occasions. All three games have been tight and intense, with two of them being decided in the final minute. Antelope won all three games; 14-7, 24-14, and 27-20.
The Titans are also playing with home field advantage. And they’re celebrating Antelope’s Homecoming this week where Game of the Week features a hot CVC match-up that promises a jackpot of high class high school football.
by Will James
Hometown Sports Game-of-the-Week
The rich get richer and the strong get stronger; a phrase that characterizes the outcome of the Sac-Joaquin Section’s consolidation and league re-alignment beginning in 2014, that ensured the prominence of an elite league that rivals the image of invincibility worn by the Sierra Foothill League for the past 15 years.
A prime example of conferences that benefited most from the re-alignment is the Delta League. Following the merger between the already powerful Delta River League and the Delta Valley League, the result is an imposing collection of 8-teams, six of which are currently ranked among the 16 teams in the area.
Two of these stellar squads are the focal points on Access Sacramento’s sports coverage this week when the 5th-ranked Grant Pacers travel to Elk Grove where they’ll engage the 10-rated Monterey Trail Mustangs, Friday evening, October 14th at 7:00 pm on the Hometown Sports Game-of-the-Week.
The live telecast of this intense Delta League match-up may be seen on Comcast Cable channel 17, Consolidated Comunications channel 17, and on AT&T U-Verse channel 14. The game will re-played Saturday, October 15th at 11:00 am and Tuesday, October 18th at 7:00 pm on the same channels. The game will also be streamed on accesssacramento.org and the NFHS Network.
The overall strength of the Delta League is more than impressive. Grant (2-1, 5-1) and Monterey Trail (2-1, 5-1) are two of the five teams currently tied with Elk Grove, Jesuit, and Davis for first place in the Delta League, and represent two of the six teams presently ranked among the top-16 teams in the area.
Mike Alberghini’s Pacers are as tough, and entertaining as ever, boasting huge advantages in line play, and another corps of speedy, big-play backs and receivers.
Senior QB Cam Davis calls signals for the Pacers’ traditional run-dominated offense. Senior RB Tyree Marcelle leads the rushing attack, averaging better than nine yards per carry with 8 TD. Davis has complimented the running game and balanced the offense, passing for more than 600 yards and connecting on 7 TD passes but has thrown 4 interceptions. Davis also serves as Grant’s kicker and punter.
Standout WR/DB Lawrence Hardy has been a special force for the Pacers on both sides of the football. He averages nearly 30 yards per catch and has 7 TD receptions. Hardy is perhaps the premiere kickoff and punt returners in the area, and poses a serious threat to go the distance on any return.
On defense, Hardy is equally dynamic and ranks among the elite in thievery. In six games he has registered 4 interceptions and 2 fumble recoveries to compliment nearly 40 tackles.
Hardy has plenty of help. The Pacers’ rampaging defense is fortified by a hard hitting brigade of linebackers including Uasilaa Malimali, Angel Novey, Sauimoana Sotoa, Villiami Niupalau, James Fotofili, and Tre Banks. This relentless group has accounted for 16 sacks and more than 250 tackles.
T.J. Ewing’s Mustangs are playing excellent football, fueled by a deceptive, often explosive Veer offense and a stingy, opportunistic defense.
Versatile senior QB Robert Holt is a proven leader and double threat who engineers the Veer with precision as a big-play running back and a competent passer with 50% accuracy. Holt has thrown for nearly 500 yards with 7 TD and just one interception, and holds a QB rating of 113.
In addition to Holt, the Mustangs have solid depth at the running back position, with Aztlan Lopez, Jehiel Budgett, Pedro Pantoja, and Sam Williams sharing a balanced load and collectively producing more than 1000 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns.
On defense, the Mustangs have accumulated 8 sacks and 16 takeaways. Senior RB/DB standout, Bishop Brown, has been a dynamic game-breaker for the Mustangs. Brown is Holt’s favorite target, averaging 23 yards per reception and 5 TD.
On defense, Brown and Holt patrol the secondary with extreme efficiency, having combined for seven interceptions. The Mustangs also possesses a deep linebacking corps. Pedro Pantoja, Aztlan Lopez, Diego Rodriguez, Sam Williams, and Holt, along with DL anchors Wayne Doroen and William Madsen are quality run-stoppers.
Be advised, the area around Monterey Trail’s Mark Macres Stadium Friday afternoon will be heavily congested with fans en route to this premium game. Better leave early for the stadium.