GOTWlogo_pngBy Will James
Access Sacramento
Home Town Sports

Heavy drama is rapidly developing in the power-laden Delta River League, where Access Sacramento is focused on contending teams charging down the home stretch of the regular season; including Friday’s key Jesuit vs. Sheldon match-up on the Home Town Sports Game-of-the-Week as part of the frantic dash toward the upcoming Sac-Joaquin Section Football Playoffs.

The broadcast begins at 7 p.m. On Access Sacramento, Comcast / SureWest Cable Ch. 17 and AT&T U-Verse Ch. 99.  It’s streamed live on the web from Push Watch 17.

The current CIF playoff structure automatically awards two playoff berths to each conference, then disperses 24 additional at-large berths based on team records and strength of schedules.  This puts teams in the powerful Delta River League in a major bind.

Four of the top 11 teams in the latest “Dimino’s Dozen” high school football rankings — #1 Folsom, #2 Pleasant Grove, #5 Oak Ridge, and #11 Jesuit — all play in the Delta River League.

The two automatic bids will be awarded to Folsom and Pleasant Grove, which remain undefeated, tied for the top spot, and destined to meet in a dramatic #1 vs. #2 confrontation in Week-10 to determine the DRL championship.  5th-ranked Oak Ridge and #11 Jesuit remain in the hunt for an at-large berth.

As a result, visiting Jesuit (1-2, 6-2) is in a must-win situation to enhance the attraction at-large consideration.  Despite last week’s tough 28-23 loss to Pleasant Grove, Marlon Blanton‘s Marauders remain a top-notch ball club.  QB Jason Elenberger is a versatile run/pass playmaker, and RBs Ben Parietti and Beau Bisharat lead a potent ground attack.

Sheldon may have other ideas. Herbie Berry‘s upset-minded Huskies (0-3, 3-5) have run the brutal DRL gauntlet against the best teams in the area. They are not in the playoff hunt and have no pressure on them as do the Marauders. Moreover, the Huskies have firepower that commands respect. QB Nolan Merker has passed for 25 touchdowns and more than 2000 yards for an offense that averages 30 points per game.

The Marauders should not consider this road trip to South Sacramento a joy ride to face the last place Huskies.  There’s liable to be some bumps in the road along the way. Home field advantage to Sheldon, where the underdog Huskies are preparing a special reception for Jesuit.