Two of the five county teams tangle to highlight Week 9 action tonight. El Dorado travels to Union Mine for the annual Nugget Game; Oak Ridge hosts Pleasant Grove; Encina is at Golden Sierra and Ponderosa plays at Folsom.
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Each area home game is Senior Night.
El Dorado at Union Mine
The Cougars (1-2 Sierra Valley Conference, 4-4) and Diamondbacks (1-3, 1-7) share mutual respect.
“As in any rivalry game, records aren’t always a good barometer of how the game will go,” Union Mine coach Dave Johnson said.
El Dorado coach Joe Volek, who coached in Union Mine’s program in the early 2000s, added, “Dave is one of the best football coaches in the section. He always has his teams ready to play. (Tonight) will be no different. Union Mine executes very well, they hit you in the mouth and play all four quarters.”
The Cougars’ defense will face the D’backs’ rushing game of Austin Rigsby, Jake Horn and Nate Brown.
Union Mine’s defense will be tested by El Dorado quarterback Nick Bonniksen, running back Logan Kirby (162 carries for 1,088 yards) and wide receiver Zach Culp.
If El Dorado wants to get a step closer toward a Sac-Joaquin Section playoff berth, its offense must dominate from start to finish. For Union Mine, its offense must carry over the momentum from last week’s win over Galt.
Since 2000, Union Mine leads the series 11-2.
Pleasant Grove at Oak Ridge
The Trojans (2-1, 7-1) are facing the Eagles (3-0, 8-0) in an inportant game for both..
An Oak Ridge win keeps it in the hunt for a league title as Pleasant Grove still has to play Folsom.
The Oak Ridge offense, averaging 337 yards will be key in this one.
Encina at Golden Sierra
The Grizzlies (3-5, 3-1) must focused on its last two regular season games before thinking playoffs. Golden Sierra will face an athletic Encina (3-5, 1-3) squad and must take charge early on offense.
Quarterback Daniel Lesher leads the Grizzlies’ offense, along with running backs Brian Cann, Cameron Stephens, Jeff Klahn and Brenden Nutt. Sam Steward, Austin Burrows and Cann lead the defense.
Ponderosa at Folsom
The Bruins (4-4, 0-3) are still looking for their first Delta River League win and it’ll be an uphill climb tonight against one of the state’s top teams in the Bulldogs (8-0, 3-0). But that’s true for just about any other team as well.
Contact Mike Bush at 530-344-5079 or [email protected] Follow @MBushMtDemo on Twitter.