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Football preview: End of the line for some after tonight

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EL DORADO coach Joe Volek and the Cougars should lock up a postseason spot with a victory over Galt tonight. Photo by Jill Campbell

By
From page A9 | November 08, 2013 |

Week No. 10 has arrived for the five El Dorado County high school football teams. Tonight marks the end of the road for some and playoff implications for others.

Golden Sierra plays at San Juan; El Dorado and Ponderosa hold their Senior Nights with the Cougars hosting Galt and the Bruins entertaining Sheldon; Union Mine plays at Vista del Lago and Oak Ridge closes out its regular season in a Saturday afternoon game at Jesuit.

Golden Sierra at San Juan

The Grizzlies (4-1 Sierra Delta League, 4-5 overall) can clinch second place with a win over the Spartans (0-5, 3-6).

“We have been using this week of practice to focus on ourselves and get better at the little things,” Golden Sierra head coach John Hilton said. “San Juan has struggled, but this makes them dangerous because they have nothing to lose and will try things we might not be ready for from what we see on film.”
In recent weeks, the Grizzlies’ running game has progressed and is peaking at the right time.
“Our offensive line is starting to gel and with the addition of Brenden Nutt (from the frosh/soph team),  our backfield is much stronger,” Hilton said. “We want to come out Friday and take control of the game immediately and get out injury free.”
Leading the offense, which is averaging nearly 200 rushing yards per game, are quarterback Daniel Lesher and running backs Brian Cann, Cameron Stephens, Jeff Klahn and Nutt.
The Grizzlies must strike early and often against the Spartans in order to win.
A Griz victory secures a Sac-Joaquin Section playoff berth. The playoff pairings are expected to be released on the section’s Website late Saturday.
Galt at El Dorado

If El Dorado (3-2 Sierra Valley Conference, 5-4) beats Galt (0-5, 1-8) in the conference and home finale, the Cougars should qualify for a playoff berth.

When the season started, El Dorado head coach Joe Volek stated that one of his team’s goals was to reach the postseason.

If the Cougars’ offense, led by quarterback Nick Bonniksen, gets off to a fast start against the Warriors’ defense, that playoff berth that the program hasn’t tasted since 1987 will come true.

Union Mine at Vista del Lago

The Diamondbacks (1-4 Sierra Valley Conference, 1-8) have picked up their scoring over the last several  conference games and will need to maintain that tonight for a chance to win.

The offense is led by quarterback Brody Pearman (65-of-114, 707 yards) and running backs Tyler Parker, Matt Cathey, Jake Horn and Austin Rigsby.

Union Mine is playing an Eagles squad (3-2, 6-3) headed to the playoffs but the D’backs could give Vista a lower seed if they pull off an upset.

Sheldon at Ponderosa

One thing is certain about tonight’s game between the host Bruins (0-4 Delta River League, 4-5) and the Huskies (0-4, 3-6): one team walks off the Simon-Bruin Stadium turf with its first and only league win of the season.

This is also the last Delta River League game for the Ponderosa football team. Next year, the Bruins and their entire athletic program return to Division II as members of the Capital Valley Conference.

Ponderosa has been shut out in its last three games. Last year’s matchup between these two was an epic shootout that wasn’t decided until the fourth quarter. The Bruins know they can score against the Huskies and have to show it tonight.

Oak Ridge at Jesuit

The Trojans (3-1 Delta River League, 8-1) can win a share of the league title should Pleasant Grove (3-1, 8-1) ground Folsom (4-0, 9-0) tonight and Oak Ridge defeats the Marauders Saturday — thus creating a three-way tie at the top.

No matter what, expect Oak Ridge to be fired up. Trojan head coach Eric Cavaliere said his squad played their “best game of the season” against Pleasant Grove last week when Oak Ridge gave the Eagles their first loss.

“We are getting better each week,” Cavaliere said last Friday.

Oak Ridge’s defense will face a Jesuit offense averaging 35 points per game in league. On the flip side, the Marauders have to slow down a Trojan offense led by quarterback Ian Book and a large cast of running backs, tight ends and receivers averaging 31 points each week.

“Jesuit’s offense really puts some pressure on you with their scheme,” Cavaliere said. “We must play assignment football. They are also very talented at the quarterback and running back positions.”

If Oak Ridge comes out with a similar attack against Jesuit as it did against Pleasant Grove, Troy wins this one and obtains a high seed for the playoffs.

Kickoff is at noon.

Contact Mike Bush at 530-344-5079 or mbush@mtdemocrat.net. Follow @MBushMtDemo on Twitter. 

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Mike Bush

Mike Bush has been a Staff Writer at the Mountain Democrat since August 2011. Follow him on Twitter @MBushMtDemo
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