Tonight, one El Dorado County high school football team has a chance to clinch an outright league title, another a shot at a tri-championship while another is battling for its playoff life.
On the schedule for the final week of the regular season, Golden Sierra hosts San Juan in a Sierra Delta League matchup; Oak Ridge entertains Jesuit in the Delta River League game; and Ponderosa travels to Sacramento to play Sheldon in a must-win for the Bruins.
In the Sierra Valley Conference, Union Mine welcomes Vista del Lago and El Dorado plays at Galt.
San Juan (3-6, 0-5) at Golden Sierra (6-3, 5-0)
Plain and simple, a win gives Golden Sierra an outright league title.
“We are very excited,” Golden Sierra head coach John Hilton said. “The seniors get their final home game in which we honor them and their family. The kids have remained very focused, staying the course on what we are trying to accomplish.”
The Grizzlies and the Spartans are averaging nearly 200 yards on the ground each per game.
“San Juan brings a lot of speed,” Hilton said.
Golden Sierra is expected to host a Sac-Joaquin Section Division V playoff game. Six schools advance, but the top two schools earn first-round byes. The Grizzlies are battling Ripon Christian and Waterford for the No. 2 seed, as LeGrand appears to have locked up the No. 1 seed. The three schools are in the Southern League.
“I think we have a great shot of a first-round bye,” Hilton said. “But until I see (brackets that the section will post on its Website, cifsjs.org, on Saturday) we just have to focus on San Juan.”
Jesuit (5-4, 1-3) at Oak Ridge (8-1, 3-1)
A Trojans win and Pleasant Grove victory over Folsom means Oak Ridge, Pleasant Grove and Folsom share of the Delta River League title. But Oak Ridge head coach Eric Cavaliere said his team is focused on stopping the Marauders’ Veer offense led by quarterback Thomas Sperbeck.
“Jesuit is a team that has improved a ton since the beginning of the season,” Cavaliere said. “Jesuit has one of the best players in our entire area.”
As for the Marauders’ defense, Cavaliere notes, ”If you are a run team, they will put nine players within four yards of the line of scrimmage. If you are a pass team, they will put more defensive backs on the field and play a man under two-deep zone.”
An Oak Ridge victory strengthens its chances to host a D-I first-round playoff game. Tonight’s focus is also on Troy’s seniors who will play their last regular season home game.
“We will do everything we can to honor our seniors in the best possible way; play our best game,” Cavaliere said.
Ponderosa (5-4, 1-3) at Sheldon (3-6, 0-4)
Bruins head coach Jason Tenner said a win over the Huskies would “earn the right to play in Week 11″ when the section’s D-II playoffs begin.
“Our program is excited and hungry for another win,” Tenner said. “Sheldon is an athletic team that is capable of big plays at any time. If we take care of Sheldon, then I’ll be more than happy to come to work on Saturday.”
A Ponderosa win gives earns the Bruins an at-large Sac-Joaquin Section playoff berth.
The Diamondbacks have won their last two games against intra county and conference rival El Dorado, and Galt. Can Union Mine upset Vista to end its season with a three-game winning streak? D’back running back Sean Tow has already rushed for 1,062 yards.
El Dorado (2-7, 0-5) at Galt (0-9, 0-5)
Will the Cougars leave Erv Hatzenbuhler Field with their first and only conference win of the season? El Dorado will face a young but enthusiastic Galt Warriors squad.
Contact Mike Bush at 530-344-5079 or email@example.com. Follow @MBushMtDemo on Twitter.