Four of the five El Dorado County high school football teams play in front of their respective home crowds tonight.
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Oak Ridge will host Rocklin in the last time they face off as nonleague opponents. El Dorado plays its second consecutive home game against Division I Tokay; Union Mine plays its first home game of the season when Bear River pays a visit and Golden Sierra entertains Argonaut.
Ponderosa travels to Valley, which plays its home games at Cosumnes River College in Elk Grove.
Rocklin (0-1) at Oak Ridge (1-0)
Trojans head coach Eric Cavaliere feels tonight’s game against the Thunder will be a “physical intensity” contest.
“Rocklin is a very tough physical team, and we need to show that we can play at that level to be successful,” Cavaliere said. “They return one of NorCal’s top quarterbacks in Logan Webb, so they are well equipped to throw the ball.”
The Thunder can also run the ball; Rocklin had 39 carries for 138 yards against the Eagles. The Trojans’ defense will be up to another test to slow down a balanced offense.
“Their offensive line is very aggressive and well-coached and their backs are north/south runners and will put a smack on you if you are not in position to make a tackle,” Cavaliere said.
Oak Ridge’s offense, which racked up 421 total offensive yards in its 38-0 season opening win over Vista del Lago, will be tested against Rocklin’s defense.
“They are very aggressive and rally to the ball well,” Cavaliere said. “They are a typical Rocklin team in that every player puts forth a full effort on every play.”
Trojan quarterback Ian Book, receiver Justin Priest, all-purpose Jacob Sipes and linebacker Thomas Mahlman had big games last week and should be factors again tonight.
Next year, Oak Ridge joins the Sierra Foothill League in which Rocklin is a member.
The game will also be the second annual “Tackle Hunger” in El Dorado County.
This one has the potential to be a high or low-scoring game and should be decided in the second half.
Tokay (1-0) at El Dorado (1-0)
One thing is certain about tonight’s game: El Dorado or Tokay will lose their first game of the season.
The Cougars’ offense piled up 557 yards, including 456 on the ground in their 64-12 win over South Tahoe in the season opener. El Dorado running back Logan Kirby had 19 carries for 155 yards and quarterback/running back Bradley Schmidt had 7 carries for 104 yards.
El Dorado will face a Tokay squad that strives on its defense as it posted a 14-0 win over Bear Creek of Stockton.
A good early test for the Cougars who must make a statement against the much-bigger Tigers who won last year’s matchup in Lodi.
Bear River (0-0) at Union Mine (0-1)
Union Mine had 58 total yards, all on the ground, in its 49-6 loss to El Camino in the season opener. D’back running back Austin Rigby rushed 13 times for 34 yards in the team’s loss.
Union Mine hopes playing on it’s own turf will be the difference.
The D’backs’ running game, playing in front of the home crowd, is hoping to pick up against the Bruins.
Argonaut (1-0) at Golden Sierra (0-1)
In its home and season opener, Golden Sierra was shut out by Capital Christian, 48-0 in which it had 96 total offensive yards. Grizzly quarterback Daniel Lusher had 6 carries for 34 yards.
Now the Grizzlies face the Mustangs who scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to beat Colfax, 28-20, in the season opener. Turnovers cost Golden Sierra last week so expect the Grizzlies to make adjustments and come out fired up for their second consecutive home game.
Tonight’s game, along with the rest of the Golden Sierra football home/away games this season, will be live on the radio. KFOK-FM, 95.1, will broadcast the games. The games can also be heard online at kfok.org.
Ponderosa (1-0) at Valley (0-0)
Ponderosa goes after its second consecutive win of the season. In the season opener, Ponderosa pounced Natomas, 60-6, in which the Bruins had 211 total offensive yards, 154 on the ground, and held the Nighthawks to 40. Bruin running back Austin Tibbs led the rushing game with 9 carries for 52 yards.
The Bruins anticipate facing an improved Viking team that’s hungry for their home and season opener. If the Bruins can get off to a fast start like they did against the Nighthawks, the bus ride home back to Shingle Springs should be an enjoyable one.
Contact Mike Bush at 530-344-5079 or [email protected] Follow @MBushMtDemo on Twitter.