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Folsom is top dog in brutal SFL

Folsom quarterback Jake Browning throws a pass against Nevada Union during a game earlier this season at Hooper Stadium.
John Hart/jhart@theunion.com | The Union

As the final two weeks of the prep football regular season unfold, the Miners get a much deserved bye this Friday following a daunting five weeks of Sierra Foothill League brutality.

The Miners watched a 3-1 record deteriorate to a 3-6 record after a month of league play and now sit in the SFL basement at 0-5 in league play.

With the Miners anchoring the league, and Folsom emerging as a heavy favorite to win the SFL crown, teams like Granite Bay, Oak Ridge, Rocklin, and Woodcreek are left to battle it out for the remaining two playoff spots that are allotted to the SFL.



Here’s a breakdown of the SFL teams:




Folsom (8-0, 4-0 SFL)

SFL rank: 1

PPG: 55.6

PPG allowed: 9.5

Next up: Oak Ridge

It didn’t take long for Folsom to get comfortable at the top of the league. In the Bulldogs first season as a member of the SFL they have already thrashed the reigning SFL champion in Del Oro (42-7), destroyed the 2012 SFL champion in Granite Bay (63-0) and last week dispatched a previously unbeaten Rocklin team (56-21).

The Bulldogs have the league’s best offense and defense, and one of the best quarterback’s in the history of California in Jake Browning. The 6-foot, 2-inch Browning holds more than 10 state records including most touchdowns in a season (75), the most touchdowns in a career (185), the most passing yards in a season (5,737) and the most passing yards in a career (13,986). This season Browning is maintaining his improbable pace with 3,001 yards passing and 47 touchdowns to just four interceptions.

Not only are the Bulldogs at the top of the SFL standings, they are ranked No. 1 in the state and No. 3 in the nation by MaxPreps.com.

Rocklin (7-1, 3-1 SFL)

SFL rank: T-2

PPG: 39.3

PPG allowed: 17.8

Next up: Granite Bay

The Thunder had their first set back of the season, a blowout loss to Folsom. Rocklin is still in prime position to take second place in the league if they can get past Granite Bay this week. The Thunder lost their star quarterback Max O’Rourke (1,429 passing yards, 14 touchdowns, one interception) in the Del Oro game Oct. 10, but junior quarterback William Floyd has filled in nicely (380 passing yards, five touchdowns. Rocklin’s keys to success this season has been their defense. If you take away the 56 points Folsom scored on them, the Thunder are yielding just 12.4 points per game.

Rocklin is ranked No. 24 in the state by MaxPreps.com.

Granite Bay (6-2, 3-1 SFL)

SFL rank: T-2

PPG: 28.1

PPG allowed: 16.5

Next up: Rocklin

The Grizzlies have been up and down this season but, like most years, they are in the playoff hunt.

Granite Bay opened the season with a 2-2 record, but have reeled off four convincing wins. The Grizzlies have USC commit Cameron Smith (83 tackles, four interceptions, two forced fumbles) at linebacker leading the defense and a myriad of speedy backs leading the offense. Granite Bay has been able to shake off a 63-0 loss to Folsom to open league play, and has since gone 3-0 in league games, winning by a combined margin of 123-24.

Granite Bay is ranked No. 33 in the state by MaxPreps.com.

Del Oro (3-5, 2-2 SFL)

SFL rank: 4

PPG: 19.5

PPG allowed: 26.8

Next up: Woodcreek

Del Oro just might be the best 3-5 team in the state. After taking it on the chin in the preseason with losses to Kamehameha (Honolulu), Helix (La Mesa), and De La Salle, the Golden Eagles have scratched out a 2-2 record in the SFL with their only losses coming against Rocklin (18-15) and Folsom (42-7). Del Oro’s consistent threat all season has been wide out Trey Udoffia. The electric junior has 41 receptions this season for 773 yards and nine touchdowns. Udoffia has topped the 100-yard mark in five of the Golden Eagles eight games.

Del Oro is ranked No. 58 in the state according to MaxPreps.com.

Oak Ridge (5-4, 2-3 SFL)

SFL rank: 5

PPG: 27.6

PPG allowed: 30

Next up: Folsom

The Trojans eked out a win against NU last week, and have found the SFL much tougher than the Delta River League from which they came. Oak Ridge has suffered losses to Del Oro, Granite Bay and Rocklin in league play. The Trojans only two wins in league are over the two worst teams, NU and Woodcreek. The Trojans have several threats on offense with quarterback Ian Book (1,854 pass yards, 18 pass touchdowns), tight end Ryan Sullivan (28 receptions, 343 receiving yards, five touchdowns) and running back Andrew Lackowski (727 rushing yards, 11 total touchdowns). Where Oak Ridge struggles is on defense, allowing 34.6 points per game against league opponents.

Woodcreek (5-3, 1-3 SFL)

SFL rank: 6

PPG: 24

PPG allowed: 20.3

Next up: Del Oro

After going 4-0 in the preseason, Woodcreek has struggled to a 1-3 record since. The Timberwolves lone league win came against NU, a 42-12 victory.

The Timberwolves have lost lopsided games to Oak Ridge, Rocklin and Granite Bay. Woodcreek is led by their explosive wide receivers Malcolm Thomas (41 receptions, 845 receiving yards, eight touchdowns) and Lenny Nelson (30 receptions, 431 yards, three touchdowns).

Nevada Union

(3-6, 0-5 SFL)

SFL rank: 7

PPG: 20.3

PPG allowed: 34.7

Next up: Bye

The Miners have been blown out in all but one league game this season, getting outscored 217-53 by league opponents. They did show growth as a team last week, pushing Oak Ridge to the brink, but the Miners eventually fell, 24-21. NU has been led all season by their running back duo of Mo Nieves and Travis Owens. Nieves leads the SFL with 1,034 rush yards and Owens is second in the league with 904. Nieves also leads all rushers with 15 rushing touchdowns. The 5-foot, 8-inch Nieves has topped 100-yards in six of NU’s nine games this season and scored a touchdown in all but one game this season.

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email wford@theunion.com.


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