PREP FOOTBALL: Plenty to be decided in final week
The final Friday of the high school football regular season is here and there is still plenty to be decided.
Both the Pioneer Valley League and Sierra Foothill League will have de-facto championship games and plenty of teams with playoff hopes will be fighting for the right to keep playing.
In the PVL, a league in which five of its six teams will finish above .500 for the season, it all comes down to today’s matchup between the Placer Hillmen (8-1, 4-0 PVL) and Lincoln Zebras (8-1, 4-0 PVL).
The Hillmen and Zebras shared the league title a season ago, but this season only one team will sit atop the standings when the dust settles.
Placer will host the game and comes into the contest on a seven-game win streak and averaging 291.9 yards on the ground to go with another 141.1 yards through the air. They are led by a trio of running backs in Mario Perez (904 rush yards, nine rush touchdowns), Marshall Chapman (666 rush yards, 11 total touchdowns) and Anthony Kerrigan (478 rush yards, eight total touchdowns). As a team, the Hillmen are averaging 38.2 points per game.
Lincoln also comes into the game on a seven-game win streak. The Zebras are averaging 37 points per game behind talented junior quarterback Tommy Turner (2,126 pass yards, 27 touchdowns, five interceptions) and senior receiver James Sweet (72 catches, 1,150 yards, 19 total touchdowns).
Over in the SFL, two of Northern California’s top teams will duke it out for the league title as Oak Ridge (9-0, 5-0 SFL) hosts three-time defending league champ Folsom (9-0, 5-0 SFL).
Last season, the Bulldogs edged the Trojans, 17-16, to win the league championship. Both teams are led by their dynamic quarterbacks. Oak Ridge leans on senior Marco Baldacchino (1,692 passing yards, 13 touchdowns, three interceptions, 728 rush yards, 12 touchdowns) and Folsom relies heavily on junior quarterback Kaiden Bennett (2,275 pass yards, 31 touchdowns, eight interceptions, 567 rush yards). As a team, the Bulldogs average 46.2 points per game this season and allow just 14.5 per game. The Trojans have allowed just 12.3 points per game this season while putting up 34 per game.
ON THE BUBBLE
Placer and Lincoln are already assured spots in the playoffs, and Center is likely to get in as well, but there are still two other PVL teams looking to punch their playoff tickets.
Colfax (6-3, 1-3 PVL) needs a home win over Foothill (1-8, 0-4 PVL) to clinch a playoff berth, and Bear River (6-3, 1-3 PVL) must beat Center (5-4, 2-2 PVL) to get in.
In the SFL, four teams have clinched playoff spots with Folsom, Oak Ridge, Granite Bay and Rocklin already doing enough to get in. Del Oro (4-5, 1-4 SFL) needs a road win over Woodcreek (2-7, 1-4 SFL) to be playoff eligible.
All stats and records courtesy of MaxPreps.com.
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