Week 8 prep football previews and predictions: Colfax wins majority of picks to beat Bear River

By: Mike Ray of the Auburn Journal
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Mike Ray’s picks: (15-5 last week, 105-44 overall, 59-25 preps, 25-10 college, 21-9 pro)

Colfax 26, Bear River 22

Placer 37, Foothill 22

Lincoln 34, Center 27

Del Oro 28, Oak Ridge 26

Nevada Union 33, Granite Bay 30

Rocklin 24, Woodcreek 17

Foresthill 27, Delta 26

Bradshaw Christian 40, Golden Sierra 20

Cal 45, Oregon 40

Alabama 33, Texas A&M 21

UCLA 24, Utah 21

Mississippi 41, LSU 17

Stanford 27, Colorado 20

Sierra 33, Feather River 32

49ers 23, Tampa Bay 20

Raiders 33, Jaguars 19

Giants 21, Rams 20

Patriots 20, Steelers 10

Cardinals 16, Seahawks 14

Eagles 17, Vikings 10

Pete Dufour’s picks: (11-10 last week, 96-53 overall, 54-30 preps, 22-13 college, 20-10 pro)

Colfax 28, Bear River 21

Placer 35, Foothill 21

Lincoln 21, Center 20

Del Oro 35, Oak Ridge 14

Nevada Union 21, Granite Bay 20

Rocklin 35, Woodcreek 20

Delta 28, Foresthill 14

Bradshaw Christian 40, Golden Sierra 7

Cal 35, Oregon 33

Alabama 35, Texas A&M 24

UCLA 38, Utah 37

LSU 32, Mississipi 28

Stanford 31, Colorado 28

Sierra 28, Feather River 24

49ers 24, Tampa Bay 20

Raiders 31, Jaguars 28

Giants 34, Rams 28

Pats 33, Steelers 27

Seahawks 28, Cardinals 21

Eagles 35, Vikings 34

Ike Dodson’s picks: (12-8 last week, 95-54 overall, 62-22 preps, 20-15 college, 13-17 pro)

Bear River 28, Colfax 18

Placer 40, Foothill 20

Lincoln 32 Center 21

Del Oro 32, Oak Ridge 28

Granite Bay 28, Nevada Union 21

Rocklin 35, Woodcreek 14

Delta 21, Foresthill 20

Bradshaw Christian 35, Golden Sierra 10

Cal 55, Oregon 45

Alabama 35, Texas A&M 10

UCLA 28, Utah 17

Mississippi 35, LSU 21

Stanford 32, Colorado 21

Sierra College 45, Feather River 28

49ers 28, Buccaneers 17

Raiders 29, Jaguars 29

Giants 28, Rams 17

Patriots 35, Steelers 17

Seahawks 32, Cardinals 21

Eagles 21, Vikings 20

With the high school football season heading into the stretch run of the regular campaign, you can bet there will be plenty of postseason intrigue tonight for foothills grid squads trying to set their sights on gaining playoff berths.

In Auburn, Placer (3-4, 2-0) can cinch one of the three Pioneer Valley League’s automatic playoff berths tonight when the Hillmen play its homecoming game against Foothill (1-6, 0-2).

Staying with the PVL, in Colfax, both Colfax (5-2, 1-1) and Bear River (3-4, 1-1) collide in another game that has playoff implications. The Falcons can reach the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section’s six-win at-large berth level with a victory while the Bruins, with a win, would position themselves for a shot at one of the PVL’s three automatic berths.

In Loomis, meanwhile, Del Oro (7-1, 3-1) can pick up some CIF style points for playoff seeding if the Golden Eagles can get past Oak Ridge. However, that may be easier said than done. The Trojans (6-1, 3-0) come to Eagle Stadium with their own postseason thoughts and are trying to keep pace with Sierra Foothill League-leading Folsom.

Foresthill (3-4, 1-0) heads to Clarksburg to tackle Delta’s Saints (2-6, 1-1). This matchup could go a long way in determining one of the Sacramento Metropolitan Athletic League’s two berths to the section’s Division VII playoffs.

Here’s a look at tonight’s games:

Bear River (3-4, 1-1) at Colfax (5-2, 1-1), 7:30 p.m.

The Falcons host the Bruins in a pairing of respective teams that each need to stay on the win trail to keep playoff aspirations alive.

“The bottom line is that if we want to get to the playoffs we need to win this one,” Bear River co-coach Terry Logue said. “Its plain and simple.”

Tonight’s game will be the 30th meeting between the cross-river rivals. The series began in 1986 with Colfax, despite losing its last three meetings to the Bruins, holding a 15-14 edge.

“They’re a typical well-coached Bear River team,” said Colfax coach Tony Martello, who as a coach is 11-7 all-time against the Bruins. “They’re hard nosed on defense and steady on offense. I was impressed how they just shut down Foothill’s weapons last week.”

Both teams will come into the game with injury woes. Bear River is expected to be without the services of standout running back-linebacker Austin Baze who re-injured a shoulder in the Lincoln game and is listed as week-to-week. Colfax, meanwhile, will be without standout middle linebacker Zane McDade who suffered a broken ankle in last week’s win at Lincoln.

“It’s the time of the year that guys need to step up,” Martello said. “Zane was playing real well for us. We’re going to miss him out there.”

Foothill (1-6, 0-2) at Placer (3-4, 2-0), 7:30 p.m.

At first glance, Placer’s homecoming contest tonight looks like it could be a big mismatch. But Hillmen coach Joey Montoya isn’t buying that.

“Foothill is very dangerous,” Montoya said. “Watching their films, they have been in every game they’ve played. They had Center down at half, 21-7.”

Of Foothill’s six losses, three have been by a touchdown or less and two (Oakmont and Woodland) came on the game’s final play. Last week at Bear River, the Mustangs, who have turned the ball over six times in PVL losses to Center and the Bruins, trailed just 7-6 at halftime.

“They’ve really hurt themselves with turnovers against Bear River and Center,” Montoya said. “But we’re expecting a battle.”

Foothill quarterback Vernon Robertson may be the PVL’s best two-way quarterback as he is a threat to both pass and run. The Mustangs are also dangerous in the backfield with PVL sprint champion Phillip Brown (10.6/22.1) and Omar Johnson leading the way. Up front, tight end-defensive lineman T.J. Pesefoa (6-4, 270) is a force.

Placer is coming off a 16-15 squeaker over Center in a game that was played on a soggy LeFebvre Stadium field. Top defensive outings for the winners were turned in by Devin Toste, Morgan Rein-Robinson, Collin Wright, Cooper Wilkins and sophomore Chase Laguna-Scott.

Oak Ridge (6-1, 3-0) at Del Oro (7-1, 3-1)

Both the Golden Eagles and Trojans have qualified for the postseason, but each have bigger game in their sights.

“This could be a big game for us down the road with seeding and stuff,” Del Oro coach Casey Taylor said. “But the bottom line is that Oak Ridge is a very, very good team. They’re undefeated in league and playing well.”

The Trojans are again blessed with an outstanding quarterback as Pleasant Grove transfer Marco Baldacchino, a 5-foot, 10-inch, 170-pound junior, has thrown for 954 yards and 12 scores. He has also given defense fits with his feet, keeping the ball on pass-run option plays for 538 more yards and 10 scores.

Michael Pittman (668 yards) is the Trojans’ top running back while Division I prospect Parker Blomquist (6-4, 260) heads an Oak Ridge roster that has seven or more linemen weighing in at 260 pounds.

A year ago, Oak Ridge defeated Del Oro, 24-21, in El Dorado Hills.

Foresthill (3-4, 1-0) at Delta (2-6, 1-0), Clarksburg, 7 p.m.

If the Wildfires want to move a step closer to a Division VII playoff berth, they’ll probably have to keep Saints quarterback Jacob Rapp under control.

“He’s a very good athlete,” Foresthill coach Jim Herlehy said about Rapp. “He’s got an arm and he’s not afraid to run.”

Rapp, a 6-3, 190-pound senior, has thrown for 1,355 yards and nine touchdowns and rushed for 114 yards and five or more TDs. A year ago, Rapp fired two touchdowns in a 24-21 win over the Wildfires.

“We’re treating this one like a playoff game,” Herlehy said. “We’re playing better but we need to keep improving.”

With the start of Sacramento Metropolitan Athletic league play, Foresthill was able to bring its JV team to the varsity level for the remainder of the year.

“It’s nice having the JVs up,” Herlehy said. “Last week two freshmen, Nick Lechner and Kaiden Pennington, made big plays for us. We’re young but the kids are doing a good job.”