Folsom, Oak Ridge open football playoffs Friday

By: Matt Long, Sports Editor
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The seeds held true in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I football playoffs.

Eighth-seeded Edison topped ninth-seeded Gregori, 52-7, while sixth-seeded Turlock defeated the 11th- seed, Cosumnes Oaks, 28-0. These games sets up second-round match-ups this Friday, as Edison (9-2) travels to top-seed Folsom (9-1), while Turlock (8-3) heads to El Dorado Hills to face Oak Ridge (7-3), the tournament’s third seed.

Folsom and Oak Ridge are coming off bye weeks, and they were put to good use.

“It was exactly like our first bye week during the regular season,” Folsom coach Kris Richardson said. “We watched film and lifted weights on Monday. We were on the field Tuesday and Wednesday, and had a jog through Thursday. We should be rested and ready to go on Friday.”

Oak Ridge also had a good week.

“It’s different because you don’t know exactly which team to focus on, but the week’s about sharpening the ax,” Oak Ridge coach Eric Cavaliere said. “We worked on some things in the kicking game, and it was our first week with our junior varsity and freshman kids we called up and those guys always bring a new excitement to practice. It was good to get a look at those guys.”

Folsom will now turn its attention to Edison, a team that hasn’t lost since Aug. 31. The Vikings rely heavily on a freshman running back Raleek Brown, who’s gained 1,352 yards rushing along with 15 touchdowns in 10 games. He averages 11 yards per carry and 135 yards per game. He’s also a factor in the passing game, as he’s second on the team in catches with 25, good for 566 yards and seven scores. He averages 22 yards per catch.

“Edison is an athletic team that has good speed,” Richardson said. “They’re a spread team that scores a lot of points. Their freshman running back reminds me a lot like Daniyel (Ngata), so our defense is going to have its hands full.”

Edison has scored 440 points and allowed 156, as it’s outscoring opponents by an average score of 40-14.

The Trojans face a Turlock team that is riding a six-game win streak, having not lost since Sept. 14 to an undefeated Central team. Turlock enters the game having not allowed a point in its last two games, outscoring Pitman and Cosumnes Oaks by a combined 61-0. After allowing 33 points per game over their first six games, the Bulldogs have allowed opponents an average of nine points per game over the last five games.

“Turlock is a very good team that’s well-coached,” Cavaliere said. “They’re a spread team similar to us except that they like to use a tight end. They’re like Del Oro; they run the ball well. They’ve got two really good quarterbacks, a couple ball carriers, a big tight end who is their top receiver and a Cal commit on the offensive line.”