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Week zero Sac-Joaquin Section football picks and a shot at redemption

By: Ike Dodson of the Auburn Journal - Off The Record sports column
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I’m still sporting a black eye from the beating Mike Ray handed me in the 2015 football picks, but vengeance will be mine in 2016.

Losing to Mike Ray is like getting dusted in a footrace by a three-legged dog — one that loves to talk trash. By the end of the year, Mike was asking my fiancée to make picks so it would be more competitive.

She probably would have helped. She dominated our fantasy football league.

I’m going to attribute Mike’s success to my awful predictions for college football. I’d crush him in any version of NCAA video game football. I’m the guy who ran the option with Pat White/Steve Slaton or Eric Crouch.

Unfortunately, video games are not a representation of real life, though my CP 2102 Gyarados might tell you otherwise at a local Pokémon Go gym.

I threw that bit in there because my fiancée edits my stories and she hates Pokémon Go. She’s terrific at spotting errors though. Gotta catch ‘em all, right Megan?

OK, back to football, because we are. It’s been 252 days since Del Oro capped the 2015 season by winning a state title and life could not be grander for football fans in the Sac-Joaquin Section.

Within a circumference of around 20 miles, area football fans are surrounded by tremendous football talent, from large school stalwarts like Folsom, Rocklin, Granite Bay and Del Oro to iconic small school programs like Placer, Colfax and Bear River.

It’s a unique and inspiring place to watch young athletes sacrifice everything to achieve success alongside their brothers of the grid. I played a lot of football and I still get goosebumps before every kickoff.

Mike and I are back for another season following local teams and we have some help from longtime official and sports writer Pete Dufour. The three of us will do our best to cover the 2016 season with zeal, providing live updates on Twitter (@Ike_Dodson, @MikeRay17, @Pete24Dufour) and producing comprehensive breakdowns of every game in special “Auburn Journal Blitz” sections in print on Sundays.

Below is the first edition of our weekly picks. Despite what the candies tell you, Ike will come before Mike this year.

Ike Dodson’s picks

(165-97 overall, 90-28 in preps last year)

Placer 21, Golden Valley 20

Bear River 17, Orland 7

Colfax 28, Golden Sierra 24

Portola 42, Foresthill 28

Del Oro 55, St. Paul 17

Ponderosa 55, Lincoln 21

Rio Linda 28, Center 14

Foothill 44, Mira Loma 7

Granite Bay 20, Jesuit 19

Vista del Lago 44, Oak Ridge 35

Folsom 48, Coer d’Alene 28

Rocklin 28, Grant 27

Antelope 35, Nevada Union 28

Mike Ray’s picks

(172-90 overall, 89-29 in preps last year)

Placer 28, Golden Valley 20

Bear River 28, Orland 10

Colfax 32, Golden Sierra 21

Portola 31, Foresthill 12 Del Oro 31

St. Paul 17 Ponderosa 44, Lincoln 28

Rio Linda 20, Center 19

Foothill 35, Mira Loma 20

Granite Bay 33, Jesuit 24

Vista del Lago 33, Oak Ridge 19

Folsom 40, Coeur d’Alene 21

Grant 24, Rocklin 20

Antelope 21, Nevada Union 20

Pete Dufour’s picks

(first year)

Placer 31, Golden Valley 21

Bear River 24 Orland 21

Colfax 28, Golden Sierra 21

Lincoln 24, Ponderosa 23

Rio Linda 28, Center 20

Foothill 28, Mira Loma 7

Foresthill 21, Portola 20

Del Oro 38, St. Paul 21

Granite Bay 31, Jesuit 30

Oak Ridge 28, Vista del Lago 21

Folsom 44, Coeur d’Alene 31

Grant 28, Rocklin 24

Antelope 35, Nevada Union 24