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Week 3 SJS football previews and predictions: Placer, Del Oro, Bear River, Colfax are unanimous favorites

By: Ike Dodson and Mike Ray of the Auburn Journal
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Ike Dodson’s picks (12-10 last week, 34-17 overall, 26-11 preps, 7-2 college, 1-4 pro)

Colfax 25, Bella Vista 14

Bear River 25, Marysville 24

Placer 28, Laguna Creek 7

Del Oro 28, Capital Christian 0

Biggs 32, Foresthill 21

Lincoln 38, Wheatland 21

Foothill 34, Rio Linda 21

Bradshaw Christian 38, Center 21

Nevada Union 22, Napa 21

Woodcreek 21, Vintage 20

Folsom 55, Sacramento 34

Rocklin 32, Clovis West 28

Granite Bay 25, Vacaville 10

Oak Ridge 45, Reed 28

Stanford 48, USC 22

Texas 38, Cal 35

Raiders 32, Falcons 18

Panthers 28, 49ers 10

Mike Ray’s picks picks (14-8 last week, 34-17 overall, 24-13 preps, 8-1 college, 2-3 pro)

Colfax 33, Bella Vista 24

Bear River 24, Marysville 20

Placer 37, Laguna Creek 14

Del Oro 30, Capital Christian 14

Biggs 33, Foresthill 21

Lincoln 30, Wheatland 17

Foothill 27, Rio Linda 17

Bradshaw Christian 35, Center 21

Napa 26, Nevada Union 24

Woodcreek 33, Vintage 24

Folsom 55, Sacramento 27

Clovis West 32, Rocklin 30

Granite Bay 27, Vacaville 26

Reed 35, Oak Ridge 26

Stanford 24, USC 21

Cal 44, Texas 40

Raiders 31, Atlanta 20

Carolina 35, 49ers 24

Pete Dufour’s picks (14-8 last week, 34-17 overall, 24-13 preps, 7-2 college, 3-2 pro)

Colfax 21, Bella Vista 18

Bear River 40, Marysville 6

Placer 30, Laguna Creek 27

Del Oro 35, Capital Christian 21

Biggs 27, Foresthill 21

Lincoln 27, Wheatland 14

Foothill 21, Rio Linda 20

Center 21, Bradshaw Christian 20

Napa 21, Nevada Union 20

Vintage 28, Woodcreek 20

Folsom 47, Sacramento 21

Clovis West 34, Rocklin 27

Vacaville 26, Granite Bay 21

Oak Ridge 35, Reed 17

Stanford 35, USC 30

Texas 33, Cal 30

Raiders 34, Falcons10

Panthers 28, 49ers 21

Some intriguing week 3 match ups highlight the area’s prep football weekend tonight as coaches start to get a feel for their respective team’s personalities with league play looming just around the corner.

Capital Christian, whose last three seasons have ended with respective playoff loses to Bear River, Central Catholic and Placer, will step up a level when the Cougars host a high-flying Del Oro team that is honing its game for the start of Sierra Foothill League play next week.

Elsewhere, Placer, off its first 0-3 start since 2007, will look to hit the win trail when they meet Laguna Creek (1-1) at Cosumnes River College and Colfax (2-1) will play at Bella Vista (0-2) in a first-ever meeting between the two schools.

After a week off with a bye, Bear River (1-1) returns to Dave Ramsey Field to tangle with Marysville (1-1). Also at home, Foresthill (1-2) will entertain Biggs (2-1).

Here’s how tonight’s games shape up: 

Del Oro (3-0) at Capital Christian (2-1), 7:30 p.m.

At first glance, tonight’s non-league football game between Del Oro and Capital Christian has all the makings of your typical David vs. Goliath storyline.

But one person who isn’t buying the big guy versus little guy hype is Del Oro football coach Casey Taylor.

“From what I’m seeing, Capital Christian has four or five athletes better than anyone we’ve seen thus far this season,” Taylor said. “They have some outstanding players on both sides of the ball.”

The Golden Eagles, coming off a huge style points win last week at Bellarmine in San Jose, will risk their perfect 3-0 record in the 7:30 p.m. game, set for the Capital Christian campus which is located just off Highway 50 near Bradshaw Road.

Interestingly, the Golden Eagle-Cougar match up pits two of the Sacramento area’s most successful programs over the past three seasons against each other.

While Del Oro has won 29 games since 2013 including a 10-6 mark in last year’s CIF State Division II championship season, Capital Christian, playing in the Division V ranks, has gone 33-4 in that same span.

This season the Cougars are 2-1 after being handed a 21-7 road loss at Aptos last week. Aptos, coached by former Nevada Union and Clovis West coaching legend Randy Blankenship, is the two-time defending CIF Central Coast Division III section champion.

In their game last week, the Cougars played without 5-foot, 10-inch, 215-pound sophomore standout D’Marcus Ross, who was sidelined with an ankle injury. A year ago as a freshman, Ross averaged 10.6 yards a carry and scored 13 TDS. This year, in two games Ross is picking up 14.9 yards a tote.

“He’s a tough, tough runner,” Taylor said of Ross. “We’re expecting him to play on Friday.”

Capital quarterback Jacob Norville is off to another good start as he has hit on 28 of 58 passes for 738 yards and six touchdowns. His top receivers are athletic Julian Leslie, who has 13 catches for 378 yards and two big targets in 6-6 Austin Alexander and 6-5 Tajae Hudson.

Placer (0-3) at Laguna Creek (1-1), 7 p.m., Cosumnes River College

Expect Placer to come out swinging tonight at CRC after consecutive preseason losses to large-school stalwarts.

The Hillmen were animated during this week’s practice and should get rolling against a Laguna Creek defense that allowed nearly 400 yards of offense in a 28-17 defeat to Stagg last week.

“The whole team has a feeling that we are here to get a win under our belt,” standout Placer lineman Logan Moore said. “Those last three games really showed us that we have to work for it this year — that we can’t just show up and expect to win.”

Laguna Creek is no slouch on the schedule. The Cardinals opened the season with a 49-0 rout of West Campus and boasts a strong rushing attack on the backs of junior Silas Washington (5-5, 155) and senior Earl Easley (5-10, 166). The two combine for 332 rushing yards and seven touchdowns this season.

For Placer, the key to tonight’s game is a productive second half. Placer has outscored 2016 foes 42-35 in the first half, but trails 24-57 in second-half score tallies.

 “We have to stop shooting ourselves in the foot,” Placer coach Joey Montoya said. “We have to find a way to not beat ourselves.

It’s part of being a young team, but the battle-tested Hillmen look to turn the page.

“We knew this team needed to be refined by fire early to find out what its impurities were,” Montoya said. “By playing those three really good teams we’ve seen things that we have been able to address that we might not have seen had we played inferior opponents.

“Our kids are tired of hearing people ask what’s wrong and are eager to right the ship.”

Colfax (2-1) at Bella Vista (0-2), 7 p.m.

The Falcons feel that they let one slip away at Argonaut last week as mistakes and missed opportunities helped the host Mustangs clip Colfax, 35-30.

“We tried to clean up some issues this week,” Colfax coach Tony Martello said. “But we have to play four full quarters. Bella Vista’s a good team and will be hungry Friday.”

The Falcons will test a physical Bella Vista squad that runs a power wing-T-type offense. Tiger Clough, a 5-9, 220-pound running back, deals the brunt of the Broncos’ offense running behind Chandler Bonner (6-1, 300) and Wyatt Graf (6-1, 230).

Colfax will try and get its running game untracked this week. After rushing for over 500 yards in wins over Golden Sierra and Winters, the Falcons were limited to just 60 yards on the ground against Argonaut.

Marysville (2-1) at Bear River (1-1), 7:30 p.m.

In a game pitting a pair of former Golden Empire League rivals, the Bruins can get a feel of where they are this early in the season with the match up with the Indians.

After opening with wins over Las Plumas and Wheatland, Marysville was brought back down to earth in a 35-14 loss last week against a highly-touted Sutter team. Bear River travels to Sutter on Sept. 30.

“Marysville does a lot of good things,” Bruins co-coach Terry Logue said. “Their quarterback poses a lot of problems.”

Logue was referring to Marysville’s Chase Tarr, a 6-2, 170-pound senior who can run or pass out of the Indians’ veer-gun offense. Another Indian to watch is two-way tackle Parker Jenks, a 6-4, 255-pound senior who was selected to a pre-season all-CIF Sac-Joaquin Section team.

Biggs (2-1) at Foresthill (1-2), 7 p.m.

Foresthill coach Jim Herlehy purposely scheduled as many small school CIF North Section opponents as he could find this season. One of the reasons is that all of the non-league foes have JV teams, something his Wildfires won’t see once Sacramento Metro Athletic League play begins next month.

“These games with Portola, Maxwell and Biggs mean that are JVs are playing too, and that’s important for our growth up here,” Herlehy said. Following tonight’s game with the Wolverines, Foresthill will play Incline, Nevada and Quincy.

The Wildfires will look to get untracked after a solid Maxwell team pounded out a 46-0 win last Friday. Biggs enters today’s game with wins over Delta (35-22) and Western Sierra Academy (39-0) and a loss last week to Mt. Shasta (27-6).

Biggs’ option offense attack features three backs who have all rolled up over 200 yards rushing in the team’s first three games.