Granite Bay and Del Oro met in September. The Sierra Foothill League rivals will meet again Saturday at Sacramento State, with the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II title up for grabs. Brian Baer Special to The Bee
Granite Bay and Del Oro met in September. The Sierra Foothill League rivals will meet again Saturday at Sacramento State, with the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II title up for grabs. Brian Baer Special to The Bee

Joe Davidson

A unique perspective on sports in the Sacramento region, from high schools to the pros

Joe Davidson

Rematches define section football title rounds as rankings undergo changes

By Joe Davidson

jdavidson@sacbee.com

November 27, 2017 04:00 AM

For the smaller divisions, Saturday was title time.

Placer won its first Sac-Joaquin Section championship since 1981 and first for coach Joey Montoya, an alum of the school who had led the Hillmen to four earlier trips to the finals.

The top-seeded Hillmen beat Center 42-32, a remarkable showing considering they start just four seniors.

If that wasn’t a strong enough showing for the Pioneer Valley League, how about what happened earlier Saturday? Bear River beat Colfax 30-27 for the D-V championship behind dazzling offensive plays and the leadership of grizzled yet charming co-coaches Terry Logue and Scott Savoie.

This coming weekend will be title time for Divisions I, II and III, each with a measure of redemption on the line.

On Friday, defending champion Oakdale faces Valley Oak League rival Manteca for the D-III banner at Lincoln High School in Stockton. Oakdale beat Manteca earlier this season and has lost only this season, to Folsom in a shootout.

On Saturday, Sacramento State hosts a title-game doubleheader. First, Folsom plays St. Mary’s of Stockton in a rematch of last season’s D-I title game, won by the Rams. The nightcap features Granite Bay against Del Oro in a battle of Sierra Foothill League rivals. Granite Bay beat Del Oro by a touchdown earlier this season.

All section champions will earn CIF Northern California Regional title bids. Those brackets will be announced Sunday. Oakdale is a defending champion. Del Oro won a CIF title in 2015 and nearly repeated last season. Folsom has CIF titles in 2010 and 2014. St. Mary’s reached the D-I state finals last season.

Get this: If Folsom beats St. Mary’s, then all seven section champions will be public schools. Is that a good thing?

Joe Davidson: 916-321-1280, @SacBee_JoeD

THE BEE’S TOP 20

With last week’s ranking in parentheses.

1. Folsom (1) 13-0

The Bulldogs are in a section final for a record eighth consecutive season. Helmets off to the unsung defenders, including Tanner Ward.

2. Oak Ridge (2) 11-2

The Trojans lost to St. Mary’s 38-31 in a D-I semifinal but remain ahead of Granite Bay here, having won that meeting 14-7 in overtime.

3. Granite Bay (3) 11-2

The Grizzlies have a ground-and-pound offensive line, led by Will Craig, and the defense has been superb in the playoffs, beating Del Campo 9-7.

4. Del Oro (10) 8-5

The Golden Eagles stunned host Central Catholic in Modesto, and someone hand Johnny Guzman another game ball for his efforts.

5. Jesuit (4) 10-3

The Marauders lost twice to Folsom, including 27-14 in the D-I semifinals, and 31-21 to Granite Bay. That’s a great season.

6. Del Campo (5) 12-1

A record season came to a halt at Granite Bay in the D-II semifinals, 9-7. Great career for Tyler Dimino, son of a very proud coach Mike Dimino.

7. Sacramento (6) 10-2*

The Dragons lost 28-19 to Folsom and 49-48 in four overtimes to Del Campo, and now it’s over. A great season for a terrific team.

8. Christian Brothers (7) 10-3

The Falcons started the season with a close loss to Manteca and ended the same way in D-III semifinals. Christian Brothers also lost to Jesuit this year.

9. Sheldon (8) 9-3

The Huskies pushed defending champion St. Mary’s to the wire in D-I before falling. This program is here to stay.

10. Placer (9) 12-1

The Hillmen brought a banner back to the hilltop for the first time since 1981, a credit to tireless coach Joey Montoya.

11. Inderkum (11) 11-1

The Tigers smoked teams for much of the season and then flamed out against a Del Oro defense that had the wing-T solved. Still a great year.

12. Rocklin (12) 7-5

The Thunder lost to powerhouse Central Catholic in D-II, and had league losses to Folsom, Oak Ridge and Granite Bay.

13. Lincoln (13) 8-3

The season ended on a booming field goal in a D-II opener, but the Zebras are ready for another run in 2018.

14. Antelope (14) 10-2

The Titans lost only to Del Campo and Granite Bay this season and expect another title run next season and every season.

15. Franklin (15) 7-4

The Wildcats lost a D-I opener to 11-0 Gregori, which lost at Oak Ridge. Coach Mike Johnson bows out proud.

16. Bear River (17) 10-3

Winning never gets old, even as the classy co-coaches Terry Logue and Scott Savoie do.

17. Colfax (16) 9-4

The gritty efforts of Garren O’Keefe, Mason Aherns and Ryland Heilmann speaks of the pride of a great program.

18. Monterey Trail (18) 6-5

The Mustangs lost a D-I opener at Vacaville and own a big early win over previously ranked Vista del Lago.

19. Center (19) 7-6

The Cougars fell to Placer in a fun D-IV final and return a ton of talent for another run in 2018.

20. Rio Linda (20) 7-5

The Knights recovered from two bad seasons and pushed Christian Brothers in a D-III game.

* Does not include three forfeit losses due to a seldom-used ineligible player.

Bubble teams (alphabetical order): Bradshaw Christian (8-4), Burbank (6-4), Capital Christian (7-4), Casa Roble (6-6), Cordova (7-4), Cosumnes Oaks (5-6), Dixon (7-4), East Nicolaus (12-0), El Dorado (7-4), Elk Grove (5-6), Grant (4-6), Rio Americano (6-5), Rio Vista (7-3), River Valley (7-4), Union Mine (5-6), Vista del Lago (7-5), Woodland (7-4), Yuba City (6-5).

THE BEE’S SAC-JOAQUIN SECTION TOP 20

From 190 schools in the second-largest of California’s 10 sections.

1. Folsom (13-0)

2. Oakdale (12-1)

3. Granite Bay (11-2)

4. St. Mary’s-Stockton (11-2)

5. Oak Ridge (11-2)

6. Del Oro (8-5)

7. Central Catholic-Modesto (10-2)

8. Jesuit (10-3)

9. Del Campo (11-2)

10. Sheldon (9-3)

11. Sacramento (10-2)*

12. Manteca (11-2)

13. Placer (12-1)

14. Christian Brothers (10-3)

15. Inderkum (11-1)

16. Vacaville (8-4)

17. Gregori-Modesto (11-1)

18. Rocklin (8-4)

19. Franklin (7-4)

20. Tracy (8-3)

* Does not include three forfeit losses due to a seldom-used ineligible player.

Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs

Semifinal results

Nov. 24

Division I

No. 1 Folsom 27, No. 4 Jesuit 14

No. 3 St. Mary’s 38, No. 2 Oak Ridge 31

Division II

No. 1 Granite Bay 9, No. 4 Del Campo 7

No. 7 Del Oro 23, No. 3 Central Catholic 12

Division III

No. 1 Oakdale 63, No. 4 Patterson 27

No. 2 Manteca 43, No. 3 Christian Brothers 38

Championship results

Nov. 25

Division IV

No. 1 Placer 42, No. 3 Center 32

Division V

No. 6 Bear River 30, No. 5 Colfax 27

Division VI

No. 6 Hilmar 42, No. 4 Modesto Christian 13

Division VII

No. 1 Rio Vista 56, No. 2 Ripon Christian 28

Championship schedule

Friday

Division III

No. 1 Oakdale vs. No. 2 Manteca at Lincoln High-Stockton, 7 p.m.

Saturday

Division I

No. 1 Folsom vs. No. 3 St. Mary’s at Sacramento State, 1:45 p.m.

Division II

No. 1 Granite Bay vs. No. 7 Del Oro at Sacramento State, 7:45 p.m.