In 1976, “Frampton Comes Alive” was recorded by English rocker Peter Frampton. It became one of the greatest-selling live albums in history.
For two years now, “Frampton Runs Amok” is an apt theme raging throughout the Sac-Joaquin Section football circuit, a running back producing at a record clip.
Dusty Frampton of St. Mary’s High School in Stockton has battered teams over three varsity seasons, all while accumulating good grades and earning a scholarship to Cal Poly.
He will be a focal point for Folsom when the top-seeded Bulldogs face the Rams in the Division I championship on Saturday afternoon at Sacramento State.
Folsom coach Kris Richardson remembers all too well the sinking feeling of Frampton’s efforts in the title game a year ago.
Frampton rushed 30 times for 283 yards and three touchdowns in ransacking the proud four-time defending champion Bulldogs, averaging 9.4 yards a carry in a 56-25 victory. Frampton never slowed down. He ran through Freedom of Oakley for 359 yards and five TDs on 37 carries in a 49-40 CIF Northern California Division I-A victory. He has gone for 1,648 yards and 24 scores this season.
So, coach, about that Frampton fellow?
“He’s a nightmare,” Richardson said. “He runs angry, a bad dude. We have our hands full. If we’re not buckled up and ready to go, he’ll destroy us.”
That’s the plan, Rams coach Tony Franks said.
Frampton is one of the few returning starters for a program that graduated 32 seniors from perhaps the school’s greatest team.
St. Mary’s (11-2) has been hit so hard by injuries that it has used three quarterbacks, and it turned to Frampton to run out of the wildcat package – a direct snap from center – to salt away Oak Ridge in a semifinal. Frampton scored two late touchdowns for a 38-31 victory and had 147 yards total. Franks said his team desperately needed a spark and turned to a reliable source.
St. Mary’s losses were to national No. 1 Mater Dei of Santa Ana and to Central Catholic of Modesto. The Rams have victories over state-ranked programs Serra of San Mateo and Cardinal Newman of Santa Rosa, both in section-title games this weekend.
Frampton understands work ethic. He lives on a farm in Linden and helps his father Gary tend to chores and cattle.
“Dusty’s been a great player, a great kid, a great student,” said Franks, a St. Mary’s and UC Davis graduate. “We’re going to need him.”
Here’s a breakdown of the Sac-Joaquin Section championship games:
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Folsom (13-0) vs. St. Mary’s (11-2), Saturday, 1:45 p.m. – Folsom’s adopted home away from home is at Sacramento State, which has hosted the D-I and II finals since 2010. The Bulldogs seek their sixth title this decade while St. Mary’s of Stockton aims for a repeat. The Bulldogs are a handful with Kaiden Bennett (3,400 passing yards, 45 touchdowns, 986 rushing, 12 scores) and the Rams are troublesome with powerhouse back Dusty Frampton (4,703 career rushing yards, 84 touchdowns).
Granite Bay (11-2) vs. Del Oro (8-5), Saturday, 7:45 p.m. – Del Oro has lived large at Hornet Stadium this decade, going 6-1 in championship games at that venue, including five section crowns and a CIF State title in 2015 (the loss was in the state final last season). Granite Bay is 3-0 at Sac State this decade with two D-I section titles and the 2012 NorCal championship. And, oh yeah, this is as good a rivalry game as there is in the section. When the Placer County teams from the Sierra Foothill League met earlier this season, Granite Bay beat the Golden Eagles 28-21 behind Evan Tattersall’s three rushing touchdowns.
Oakdale (12-1) vs. Manteca (11-2), Friday, 7 p.m. – Oakdale has grown rather fond of playoff games at Lincoln High in Stockton, and the defending champions will order up more runs for Josh Jacobson after the senior rushed for a school-record 347 yards to key a 63-27 triumph of Patterson in a semifinal. Coach Trent Merzon called Jacobson, “the toughest player I’ve coached in my 18 years. If you get in a fight, this is the guy you want.” This is a rematch of a Valley Oak League game won by Oakdale 36-15. Oakdale has lost only to Folsom in a thriller 45-29 early in the season, while Manteca beat Christian Brothers twice behind star quarterback Gino Campiotti, who has to have the game of his life to derail the defending champions.