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Those two guys will figure in greatly who wins tonight's showdown between a pair of 7-0 teams. Both teams have everything you need to be outstanding - speed, size, hard hitting defense and a kicking game.
I've seen both teams a couple times apiece this year and I still hold to my prediction earlier this season that Franklin will win.
1. The Wildcats have more depth at the skill positions. Coach Mike Johnson can replace guys for rest or injury and lose almost nothing. It's happened this season when Joey Banks and Christian Fonbuena had ankle problems.
2. Related to #1, Coach Chris Nixon is playing about nine of his guys both ways. If Frazier or Wadus Parker go down there aren't guys of that quality to replace them. Though Elk Grove has an excellent, speedy defense but how effective will they be in the fourth quarter?
3. Johnson's offense has a nice short passing game where lots of guys get touches. Watch for bubble screens, popularized locally by Folsom, and gadget plays, like reverse passes. Elk Grove doesn't have much of a passing game. If the Herd gets behind, they don't have a great ability to move downfield quickly through the air.
As I wrote earlier in the week, for EG to win there must be a defensive touchdown. The Herd has come up with a few of those this season and emotionally take their opponent out of the game. Plus, Moe Lollar's Hammerheads (the offensive line) must have its best night of the year. If EG wins the time-of-possession battle by more than five minutes, they will win the game.
Jesuit vs. Pleasant Grove - a win by Joe Cattolico's crew and it assures them of a spot in the post-season with games against Folsom and Oak Ridge left. Those will determine who wins the Delta River League.
Laguna Creek vs. Davis - Blue Devils need a bounce back game after being clubbed by Franklin last week. Plus, it keeps them in the playoff race.
Grant vs. Monterey Trail - Must-win for T.J. Ewings' Mustangs because they play Franklin and Elk Grove after that. It would mean the Mustangs would have two wins in the DVC and possibly a slot in the post-season.
Sheldon vs. Folsom - can you say "blowout?"
Vista del Lago vs. Cosumnes Oaks - Citizen sports editor Jon Gudel is covering this one because it will determine who wins the Sierra Valley Conference. Good luck, Scooter Gomes.