Thursday, November 08, 2012

Football Playoff Predictions

Friday night the second season of high school football begins, the playoffs. Five of our local teams, Franklin, Elk Grove, Bradshaw Christian, Pleasant Grove and Cosumnes Oaks are involved and a couple stand a good chance of playing in December at Sacramento State, site of the Sac-Joaquin Section championships.

PG Coach Joe Cattolico - How far will his Eagles
go this month?
In Division I the undefeated Wildcats look to be the favorite to win it all. Coming out of the other side of the bracket is Pleasant Grove, the 11th seed. They have a pretty rough road through the post-season that starts with Stagg, the Stockton school that went 9-1, losing only to St. Mary's.

Elk Grove is in Division II and they host Ponderosa Friday night. The Bruins had a break-out season winning a pair of DRL games for the first time ever. They hung with Folsom and Oak Ridge, the two top teams this season in that league.

Elk Grove has had an issue with keeping their top players eligible whether that be grades, suspensions or other stupid stuff. If their offensive linemen are all eligible and playing, they should get by Pondo, but next week is either Del Campo or Whitney. That may be a bit formidable for the Herd.

Bradshaw opens the Division V playoffs with a Sierra Delta League opponent, Highlands. They beat the Pride, 61-27, in October. It may be a one-and-out post-season for Bradshaw, defending champions of Division VI.

Intriguing will be the word for Cosumnes Oaks, who was 8-2 this season and has one of the Section's top receivers in Alex Van Dyke. They should win Saturday night at home against Christian Brothers, but laying in wait are good teams such as Vista del Lago, who beat the Wolfpack three weeks ago, and Oakdale who folks tell me is the best Division III team this season.

All of us are pulling for Coach Ryan "Scooter" Gomes and the Wolfpack because this young EGUSD school wants to make a statement in football.

In the big school division, the Wildcats open with a solid program in Nevada Union. Sure, they beat the Miners to open the post-season last year in Grass Valley, but N-U always saves something for the playoffs. Don't expect this game to be a Franklin runaway.

Likely, Franklin will get by the Miners, but then they could see Lincoln of Stockton, a team they lost to last season and has basically the same guys back again. Granite Bay is also on their side of the bracket.

But, if there is a local team that I would predict plays at Hornet Stadium, it is Franklin. Right now I'll predict their opponent for the Section championship will be Oak Ridge, but it could end up being Burbank, another 10-0 squad.

Follow me on Twitter @EGCitizenJHull for updates on Pondo/E.G. Friday, Burbank/Grant Saturday afternoon and CBS/Cosumnes Oaks Saturday night.
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