GRIDIRON PREVIEW: Woodcreek, Roseville, Oakmont, Granite Bay & VCA host big games
ROSEVILLE (6-1, 3-1 CVC) vs. Whitney (6-1, 4-0 CVC), 7:15 p.m.
Players to watch:
Roseville: QB Nick Martig (16), TE/DE Jimmy Jaggers (82), RB/S Brendan McMinn (32), RB Jay Razzano (23), RB/LB Nick Gori (44), WR/CB Jeriah Crawley (25), WR Josh Clark (11)
Whitney: QB Jake Cruz (19), WR/DB Mark Clark (1), RB/MLB Jason Sanchez (28), WR/DB Justin Kraft (7), WR/CB Willie Brocchini (3), WR David Owens (18), LB Matthew Chaffin (9)
Offenses: As two of the top teams in the CVC, both Whitney and Roseville possess high-octane offenses. The Tigers are fresh off a 57-0 clobbering over Bella Vista and the team boasts a number of big-play threats at wideout, tight end and running back. Roseville could possess the most balanced offense in the league, while the Wildcats may have the most explosive passing attack in the CVC thanks to Jake Cruz, his 19 TD passes and his three explosive receivers (Justin Kraft, Willie Brocchini and David Owens).
Defenses: Although the Tigers’s defense has struggled to tackle ballcarriers in space before, they are hungry for a chance to show what they can do against Whitney’s potent passing attack. Roseville employs numerous seniors on defense and each needs to step up this week to shut down their opponent. Meanwhile, the Wildcats’ defense has registered an eye-popping 25 sacks and 46 tackles for a loss this season, while forcing 22 turnovers (ten interceptions and recovered 12 fumbles). Both teams will need big defensive efforts tonight if they hope to win.
Prediction: Roseville 38, Whitney 35
OAKMONT (4-3, 1-3 CVC) vs. PONDEROSA (2-5 1-3 CVC), 7 p.m.
Players to watch:
Oakmont: QB Jake Knapp (5), TE/DE Connor Gagain (82), RB Ray Meza (34), WR Erik Holmsen (11), LB/WR Kody Tagert (3), TE/DE Eric Yeager (86), DB/WR Jorden Grayson (4)
Ponderosa: QB/SS Scott Martin (1), RB/LB Kris Charron (25), WR Julian Hassan (16), WR/FS Tanner Smith (3), OLB Nic Bera (33), MLB/FB Clayton Macauley (34)
Offenses: Despite their 1-3 league records, Friday night’s CVC clash between Oakmont and Ponderosa has playoff implications. The Vikings, who are fresh off a 35-14 loss to Whitney, can still make the playoffs with a win this week and another win in the final two weeks to secure an at-large bid into the Division II postseason bracket. The Bruins, who rely heavily on quarterback Scott Martin both in the pass and run game, seek their second league win after dismantling Bella Vista three weeks ago, 69-6.
Defenses: This game came down to the final possession last year and turnovers plagued Oakmont’s chance at a win. Look for the Vikings’ defense to come out fired up and slow down the Bruins’ attack by slowing down Martin and his receivers. On the other side of the ball, the Bruins must contain Oakmont’s passing attack if they want to be successful.
Prediction: Oakmont 34, Ponderosa 31
GRANITE BAY (1-6, 0-3 SFL) vs. Nevada Union (2-6, 0-4 SFL), 7:30 p.m.
Players to watch:
Granite Bay: QB Steve Trythall (8), QB Jade Foddrill (10), QB John Poulus (14), RB/S Chris Osby (28), WR Brad Jones (6), TE/DE Alex Martinez (5), FB/LB Drew Yeargin (32)
Nevada Union: QB Owen Dal Bon (7), RB Tyler Nielson (5), RB Dawson Fay (4), WR Hayden Fay (17), DB Justin Houlihan (20)
Offenses: In the battle of winless SFL teams, one team will manage to keep their slim playoff hopes alive, while the other heads home. Granite Bay has shuffled quarterbacks all season, each bringing something different to the table. But this week’s news of Grantie Bay’s star running back, Isiash Lewis being out for the season means those young signal callers will have to step up. Meanwhile, Nevada Union is led by the versatile Hayden and Dawson Fay brothers.
Defenses: Both Nevada Union and Granite Bay have struggled on the defensive side of the ball this year. Each squad is giving up the first- and second-most points in league play, but against each other that should change. Even with Lewis out for the year, the Grizzlies defense has the ability to stop the run — they showed that against Oak Grove. If they can do that this week, they should have success against the Miners.
Prediction: Granite Bay 21, Nevada Union 20
WOODCREEK (3-4, 1-2 SFL) vs. ROCKLIN (4-3, 1-2 SFL), 7:30 p.m.
Players to watch:
Woodcreek: QB Matt Gordon (5), RB/CB Tyler England (21), TE Matt Willford (19), RB/LB Isaiah Ajayi (1), WR/S Naequan Parker (2), WR Andrew Knapp (10), WR/S Brandon Davis (25)
Rocklin: RB/LB Brenden Rakela (2), QB Cade Wyant (4), WR/CB Kier Gibson-Adams (7), TE/DT Chase Webb (10), WR/ CB Brady Hole (12), WR/FS Desi Streater (26)
Offenses: Tonight’s SFL clash at Woodcreek has major playoff implications and both teams need a win to stay alive. Both offenses need big-time performances from their quarterbacks — Matt Gordon for Woodcreek and Rocklin’s sophomore Cade Wyant, who started the year as the backup but was forced into the starting lineup due to an injury. Gordon, who carries the ball quiet a bit in Woodcreek’s veer offense had a big week against Nevada Union and has two workhorse backs to share the load with. Woodcreek has the league’s leading rusher in Isaiah Ajayi and the fourth leading rusher Tyler England to carry the rock. Rocklin boasts the third leading rusher in the league in Brenden Rakela.
Defenses: In last year’s showdown, Rocklin’s defense played a major role in a 38-3 beatdown on homecoming night. This year, Woodcreek will look to flip the script and win on their homecoming night. Both defenses have struggled against the run this year, so count on the winner of this game to stop the run and force a key turnover to seal the win.
Prediction: Woodcreek 24, Rocklin 23
Valley Christian (0-5, 0-2 SMAL) vs. WESTERN SIERRA (1-6, 0-2 SMAL), 7 p.m.
Players to watch:
VCA: QB John Hibbs (23), RB/DB Zach Youngquist (3), RB/MLB Drake Williams (25), RB/LB Will Weiland (48), OL/OLB Levi Finn (57), FB/DL Donovan Gonzalez (19)
Western Sierra: QB/SS Adam Wright (9), RB John Van Kempen (31), WR/RB Michael Everson (6), WR/DB Brandon Adams (20), WR/MLB William Dibble (42)
Offenses: Foggy and damp conditions hurt Valley Christian’s chances for a win last week in Foresthill as quarterback John Hibbs threw a key interception that set up the lone touchdown of the game and was sacked multiple times in the second half. But a new week brings new hope for winless VCA, which faces 1-6 Western Sierra Friday night at Mahany Park in Roseville.
Defenses: The Lions will need big plays from their defense as they look to shut down Western Sierra’s run game, which averages 4.3 yards per carry and has amassed 874 yards this season. VCA will look to force Wolves’ quarterback Adam Wright to throw the ball, something he’s struggled with this year (12 interceptions to one touchdown). Look for VCA to get its first win this week thanks to a strong defensive performance.
Prediction: Valley Christian 13, Western Sierra 12
Steven's record: 3-1 last week (24-9 this season)