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High school football Week 8: Granite Bay at Rocklin is one to watch in SFL

By: Bill Poindexter/Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
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FRIDAY NIGHT’S GAMES

OAKMONT AT DEL CAMPO, 7 P.M.

Notes: One week after pulling off the to-date Play of the Year — Taylor Laird’s backward lob to Justin Holmes for the winning two-point conversion at Lincoln with no time on the clock — and being lauded on national TV, the Vikings (2-4, 0-1) let a 20-10 lead get away in the fourth quarter of a 24-20 loss to Christian Brothers in their Capital Valley Conference opener.

Now, Oakmont travels to Del Campo (4-2, 1-0), which has lost only to Elk Grove and Redding-Enterprise, which are a combined 10-2. The Cougars own blowout victories over Vallejo, Cordova and Casa Roble and a 21-20 nail-biter over Rocklin. Senior Josh Blumgold and junior Austin Brown have combined for 960 yards rushing and 19 touchdowns, and senior Derek Rodigo has 938 yards passing and six scores.

VALLEY CHRISTIAN AT FORESTHILL, 7 P.M.

Notes: The Wildfires (5-1, 4-0 SMAL) rolled to a 32-13 victory over the Lions (2-5, 2-3) behind a balanced offense — 193 yards rushing, 138 passing — and a defense that held Valley Christian to 165 total yards and scored on an interception return.

There has been little change in Foresthill since that first meeting five weeks ago. Wes Archbold leads the Wildfires with 459 yards rushing and five touchdowns, but Rocky Thompson (294 yards, four touchdowns) gets carries, as does quarterback Tommy Sawyer (223 yards, three touchdowns). Sawyer also has 11 touchdown passes against just one interception.

GRANITE BAY AT ROCKLIN, 7:30 P.M.

Notes: In a league where every game is a candidate for Game of the Week, this one gets the nod tonight. The Grizzlies (3-3, 1-0) opened SFL play by holding Roseville to 187 total yards in a 45-6 rout. Granite Bay continued to click on offense, as Grant Caraway had another impressive night (8 for 9 passing for 141 yards and three touchdowns) and junior Tony Ellison had 69 yards rushing, 66 yards receiving and a score.

Meanwhile, Rocklin (3-3, 1-0) looks nothing like the team that went 3-7 last season. Daniel Kniffin returned last week after missing the month of September because of an injury and completed 10 of 11 passes for 145 yards and two touchdowns in a 35-9 eye-opening rout at Nevada Union. The Thunder also held the Miners’ Wing-T to 40 yards rushing in 30 carries.

DEL ORO AT ROSEVILLE, 7:30 P.M.

Notes: Don’t be fooled by Del Oro’s 2-4 overall record. The Golden Eagles proved in their 38-7 pounding of Woodcreek they’ll contend again for the Sierra Foothill League championship.

Head coach Casey Taylor said afterward Del Oro expects San Jose State-bound Brandon Monroe, Shane Peterson and Duncan Small, among others, to return from injuries to face the Tigers (1-5, 0-1). Monroe rushed for 97 and 126 yards against Southern California powers Oaks Christian and Westlake before being injured against Burbank. He’s one more weapon to add to an attack that last week saw Mark Leveron rush for 112 yards against Woodcreek and, in the previous two weeks, saw Dylan Kainrath go for 161 yards against Grant and 84 yards against Union City-James Logan.

WOODCREEK AT NEVADA UNION, 7:30 P.M.

Notes: The Timberwolves (2-4, 0-1) have struggled with turnovers during a three-game losing streak, continuing with four in their 38-7 loss at Del Oro last week. Two turnovers occurred in the red zone, including one in the end zone.

Even so, Woodcreek has two tremendous weapons in senior quarterback Stephen Nogosek and junior running back Mitchell Layton. The rifle-armed Nogosek has passed for 1,380 yards and 14 touchdowns and has a knack for turning near-sacks into big plays. Layton, a 204-pound all-league sprinter, is on his way to a 1,000-yard season with 686 yards and eight touchdowns thus far.

Nevada Union (3-3, 0-1), a popular pick at the start of the season to win the SFL, suddenly is reeling from back-to-back losses by a combined 78-28.