|Deshawn Collins of Grant-Sacramento is looking to keep the Pacers' unbeaten season alive, as the junior running back and the Sac-Joaquin Section's No. 1 seed in Division II take on Patterson on Friday, Nov. 14 (photo credit: Max Preps).|
The CIF section playoffs get underway on Friday, Nov. 14, and Cali Gold Mine has found six marquee contests that are worth attending.
From Sacramento to Long Beach, here's some games to watch:
Patterson (7-3, 4-2 in the Western Athletic Conference) at Grant-Sacramento (10-0, 7-0 in the Delta League)
The Patterson Tigers face the daunting task of knocking off the unbeaten and always monstrous Grant Pacers - a team that hasn't lost since Nov. 22, 2013, when they were defeated 28-12 against Yuba City.
The Pacer ground game comes into this first round Division II contest with an average of 351.3 yards per game. Junior Deshawn Collins leads the way with 1,760 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns. Fellow junior Mike Green II adds to the Grant running machine with 854 yards and 14 scores.
Patterson will look to counter with versatile athlete Damarrio Hammonds. Offensively, the 5-foot-10, 165-pound senior led the Tigers with 56 catches, 1,011 yards and 16 touchdowns. He's also a dangerous return man on punts and kickoffs.
Junior Mike Lawson leads the Patterson running attack with 978 yards and seven scores.
Saturday, Nov. 15: Stagg-Stockton (4-6, 3-2 in the San Joaquin Athletic Association) at Folsom (10-0, 6-0 in the Sierra Foothill League)
The Folsom Bulldogs have an offense that would blend in nicely in the Big 12, by averaging 512.9 yards per game and scoring no less than 42 points in all 10 games this season.
Leading the scoring output for the section's top seed in DI is senior quarterback Jake Browning. The future Washington Husky has 3,507 yards, 56 touchdowns and four interceptions. Seniors Cole Thompson and Josiah Deguara are Browning's top targets. Thompson has 54 catches, 1,209 yards and a team-high 22 touchdowns. Deguara has a team-leading 65 catches for 996 yards and 16 scores.
The Delta Kings are led by dual-threat junior quarterback Lavante Bushnell. The 5-foot-8 signal-caller threw 27 touchdowns and added six rushing scores. He finished the regular season with 2,523 yards throwing and rushing.
Stagg's Lester Williams is small at 5-foot-6, but he's slippery against defenders with his cuts and array of juke moves in the open field. The senior had 1,368 all-purpose yards with 13 touchdowns running, receiving and on returns.
River Valley-Yuba City (6-4, 4-2 Tri County Conference) at St. Mary's-Stockton (9-1, 5-0 Tri City Athletic League)
St. Mary's will enter its home stadium as the No. 3 seed in the DII bracket and with some sleeper prospects.
Senior quarterback Noah Righetti directs the Ram offense with 1,873 yards, 22 touchdowns and five interceptions. Powerful 5-foot-10, 220-pound senior running back Marcell Spady leads the Ram ground game with 825 yards and 17 touchdowns. Wide receiver Demetrius Ferguson - who holds a scholarship offer from New Mexico State - is the deep threat with an average of 18.8 yards per catch.
Defensively, senior linebacker Khalil Hodge is the state leader in tackles with 188 total. Hodge has one offer from Sacramento State. The top ball hawk is senior Javonte Norman, who led the Rams with four picks during the regular season.
River Valley is led by the junior duo of quarterback Avery Gould and running back Dante' Love. The 6-foot, 165-pound Gould has 1,606 yards, 19 touchdown passes, eight interceptions and a passer rating of 96.8. The 5-foot-11, 170-pound Love had 1,110 yards and 10 touchdowns during the regular season.
Sunnyside-Fresno (6-4, 4-1 North Yosemite League) at Tulare Union (6-4, 4-1 East Yosemite League)
This Division II battle will feature the Central Section's two leading rushers in the Wildcats' Malcolm Williams (second with 2,112 yards) and Tulare's Romello Harris (the section leader with 2,287 yards).
Williams - who has an Eastern Washington offer - has 16 touchdowns for the run-oriented Wildcats. Harris has 25 touchdowns and is already a wanted recruit for the Class of 2016; with four scholarship offers from Colorado State, Air Force, Washington State and Duke.
Camarillo (6-4, 1-2 Camino League) at Lompoc (10-0, 4-0 Los Padres League)
The Braves will go for their second undefeated season since 2011, but could get a challenge out of the feisty Scorpions.
Camarillo not only has a streak of 17 straight playoff appearances, but handed traditional 805 lynchpin Ventura its only loss of the season. Also on Camarillo's 2014-15 regular season resume is a near upset of Paso Robles (41-35 loss) and a close battle with St. Bonaventure-Ventura before falling 28-10.
Junior quarterback Jake Constantine is a prospect to watch for CHS. The 6-foot-2 Constantine has frustrated defenses with his arm and mobility. He threw for 2,184 yards, 23 touchdowns and six interceptions this season and is deadly when he escapes the pocket.
He got his best receiver back in Frankie Tostado last week, after the 6-foot-3 junior was nursing an elbow injury. Tostado helped keep the Scorpions' playoff streak alive with a 52-yard touchdown bomb in the closing seconds of Camarillo's 34-28 victory over Royal-Simi Valley. Another big target for CHS is senior tight end Nico Lima, who stands at an imposing 6-foot-4, 255-pounds and has an offer from Holy Cross of the Football Championship Subdivision.
Lompoc continues to do its damage through the Double Wing-T offense. Quarterback Torey Sims has 884 rushing yards and a team-high 16 touchdowns. Senior Derrick Portis leads the run game with 987 yards and 13 touchdowns. Defensively, junior Mike Morales leads the Braves with six interceptions.
Servite-Anaheim (4-6, 1-4 Trinity League) at Long Beach Poly (9-1, 6-0 Moore League)
Former NFL linebacker and Super Bowl champion Antonio Pierce didn't have a stressful head coaching debut with Long Beach Poly. His team continues to be stacked with talent.
Joseph Wicker frightens quarterbacks with his college football-like size (6-foot-4, 265-pounds) and explosive first step at defensive end. He led LBP with 25 tackles behind the line of scrimmage and 17.5 sacks - including six in a 54-14 rout of Crenshaw on Aug. 30.
Offensively, senior Jeremy Calhoun II had 886 yards rushing with nine touchdowns. Senior quarterback Josh Love threw for 2,479 yards, 33 touchdowns and only got intercepted twice.
Servite struggled in the ultra-competitive Trinity League, but has Oregon commit Travis Waller at quarterback. He combined for 2,192 yards and 24 touchdowns throwing and running.