With no problems at the top of the order and teams setting up showdown games for league titles, there was plenty of difficulty toward the bottom. Three new teams broke into the first 25 with two of them – Cosumnes Oaks and Tracy – going in for the first time all season.
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It will be No. 2 Folsom and No. 4 Oak Ridge of El Dorado Hills meeting this Friday for the Sierra Foothill League title and No. 8 Pitman of Turlock facing No. 9 Turlock for the Central California Conference title in showdown games coming up in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section.
Folsom has a loss to Sacramento this season, but since then has been looking like a team ready to defend four straight Division I section titles, including last Friday’s 47-14 win against Rocklin. Oak Ridge kept pace by beating Nevada Union of Grass Valley 35-14 and still has lost only to Reed of Sparks, Nev. Reed also is 8-1 with its loss to California state-ranked Clayton Valley of Concord.
Pitman has had close games, such as 7-6 over Napa and 29-26 over Lincoln of Stockton, but hasn’t lost and has crept up in the rankings in recent weeks. Turlock enters at 7-2, but one of its losses (41-6) came in the first week to a Freedom of Oakley team that is unbeaten and now in the top 15 in the state with its other loss in overtime to a Clovis team that at the time was No. 1-ranked in the CIF Central Section.
While those league finales were being set up nicely, resulting in few changes in the top 15 of this week’s section rankings, there was reshuffling in the next positions.
New No. 21 Cosumnes Oaks improved to 6-3 with a 39-20 win over previous No. 25 Whitney of Rocklin. After this week’s results, the Wolfpack also can say their losses are all to higher ranked opponents – St. Mary’s of Stockton, Antelope and Roseville.
Even at 4-5, Tracy also had to go in after the Bulldogs trounced previous No. 20 Lincoln of Stockton 49-20. Tracy also has a loss to state-ranked Freedom of Oakley and two other losses to CIF North Coast Section teams (San Ramon Valley and Liberty of Brentwood), but its two other losses are to higher-ranked St. Mary’s and Turlock.
While this is the first team all season that Cosumnes Oaks and Tracy have been in the top 25 for the section, new No. 24 American Canyon is returning. The Wolves dropped out after a 24-21 loss to Vanden, but Vanden then lost to a Benicia team that they beat 63-21 earlier in the season. American Canyon also still has quality wins over Vintage of Napa and Inderkum of Sacramento.
(After games of Saturday, Oct. 29)
(Previous ranking in parentheses)
1. (1) St. Mary’s (Stockton) 8-1
2. (2) Folsom 8-1
3. (3) Sacramento 8-1
4. (4) Oak Ridge (El Dorado Hills) 8-1
5. (5) Elk Grove 8-1
6. (6) Central Catholic (Modesto) 7-2
7. (7) Del Oro (Loomis) 7-2
8. (8) Pitman (Turlock) 9-0
9. (9) Turlock 8-2
10. (10) Manteca 8-1
11. (13) Antelope 9-0
12. (11) Sonora 9-0
13. (14) Napa 6-3
14. (16) Sheldon (Sacramento) 7-2
15. (17) Grant (Sacramento) 7-2
16. (18) Vacaville 6-3
17. (21) Roseville 8-1
18. (23) Jesuit (Carmichael) 6-3
19. (12) Oakdale 7-2
20. (15) Davis 4-6
21. (NR) Cosumnes Oaks (Elk Grove) 6-3
22. (NR) Tracy 4-5
23. (19) Monterey Trail (Elk Grove) 5-4
24. (NR) American Canyon 8-1
25. (24) Rocklin 4-6
Previous No. 20 Lincoln (Stockton); No. 22 Woodcreek (Roseville); No. 25 Whitney (Rocklin).