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SBLive's Sac-Joaquin Section Fab 15 football rankings: No. 1 Folsom's win at De La Salle proves historical

It doesn't get much easier for the Bulldogs who open SFL play against No. 8 Oak Ridge-El Dorado Hills

The Sac-Joaquin Section is the second latest of the 10 in the state, and it is the largest in Northern California with 174 schools.

So how does it size up in NorCal? Quite well, thank you very much.

Folsom's body of work is considerable, including four CIF State championships since 2010 and beating De La Salle in the NorCal Division I-AA finals last season.

This season? Folsom is the clear No. 2 in NorCal, behind a Serra-San Mateo team it lost to 17-12, and ahead of No. 4 Pittsburg, which it beat 23-15, and ahead of De La Salle, which the Bulldogs beat Friday 24-20.

How big was that nonleague showdown? Plenty.

It marked Folsom's second straight win at DLS, which just doesn't happen. The last NorCal team to beat DLS on its home turf two years in a row was Salesian-Richmond back in 1978 and '79, when players were hauled around in their parents' wood-paneled station wagons.

This week's SJS schedule includes Sierra Foothill League openers worthy of circling on your calendars: Folsom at Oak Ridge; Granite Bay at Oak Ridge; Rocklin at Whitney-Rocklin.

Pull up a stadium seat. It gets fun now.

SBLive Sac-Joaquin Section Fab 15 football rankings (records thru 9/24/22

1. Folsom (4-1)
Last week rank: No. 1
Last week result: Defeated De La Salle, 24-20
Next game: Friday at Oak Ridge-El Dorado Hills
The Bulldogs played stellar defense at DLS, leading 10-0 at the half, and they rallied late to win it with Austin Mack leaping up and over at the goal line with 15 seconds left. What a finish.

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Folsom WR and DB Rico Flores Jr (1). Photo: Dennis Lee.

Folsom WR and DB Rico Flores Jr (1). Photo: Dennis Lee.

2. St. Mary's-Stockton (5-0)
Last week rank: No. 2
Last week result: Defeated Cardinal Newman-Santa Rosa, 32-18
Next game: Friday at Lodi
The Rams can seize control of the Tri-City Athletic League race with a win over 5-0 Lodi, a team they have dominated.

3. Granite Bay (5-0)
Last week result: Bye
Next game: Friday vs. Del Oro-Loomis
The Grizzlies had a bye and now take on their big rivals in a Placer County rumble.

4. Monterey Trail-Elk Grove (4-2)
Last week rank: No. 4
Last week result: Defeated Kennedy-Sacramento, 69-0
The Mustangs have never lost a Metro League game since being in that league before the 2018 season. That's a 20-game league winning streak with no end in sight.

No. 6 Vanden Fairfield (5-0)
Last week rank: No. 5
Last week result: Bye
Next game: Friday vs. Armijo-Fairfield
The Vikings had a bye. They have won 12 consecutive games, and on Oct. 7 visit defending Monticello Empire League champion Vacaville.

Vanden QB Tre Dimes (5). Photo: Dennis Lee.

Vanden QB Tre Dimes (5). Photo: Dennis Lee.

No. 6 Manteca (4-0)
Last week rank: No. 6
Last week result: Bye
Next game: Friday vs. Kimball-Tracy
The Buffaloes rested up on their bye week and set their sights on another Valley Oak League championship, a race that includes Central Catholic-Modesto and Oakdale.

No. 7 Del Oro-Loomis (5-0)
Last week rank: No. 7
Last week result: Bye
The Golden Eagles had a bye week to study every bit of rival Granite Bay, and to hone up on their own squad. Caden Pinnick has impressed at quarterback.

No. 8 Oak Ridge-El Dorado Hills (5-0)
Last week rank: No. 8
Last week result: Defeated Pitman-Turlock, 65-0
The Trojans have not defeated rival Folsom since the 2006 season, meaning they badly want to halt a 16-game losing skid to the Bulldogs, including the playoffs. Oak Ridge has outscored teams 283-10 this season with four shutouts.

No. 9 Jesuit-Carmichael (5-0)
Last week rank: No. 9
Last week result: Defeated Pleasant Grove-Elk Grove, 49-0
The Marauders unleashed dual-threat speedy QB CJ Lee, who accounted for four touchdowns in a 49-9 win over Pleasant Grove-Elk Grove. Jesuit is the defending Delta League champion.

No. 10 Central Catholic-Modesto (1-4)
Last week rank: No. 9
Last week result: Lost to St. John Bosco-Bellflower, 65-0
The Raiders are not a bad team, never mind their record. Few teams in the state have scheduled as tough as CC, with losses to Saint Francis-Mountain View (35-28), St. Mary's-Stockton (47-7), Serra-San Mateo (42-30) and to national powerhouse St. John Bosco-Bellflower.

No. 11 Downey-Modesto (5-0)
Last week rank: No. 11
Last week result: Bye
Next game: Friday at Modesto
The Knights expect to win the Central California Conference and make an SJS championship run in Division II. Conner Stoddard has passed for 1,384 yards and 15 touchdowns.

No. 12 Placer-Auburn (5-0)
Last week rank: No. 12
Last week result: Defeated Rio Linda, 56-0
Next game: Friday vs. Ponderosa-Shingle Springs
The Hillmen run the wing-T, which includes deception plays and a lot of speedy backs, and the defense has been a strength for a program seeking another Foothill Valley League championship.

Placer QB Joshua Craycraft (7). Photo: Dennis Lee.

Placer QB Joshua Craycraft (7). Photo: Dennis Lee.

No. 13 Rocklin (4-1)
Last week result: No. 13
Last week result: Defeated Glacier Park (Washington), 16-14
Next game: Friday at Whitney-Rocklin
In a wild finish, the Thunder had the lights go out in their nonleague game, then came back on, and Rocklin scored the final 16 points to win it. This is the defending SFL champion that has gone 16-2 the last two seasons.

No. 14 Lodi (5-0)
Last week rank: No. 14
Last week result: Defeated Gregori-Modesto, 42-20
Next game: Friday vs. St. Mary's-Stockton
If the Flames want to win the Tri-City Athletic League, they have to top powerhouse St. Mary's. It's that simple.


No. 15 Sheldon-Sacramento (4-2)
Last week rank: No. 15
Last week result: Defeated Franklin-Elk Grove, 49-21
Next game: Friday vs. Cosumnes Oaks-Elk Grove
Scott Nixon has set all sorts of career receiving records at his school, and then he stepped in for injured RB star Devin Green and rushed for 230 yards and three touchdowns against Franklin-Elk Grove.

On the bubble:
No. 16 Tracy (4-1)
No. 17 Elk Grove (2-3)
No. 18 Oakdale (4-1)
No. 19 Turlock (2-3)
No. 20 Lincoln-Stockton (3-2)


Around the SJS
* Grant-Sacramento has emerged as a power again after some lean years. Grant led the Sacramento region in victories in the 1990s and 2000s and went 14-1 in 2014 before dipping to 1-9 in 2019 and 0-9 in 2021.

* Now Grant is 4-1, rolling again after moving from the SFL into the Metro League. Playmakers include QB Jojo McCray, WR/DB Kyrell Goss-Pruitt and stoppers Kingston Lopa, Dubee Lopa and Solomina Malae.

* The section's top sophomore is national recruit receiver Phillip Bell of Christian Brothers-Sacramento. He catches touchdowns, runs for them, and in beating Sacramento, tossed one for a team seeking a Capital Athletic League championship and a section Division III run.

* Sutter won 14 Northern Section championships and has entered the SJS as a small-school power still on a roll. The Huskies are the favorite to win the Pioneer Valley League as a run-heavy program that plays stout defense.