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SBLive's Northern Section Top 10 football rankings: No. 1 Foothill pummels Chico, now gets No. 2 Enterprise

Cougars pile up more than 400 yards with big road win; West Valley enters the top 5 with its fifth straight win; Top two teams square off Friday

It doesn't get any better than Friday night. 

The top two teams in the SBLive Northern Section rankings face off when No. 2 Enterprise-Redding hosts No. 1 Foothill-Palo Cedro

This could be a preview of the Northern Section playoff finals. 

Enterprise (8-0) has outscored opponents 374-44 with three shutouts while Foothill, against tougher competition, has a 265-114 points edge.  

These two programs have battled almost evenly since 2004, with Foothill holding a 14-12 series edge. The visiting Cougars have dominated lately with seven straight wins in the series, including 41-21 last season.  

After a rough start to its season West Valley won its fifth straight Friday, earning the Eagles a spot in the top-5 for the first time. 

Fall River re-enters the top 10 at No. 10 after falling off temporarily due to a poor strength of schedule. 

Hamilton makes its first appearance as a bubble team. The Braves’ offense has been powerful, led by 24 passing touchdowns from Diego Sanchez — brother of Indianapolis Colts’ punter Rigo Sanchez.

1. Foothill-Palo Cedro (7-1 record)
Last week rank: No. 1
Last week game: Beat Chico 47-7
Next game: Friday at Enterprise
Starting QB Davis Smith returned from injury Friday after missing the Oct. 14 game against Red Bluff with a separated shoulder. Smith was stellar in his return, completing 9 of 13 passes for 214 yards and four TDs. The senior also ran eight times for 47 yards and one TD, proving the shoulder is ready for a postseason run. Smith and the Cougars’ defense gets a true test this week as the top two Eastern Athletic League teams collide.

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2. Enterprise (8-0)
Last week rank: No. 2
Last week game: Beat Red Bluff 28-0
Next game: Friday vs. Enterprise
The Hornets got their fourth shutout and second in league play. Their offense has been strong, as 28 points was the lowest score they have scored all season. QB JJ Johson (1,131 yards passing, 19 TDs) threw his first interception Friday. A senior linebacker crew solidifies the Hornets’ defense, while the QB/RB duo of Johnson and Davion Welch (632 yards, 8 TDs) solidifies their offense.

3. Pleasant Valley (5-3)
Last week rank: No. 3
Last week game: Beat Shasta 25-0
Next game: Friday vs. Red Bluff
The Vikings outscored opponents 53-0 in the last seven quarters, after trailing 14-0 in the first quarter against Chico on Oct. 14. The Vikings continue to be burdened by injuries. They lost two quarterbacks early in the season and now their starting running back Matt Kinoshita saw very little playing time Friday while nursing a sore shoulder. QB Joseph Garcia, a sophomore called up from JV due to injuries, is also banged up. The Vikings’ large running back group and big blockers will be key in the remainder of the season.

The Vikings have gone seven straight quarters without allowing a point. Photo: Gary Jones.

The Vikings have gone seven straight quarters without allowing a point. Photo: Gary Jones.

4. Orland (8-0)
Last week rank: No. 4
Last week game: Beat Las Plumas 49-21
Next game: Friday at Corning
It’s easy to say the Trojans’ offense was outstanding with 49 points against the Thunderbirds Friday, but its defense was arguably the star. Two forced fumbles, one interception and 9.5 sacks aided a rushing attack that ran for 385 yards and one TD. With two regular season games to go, star QB Grant Foster (1,128 yards rushing, 16 TDs) is banged up. He still ran 26 times for 173 yards and three TDs Friday.

5. West Valley (5-3)
Last week rank: No. 8
Last week game: Beat University Prep 17-0
Next game: Friday vs. Anderson
The Eagles entered Friday against University Prep as the underdog, but gave the Panthers their first loss of the regular season and are now the No. 1 team in the Northern Athletic League. They have outscored opponents 220-34 in their five-game winning streak, including a 3-0 start in league. QB Noah Mason completed 14-of-23 passes for 128 yards and one TD against the Panthers, RB Niall Raby ran 32 times for 133 yards and one TD, and the Eagles’ defense had two interceptions, one blocked field goal and one forced fumble.

6. University Prep (7-1)
Last week rank: No. 6
Last week game: Lost to West Valley 17-0
Next game: Friday at Yreka
The Panthers lost for the second time in their last 22 games, rushing for just 111 yards. 

7. East Nicolaus-Nicolaus (7-1)
Last week rank: No. 5
Last week game: Beat Pierce 36-13
Next game: Friday vs. Live Oak
The Spartans, Colusa and Hamilton have been the top three D-4 teams thus far, but the Spartans have the clear advantage when looking at strength of schedule. East Nicolaus has rushed for 2,471 yards and 33 touchdowns between 11 players. On defense, the Spartans have recorded 18 sacks. 

8. Colusa (8-0)
Last week rank: No. 9
Last week game: Beat Live Oak 38-0
Next game: Friday at Winters
The RedHawks made a statement on their Homecoming night with a second shutout in three league games. This week the Redhawks face a Winters team that has lost two straight. Bo Coronado continued his standout season Friday (245 yards passing, four TDs, 142 yards rushing) in addition to RB Rhett Risse’s 153 yards rushing.

9. Fall River (8-0)
Last week rank: NR
Last week game: Beat Maxwell 56-0
Next game: Friday at Los Molinos
Brandon Brown needed just six completions to throw for 200 yards and four touchdowns against Maxwell. The team rushed for 189 yards and three TDs and recorded four sacks on defense. 

10. Hamilton-Hamilton City (7-1)
Last week rank: NR
Last week game: Beat Biggs 36-15
Next game: Friday at Mt. Shasta
Diego Sanchez completed 15 of 21 for 337 yards and four touchdowns against Biggs and has thrown 24 TDs on the season against just four interceptions. Omar Sanchez had five catches for 172 yards and three TDs.