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Loomis Sports Chatter

By: Mike Ray, Loomis News Correspondent
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They’ll be hanging from the rafters Friday night at Eagle Stadium when Del Oro’s Golden Eagle football team hosts Granite Bay’s Grizzlies in what is being billed — at least for this week anyway— as the Sierra Foothill League’s “Game of the Year.” Plenty will be at stake in the 7:30 p.m. contest, which pits two teams with identical 6-1 overall records and spotless 2-0 Sierra Foothill League records. If there is one measuring stick between the Golden Eagles and Grizzlies going into Friday’s game, it is that each team has needed last minute touchdowns to defeat Nevada Union over the last two weeks. Both Del Oro, ranked 2nd in the Sacramento area, and Granite Bay, ranked 4th, still have games left with a 2-0 Roseville team that is no slouch. Grid pundits figure that Friday’s winner will have the inside track to at least share of the league crown and one of the SFL’s two automatic berths to the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs. And while it is just a little too early to call which respective divisions the Golden Eagles and Grizzlies will land in the CIF’s enrollment-based playoff system, a high post-season seed — which could lead to at least three home playoff games — could also go to Friday’s winner. “No doubt it’s an important game,” said Del Oro coach Casey Taylor. “But at this stage of the season, they really are all important.” A year ago, Del Oro kicked the Granite Bay monkey off its back by winning on the Grizzlies home field, 24-21. That win for the Black and Gold ended a four-game losing skid at the hands of the Grizzlies that had dated back to 2006. That was the last time Del Oro defeated the Grizzlies, 14-7. In Granite Bay, the Golden Eagles will be facing a balanced offensive look led by college-size quarterback Brendan Keeney who has hit on 78 of 141 passes for 1,156 yards already this season. Keeney has fired 16 touchdown passes and has only been intercepted three times. Kenney’s big target is Adam Wagner, who enters this week with 31 catches for 517 yards and six scores. On the ground, Granite Bay’s top weapon is Arik Bird, who has totaled 872 yards and tallied seven touchdowns. Granite Bay may hold a slight edge over Del Oro in the kicking department as Nick Bermudez has banged through six field goals and recorded 11 touchbacks on his kickoffs. The two foes have almost identical team stats as Del Oro has scored 315 points and allowed 149, while Granite Bay has scored 248 points and given up 155. As Homer Takahashi used to say, “Hang on to your hats Friday night, it should be a good one.” Prep Picks A 6-2 week was low-lighted by not going with Jim “The Grip” Harbaugh’s Niners. This week: Del Oro 31, Granite Bay 28 — Granite Bay’s seniors hungry for first win over Golden Eagles. Nevada Union 33, Roseville 30 — With Del Oro and Granite Bay looming, Tigers get caged in Grass Valley. Woodcreek 26, Rocklin 20 — With two league wins required for playoff qualification, this game is a must for T-Wolves and Thunder. Elsewhere: Placer 33, Colfax 30; Bear River 27, Lincoln 15; Fresno State 40, Nevada 31; Fresno City 33, Sierra 23.