Plenty at stake for Eagles Friday night

Eagles 'playing for a league championship and a playoff spot' against Woodcreek
By: Mike Ray, Gold Country News Service
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Saying that the Sierra Foothill League football race is going right down to the wire could be, well, the understatement of the 2010 prep grid season. And for fans and followers of the Del Oro High Golden Eagles, things should be cookin’ Friday night when the black and gold host Woodcreek in a not-so-ordinary regular season finale at Eagle Stadium, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Forget that Friday’s game is also homecoming at Del Oro, more importantly the Golden Eagles-Timberwolves clash carries myriad possibilities for each team, that includes both league championship and California Interscholastic Federation Sac-Joaquin Section playoff implications. Here’s what’s hanging in the balance for Del Oro and the rest of the SFL teams going into Friday’s final round of regular season play: For Del Oro, thanks to their 31-21 win last Friday night at Roseville, the Golden Eagles need a win over Woodcreek Friday to cinch at least a share of the SFL crown. With a win, the Golden Eagles would share the SFL crown with the winner of Friday’s Granite Bay-Roseville game. In either scenario,the Eagles would lock up the SFL’s No. 1 playoff berth by virtue of its wins over both Granite Bay and Roseville during the regular season. At first glance, the streaking Golden Eagles(5-4, 3-1), who have won their last three SFL games, would look to be a favorite against Woodcreek, (5-4, 1-3). However, Del Oro, in fact, will be looking for its first win over its Roseville foe since 2007 — the Timberwolves winning the last two encounters with Del Oro, 24-21 in 2008 and 16-9 last season. And making things a little more interesting is the fact that Woodcreek comes into Friday’s game needing a win over Del Oro to reach the six-win plateau. With six wins under its belt, Woodcreek would qualify as an “at-large” team to the playoffs. “Woodcreek is a couple of plays away from being in first place,” said Del Oro coach Casey Taylor. “They are playing very well right now. We’re expecting a very tough game.” Last Friday, playing for its playoff lives, the Timberwolves ventured to Grass Valley and outlasted Nevada Union in a wild shootout, 52-49. Now comes the big question that a lot of Del Oro fans have asked this week: “Can the Golden Eagles reach the post season with a loss on Friday?” The answer is, well ... yes and no. Because the best Del Oro can finish — with a loss on Friday — is 5-5, the Golden Eagles need to secure one of the league’s two automatic berths to the playoffs. It is doubtful that teams with five wins will be eligible for one of the section’s 24 at-large playoff berths. Now, here’s where things get sticky for Del Oro. Because Del Oro — with a loss Friday — would be tied for second place with the loser of the Granite Bay-Roseville game and Rocklin, if the Thunder win at Nevada Union, the section would have to implement its “13-point” margin of victory tie-breaker rule to decide the SFL’s second place automatic playoff berth. In the two SFL variables of a three-way tie for second place and using margin of victory between the tied teams, in a scenario with Del Oro, Rocklin and Roseville, Del Oro (+1) and Roseville (-3) would lose out to Rocklin (+2). In the other possibility that could have Del Oro, Granite Bay and Rocklin tying, Rocklin again at (+8) would have the edge over both Del Oro (-6) and Granite Bay (-2). However, Del Oro, even with a loss, could advance as the SFL’s No. 2 team, but only if Rocklin loses at NU. In that case, the Golden Eagles would tie with either Granite Bay or Roseville, both who teams they defeated head-to-head. The CIF will announce its playoff pairings Sunday afternoon. “We feel that if we want to go to the playoffs that we have to win,” said Taylor. “Basically, we’re playing for a league championship and a playoff spot Friday night.” ----------------------------------- Sierra Foothill League Standings W L Del Oro (5-4) 3 1 G. Bay (6-3) 3 1 Roseville (6-3) 3 1 Rocklin (6-3) 2 2 Woodcreek (5-4) 1 3 N. Union (4-5) 0 4 Friday’s Games Woodcreek at Del Oro, 7:30 p.m. Rocklin at Nevada Union Roseville at Granite Bay