Two football teams are on the road tonight in the quarterfinal round of the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.
Tracy at Del Oro
Playing in Division 2, the Tracy High Bulldogs (8-3, 4-1 Tri-City Athletic League), the No. 8 seed, will travel to Loomis to face No. 1 seed Del Oro.
Tracy advanced with last week’s 49-28 win over Lincoln High of Lincoln. In this year’s 12-team format, Del Oro had a bye for the first week.
Del Oro (9-1, 5-1 Sierra Foothill League) is ranked second out of 149 teams in the Sac-Joaquin Section, as rated by Calpreps.com. The No. 1 team, SFL champion Folsom, is the only team to beat Del Oro so far this year.
Tracy is ranked 15th in the SJS by Calpreps.com. The SFL has two more teams, Oak Ridge and Granite Bay, in the top 15. All four of these SFL teams had byes for the first week of playoffs.
Del Oro has won the Division 2 title in two of the past three years and last year lost to Granite Bay in the championship game.
The Golden Eagles average 337.8 yards per game of offense, with senior quarterback Carson Jarrett passing for 150 yards. He has four receivers who average 25-plus yards per game, including Matthew Smart, 50 yards per game.
Junior running back Sheldon Conde averages just over 101 yards rushing, accounting for most of the Eagles’ 183 rushing yards per game. They score an average of 39 points while their opponents score less than 17 points per game.
Tracy has made the second round of the playoffs in three of the past five years, including the 2014 season, when Tracy advanced to the championship game against Folsom.
This year the Bulldogs have split their offense between passing and rushing. Junior quarterback Logan Fife threw for 184 yards last week against Lincoln, mostly to junior Trevor Pope, four receptions for 98 yards, and senior Trevion Shadrick-Harris, three receptions for 64 yards.
Pope runs the ball for an average of 80 yards per game but had his best game of the season last week when he gained 203 rushing yards on eight carries. Junior Elias Williams also improved on his per-game average of 98 yards by running the ball for 126 yards on 16 carries last week.
The Bulldogs have averaged almost 50 points per game this year while their opponents have scored just over 26 points on average.
Mountain House at Ripon
The Mountain House Mustangs (10-1, 6-1 Western Athletic Conference) will play at Ripon High tonight. The Mustangs won their first-ever playoff game in their fourth year of varsity football last week against Union Mine, 53-30.
Mountain House is the No. 7 seed in the SJS Division 5 bracket and Ripon is the No. 2 seed. The Ripon Indians (9-1, 5-1 Trans Valley League) are the co-champions of the TVL and were also TVL co-champions last year when Mountain House was in that league.
The Mustangs never won a league game when they were in the TVL, but last year on Oct. 6, 2017, they led Ripon 21-7 at halftime. Ripon came back to shut out Mountain House in the second half to win it 33-21.
“Our kids have always wanted to play them again, even when we got out of the TVL,” Mountain House coach Jason McCloskey said after last week’s win over Union Mine. “They were like, ‘Get Ripon. Put ’em on our schedule.’ I’m expecting a hard-fought game.”
Ripon runs the ball for most of its offensive yardage, with senior quarterback Ryan Daggett covering the biggest share — nearly 74 yards — of Ripon’s average of 234 rushing yards per game. Daggett passes for about 102 yards per game, with four different receivers catching the ball for 20 or more yards each.
The Mustangs also rely mostly on their running game, averaging about 276 yards on the ground per game, with senior Jesse Jordan averaging about 77 yards and senior Vladik Sutherland averaging about 83 yards. Jordan also passes for about 78.5 yards per game.
Sutherland had his best game of the year last week with 175 yards on 16 carries, and junior Elijah McLauren had one of his best games, running for 78 yards on seven carries.