MaxPreps Sac-Joaquin Section Top 25 Football Rankings1. Elk Grove (1) 5-0
Idle. Host Laguna Creek on Friday. The Thundering Herd went 12-1 last season in claiming the Delta Valley Conference that includes Franklin and Grant. Elk Grove is still favored with superb offensive line, fast backs and attacking defense.View the latest MaxPreps 2012 California Bowl Game Rankings2. Franklin (Elk Grove) (2) 5-0
Idle. At Grant on Friday. The Wildcats have their finest group in the 10-year varsity history of the school and now face a Grant program in a Delta Valley Conference opener that they have never beaten.3. Burbank (Sacramento) (3) 5-0
Beat Sacramento 56-12. Host Florin on Saturday. The Titans are too fast for anyone in the overwhelmed Metro Conference, as Sacramento found out. Isiah Williams
scooted for 245 yards and four scores on seven carries, including scoring bursts of 90 and 84 yards.4. Oak Ridge (El Dorado Hills) (4) 5-1
Idle. Host No. 5 Folsom on Friday. The Trojans were a power in the 1980s in Division III, then in D-II in the 1990s and 2000s and now a rising force in D-I. QB play, lines and defense are all superb. Monster opening Delta River League tilt with Folsom.5. Folsom (5) 5-0
Idle. At Oak Ridge on Friday. The Bulldogs open the Delta River League slate against tri-favorite Oak Ridge with defending champion Pleasant Grove and emerging Jesuit also threats. The Bulldogs have added a run game to a dynamic passing attack headed by Jake Browning
.View the latest California football photo galleries6. Placer (Auburn) (6) 6-0
Beat Woodcreek (Roseville) 54-14. Host Foothill (Sacramento) on Friday. The Hillmen are overwhelming favorites to win their first Pioneer Valley League title that has gone to Colfax in recent years. Dominant offense with balance and stoppers on D make for a potential bowl team.7. St. Mary's (Stockton) (7) 3-2
Idle. Host Tokay (Lodi) on Friday. Rams still grinning after blasting rival Lincoln (Stockton) 51-18 with late surge. Overwhelming favorites to claim another Tri-City League championship. Losses to Central Catholic and De La Salle.8. Buhach Colony (Atwater) (8) 3-2
Idle. Host Pitman (Turlock) on Friday. Showdown with Pitman could well decide the Central California title which BC has owned of late. Last loss was by a point to NorCal heavy Serra (San Mateo).9. Nevada Union (Grass Valley) (9) 3-2
Idle. Host Rocklin on Friday. The Miners have lost at Pleasant Grove on a last-play blocked field goal and at top-ranked Elk Grove. Open Sierra Foothill League play against an upstart Rocklin team that beat Inderkum, which beat Pleasant Grove.
10. Granite Bay (10) 2-3
Beat Lincoln (Stockton) 42-14. Host Roseville on Friday. The Grizzlies bombed Lincoln with its fly sweep and a swarming defense that mugged the Trojans runners. Defending Division I section champions aim to win the Sierra Foothill League.11. Central Catholic (Modesto) (15) 4-2
Beat Ceres 69-7. Host Pacheco (Los Banos) on Friday. Ray Lomas
ran for four touchdowns and Garrett Ardis
hit Oregon-bound tight end Johnny Mundt
for a score. CC has a win over St. Mary's this season.12. Oakdale (13) 4-1
Beat Kimball (Tracy) 56-14. At Lathrop on Friday. Lost only to San Diego-area No. 1 Oceanside in SoCal showcase; run game is dominant.13. Inderkum (Sacramento) (16) 4-1
Beat Terra Nova (Pacifica) 34-28. Host Yuba City on Friday in Tri-County League opener. The Tigers seek their sixth consecutive league title behind line surge and fast backs.14. Pleasant Grove (Elk Grove) (16) 3-2
Idle. At Sheldon on Friday in Delta River League opener. The Eagles are defending league champions and are balanced with the passing of emerging junior leader Dre Terrell
, receiver Wyatt Demps
and a bevy of backs. Losses to Lincoln (Stockton) and Inderkum.15. Pitman (Turlock) (17) 5-0
Idle. At Buhach Colony on Friday to open league play with the conference title already on the line. Pitman has surged since bursting onto the scene in recent years.
View the California football stat leaders16. Del Campo (Fair Oaks) (18) 3-2
Idle. Host Casa Roble in Capital Valley Conference opener on Friday in meeting of fierce rivals. The winner of this matchup has won the league in each of the past 11 years.17. Cosumnes Oaks (Elk Grove) (19) 4-1
Beat Union Mine (El Dorado) 55-7 in a Sierra Valley Conference opener a year after UM denied the Wolfpack a championship with a 14-7 win. Host Galt on Friday. CO has skill players, linemen and a defense to make a section-title run.18. American Canyon (20) 5-0
Idle. At Vallejo on Friday. The Solano County League title will come down to AC and Benicia. For a newer school, AC is off to a roaring start with athletes galore.
19. Jesuit (Carmichael) (22) 4-1
Beat Laguna Creek (Sacramento) 43-7. The Marauders have one of the section's top playmakers in Thomas Sperbeck
, a quarterback who can run and throw and who will face a vastly improved Ponderosa (Shingle Springs) team on Saturday in a Delta River League opener.20. Stagg (Stockton) (23) 5-0
Idle. At Edison (Stockton) on Friday. If there's a year where the Delta Kings have a shot to topple St. Mary's in the Tri-City League race, it's this one.21. Downey (Modesto) (25) 5-1
Beat Johansen (Modesto) 49-8. Host Modesto on Thursday. One win was over Central Catholic in a shootout. Aaron Zwahlen
one of the top QBs in NorCal. He had five touchdowns in Gregori rout and 28 total.22. Tokay (Lodi) (NR) 5-0
The Tigers are off to a sizzling start and took down rival Lodi 35-13. Defense has been the key in allowing 7, 7, 6, 6 and 13 points. It can be argued that Tokay hasn't played a monster schedule, sure, but it will draw a monster foe, No. 7 St. Mary's (Stockton), on Friday to open Tri-City League play.23. Merced (NR) 3-2
The Bears, section super powers in the 1980s and '90s, are still a factor, including a 45-41 shootout win against Downey (Modesto). Losses are to Fresno powers Edison and Clovis North, teams that are a combined 8-2.24. Lincoln (Stockton) ( 2-3)
Trojans have a 35-21 loss to top-ranked Elk Grove, a 34-27 win over No. 14 Pleasant Grove then the beat-down setbacks to St. Mary's (51-18) and Granite Bay (42-14). The talent is there to cruise into the postseason, however. Host Bear Creek (Stockton) on Friday.25. Vacaville (11) 2-3
Hard to imagine the Bulldogs, so strong and resilient over the years, losing three in a row, yet here they are. Still, this is your Monticello Empire League favorite as long as Curtis Goins is running the ball. At Vintage (Napa) on Friday.Sac-Joaquin Section news and notes...
* You don't have to have a ranked team to have a milestone moment — or to make ESPN's SportsCenter. Oakmont (Roseville) used a trick play out of PAT formation to stun host Lincoln in a nonleague game on Friday. Taylor Laird
hit Namani Parker
for a 28-yard touchdown pass with no time left to cut Lincon's advantage to 43-42. What to do next? With three defensive starters going down during the game with injuries, Oakmont coach Tim Moore elected to go with trickery. In PAT formation, Laird took the snap, stood up and, with his back to the oncoming defensive rush, flipped the ball high into the air and into the end zone where 6-foot-3 receiver Justin Holmes
snatched it like a game-saving rebound. Touchdown and then celebration madness. Here's a Sacramento Bee story link and video clip
* Del Oro earned its first win of the season by stunning Logan 20-13 in overtime in Loomis. Zach LaBar
hit Cody Otten
for the game-winning touchdown pass, and Otten sealed it a moment later when he knocked down a fourth-down touchdown pass attempt in the end zone. Del Oro had lost earlier crushers to Westlake (16-13 in overtime), Burbank (28-23) and Grant (31-30).
* Rio Linda
beat upstart Ponderosa 15-13 on a last-play, 35-yard field goal by Danny Perez
, a kick all the more remarkable considering Perez hadn't attempted a kick all season and is the back-up leg. But with starter Jonathan Tafoya hobbled by a quad injury from soccer, the Knights sent an unsuspecting Perez out. His kick cleared the cross bar by inches, handing Ponderosa its first loss.
* A year after the teams ended a Metro Conference game with a brawl that made national news because someone filmed it, decades-long rivals McClatchy and Kennedy of the Sacramento City Unified School District made sure there would be no issues this time. Team captains and coaches met for lunch the day before the game. McClatchy
won 46-6 as Nick Modar
passed for four touchdowns and Kijafa Burgie
ran for two scores.
* Two section heavies entering this season are reeling. Lincoln of Stockton started this campaign as the section's No. 1 team, lost an opener to Elk Grove and beat Pleasant Grove but has been handled of late 51-18 to St. Mary's and Granite bay 42-14. Vacaville has lost three consecutive games, including Friday's shelling at Deer Valley (Antioch). Still, both teams are favored to roll through their league schedules.
* News of one of the Sacramento region's most recognized players has coaches, teammates and family flooding Mercy Hospital in Sacramento in support of John Bloomfield. He was a linebacker for Grant's 2008 state-championship team and is a defensive end/team captain for Sacramento State. Respiratory problems worsened, however, and he was admitted into Mercy on Sept. 19. One surgery led to two, then three, and Bloomfield lapsed into a coma. Here is The Sacramento Bee story
.Joe Davidson has covered high schools with The Sacramento Bee since 1988. Follow him on Twitter: @SacBee_JoeD; on Facebook: sacbeepreps; and online: sacbee.com/preps; and radio podcasts: ESPN1320.net.