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SUNDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK: Conference call
League play begins this week
Just two weeks of football, the Sutter High football team has exorcised its demons.
The Huskies' two wins to open Butte View League play mean more than a scoreboard would indicate — Sutter has achieved redemption.
After vanquishing both Wheatland and Orland, the Huskies defeated the programs that ended their last two seasons. In 2010, the Huskies were 0-2 against the Pirates. The Trojans also beat the Huskies twice in 2011.
With those opponents in the rearview for now, the Huskies have what looks to be an inside track to the BVL title. It would be the program's first since 2009.
Obviously, Sutter is aiming at higher goals, including its first Northern Section title since 2008, but getting back to the top of the BVL has been high on the team's priority list as well.
Even with a plethora of BVL banners hanging in the gymnasium, the Huskies know how special a league title is.
With the exception of the BVL schedule, which is already under way, 11 other Mid-Valley football programs begin that same quest this Friday.
Two years may seem like a long time for Sutter, but there's other programs with even longer title droughts.
Yuba City's fate in the Tri-County Conference will likely be decided right out of the gate with this week's vital matchup against five-time defending TCC champ Inderkum.
The Tigers have won 27 consecutive TCC games, dating back to the conference's inaugural season in 2006. Yuba City has never fared better than 3-2 in the TCC.
Furthermore, the Honkers haven't won a league title since their highly regarded Delta League championship squad in 1987, a team their head coach John Ithurburn played on.
River Valley will need to defeat Pioneer for the first time to begin its conference slate 1-0. The Patriots come into Falcon Stadium this Friday with an average margin of victory of 31 points in the all-time series against RV.
Pierce and Live Oak will jockey for position in the Sacramento Valley League this season, a league which hasn't crowned an outright champion since 2008.
The beauty of league play is that it doesn't matter what happened in the opening weeks of the season. Nonconference records don't pull weight here.
The best record in league play gets the coveted title and the automatic playoff berth.
Everyone is undefeated on that opening night. Now, the question is, who will be left standing in November?
WHAT WE LEARNED
Time to shine?
Inderkum may have the lofty records and reputation in the TCC, but Tigers coach Terry Stark isn't taking Yuba City for granted.
"People outside of our league haven't noticed how good Yuba City has gotten in the last few years," Stark told the Sacramento Bee. "Right now, they are playing the best of any of us."
The Tigers had to rally late to get by Terra Nova (Pacifica) on Friday night. Inderkum (4-1) led 28-6 at one point and let Terra Nova tie it up in the third quarter before getting the final score.
Yuba City has had two weeks to prepare for this game with Friday night's bye.
Inderkum runs the wing-T with a bevy of talented athletes with speed and quickness who can break off a big play at any time.
Ready to step up
River Valley is 0-6 all-time against Pioneer, and this Friday would be as good of a time as any for the Falcons to pick up their first victory over the Patriots.
RV is riding the momentum of a 64-0 victory over Lindhurst. However, the Falcons' three wins are over teams with a combined record of 1-14.
A win over Pioneer would give the Falcons a 1-0 start to conference play and a good launching point for a potential playoff push.
Wheatland didn't let its 55-7 loss to Sutter slow anything down.
The Pirates showed some resiliency with a 41-12 win over Oroville, granted the Tigers are 0-5 this season.
Wheatland heads back up north to Oroville this week to take on Las Plumas, which is fresh off a 28-14 win over Winters.
With a 1-1 start to BVL play, Wheatland may be in a battle with Orland to see which team can finish behind Sutter in the BVL standings.
• Maxwell rides a two-game winning streak into its Mountain Valley League opener on Friday against Los Molinos, which may not have a team by that time.
Biggs has a tougher task in its MVL opener at Del Kalbach Stadium against 5-0 Chester. The Wolverines lost 65-18 up in Burney on Friday night.
• Colusa saw just how good Chester is with a 51-13 loss up in Plumas County on Friday night.
The RedHawks will try to move past that when they face local rival East Nicolaus in both teams' Mid-Valley League opener.
Williams opens the MVL with a home game against Esparto.
• Golden Empire League programs Marysville and Lindhurst are both 0-5, but have a clean slate when GEL play begins this Friday.
The Indians open with Mesa Verde at home and the Blazers travel to West Campus.
• Live Oak and Pierce both had byes this week and open SVL action this Friday.
Sutter defense — This unit gets a helmet sticker for the second consecutive week after stonewalling Orland's offense for the majority of Friday night's 20-3 victory.
River Valley quarterback Izaya Johnson — Filling in for the injured Mark Nelson, Johnson tossed three touchdown passes to Jordan Noall in the Falcons' 64-0 victory over Lindhurst.
Wheatland senior wing back Michael Robinson — Robinson rushed for 121 yards and three touchdowns in the Pirates' 41-12 win over Oroville