Most Viewed Stories
WEEK SIX PREVIEW: League play is under way
Honkers, Falcons look to start 1-0
Since its inception in 2006, the Tri-County Conference has belonged to one football program — Inderkum.
With the exception of the TCC's inaugural season when Pioneer took the title, Inderkum has won five consecutive conference banners.
In that span, the Tigers have won 27 consecutive TCC games.
That's what Yuba City is up against tonight in Sacramento when the Honkers open conference play against the Tigers.
Led by coach Terry Stark, Inderkum's offense operates out of the wing-T with tons of speed and athleticism. Inderkum has a home-run threat on every play.
The Tigers are ranked No. 7 in the Cal-Hi Sports Northern California Division II state bowl rankings and No. 9 in the Sacramento Bee's latest top 20.
"They're just faster than everyone else," said Yuba City coach John Ithurburn. "They have a very good coaching staff that's there year in and year out."
And year after year, the Tigers find ways to get by the Honkers, who are 0-6 all-time against Inderkum.
Yuba City came close in 2010, but failed to hold Inderkum on a fourth-and-28 play late in the contest. The Tigers converted the down and ended up scoring to take a 23-20 lead, the eventual final score.
Due to some costly turnovers by YC and big plays from Inderkum, the Honkers lost 35-21 last season at Honker Stadium. The Tigers jumped out to a 35-7 lead at halftime.
Before last week's bye, Yuba City took on Placer in Auburn on Sept. 21 and took the Hillmen to the limit before losing 42-33.
"We wanted to see a good wing-T team," Ithurburn said. "Inderkum's a lot faster (than Placer), but I think that game helped us. Our kids saw they can play with that kind of talent."
Yuba City (4-1) has never fared better than 3-2 in TCC play and is seeking the program's first league title since 1987.
Senior quarterback Taylor Elkins is coming off a 300-yard, three-touchdown performance against Placer. Fullback Nate Van Dusen leads the Honkers with 633 yards rushing and nine touchdowns.
Inderkum (4-1) is led by junior dual-threat quarterback C.J. Spencer. His top weapons include Eric Walters and Terrence White.
Both White and Walters scored touchdowns against Yuba City last season.
Inderkum's one loss this year came on Sept. 21 at Rocklin. Last week, the Tigers beat Terra Nova (Pacifica) 34-28, though allowed Terra Nova to tie the game at 28-28 after leading 28-6.
"We don't stress over winning league championships," Ithurburn said. "We approach each game the same, and when we get done, we put it in the books, learn from it, try to get better, and move on to the next game.
"If a league championship comes with it, then great. If it doesn't, then we're still going to do the same stuff we always do."
Pioneer (3-2) vs. River Valley (3-2)
In Yuba City — The Falcons will have to make program history tonight if they hope to begin their TCC schedule 1-0.
RV is 0-6 against the Patriots since the programs started playing each other in 2006 with an average margin of victory of 31 points for Pioneer.
Pioneer runs a physical wing-T offense led by senior Juan Carlos Ramirez, who averages 128 yards rushing per game with six touchdowns overall. As a team, the Patriots average 276 yards on the ground.
The Patriots faced their biggest test of the season last week and were defeated 28-3 by Division-I Monterey Trail of Elk Grove. Before that, Pioneer had victories over winless programs Lindhurst and Valley (Sacramento).
The Falcons also have a couple of wins over 0-5 teams Marysville and Lindhurst. Those wins were sandwiched around a 28-14 loss at home to Bear River on Sept. 21.
River Valley and Pioneer will really know where they stand after tonight's matchup.
Colusa (2-3) vs. East Nicolaus (3-2)
In Nicolaus — These two programs will kick off the Mid-Valley League season tonight and this rivalry has been all Spartans recently.
East Nicolaus is 8-0 in its last eight meetings with the RedHawks. Colusa's last win was a 30-24 victory in 2003.
Colusa dropped its final nonleague game to Chester last week 51-13 and is trying to snap a two-game losing skid with a 1-0 start to league play.
East Nicolaus was on bye last week after ending its nonleague slate with a 40-24 win over Stone Ridge Christian of Merced on Sept. 22.
Zach Schuler continues to be the spark plug in East Nic's offense as he leads the team with 627 yards rushing and nine touchdowns. He's also thrown for five scores and 462 yards.
Colusa operates out of its new-look wing-T attack led by senior running back Andrew Rodriguez.
Willows (2-3) vs. Live Oak (4-1)
In Live Oak — The Lions had a week off to recover from a tough overtime loss at Winters on Sept. 22.
They begin their quest for a Sacramento Valley League title tonight in the Lions' Den against the Honkers, the team that knocked them out of the SVL title race a season ago. Willows went on to win the Northern Section Division III championship.
The Honkers struggled through their nonleague schedule with a three-game losing streak that included losses to Winters, Orland and Corning. They beat Hamilton last week 20-7.
Live Oak features a strong ground game led by the senior tandem of Tyler Raymond and Cody Herbert. Raymond has 363 yards rushing with five touchdowns, while Herbert has amassed 308 yards and six scores.
Add in dual-threat quarterback Romario Acosta and Live Oak has displayed a strong attack offensively.
Mt. Shasta (0-5) vs. Pierce (5-0)
In Arbuckle — The undefeated Bears haven't shown any signs of slowing down. They aren't just winning games, they're winning them handily.
Pierce is outscoring its opponents by an average of 37-8 and will look to add to that with winless Mt. Shasta coming into Gregg LeMaster Field for the SVL opener.
The Bears will have to run the gauntlet over its final four games with tough matchups against Durham, Trinity, Live Oak and Willows.
Winters (3-2) vs. Sutter (5-0)
In Sutter — The Huskies will look to stay undefeated tonight as the Warriors visit Wayne Gadberry Field for some Butte View League action.
Sutter faced a stiff test against Orland last week, yet persevered for a 20-3 victory over the reigning BVL champs.
The Huskies are currently ranked No. 5 in the Cal-Hi Sports Division III Northern California state bowl rankings and could get a boost with a big-time matchup at Enterprise looming ahead on Oct. 19.
Sutter isn't focused on that, rather taking care of the next two BVL opponents on the schedule.
Wheatland (4-1) vs. Las Plumas (2-3)
In Oroville — The Pirates head up Highway 70 to Oroville's Harrison Stadium for the second consecutive week after a 41-12 win over Oroville last week.
Wheatland (1-1 in the BVL) can leap-frog Las Plumas in the BVL standings as the Thunderbirds are 2-0 after last week's 28-14 win over Winters.
Michael Robinson, Mark Campos and Austin Cooper all have more than 200 yards rushing for the Pirates this season and quarterback Jackson Hopking has completed 62 percent of his passes for 659 yards and 10 scores.
Junior tight end Jordan Samson is a reliable target for Hopking with 18 catches for 360 yards and four TDs this season.
Mesa Verde (1-4) vs. Marysville (0-5)
In Marysville — The quest for win No. 1 continues at War Memorial Stadium tonight for the Indians as they welcome in the Mavericks for the Golden Empire League opener.
Mesa Verde's one win this season was a 13-7 week one victory over Mira Loma, a team that defeated Marysville 35-0. The Indians haven't scored a touchdown since their 56-6 loss to Wheatland on Sept. 7.
With a bye week last week, the Indians get to open the GEL with a clean slate.
Oroville (0-5) vs. Gridley (0-5)
In Gridley — Something has to give in this BVL battle of winless teams.
Gridley continues to battle the injury bug and will try to find the win column at the Bone Yard tonight against the Tigers.
This will be the first matchup between these two teams since 2005, a 22-14 win for Oroville.
The Bulldogs have been outscored 211-14 by opponents this season. Their touchdown against Anderson last week in a 49-6 loss broke a three-game shutout streak.
Chester (5-0) vs. Biggs (3-2)
In Biggs — The Wolverines open Mountain Valley League play tonight against the undefeated Volcanoes, who are the reigning league champions.
Chester won both of its MVL matchups with Biggs last season by scores of 51-0 and 37-20. Biggs last beat Chester in 2010 with a 7-6 win.
Esparto (0-5) vs. Williams (1-4)
In Williams — It's a battle of two struggling teams at McCarl Field tonight in the Mid-Valley League opener.
The Yellowjackets haven't scored a touchdown since their week zero win over a now-defunct Los Molinos program. Williams has been outscored 172-0 over its past four games.
Esparto has experienced similar struggles as the Spartans have been outscored 183-13 in that same span of games.
Lindhurst (0-5) vs. West Campus (1-3)
In Sacramento — The Blazers and Warriors will open the GEL slate at Burbank High on Saturday.
Since joining the GEL in 2010, West Campus is 0-2 against Lindhurst.