Marysville hosts Falcons' debut
History will be made tonight when River Valley High takes the field for the first time as a varsity football squad.
The Falcons travel to Marysville to take on the Indians, who also open their season.
“It's huge,” River Valley coach John Scott said. “Our kids will be playing 17- and 18-year-olds, many of whom will be physically more mature than us.”
The Falcons are comprised of mainly juniors. Marysville, meanwhile, boasts seniors and juniors, many of whom played varsity ball last year, Scott noted.
“It's a big jump” from junior varsity, where the Falcons played last year, to varsity, Scott added.
To compensate for the disparity in varsity experience, Scott said his team must come out and play smart and aggressive from the opening whistle. The Falcons can't afford the luxury of starting slow.
“We have to be as tough as possible, block, tackle and execute,” Scott said.
While this is River Valley's first taste of varsity experience, Marysville is not overlooking the Falcons.
“We can't afford to take anybody for granted,” Indians coach Brad Sparks said.
Sparks had an opportunity to watch River Valley at a scrimmage last week and came away impressed. He noted the Falcons have a very talented sophomore runningback in Mike Dean as well as several other runningbacks who showed they are quite capable of moving the ball up the field.
And defensively, “they rally to the ball very well,” Sparks said.
Marysville's defense also should be tough. Sparks said this year's defensive unit is the biggest, strongest and fastest he's seen at Marysville in quite a while.
The Indians' offensive line also is the biggest and fastest Sparks has had since he took over as head coach four years ago.
Chico at Yuba City
Tonight marks the season opener for Yuba City, while Chico comes to town with an 0-1 mark, after falling to West Valley High last week, 27-13.
The Honkers pin their hopes on junior quarterback Josh Hudson, who excelled at the junior varsity level a year ago. Yuba City's ground game is anchored by fullback Anthony Willis.
Williams at Colusa
Colusa (0-2) and Williams (0-1) both look to score their first points of the season. Colusa fell to East Nicolaus last week, 32-0, and lost to Hamilton City, 30-0, in its season opener. Williams opened its season with a 14-0 loss to Maxwell.
Colusa's offense is led by Jason Smit and Matt Vedo. Smit carried the ball 10 times for 110 yards against East Nicolaus, and Vedo completed 11 of 20 passes for 138 yards against East Nicolaus.
Clear Lake at Pierce
Pierce looks to make it 2-0 on the season against Clear Lake, which makes it season debut tonight.
Jake Geyer was a workhorse for Pierce in last week's 18-7 win over Esparto. He completed 10-of-17 passes for 130 yards and three touchdowns. He also led the team on the ground with 59 yards rushing on 13 carries. Michael Barber had 58 yards receiving and two TDs, while Ceasar Barba had 50 yards receiving and a touchdown.
Sutter at Lincoln
Sutter (0-1) is looking to bounce back from its upset loss to Live Oak. Tonight is Lincoln's season opener.
Chad Moran led Sutter's ground game against Live Oak, gaining 69 yards on 11 carries. Quarterback Joe Winship completed four-of-eight passes for 41 yards. He favorite target was Colton Harris, who had three catches for 30 yards.
Golden Sierra at Wheatland
After dropping its season opener last week to Oroville, 48-18, Wheatland looks to bounce back against Golden Sierra (0-0).
The Pirates' Lurell Johnson provided some excitement on special teams against Oroville, as he returned a kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown. Andrew McCleary rushed for 126 yards on nine carries, including a 75-yard TD romp. Justin Peacock scored a touchdown off a nine-yard run.
Gridley at Durham
The Gridley Bulldogs erupted for 245 yards on the ground in defeating Willows, 28-6, in their season opener last week.
Christian Eustaquio returned the opening kickoff 95 yards to get Gridley rolling. Simon Lamson rushed for 92 yards and scored a touchdown from five yards out. Dustin Mattos scored on a 2-yard run and Jose Solis broke free for a 35-yard scoring jaunt to cap the Bulldog scoring. Quarterback Eric Donnard added 52 yards rushing.
Durham (1-1) lost to Orland last week, 21-13, and defeated Rio Vista, 39-26, in its season opener.
East Nicolaus at Biggs
The East Nicolaus Spartans (2-0) take on the Biggs Wolverines, who opened their season last week with an 18-0 loss to Delta.
Fielding Upland completed 10-of-12 passes for 180 yards in the Spartans' 32-0 win over Colusa last week. Colleen Chandler caught two TD passes. Jon Limey carried the ball 15 times for 122 yards, scoring twice.
Los Molinos at Maxwell
It's a battle of 2-0 unbeatens when the Bulldogs invade Maxwell tonight.
Brandon Ottenwalter scored on a 30-yard run and Kane Lausten added a four-yard score for the Panthers, in last week's 14-0 win over Williams. The Panthers opened the season with a 30-22 win over Trinity.
After going 2-8 last season, Los Molinos opened this year with a 36-18 win over Burney and a 40-0 triumph over Dunsmuir. Ryan Frank has rushed for 196 yards on 12 carries, scampering 62 yards on his longest run in the Bulldogs' first two games.