We made it. The 2019 high school football season is finally here. Week zero will showcase a few Sac-Joaquin section matchups with schools from Yuba-Sutter. Both River Valley and Marysville will open up their seasons at home tonight.
The Falcons will host the Woodland Wolves while the Indians will welcome the Natomas Nighthawks to War Memorial Stadium.
Here’s a preview of all the Yuba-Sutter teams playing tonight:
Woodland at River Valley
The Falcons will be ready to take flight this season under their new quarterback Ian Harvey. The senior will be filling the shoes of last year’s standout Dawson McPeak who is now at Northern Arizona.
“We’re very pleased with Ian and how he’s progressed in the offseason, he’s shown that he’s a true competitor and can handle the spotlight,” co-head coach Dave Humphers said.
One aspect of the game that Woodland may be able to use against the Falcons is the running game. The Wolves have multiple backs that could pose a threat so River Valley will have to look to shut them down early.
“We have a lot of guys ready to go, it’s hard to just single out one player who we would expect to have a big game,” co-head coach Brennan McFadden said.
Last season the Falcons ran away with the game and defeated Woodland by final score of 48-2. McFadden has made it evident that he wants his team to be confident, but not dwell too much on the past.
They’re a strong team, we watched film on them and it shows, they have a great defensive core including some tough linebackers.”
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at River Valley High School.
Natomas at Marysville
In the offseason, Marysville announced that Jeff Freeman would be taking over as head coach of the football program. Since then, Freeman and his staff want it to be known that change is on the way.
“Come out and be a witness to the change this program is bringing, we are going to put Marysville on the map this year,” Freeman said.
The Indians were victorious last season when they bested the Nighthawks by a final score of 20-14.
“I remember it came down to a last second hailmary against them (Natomas) so we have to be ready to go Friday night. They’re a very athletic team and we can’t get caught sleeping,” Freeman added.
A player to watch for the Indians will be senior receiver/cornerback Markus Martinez. Last season with Marysville, Martinez totaled three receptions and an interception in just seven games for the orange and black. Look for Martinez to have an impactful night in his debut as a senior.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at War Memorial Stadium.
Yuba City at Nevada Union
Yuba City enters the season as a top-ten ranked Sac-Joaquin program by MaxPreps Sacramento and will get their chance to prove it when they take to the road tonight to face-off with Nevada Union; a team that last year they shutout, 39-0.
Expect things to be a little different this year as both teams had some talent graduate, but the Honkers will still have the edge with returning players like Erik Palmquist.
Last season with the Honkers, Palmquist rushed for 750 yards and seven touchdowns making him one of Yuba City’s top offensive threats.
Palmquist and the Honkers will kick-off at Nevada Union High School tonight at 7 p.m.
Lindhurst at Mesa Verde
Lindhurst hits the trail to Citrus Heights tonight for a non-league battle with Mesa Verde, a team the Blazers squeaked by 14-12 last year. Anthony Bragg rushed for 100 yards and two scores to lead Lindhurst, but tonight they’ll have to do it without Bragg as he graduated last season.
Instead the Blazers will look to their new quarterback, Sam Alfred who has a strong arm and is ready to let it fly.
Another key player on Lindhurst will be senior tackle, Juan Torres. At six-foot-one , 170 pounds, he can make his presence felt by any opposing player.
The Blazers will kickoff their season tonight at 7 p.m. in Citrus Heights.