Whether it’s a long history, a close proximity between the two schools or competitive equity between the two teams, a rivalry game can intensify game preparation throughout the week, players’ mindsets on game day and community spirit.
The Lindhurst High football team has its first true rivalry test tonight when it welcomes in upper-division Wheatland for a non-league battle between a pair of teams separated by about 10 miles down Hwy 70.
“I just want to beat Wheatland,” Lindhurst senior Juan Torres said. “I think of Wheatland like Marysville. For me it’s the same type of rivalry, just different direction.”
Lindhurst has struggled over the past decade and a half against the D-III power out of the Butte View League, going 0-12 against Wheatland since 2004. It leaves somewhat of a bitter taste in the mouth of head coach Hark Dulai, even though he admits his team is young and a little bit at a disadvantage this year.
“Most our kids have never played football before so the only thing I promise is the effort will be great,” Dulai said. “It won’t be for lack of effort.”
Lindhurst (0-2) is coming off a 49-0 home loss to Highlands. Despite the score, Dulai feels the Blazers did show improvement.
“Last week I thought we were better,” he said. “It probably seems like a crazy thing to say when you lose 49-0, but the effort was better, the players knew where they were supposed to be more often, we just got beat by a better team.”
Dulai hopes that internal fire when playing a team from a neighboring city will aid Lindhurst tonight.
Wheatland comes in 1-0 following a 39-12 win over Marysville last week. There were a ton of mistakes as head coach Larry Hulen pointed out, but the offense appeared in mid-season form, especially the ground attack. The Pirates were led by 261 yards and a couple rushing scores from senior Tariq Parker. He was helped in the backfield from Manny Galvan, Gage Rymer and quarterback Jordan Alvis – each one adding a touchdown for Wheatland during the onslaught.
“Our line has worked their tails off, they’re starting to gel,” Hulen said. “They make Tariq look amazing.”
Hulen said the focus is on fixing last week’s issues.
“Right now it’s about correcting mistakes and playing hard,” he said.
Hulen’s players say they will be ready once they strap it up and hit the field at Dean Miller Stadium.
“It’s always intimidating going to a different school,” Wheatland senior Devon Belcher said. “But once you get on the field everything goes black and it doesn’t matter (where you are).”
The friendly rivalry that Lindhurst and Wheatland may or may not have dissipates at kickoff.
“Playing against friends, after the play you’re going to look at them and know it’s your friend, but during the play it’s just another player and another competition,” Belcher said.
Senior Nathan Toledo said the central focus is on the assignment.
“You’re focused on your job,” the senior defensive back/running back said.
Princeton (1-0) at Butte Valley (1-0)
The Eagles weren’t able to get a taste of regular season football last week as they ended up defeating McCloud by a forfeit.
Look for Princeton to be chomping at the bit this week when they face off against the Bulldogs.
One player to watch for on the Eagles will be quarterback Joey Willis who’s shown in seasons past that he is a dual-threat on the ground and through the air.
As for Butte Valley, both Trevor Allen and Matthew Rodriguez could be the difference-makers as they lead a team of only three seniors.
Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. in
Gridley (0-0) at Paradise (2-0)
After a rare week one bye, the Bulldogs will make the trip over to Paradise to face a red-hot Bobcats team that has already proven itself as a 2019 league title contender.
Paradise blew out Williams in week zero before ending East Nicolaus’ 36-game winning streak in week two. If Gridley is going to come away victorious tonight on the road they will have to diminish the play of Bobcats running back Lukas Hartley. The senior back has rushed for 370 yards and four touchdowns in just two games.
Looking to have a standout game on the other side of the ball will be Gridley’s junior starting quarterback Cameron Carr. He’ll be joined by the first year varsity running back Arden Anderson, who averaged nearly 11 yards per carry last season in junior varsity.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. in
Maxwell (1-0) at Delta (2-0)
The Panthers offense exemplified why it’s such a threat last week when Maxwell sounded off for 38-22 victory over Esparto. Tonight the boys in blue will be tested again when they face a tough opponent in the unbeaten Delta Saints.
In their 29-13 win last week against Riverbank, the Saints scored 21 points in the first half. If Maxwell wants to walk away from tonight’s game victorious, they’ll need to find an answer for the Delta offense early.
A player to watch for on the Maxwell defense will be Raul Quinteros, who’s leading the Panthers with nine tackles through just one game.
Both defenses will have their work cut out for them and this one could come down to the wire.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. in Clarksburg.
River Valley (2-0) at
The Falcons are off to a hot start in 2019. The green machine has already grabbed two wins heading into its week two match-up in Elk Grove against a .500 team in Franklin.
River Valley has even fought through some early season injuries and still managed to stay perfect. In last week’s game against River City, the Falcons offense came alive and proved it can be the x-factor in a game as River Valley took the game by a final score of 34-28.
One player that the Falcons will need to watch out for will be Wildcats running back Regan Fonbuena. The senior back has ran for 354 yards and four scores through two games, making him a true threat.
Look for the Falcons defense to also step up tonight in Elk Grove, evening the playing field.
Kickoff is set for 7:15 p.m. at Cosumnes Oaks High.
Colusa (1-0) at Trinity (0-1)
The Redhawks reeled off an astounding 61-28 win last week against Mt. Shasta and I wouldn’t expect them to slow down anytime soon.
Tonight Colusa will make the trip to face Trinity, a team who struggled in a shutout loss to Central Valley last week.
The Redhawks offense was rolling early and often to say the least. One player to watch on Colusa will be senior quarterback Riley Stice, who threw for 140 yards and three touchdowns in week one.
Trinity will have its hands full tonight, look for Colusa to have another sound night offensively.
Kickoff is set for
7:30 p.m. in Weaverville.
Durham (0-1) at
After suffering a week zero shutout loss to Paradise, the Yellowjackets bounced back in week one for an 18-6 win over Live Oak. This week will be a new test for Williams as they face a section finalist from last year in the Durham Trojans.
The Williams offense will need to keep an eye on Trojan linebacker Jacob Christensen, who’s already managed to tally 15 solo tackles through just four quarters of play.
Looking to stop the Trojans will be the Yellowjakets’ Aldo Ambriz, who’s already caught two interceptions, caused one fumble and made seven tackles. Ambriz has shown he can be a difference-maker and he will be crucial to stopping the Trojans offense tonight for Williams.
Kickoff is set for
7:30 p.m. in Williams.
Esparto (0-1) at Biggs (1-0)
The Wolverines are off to a hot start after defeating Hamilton by a wide 40-0 margin last week.
One player that Biggs will need to keep an eye on is Alex Mansell, who can lead the Spartans by being a threat at both the wide receiver and free safety positions.
Look for running back Shavon Green have a big night for the Wolverines, as he averaged 7.3 yards per carry and scored two touchdowns in last week’s victory.
Kickoff is set for
7:30 p.m. in Biggs.
Fairfield (0-1) at
Yuba City (1-1)
After coming up just shy of defeating the defending state champions in Pleasant Valley last week, Yuba City will look to regroup and get back at it tonight against Fairfield.
The Honkers will look to senior linebacker Luke Afato who’s led the defense with 11 total tackles, including six of those which were solo.
One player the Honkers will need to set strategy for will be Fairfield’s Kha’ron Thrower, who can play both wide receiver and free safety. Thrower is just one of 11 seniors on a very experienced Falcons team. The Honkers will need to make sure they’ve done their homework heading up to kickoff.
Tonight’s game is set for 7:30 p.m. in Yuba City.
Las Plumas (0-1) at
Both the Cardinals and Thunderbirds are still hungry for that first taste of victory. That’s what will make tonight’s match-up such a great battle to watch.
On the Las Plumas sideline will be quarterback Shawn Pagenkopp, who hopes to lead his team in a bounce back win after falling to Lassen in week one, 41-6.
Meanwhile, on the Corning sideline will be senior defensive lineman, Ramiro Aceves, who tallied a team-high seven tackles in the Cardinals week one loss to Shasta, 53-0.
Kickoff is set for
7:30 p.m. in Corning.
Marysville (1-1) at
The Indians will be the Tigers’ first opponent of the 2019 season. That can be both a good thing and a bad thing if you’re Marysville. In one aspect you have the edge in terms of playing experience, but in another aspect you may not be as fresh.
Last week the Indians suffered a tough 39-12 loss to Wheatland, who played host and showed why they’re not to be overlooked. The Pirates were able to hold the Indians offense to just six points in the final three quarters making it hard to stage any sort of comeback. If the Indians want a different outcome they’ll need multiple offensive players to step up, including Eddie Gomez, who should be able to make it to the end zone on a weekly basis.
One player that Marysville will need to watch out for is Oroville’s Logan Williams. The 6-foot-5, 275 lbs. lineman can disrupt any opponent.
Kickoff is set for
7:30 p.m. in Oroville.
Sutter (0-1) at Red Bluff (0-1)
Although last week’s outcome against Cardinal Newman wasn’t what they had hoped for, the Sutter Huskies held their heads up high, content with how they battled.
“We had some minor things we could have done better, but overall I’m very proud of how these boys played, not giving up until the final buzzer,” head coach Ryan Reynolds said after last week’s 21-7 loss.
This week the Huskies will look to keep up their hard-fighting attitude against Red Bluff, a team that came up just short in its week one 20-14 loss to Anderson.
Looking to have a big night for the Huskies will be defensive end Theo Bravos. Last week against a tough Cardinal Newman offense, Bravos tallied 2.5 sacks and 10 tackles.
Red Bluff will have their hands full with a Husky defense that doesn’t let up off the gas all night long.
One player to watch for on Red Bluff will be wide out Clyde Shaver. Last week against Anderson, Shaver caught seven receptions for 156 yards, averaging 22.3 yards per reception. The Sutter secondary could have their hands full and will need to ensure they know where Shaver is at all times.
Kickoff in Red Bluff is set for 7:30 p.m.
University Prep (1-0) at
Live Oak (0-1)
After last week’s 18-6 loss to Williams, Live Oak will look to bounce back when it opens up it’s home slate tonight against the Panthers.
One player to watch for on Live Oak is defensive lineman, Lazaro Romo, who tallied six tackles in last week’s loss. If Romo can provide some much needed pressure, the Lions will be able to force a lot more three and out situations.
Live Oak will have its paws full when it faces the Panthers offense though. Both Trevor Trueblood and Cole Abel scored two rushing touchdowns in week one. If Live Oak wants to change their fate tonight they’ll have to find an answer for U-Prep’s potent ground game.
Kickoff is set for
7:30 p.m. in Live Oak.
Willows (0-0) at
The Honkers will be eager to kickoff their 2019 campaign tonight when they make the trip to Hamilton for a match-up against the Braves.
Looking to lead Willows will be second year head coach Manuel Rakestraw.
“We’re working on installing a new culture of winning football,” Rakestraw said during training camp earlier last month.
One player that the Honkers will need to prepare for is Hamilton’s Luis Hinojosa. The senior wide out caught a 62-yard pass last week, proving he can be a deep threat in any situation.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m tonight in Hamilton City.