Game of the Week: River Valley (2-2) at Yuba City (2-3)

Rivalries under the bright Friday night lights. You just can’t beat ‘em. That’s what will take place tonight at Honkers stadium when River Valley and Yuba City kickoff in the 14th battle for the Mayor’s Cup. 

“We know they’ve gotten the best of us in this rivalry. They play some of their best football against us so we have to be ready to go,” River Valley co-head coach Brennan McFadden said. 

The last victory for the Falcons came in 2015 when River Valley defeated the Honkers, 31-29. With a three-year drought of wining the Mayor’s Cup on their mind, the Falcons coaching staff said it’ll take a team effort to get back in the win column against their cross-town foe. 

“I wish I could highlight any single player,” McFadden said. “We need everyone to do their job, it’s going to take a lot more than just one player making a play here or there,” he added. 

One player to watch for tonight on the Falcons will be Dalton Whitely. If the senior running back can advance the ball in key situations for River Valley, it could help their chances at stealing a road win.

As for the Honkers, defending the Mayor’s Cup is much more than just a simple task. 

“It’s a rivalry game so anything can happen. This is where sometimes you just have to throwout all the numbers because you can expect a close game in the end,” Yuba City head coach Aaron Gingery said. 

One aspect of the game that the Honkers’ coaching staff has made sure to prepare for is the battle within the trenches. 

“Their (River Valley) defensive line is the real deal, I do like the way our offensive line has played lately though so I think that’ll be a fun part of the game to watch,” Gingery said. 

The Honkers come into tonight’s game having lost their last two contests – losing to Chico, 30-28 and Antelope, 28-13 – so Yuba City will be hungry to get back up to  a .500 record. 

Leading the charge tonight for the Honkers will be all-around player Erik Palmquist. The senior can play both running back and defensive back, making him a threat to any team’s unit. 

Kickoff is set for 7:15 p.m. at Honker Stadium in Yuba City. 

For a complete chart of all Mayor’s Cup results, turn to page B3. 

Willows (1-2) at Live Oak (2-2)

After losing to Williams by a tough 16-point margin last week, the Honkers will be hoping to bounce back when they face a hungry Lions team. Live Oak will also be looking to get back in the win column after their loss last week to Gridley in the Harvest Bowl. 

One player to watch for on the Honkers will be wide receiver Eric Holvik. As a junior, Holvik has caught three receptions for 73 yards and one score. His spark could provide some problems for the Lions defense. 

Looking to stop the Willows offense will be Live Oak’s Esteban Rodriguez, who already has a pick-six under his belt this season. If the Lions can match their run attack with a strong defense, it could be a long night for Willows. 

Kickoff is set for 5:30 p.m. in Live Oak. 

Etna (3-1) at Maxwell (2-2)

Last season, the Panthers lost to Etna in a close battle that ended with the Lions riding off into the sunset in a 26-20 victory. 

This season Maxwell may have a better advantage as they host Etna with a revamped offense that’s been putting up some impressive numbers on the board. In weeks one and two Maxwell put up a combined 80 points. While they’ve struggled as of late they’ve also faced some tough defenses in Fall River and rival Biggs. 

Look for Maxwell’’s Ignacio Velasquez to step up and have a nice night for the Panthers. While he’s just a sophomore, he’s proven to be a nice fit in Maxwell’s offense, averaging 6.3 yards per carry with two touchdowns. 

On the other side of the ball is Etna’s Calvin Thackeray, who’s shown he can be a game-wrecker with 24 tackles through just three games. 

Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. in Maxwell. 

Princeton (4-0) at Greenville (3-1)

The Eagles’ offense continued their onslaught last Friday as they flew past Loyalton for a 56-5 win. This week may be their first real test as they face a tough team in Greenville, who’s offense is averaging 40 points a game. 

In last year’s battle, Princeton was able to weather Greenville’s storm and held on late for a 34-24 win. This year we could see the same type of game. Close until the end. 

Leading the Eagles coming into tonight will be quarterback Joey Wills, who’s proven he can run a high-powered offense. 

On the other sideline will be Greenville’s Garrett Miille, who leads the Indians with 380 rushing yards and three touchdowns. 

Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. in Greenville. 

East Nicolaus (3-1) at Golden Sierra (3-1)

Last season when the Spartans faced off against Golden Sierra, they ran out to a lead and never looked back sending Golden Sierra home with a 46-0 loss. 

Tonight could be a closer score, but I wouldn’t expect a different outcome with an East Nicolaus defense that’s only allowed 18 points in its last three games. 

One player that will be out for revenge tonight for the Grizzlies is wide receiver Robert Reed. The senior wide out currently has 121 yards to go with his three touchdowns. 

As for the Spartans, Golden Sierra will have to find a way to stop East Nicolaus’ three-headed monster in J.T. Stinson, Mitch Barker and Gavin McAuliff. The three seniors have a combined 885 all-purpose yards through just four games this season. 

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. in Garden Valley. 

Natomas (0-5) at Lindhurst (1-3)

With last season’s 30-21 loss to the Natomas on their mind, expect the Blazers to battle back tonight and tally their second win of the season at home. 

In last week’s contest against Las Plumas, the Lindhurst defense showed out, only allowing six points in the first quarter before shutting down the Thunderbirds offense for a goose egg the rest of the game. 

Tonight the Blazers will play an offense that’s currently averaging just 12 points a game. A sure sign they should be able to come up with some crucial stops again this week. 

Leading the Blazers’ offense will be running back Simon Enochs, who’s rushed for 215 yards and three scores this season. 

Looking to stop Enochs will be Natomas’ outside linebacker Brent Opp. Standing over six feet tall, Opp has proven he can make any offensive player think twice about running up the middle. 

Kick off is set for 7 p.m. in Olivehurst. 

Wheatland (3-1) at Colfax (2-2)

This season the Pirates have jumped off to a hot start, something the Wheatland football program has been yearning for in the past few seasons. 

With running back Tariq Parker leading the way Wheatland is ready for the challenge ahead. 

In last week’s game against Winters, the Pirates were faced with a defense who was stacking the box in order to shut down Parker’s run-game. After halftime adjustments were made, Wheatland proved they can throw the ball too. 

With that being said, Colfax will want to keep an eye on Pirates wide out Manny Galvan. The junior receiver has two receiving touchdowns on the season including an 80-yard blast. 

A player to watch for on Colfax will be the Falcons’ own receiver threat, John Beckman. The senior leads all Falcons with 240 receiving yards and five touchdowns. 

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. in Colfax. 

Corning (3-1) at Orland (2-1)

The Cardinals will ride their three-game win streak tonight when they head to Orland for a rivalry match-up with a Trojans offense that’s put up 95 points in its last two games. 

In 2018, the Orland defense made a huge impact on the Cardinals as they led the way in Orland’s 8-0 victory. 

Tonight the Cardinals hope to play more like they did in 2017 when their offense jumped out to a lead and didn’t look back; defeating Orland, 35-28. 

The Cardinals are led by running back Nick Brown, who boasts a 5.2 yards per carry stat to go along with his four scores on the season. 

Meanwhile, Orland will try to rely on the play of Angel Bravo, who’s stepped up this season with 16 tackles, one sack and nine tackles for loss. 

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. in Orland. 

Colusa (2-2) at Pierce (2-2)

What’s better than a rivalry game? A rivalry game where both teams are fighting to stay above .500. That’ll be the case tonight when the RedHawks make the trip to Pierce for a showdown with the Bears. 

Colusa’s Riley Stice has taken the 2019 season by storm. This season the senior passer is averaging 119 yards per game with seven touchdowns and a 138.2 quarterback rating. Pierce could have its hands full if Stice is on his game, finding receivers deep all night. 

Leading the Pierce defense is Elijah Diaz, who’s 6-foot-3, 210 lbs. frame makes him a pass-rush threat for any offensive line. 

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. in Pierce. 

Marysville (2-2) at Gridley (2-1)

Head coach Jeff Freeman has already brought the Indians within one victory of last year’s total. The first year coach will hope to ride last week’s win against Las Plumas when his team faces a tough Bulldog squad at the Bone Yard tonight. 

While most everyone can agree that every season is different, you can’t say that the Indians’ 42-0 loss to Gridley last season still won’t be on their mind tonight. While Marysville has progressed, so have the Bulldogs. 

Running back Arden Anderson leads Gridley with 404 rushing yards and five touchdowns. Another player that the Indians will need to keep an eye on is quarterback Cameron Carr. While the junior passer may not be a threat through the air, he’s proven he can scramble out of the pocket with his 59 yards rushing per game. 

Looking to lead the Indians tonight will be senior defensive tackle Alejandro Lara. This season Lara has used his 6-foot-2, 280 lbs. frame to stop multiple speedy runners out of the backfield. Another name that the Bulldogs will want to look for is Eddie Gomez, who’s proven early on in the season that he can be a scoring machine. 

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. in Gridley. 

Sutter (3-1) at Enterprise (0-3)

Riding the high off last week’s 40-0 win against Chico, the Huskies will face a win-less team in Enterprise tonight. 

Expect more of the same from Sutter tonight when they face a defense who’s allowing 36 points per game. 

While Enterprise’s defense has shown its struggles this season, their offense has been led by a running back who can be electrifying at any moment. Junior Eli Cortinas leads all Hornets with 562 rushing yards and five touchdowns. Cortinas is averaging 7.6 yards per carry this season. If the Huskies defense wants to put up back-to-back goose eggs they’ll have to be prepared to stop Cortinas. 

As for Sutter, expect a heavy dose of Cory McIntyre, Colton Dilabo and Daniel Cummings. Last week against Chico the three players combined for 314 all-purpose yards. The Enterprise defense could have its work cut out tonight at home. 

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. in Redding.

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