It’s playoff time in the Northern Section beginning Friday, and the Sutter Union High football team begins its quest for a 14th section title at home against No. 8 Central Valley in the first round.
D-III is an eight-team bracket with all four opening-round matchups beginning at 7 p.m. unless changed with mutual consent from both schools.
Sutter (7-1), seeded No. 1, hosts the Falcons of CV (4-6), with the winner either getting Gridley (5-4) or Wheatland (3-7) in a four-five matchup Friday in Gridley.
The other half of the bracket is led by No. 2 Paradise (7-1) at home against No. 7 Lassen Friday, while the 3-6 game features Orland hosting West Valley.
Semifinals are set for Nov. 19, while the D-III title game begins Nov. 27 hosted by the highest seed available.
Championship games can be moved to a central venue if approved by both schools.
D-IV features all three Colusa County teams in the bottom half of the bracket, with Colusa (7-3) and Pierce (7-3) battling each other in a 2-7 matchup at 6 p.m. Friday in Arbuckle.
Colusa coach Mikey Badaluco felt his team was underseeded and hopes for changes moving forward.
“It just shows the (Mid-Valley) and (Sacramento Valley League) are not really comparable leagues for D4,” he said in a statement. “SVL has six teams ranked in the top 16 for the whole North Section while the MVL has none.”
The highest ranked MVL team is Williams (8-2), who comes at No. 17 in the final NSCIF regular season rankings.
Badaluco is pleased that Colusa (7-3) will open up against its county rival, Pierce. He feels it will bring excitement to the area.
Colusa and Pierce (7-3) lock horns at 6 p.m. Friday in Arbuckle.
The winner of Colusa-Pierce will play either No. 3 Williams or No. 6 East Nicolaus in the semifinals.
“It’s definitely going to be tough to get through it,” Pierce coach Anthony Tapia said. “We are seeded two, which I think is fair because we did finish second in the (Sacramento Valley League). We play Colusa at home this week and it’s a really good draw for both teams.”
The other half of the bracket is led by No. 1 University Prep of Redding.
Biggs (4-3) is the lone mid-valley representative, earning a No. 4 seed in the division to host No. 5 Maxwell (5-5) on Friday.
The winner gets top-seeded Fall River on the road in the semifinals. Biggs lost to Fall River, 46-12 earlier this season.
The Wolverines are a fifth-place finisher in the Cascade Valley League, which was headlined by Fall River (9-0), Los Molinos (6-2) and Maxwell in that order.
NSCIF playoff tickets on sale today
Tickets are on sale now by visiting https://gofan.co/app/school/CIFNS. Prices are $10 for general admission, $5 for seniors (60 and above) and students with an ASB, and $15 for an unaccompanied K-8 student.