River Valley-Yuba City (7-3) at American Canyon (6-3)
Thursday, 7 p.m., Wolf Den Stadium
Radio: KVON-1440 AM, 6:45 p.m.
Matchup: River Valley, the No. 10 seed, and American Canyon, the No. 7 seed, meet in a first-round CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoff game.
River Valley tied for third place in the Tri-County Conference. American Canyon won the Solano County Athletic Conference.
Last week: River Valley is coming off a 64-43 win over River City-West Sacramento. American Canyon won the SCAC title, completing a perfect league season with a 41-7 win over Benicia.
Division III bracket: Oakdale (9-1 overall) is the No. 1 seed in the 16-team Division III bracket.
Sizing up River Valley: The Falcons are listed among bubble teams in The Sacramento Bee’s Top 20. Brennan McFadden and Dave Humphers are the co-coaches for River Valley. Humphers stepped down as head coach at Nevada Union-Grass Valley in 2013 after leading the program since 1991. He led the Miners to four CIF SJS Division I championships and 10 league titles. Humphers directed the Miners to a record of 195-57-2, including six Sacramento City championships, and reached the playoffs in 17 of those years. He was named California Coach of the Year in 2005, following Nevada Union’s 46-7 SJS championship game win over West-Tracy.
“Obviously, he commands a lot of respect for the things he has accomplished,” said Larry Singer, American Canyon’s coach.
Rex Baker leads River Valley’s rushing attack with 686 yards and three touchdowns. Dawson Mcpeak has thrown for 1,185 yards and 15 TDs.
“You can see on film that these kids are disciplined. They get up to the ball, they snap it, and they go fast,” said Singer. “We’ve got our work cut out for us. We definitely have a task ahead of us. They’re a pretty heavy-run team. But they also have a quarterback who is a solid thrower. He’s got good mechanics, good skills back there in the pocket. They’re physical – their line loves to block. You can see it on film.”
This is River Valley’s fifth straight appearance in the playoffs. The Falcons are looking for their first postseason win.
— Marty James
Vintage (7-2) at Inderkum (10-0)
Thursday, 7 p.m., in Sacramento
Matchup: Vintage, the No. 15 seed, and Inderkum, the No. 2 seed, meet in a first-round CIF SJS Division II playoff game.
Inderkum won the Tri-County Conference title. Vintage tied for second place in the Monticello Empire League.
Last week: Vintage beat Napa 14-7 in Big Game XLVI. Inderkum is coming off a 28-14 win over Rio Linda.
Inderkum in the rankings: The Tigers are just about everywhere in the rankings – No. 48 in the CalHiSports.com State Top 50, No. 8 in the CalHiSports.com Sac-Joaquin Section Top 20, No. 10 in the MaxPreps.com Sac-Joaquin Section Rankings, No. 13 in the NorCalPreps.Rivals.com Top 20, No. 3 in The Sacramento Bee’s Top 20, and No. 5 in The Sacramento Bee’s Sac-Joaquin Section Top 20.
Division II bracket: Granite Bay (8-2 overall) is the No. 1 seed in the 16-team bracket.
Travel itinerary: Coach Dylan Leach and his team plan to leave town at 2 p.m.
“We’re going to try and make it up there by 4 o’clock, so we can get through our walkthroughs and have a normal day, like we would have on any other game day,” said Leach. “The experience that we’ll gain from this is immeasurable, for the program and for the guys moving up in the program.”
Sizing up Inderkum: The Tigers are averaging 11.2 yards per carry and 385 yards per game rushing. They have 58 rushing touchdowns. Isaiah Crocker has 17 receptions for 527 yards and 11 TDs. As a team, Inderkum has intercepted 18 passes.
“Their speed and their aggressiveness are just second to none from what I’ve seen on film,” said Leach. “I haven’t seen a team on film this year that fast and that aggressive. We’ve got our work cut out for us and we understand that.”
Inderkum is in the playoffs for the 12th straight year. The Tigers have never lost a first-round game in the Section postseason, according to the SJS.
— Marty James
Justin-Siena (3-5) at Moreau Catholic (5-5)
Saturday, 7 p.m., in Hayward
Matchup: Justin-Siena, the No. 12 seed, and Moreau Catholic, the No. 5 seed, meet in a first-round CIF North Coast Section Division 4 playoff game.
Justin-Siena finished in fourth place in the Marin County Athletic League. Moreau Catholic won the Mission Valley League title.
Last week: Justin-Siena lost its MCAL finale to Marin Catholic-Kentfield, 58-0. Moreau Catholic is coming off a 41-2 nonleague loss to James Logan-Union City.
“We’ve played some good teams this year, but that MC team I think was the best team we’ve played this year,” said Justin-Siena coach Brandon LaRocco. “They were very talented. We didn’t play well at all, in any way, shape or form. We did not rise to the challenge like I expected us to.”
Division 4 bracket: St. Bernard’s-Eureka is the No. 1 seed in the 15-team bracket.
Sizing up Moreau Catholic: “They’re pretty big up front,” said LaRocco. “They’re a power football team. They want to run. They run a traditional two-back offense primarily. They’ll run some spread stuff, too. But they like to be a two-back and they like to run power and the counter game.”
Promotion time: Twelve players from the frosh-soph team have been brought up to the varsity for the playoffs, said LaRocco. “There are some good players down at that lower level,” said LaRocco. “It’s good to get a chance to work with those kids.”
Limited schedule: Justin-Siena had two of its games canceled during the regular season due to the wild fires in the North Bay that destroyed homes and structures and caused unhealthy air conditions because of the heavy smoke. The Braves were off for two weeks during that time.
— Marty James