The Sac-Joaquin Section revealed placements in the 2012 playoffs across all six divisions on Saturday.
At 8-1 overall, Oakdale was the outright selection as the No. I seed in D-III after undefeated Placer was designated for a tough D-IV bracket. The Mustangs host an upstart Pacheco (5-5) team that qualified for the postseason in the program’s first year with seniors on Friday at 7 p.m.
The Mustangs are on the opposite side of the D-III bracket than No. 2 seed Vista del Lago (9-1) and fellow VOL teams Sierra (9-1) and Manteca (6-4). Most importantly, Oakdale is opposite No. 6 seed Inderkum (8-2) considered the stiffest opposition to Oakdale’s title hopes in the bracket. Inderkum plays in the tough Tri-County League and landed impressive nonleague wins against the likes of Pleasant Grove (No. 10 seed D-1), Terra Nova (Central Coast Section power) and Spanish Springs (Nevada Northern Region D1 semifinalist). Inderkum lost to the No. 1 seed in the SJS DII bracket (Yuba City) just 49-42.
If Oakdale beats Pacheco, they will host the winner of Patterson (7-3) and Benicia (7-3) on Nov. 16 for a shot at hosting the semifinals.
For information on Oakdale’s final conference game, catch the Nov. 7 print edition of The Leader.
Below are some ‘Fast Facts’ on the 2012 Sac-Joaquin Section football playoffs, provided by the SJS.
* This year marks the 41st year of Sac-Joaquin Section football playoffs.
* 155 championships have been won since the playoffs began in 1971.
* Until 1984, playoffs were designated as Class A (small schools), Class AA (medium schools) and Class AAA (large schools). Those designations changed to Roman numerals (I, II, III, etc.) in 1985. A fifth division was added in 2002. Divisions VI and VII were added in 2006. Three years ago, the divisions contracted from seven to six, while the number of competing teams increased from 58 to 76 – the same for this year.
* In Year One (1971), the only championship offered was Class A with four teams, three games, one championship and no neutral sites. This year, the Section will offer six championship divisions with 76 teams, 70 games and six neutral site contests.
* Official name for this year’s playoffs is: CIF Sac-Joaquin Section/Les Schwab Tires Football Championships Presented by Farmers Insurance.
* All six eventual Section champions become eligible for participation in the CIF State Football Bowl Regional Championships to be played on December 7 and 8 at sites to be determined. Winners of the regional games will play in the State Championships on December 14 and 15 at Home Depot Center in Carson. Section Commissioners will select five north and five south teams to compete in four divisional regional games based on enrollment plus an open division championship.
* Six teams (Franklin-EG, Burbank, Folsom, Placer, Ripon and Argonaut) enter the playoffs with perfect records. If history tells us anything, at least one of these six will win a championship, as there has been at least one unbeaten team win a Section championship for 17 of the past 19 years.
* No teams enter the playoffs with a sub-.500 record. In the past 20 seasons, 25 teams have made the playoffs with sub-.500 records. This year, there were none.
* Nine teams qualified with 5-5 records.
* Eight of the 76 teams in the playoffs have never won a playoff game, and four of those teams – Pacheco, American Canyon, River Valley and Woodland Christian – are in the playoffs for the first time. The other four non-winners include Antelope (0-2), Sacramento (0-5), Waterford (0-2) and Elliot Christian (0-2).
* 52 of the 76 teams in this year’s playoffs qualified for the playoffs last year. All 12 finalists return. All six Section champions – Granite Bay, Vacaville, Del Oro, Hilmar, Le Grand and Bradshaw Christian return, although two of them (Del Oro and Bradshaw Christian) are in different divisions.
* Extending consecutive playoff appearances are No. 1 Grant (22), Calaveras (16), Escalon (15), Granite Bay (14), Lincoln-S (13) and Central Catholic (12).
* Only two teams reappear in the playoffs after a lengthy absence. And, these two have been the playoffs fairly recently. El Camino’s last appearance was 2006 and Hughson last showed up in the brackets in 2007.
* First round pairings:
Opponents with the most combined playoff experience – Calaveras (46) at Escalon (56) have combined for 102 playoff games in their storied histories. The two have met a record nine times the playoffs, with Escalon holding a 7-2 edge, including a wild 22-20 Division IV championship game in 2010.
92 games – Merced (42) at Lincoln-S (50)
85 games – Bear River (25) at Central Catholic (60)
83 games – Tracy (37) at St. Mary’s (46)
80 games – Grant (67) at Burbank (13)
Opponents with the least combined playoff experience – River Valley (0) at American Canyon (0); Big Valley Christian (4) at Woodland Christian (0); Elliot Christian (2) at Ripon Christian (3); Rocklin (8) at Antelope (2); Rosemont (4) at Sierra (6).
There are three rematches from 2011:
Nevada Union at Franklin-EG: Franklin-EG went on the road last year and beat Nevada Union 41-16. This year, the tables are turned with Nevada Union visiting Franklin.
Napa at Granite Bay: Last year No. 5 Granite Bay defeated No. 12 Napa 31-7 in the first round. And, guess what, No. 12 Napa visits No. 5 Granite Bay in a rematch of that contest.
Rio Vista at Le Grand: Le Grand defeated Rio Vista in the D6 semifinals last year 48-7.
Best combined regular season record: 17-3, Summerville (8-2) at Los Banos (9-1); Amador (7-3) at Ripon (10-0) and Center (8-2) at Dixon (9-1). All four are Division IV matchups.
Longest drive: This year, the Section’s top first-round traveler award goes to the Atwater Falcons, the fourth-place finisher in the Central California Conference. AHS will take the buses 126 miles into and beyond Sacramento to face top-seed Folsom in a Division II game. Other long trips are:
125 miles – Hilmar at Placer (D4)
118 miles – Bear River at Central Catholic (D4)
115 miles – Rio Vista at Le Grand (D5)
Shortest drive: El Camino will only be traveling 3.8 miles, a short jaunt down El Camino Boulevard and Highway 80, to face Sacramento in a Division III game. It’ll be the first time these teams have met in the postseason. Other shirt trips are:
11 miles: Christian Brothers at Cosumnes Oaks (D3)
13.5 miles: Rocklin at Antelope (D2)
13.7 miles: Grant at Burbank (D1)
* The Division V and VI finals will be played at the Grape Bowl in Lodi on Saturday, November 24. The Division VI final will be at 1:00 p.m. and the Division V final is at 6 p.m.
* Division I, II, III and IV finals will be played in some combination on Friday, Nov. 30 and Saturday, December 1 at Lincoln High School in Stockton and Sacramento State.
* DIVISION I:
* Note: There are five league champions in this field, led by top seed Franklin of Elk Grove (the Delta Valley Conference winners) and the defending Section D1 champion, Granite Bay (Sierra Foothill League).
* Nevada Union (5-5) at Franklin-EG (10-0): Nevada Union took fourth place in the SFL, earning an at-large berth. The Miners have a lengthy Section postseason history, boasting a 37-20 career record and four championships. NU last won it all in 2009, beating Monterey Trail 20-2 at the University of the Pacific. Franklin-EG, the top seed, won the DVC and completed the first 10-0 regular season in school history. The Wildcats have five postseason appearances and only one victory. That win came last year, a 41-16 triumph over Nevada Union. It’s the second time these teams have met in the playoffs.
* Merced (7-3) at Lincoln-S (7-3): This 8-9 matchup features two of the most seasoned large-school postseason programs in the southern half of the Section. Merced, the CCC runner-up, has a 26-16 postseason record and has won two titles. Those championships came in consecutive years, 1989 and 1990. It’s the first appearance in the playoffs for the Bears since 2008. Lincoln, the SJAA champion, has seen its teams go 28-22 in the postseason. The Trojans’ lone Section title came in 2000, a 35-28 win over Elk Grove. These teams have met five times in the postseason, with Merced winning the first four contests and Lincoln snapping the streak in 2000.
* Napa (7-3) at Granite Bay (7-3): This is the second consecutive year these teams are meeting in the first round of the playoffs; and they are identical seeds from last year as well. Napa, the MEL runner-up, is in the playoffs for the 11th straight season. The Indians have a 19-18 postseason record and won the 2007 D1 Section title. Granite Bay, the SFL champion, has four Section championship pennants hanging in its gym, the most recent coming last year in a 30-24 win over Pleasant Grove. This is the second time these teams have met in the postseason.
* Bethel (6-4) at Downey (9-1): Bethel advanced to the postseason via an at-large berth after placing third in the SCAC. The Jaguars are in the playoffs for the third straight season and made it to the D1 semifinals last year. Downey, the MMC champion, is in the playoffs for the 11th time in school history. The Knights made the postseason last year, but this is only their third appearance in the 2000s. Downey’s last playoff victory came in 1987, a 7-0 first-round win over Vintage. This is the first playoff meeting between these schools.
* Enochs (6-4) at Oak Ridge (9-1): Enochs, the MMC runner-up, is in the playoffs for the third time in four years and third time in its history. The Eagles’ only postseason win came in 2010, a 31-10 victory over Rodriguez in the first round. Oak Ridge, meanwhile, has a lot of playoff experience. The Trojans were the DRL runners-up, and they have a 21-19 postseason record. They have four Section championships, the last one coming in 2004, a 34-27 win over Del Oro in the D2 game. These schools have never met in the playoffs.
* Tokay (7-3) at Pitman (8-2): Tokay finished fourth in the TCAL, earning an at-large berth thanks to its seven victories. The Tigers are in the postseason for the fifth time in school history. Their lone playoff win came in 1997, a 16-7 victory over Pitman’s crosstown rival Turlock. Pitman, which took third place in the CCC, is in the playoffs for the seventh time and fourth consecutive year. The Pride have yet to advance past the second round in the postseason. These teams have never met in the playoffs.
* Pleasant Grove (6-4) at Stagg (9-1): Pleasant Grove, a D1 finalist last year, advanced after placing third in the DRL. The Eagles have a short but successful postseason history. This is their sixth appearance, compiling a 13-4 record. They’ve advanced to three championships, winning one (2010) and have never lost in the first round. Stagg, the TCAL runner-up, is in the playoffs for the fourth straight season. Most of the Delta Kings’ success came in the 1970s, when they won four games and advanced to the championship in 1976 and 1979. Their last postseason victory came in 1999.
* Grant (5-5) at Burbank (10-0): Grant finished third in the DVC, earning an at-large berth and extending a Section-best 22-year streak of making the playoffs. The Pacers are one of the Section’s more storied football programs, compiling a 45-22 career record and six championships. Their last title came in 2008. Burbank, the Metro League champion, is 10-0 for the first time under head coach John Heffernan. The Titans are in the playoffs for the ninth time and eighth straight season. Burbank and Grant have met in the postseason once before, a 55-6 Pacers victory in the 2008 D2 championship game.
* DIVISION II:
* Note: This is a particularly loaded bracket with seven league champions out of 16 teams. And that doesn’t include 9-1 Elk Grove, whose only loss was to 10-0 Franklin-EG, the top seed in Division I. … There are two defending Section champions in this field: No. 9 Vacaville (D2) and No. 15 Del Oro (D3).
* Atwater (6-4) at Folsom (10-0): Atwater took fourth place in the CCC, advancing via an at-large berth. The Falcons have a lengthy postseason history; this is their 17th appearance and they’ve been to three championship games. It’s Atwater’s second postseason appearance in a decade; it was 1-1 in 2009. Folsom, the DRL champion and top seed, is in the playoffs for the fifth straight year. The Bulldogs have advanced to the last two Section championship games; they lost to Vacaville last year and beat Grant in 2010, on their way to the state championship bowl game.
* Rio Linda (8-2) at Vacaville (7-3): Rio Linda was the CVC runner-up, and is in the playoffs for the 12th time. This is the Knights’ 10th postseason appearance in 11 years. Rio Linda has an 8-10 career playoff record and won the 2004 D3 Section championship. Vacaville is the MEL champion and is making its sixth straight postseason appearance (23 seasons overall). The Bulldogs have won two Section championships in extremely exciting fashion. They beat Folsom 39-35 in last year’s D2 title game and they beat Merced 37-36 in a game that came down to the final play in the 2006 D1 championship. These schools have never previously met in the playoffs.
* McNair (7-3) at Buhach Colony (8-2): McNair finished in third place in the TCAL, earning an at-large berth. The Eagles are relative newcomers to the playoff football scene; this is their fourth appearance and all of them have come in the last five years. McNair has one playoff victory, a 32-28 win over Franklin-EG in 2010. Buhach Colony, the CCC champion, returns to the playoffs for the fourth straight season. The last two years, the Thunder have advanced to the D2 semifinals, losing to the eventual champion. This is the first postseason matchup for these schools.
* Rocklin (5-5) at Antelope (9-1): Rocklin advanced to the playoffs via at-large berth after placing third in the SFL. The Thunder are in the postseason for the fourth time in school history and third time over the last four years. In 2009, Rocklin won its only Section title, a 21-14 decision over Del Oro in the D2 game. That team went on to the CIF State Championship Bowl Game. Antelope, the CAL champion, is in the playoffs for the third time. The Titans are searching for their first postseason victory. Antelope beat Whitney in Week 10 of the regular season to seal its first league title.
* Ponderosa (6-4) at Elk Grove (9-1): Ponderosa, the DRL fourth-place team, advanced to the playoffs due to at-large berth. The Bruins return to the postseason for the first time since 2007; it’s their 10th appearance. Pondo boasts two Section championships, in 1978 and 1979 over current VOL teams Manteca and Oakdale. Elk Grove, the DVC runner-up, is in the postseason for the 27th time. The Thundering Herd got to the semifinals last year, losing to Folsom. Elk Grove has five Section titles, the last one coming in 2001.
* Whitney (8-2) at Del Campo (8-2): Whitney, the CAL runner-up, is in the postseason for the sixth time in school history. That extends a consecutive-years streak that began when the Wildcats first qualified for the playoffs in 2007. Whitney won the 2008 D4 Section championship; last year, it advanced to the D3 semifinals before losing to eventual champion Del Oro. Del Campo, the CVC champion, is in the playoffs for the 16th time. It’s the ninth straight postseason appearance for the Cougars. DC has won two Section championships; both are D3 crowns and they came in 2009 and ’06.
* Tracy (7-3) at St. Mary’s (8-2): Tracy advanced to the playoffs as the SJAA runner-up. The Bulldogs are in the playoffs for the 18th time in school history, with the lion’s share of their success coming while being coached by Section Hall of Famer Wayne Schneider in the 1980s. They won SJS titles in 1982 and 1987. St. Mary’s, the TCAL champion, returns to the playoffs for the 11th straight time and 23rd overall season. The Rams won D1 Section championships in 2004 and 2007. These teams have met twice before in the postseason, with St. Mary’s winning both games (1993 and 2007).
* Del Oro (5-5) at Yuba City (9-1): Del Oro advanced to the playoffs as the SFL’s runner-up; the storied Golden Eagles program is in the playoffs for the 23rd season. DO won the last two D3 championship games, beating Oakdale both times. Overall, the Golden Eagles have won eight Section championships. Yuba City, the TCC champion and No. 2 seed, is making its 11th playoff appearance. It’s the third trip to the postseason in four years for the Honkers, who lost to Tracy in the 1987 championship game; that was their only finals appearance.
* DIVISION III:
* Welcome to three newcomers to the playoffs: American Canyon, Pacheco and River Valley. All three teams are in the postseason for the first time. One of them is guaranteed to win its first game too; American Canyon and River Valley play each other on Friday.
* Pacheco (5-5) at Oakdale (9-1): Pacheco advanced to the playoffs for the first time. The Panthers placed fourth in the WAC, earning an at-large berth. Pacheco is Los Banos’ second high school. Oakdale, the VOL champion and the top seed, is in the playoffs for the 21st time in school history. The Mustangs lost to Del Oro in the last two D3 championships; the Golden Eagles are in the D2 field this year. Oakdale has seen its teams win two Section championships; in 1996 and 2007.
Benicia (7-3) at Patterson (7-3): Benicia advanced to the playoffs by virtue of its runner-up finish in the SCAC. The Panthers are in the playoffs for the ninth time – the fourth season in a row – and are hoping to add another pennant to the championship flag it won in 1982. Patterson placed third in the WAC; it’s making its 13th playoff appearance. The Tigers have advanced to one Section championship game, a 24-6 loss to Central Catholic in the 2007 D5 game. Patterson and Benicia have met in the playoffs once before. In 2009, the Panthers handed the Tigers a 26-20 overtime loss in the first round.
* Christian Brothers (6-4) at Cosumnes Oaks (8-2): Christian Brothers, a 1-9 team last year, are in the playoffs for the 15th time in school history. The Falcons placed third in the CVC, earning an at-large berth. Christian Brothers saw its teams win Section titles in 1981 and 1983, but it’s been some time since they’ve had postseason success; the Falcons have lost their last 11 games, a streak that dates back to 1986. Cosumnes Oaks, the SVC runner-up, returns to the playoffs for the second time and making it this far for the first time last year. The Wolfpack won its first postseason game last year, a 14-0 decision over Manteca, before losing to Whitney.
* River Valley (6-4) at American Canyon (9-1): One thing is for sure when these two teams meet on the gridiron; somebody’s coming away with their first postseason victory. This is the first postseason appearance for both of these teams. River Valley, the TCC third placer, is Yuba City’s second high school. American Canyon, the SCAC champion, is out of the Napa area.
* Rosemont (6-4) at Sierra (9-1): Rosemont, the Metro League third-place finisher, advanced to the playoffs with an at-large berth. The Wolverines are in the postseason for the fourth time in school history and fourth time over the last five years. Their only win came in 2010, a 22-17 victory over Del Campo in the first round. Sierra, the VOL runner-up, is also a relative newcomer to the Section playoffs. This is the fourth postseason appearance for the Timberwolves, which advanced to the D3 semifinals in 2009.
* Manteca (6-4) at Inderkum (8-2): Manteca took third place in the VOL, advancing to the playoffs with an at-large berth. The Buffaloes have a lengthy history in the playoffs and of advancing to title games. They’ve been to the postseason for 18 years now, with three championships in seven title game appearances. Inderkum, the TCC runner-up, is making its seventh postseason appearance and also its seventh in a row. The Tigers have advanced to two Section title games (D3 games in 2008 and 2009), falling to Casa Roble and Del Campo.
* El Camino (7-3) at Sacramento (8-2): El Camino finished in third place in the CAL, good for an at-large berth. The Eagles have advanced to the playoffs in 10 different seasons, but for only the third time in the 2000s. They won D2 Section championship games in 1984 and 1985, their only final game appearances. Sacramento, the Metro League runner-up, returns for the playoffs for the sixth time in school history. It’s also the fourth straight postseason appearance for Sacramento, which has yet to win a playoff game.
* Lincoln-L (5-5) at Vista del Lago (9-1): Lincoln-L, which placed fourth in the PVL, was the 64th team into the postseason. The Zebras’ 51 opponents’ wins were just enough to get in with the final at-large berth. This is the ninth postseason appearance for Lincoln, which has two wins during that span. Its last win came in 2009. Vista del Lago, the SVC champion, is one of only three league champs in this bracket. This is the third postseason appearance in school history for Vista, and also the school’s third straight playoffs.
* DIVISION IV:
* Notes: With three 10-0 teams, three 9-1 teams and six teams standing at 8-2, this is the most impressive playoff bracket of any division in Section history. … Five of the 16 teams here are from the TVL, which advanced the most teams to the playoffs of any league in the Section this season.
* Hilmar (6-4) at Placer (10-0): Hilmar, of the TVL, is the only fifth-place team to make the postseason this year. The Yellowjackets are in the playoffs for the 24th time in school history, and won the D4 Section championship last year. They have a total of six Section titles. Placer, the PVL champion and top seed, are in the playoffs for the 15th time and fifth straight season. The Hillmen have won five Section titles, all of them coming in the late 1970s and early 1980s under the tutelage of Bill Miller, the grandfather of current Placer coach Joey Montoya. Placer got to Section championship games in 2008 and 2009 as well, losing to Whitney and Modesto Christian.
* Calaveras (8-2) at Escalon (8-2): Calaveras, the MLL runner-up, is in the playoffs for the 29th season and 16th year in a row. The Redskins have seen their teams advance to the championship game eight times – as recently as 2010 – but have never won it all. Escalon, the TVL runner-up, is in the playoffs for the 24th time and 15th season in a row. The Cougars own eight Section championship banners, the most recent one coming in 2010 in a wild victory over Calaveras. Not only does this game feature two of the most playoff-experienced programs in the entire Section, but they’ve played each other the most, too. This will mark the 10th time Escalon and Calaveras have faced off in the postseason, with the Cougars enjoying a 7-2 edge.
* Summerville (8-2) at Los Banos (9-1): Summerville placed third in the MLL, earning an at-large berth. The Bears are in the postseason for the 11th time in school history and the fourth time over the last five years. They have a 2-10 career record, with a 0-1 record in championship games. Los Banos, the WAC runner-up, is in the playoffs for the 13th time and fifth year in a row. The Tigers won Section championships in 1988 and 1991. With this D4 appearance, Los Banos will have competed in playoff contests from Division I through IV over the years.
* Modesto Christian (6-4) at Capital Christian (9-1): Modesto Christian took third place in the TVL, earning an at-large berth. The Crusaders are in the playoffs for the 14th time in school history, and the ninth time over the last decade. The Crusaders boast one Section title, they won it all in 2009 and later won the State Championship Bowl Game (small schools division). The star of that team, Isaiah Burse, is now a standout at Fresno State. Capital Christian is the GEL champion and in the postseason for the fourth time. The Cougars enter these playoffs riding a two-game postseason winning streak; their last victory was the 2009 D5 championship victory over Le Grand – the last postseason game the Bulldogs lost.
* Amador (7-3) at Ripon (10-0): Amador advanced to the playoffs via at-large berth after placing fourth in the MLL. The Buffaloes have plenty of playoff appearances – 13 – but not many wins. They’ve won three playoffs games, with the last one coming in 2003. Ripon, the TVL champion and No. 3 seed, is in the playoffs for the 14th time. The Indians have a 12-12 postseason record, winning one championship. That title was the 1996 D4 crown, a division that included the top teams from the Southern League and the third-place teams from the TVL and MLL. Ripon enters this game on a five-game postseason losing streak; its last victory came against Summerville in 1997.
* Bear River (8-2) at Central Catholic (8-2): Bear River placed third in the PVL, and was good enough to earn an at-large berth. The Bruins are in the playoffs for the 15th time in school history, and third year in a row. Bear River won a Section championship in 1994, in what was the lowest-scoring title game in SJS history: 3-0 in overtime over Golden Sierra. Central Catholic, the WAC champion, is in the playoffs for the 29th time, including the 12th season in a row. From 1997-2008, the Raiders didn’t lose a postseason contest, a streak of 29 games. Central Catholic has won 15 Section titles, the last one coming in 2007.
* Center (8-2) at Dixon (9-1): Center was the PVL runner-up, losing a 15-14 barnburner to Placer in Week 10 in what decided the league title. The Cougars are in the playoffs for the 12th time in school history. They enter this game on a seven-game postseason losing streak, their last playoff win coming in 1995. Dixon, the GEL runner-up, is in the playoffs for the 15th time. It’s the Rams’ fifth straight postseason appearance as well. Dixon has two Section championships on its resume: The D3 titles in 1971 and 1974.
* Hughson (6-4) at Argonaut (10-0): Hughson advanced to the playoffs with an at-large berth after placing fourth in the TVL. The Huskies are making their 13th appearance in the playoffs, but it’s their first since 2007. In those 12 previous appearances, they’ve won four titles; the last championship came in 2000. Argonaut, the MLL champion and No. 2 seed, is one of three 10-0 teams in the field. The Mustangs are making their 13th playoff appearance and 10th straight. Argonaut won the 2004 D4 championship as a No. 3 seed out of its league, shutting out league champion Linden in the finale. Argonaut and Hughson have met twice in the playoffs (1992 and 1997), both of them in the first round and both of them Hughson wins.
* DIVISION V:
Waterford (8-2) and Golden Sierra (7-3) draw first-round byes. The Waterford Wildcats are in the playoffs for the third time in school history, and are searching for their first win. They shared the SL title with Ripon Christian and Le Grand. The Golden Sierra Grizzlies are the SDL champion and in the playoffs for the 10th time in school history.
* Bradshaw Christian (5-5) at Highlands (6-4): For the first time in decades, and maybe in Section history, two teams from the same league will face off in the first round. That’s because four teams from the SDL qualified in this six-team bracket. Bradshaw Christian, the SDL No. 3, lost 61-27 to Highlands in their league matchup this year. The Pride are in the playoffs for the sixth time, and have three titles. Highlands, the SDL runner-up, is in the playoffs for the ninth time and fourth year in a row. The Scots advanced to the Section championship each of the last two years, losing to Le Grand in the D5 game.
* Rio Vista (5-5) at Le Grand (8-2): Rio Vista placed fourth in the SDL, earning an at-large berth and a Friday date with the Le Grand Bulldogs. The Rams are in the playoffs for the fourth time in school history and second year in a row. Le Grand shared the SL title with Waterford and Ripon Christian, but was considered the No. 3 seed by criteria. The Bulldogs won the D5 Section championship each of the last two years and advanced to the CIF State Championship Bowl Game last year. Rio Vista and Le Grand met in the D5 semifinals last year, with the Bulldogs taking a 48-7 victory.
* DIVISION VI:
Foresthill (9-1) and Brookside Christian (8-2) have first-round byes. The SMAL champion Foresthill Wildfires are in the playoffs for the third straight time. Last year, they advanced to the D6 championship game, where they fell to Bradshaw Christian. Brookside Christian was the CCAA champion, and is in the playoffs for the eighth time. They won the 2010 D6 championship game.
* Elliot Christian (7-3) at Ripon Christian (8-2): Elliot Christian took third place in the CCAA, earning an at-large berth. Like most of the D6 teams, the Eagles have a short playoff history. This will be their third postseason appearance, and they are searching for their first win. Both of the previous losses were to Vacaville Christian. Ripon Christian is the SL No. 2 seed, but the Knights shared the league title with Waterford and Le Grand. RC has made the playoffs twice before; in 2005 and also last year. Their lone playoff win came against Sierra Ridge in last year’s first round.
* Big Valley Christian (5-5) at Woodland Christian (8-2): Big Valley Christian took second place in the CCAA for an automatic berth. The Lions are in the playoffs for the fourth time in school history, all of them coming over the last five years. Their lone postseason win came in 2010, a shutout over Foresthill in the first round. Woodland Christian is in the playoffs for the first time in school history. The Cardinals were the runner-up in the SMAL.