There are some things that are beyond Jeremy Plaa's control, like where his Downey football team ends up in the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.
The Knights are a "bubble" team between Division 1 and 2, and their enrollment determines the bracket they're in. The Bee's playoff projections had Downey in D2 last week.
Shuffle just two of the 80 or so smaller schools below it, though, and Downey goes D1. It's tough to scout playoff foes with that much uncertainty.
Plaa knows enough that he wouldn't mind his Knights going with the large schools, he said Monday at the Modesto Quarterback Club. He noted that D2 is laden with potent programs, and his Knights would receive a higher seed and a better shot at hosting a potential quarterfinal game.
Downey (7-1, 4-0 MMC) has two games remaining, but it has secured a playoff berth. It has Davis a rivalry that has regained some of its old luster with the creation of the Block D sculpture and Beyer left.
It would require a stunning upset, but Beyer could throw the race into a three-way tie if it beats Downey in Week 10. That would potentially leave those two and Enochs tied for first at 5-1, and a points differential formula would be used to determine the final order.
Enochs, staggered in a 45-14 loss to Downey last week, has this week off and faces a must-win against Davis on the final night of the regular season. A handful of teams could go 5-5 and earn at-large bids, but Enochs (5-4) isn't one of them.
This time of year is always an interesting one, given that report cards are distributed.
The first set of grades had come out for kids in Modesto City Schools, and most teams lose players to the 2.0 GPA requirement. Plaa, though, said his entire program came away perfect.
"We've taken a lot of pride in making sure we're focused on our academics," said Plaa, whose team hosts its annual Knight Under the Lights community event Wednesday.
The team invites kids from kindergarten to sixth grade to spend a few hours playing games and ricocheting in the bounce house set up on its glistening artificial turf. The program earned Downey the Sac-Joaquin Section Community Service Award last year.
The event is from 6-7:30 p.m., with registration at 5:30. The first 100 kids to register get a shirt and everyone gets a football program, and there is no cost.
While much of the focus on Central Catholic has been on its running game, kicker Kenny Smart made news by kicking his 51st consecutive PAT in a 77-7 win over Livingston.
That broke Gio Podesto's record. Smart has the state's longest active streak for consecutive PATs, and is second in California for PAT kicks.
The 11 PATs in one game also ties a Podesto record.
The Raiders will have more to celebrate today center David Henriquez returns after injuring his knee two months ago. That forced coach Roger Canepa to restructure his offensive line and cut his depth on both sides of the ball.
Henriquez has two weeks to prep for the playoffs, as Central plays Central Valley and explosive Ja'Quan Gardner before finishing at Patterson.
Week 9 schedule. Page C-4Week 9 Schedule
Kickoffs at 7:30 p.m., unless noted
Modesto Metro Conference
Gregori at Johansen, 7:45
Modesto Metro Conference
Davis at Downey, 7:45
Modesto vs. Beyer (Johansen), 7:45
Central California Conference
Buhach Colony at Turlock
Merced at Atwater
Pitman at Golden Valley
Valley Oak League
East Union at Sonora, 7
Kimball at Weston Ranch, 7:15
Oakdale at Manteca
Sierra at Lathrop
Western Athletic Conference
Central Valley at Central Catholic, 7
Los Banos at Livingston, 7
Patterson at Ceres, 7
Escalon at Modesto Chr.
Ripon at Orestimba
Riverbank at Hughson
Gustine at Ripon Chr. (Ripon)
Le Grand at Mariposa
Turlock Chr. at Delhi
Waterford at Denair
Mother Lode League
Amador at Summerville
Bret Harte at Linden
Calaveras at Argonaut
Central California Athletic
Elliot Chr. at Big Valley