WEB EXCLUSIVE: Division 4-6 football playoff breakdown

November 7, 2012 

Here are some notes heading into the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 4-6 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.

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