Just a few short weeks ago, before the start of the 2014 season, nobody outside the halls of Davis High School expected the Spartans football team to do much this year.
That changed after Davis opened the campaign with four consecutive victories. All of a sudden, the Spartans were no longer an afterthought – no longer overlooked by opponents.
But after suffering its first loss of the season to Enochs in the Modesto Metro Conference opener on Sept. 26, Davis finds itself in a tight spot against a Gregori squad coming off a 27-20 overtime win against Beyer.
Kickoff at at Gregori High School is set for 7:30 p.m.
A loss to Gregori (4-1) would make Davis 0-2 in league – 2½ games behind Downey and Enochs (should they both win this week).
“Coach (Tim) Garcia has done a good job putting his kids in a position to believe they can win every game they play,” said Gregori coach Jason McCoy. “They’ve got a lot of talent over there. No. 10 (Talolo Limu-Jones) and No. 4 (Tala Toilolo) are really good, they’ve got a running back, (Jasiah) Millhouse, who was an all-league player last year, and their quarterback (Zach Magana) has been on the varsity for three years, so he’s taken a lot of snaps.
“Plus, they’ve had two weeks to prepare for us, and that’s always an advantage. Who knows what tricks they’ll have up their sleeve. They’re definitely a team that has our full respect.”
The Jaguars are 1-0 in the MMC and looking to keep pace with Downey and Enochs (yet to have their league byes). Gregori will be bolstered by the return of tailback Demetrius Vinson, who was sick during most of last week’s practices and played the Beyer game with a fever north of 100 degrees.
Beyer (1-5) at Enochs (2-4), 7:30 p.m. (Downey High) – The Patriots, already behind the 8-ball with an 0-2 mark in the Modesto Metro Conference, need to run the table just to finish 5-5. That won’t be good enough to get an at-large playoff berth.
The only path to the postseason for Beyer would be finishing first or second in the MMC. To do that, the Pats need to 1.) win out, and 2.) get some help along the way.
Enochs, meanwhile, has righted the ship after an 0-4 start to the season, with all losses coming to teams residing in The Bee’s large-school rankings this season. The Eagles are 2-0 in league play and a win today would set up a big showdown with Downey on Oct. 17.
Escalon (3-2) at Hughson, (4-1), 7:30 p.m. – It was thought that Escalon coach Mark Loureiro would have a chance to break the section’s all-time wins record – 261 by former Cordova coach Max Miller – during this Week 6 matchup with longtime rival Hughson.
But the Cougars stumbled last week at Bear Creek (Grass Valley), so Oct. 17 (against Hilmar) is the earliest he can break the record now. The Huskies will be looking to make Loureiro wait even longer, as they hope to get off to a fast start in the Trans-Valley League.
Mariposa (3-2) at Orestsimba (4-1), 7:30 p.m. – After an uneven start to the season, the Grizzlies are now 2-0 in Southern League play and tied with Le Grand atop the conference standings. Orestimba, meanwhile, is tied with Gustine and Ripon Christian for second place, a game back of the leaders. Orestimba needs a win here to knock the Grizzlies into that second-place pack. A Mariposa victory does serious damage to the Warriors’ title hopes.
Pacheco (4-2) at Livingston (5-1), 7 p.m. – The Panthers were one of the preseason favorites to win the Western Athletic Conference. The Wolves, on the other hand, were picked to finish near the bottom. Livingston has been one of the big surprises of the Stanislaus District. After going 1-9 last season, the Wolves are 5-1 this season and just a couple of minutes from being undefeated, having lost 10-7 to Hilmar in Week Zero.
Summerville (4-2) at Sonora (5-1), 7:30 p.m. – The Wildcats, ranked No. 1 in The Bee’s small-school rankings, are the class of the Mother Lode League. Summerville represents the league’s best shot at handing Sonora a loss.