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Prep Roundup

Colfax-Lincoln Game Holds Keys To Placer Playoff Destination

Del Oro Needs Win vs. Rocklin To Qualify For Playoffs
By: Mike Ray, Gold Country News Services
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For the first time since 2006, the Pioneer Valley League football championship will be decided in Week 10 by two teams bringing perfect league records with them into a regular season closing game. When Placer’s Hillmen (9-0, 4-0) tee it up with Center’s Cougars (8-1, 4-0) in the PVL showdown Friday night at LeFebvre Stadium, it will mark the first time since 2006 when an undefeated Colfax team defeated equally undefeated Bear River, 30-7, in the regular season finale to decide the league crown. But while all the PVL attention will be in Auburn Friday night, for the bigger picture of what lies ahead in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs, both Placer and Center followers might want to tune their I-phones into what’s happening in two other games – one 20 miles away in Lincoln and another 100 miles away in Modesto. For Placer, another Friday PVL finale, Colfax at Lincoln – will carry the key to unlocking the post season scenario for the Hillmen. “It’s looking a lot like the Colfax-Lincoln game is going to be pivotal for the make-up of Div. III and Div. IV brackets,” said CIF assistant commissioner John Williams. “Regardless of the Placer-Center outcome, the playoff fate of those two teams actually rests in other games.” When the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section revised its playoff format in 2010, football divisions were broken down for bracketing purposes by criteria such as school enrollment, league finish, league wins, total wins and opponent win totals. So, basically, with nine games already into the books, both Placer and Center, which remarkably are only five students apart in enrollment, will put their post season destinations Friday into the hands of Lincoln hosting Colfax and Orestimba of Newman traveling to play Modesto Christian. “There will be some five win teams make the playoffs,” said Williams. “Right now we just don’t know if they will be in Div. III or Div. IV.” Here’s the latest playoff scenario for local area teams: Placer (9-0, 4-0) - The Hillmen with a win on Friday can complete a perfect regular season for the first time at Placer since 1980 and give the Green and Gold their first league title since 1998. Also by winning on Friday, the Hillmen would gain the No. 1 seed for the playoffs regardless of whether they land, in Div. III or Div. IV. Now, this is where things start to get interesting. The Hillmen, who have competed in the Div. III level for the post season the last two years, have been projected to play Div. III again, providing Colfax defeats Lincoln on Friday. A Lincoln win, however, and providing Orestimba loses to Modesto Christian, would push Placer into Div. IV. Meanwhile, wins by both Colfax and Orestimba would elevate both Placer and Center into Div. III. Bear River (7-2, 2-2) – The Bruins qualified for the playoffs with their 24-14 win over Lincoln last Friday. With a win over Foothill on Friday, the Bruins at 8-2 will most likely end up with a seed that could range from nine to eleven in Div. IV providing where Placer and or Center wind up. Colfax (4-5, 1-3) – According to sources in the southern part of the section, there are a lot of Div. IV teams rooting for Colfax to win Friday at Lincoln. That’s because a Falcons’ victory would keep Placer in Div. III. If the Falcons do get into Div. IV, a first round game opponent could be either Ripon or Argonaut. Del Oro (4-5, 3-1) – It’s simple for the Golden Eagles who host Rocklin Friday - win and go to the playoffs, lose and stay home. For Del Oro, the Golden Eagles, who are Div. II this season, can only go either as the Sierra Foothill League’s No. 1 or No. 2 team. Rocklin, Del Oro’s opponent this weekend, has already qualified for the playoffs. Foresthill (8-1, 7-0) – The Wildfires have wrapped up the Sacramento Metro League title and will attempt to finish 8-0 in league when they host Cristo Rey Friday night. Foresthill figures to be a top seed in the Div. VI bracket.