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Falcons, Trojans matchup to be 'capital battle'

Sports Chatter
By: Mike Ray
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You could hear the snickers from Iowa Hill to Willows earlier this spring when Colfax High football coach Tony Martello announced that the Colfax Falcons would be playing Durham’s Trojans in this Friday’s opening game of the 2nd annual “Battle at the Capital” football showcase hosted this weekend at Del Oro High School.
For some reason, unbeknownst to this corner, there is a misconception that North Section football teams — of which Durham is a member — aren’t equal to teams from the Sacramento region and in particular the Sac-Joaquin Section as a whole.
But as I glanced at some interesting opening week scores from last weekend, I see where Paradise took a four- hour bus trip to defeat Merced, 14-13, and where a supposedly “down” Sutter played Bethel of Vallejo on even terms for three-and-a-half quarters before falling on the road, 18-7. Yep, that’s the same Bethel team that PVL member Placer squares off with this week.
For the most part, football analysts may be right about the Sac-Joaquin Section’s grid supremacy and this season Martello’s Falcons will find out. Following Friday’s game with Durham, the Falcons will entertain a possibly even better North Section team when highly touted Wheatland, fueled by size and speed, visits on Oct. 1.
“Durham is a good football team,” said Martello after viewing the Trojans this summer in a passing tournament and then after breaking down the tape of the valley school’s 56-22 win over Biggs last Friday. “They’re really explosive on offense, have an outstanding quarterback and some skill kids that can run.”
For the record, Durham is a school of about 400 located just south of Chico. The town is a farming community with some residents commuting into Chico for work. The Falcons and Trojans do have some history. When the Falcons were a member of the North Section, the two schools opened the 1974 season at Marson Field with the visitors pounding out a 34-7 win.
Durham is making no bones about why they’re playing Colfax on Friday.
“They really think they have a shot at being the small school representative this season from the north for the state bowl game,” said Matt Williams, the organizer of the “Battle at the Capita.l” “A win over Colfax would be a big feather in their cap.”
Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. Friday at Del Oro. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and children. Colfax will be the “home team” for the game and provide the chain gang and game announcer. The Falcons will wear green and be on the Del Oro side of the field. The second half of Friday’s doubleheader is an 8:30 game between Del Campo and Aptos.
Prep Picks
An 8-2 slate spiced by the tabbing McQueen over Nevada Union highlighted the opening run of “Major Hoople’s” weekly football predictions. Here’s how this week shapes up:
Colfax 38 Durham 35 – This one could turn into a track meet.
Bear River 30 Capital Christian 14 – Bruins defense finally shows up.
Lincoln 23 Natomas 20 – Zebra seniors have won 28 games coming into this season.
River City 28 Center 14 – Word is Cougars have only 20 varsity players.
Oakmont 26 Foothill 22 – Vikes take longtime non-leaguer from Mustangs.

Elsewhere:
Nevada Union 21 Ponderosa 20; Whitney 35 Concord 24; Del Oro 32 Bullard 20; Roseville 17 Rio Linda 14; Casa Roble 22 Woodcreek 20.