JC Football Previews
Feather River vs. Hartnell at Rabobank, 1 p.m.
The reigning American Pacific 7 Conference champion Golden Eagles will open the fall riding a 10-game winning streak, going undefeated last year.
Feather River outscored opponents 401-186 last season. It gave up a season high 39 points in a 48-39 win over Hartnell in last year’s meeting.
Quarterback Jared Taylor was a dual threat last year for Feather River, throwing for 138 yards and rushing for 93 in its win over Hartnell.
Teammate Tanner Hall rushed for just under 1,000 yards and 15 touchdowns last season for the Golden Eagles.
Hartnell is looking to avenge last year’s 4-6 season – in which it dropped four games by four points or less – including two in the waning seconds and another in overtime.
The Panthers attack starts with 6-foot-6, 254-pound All-American quarterback J.P. Garcia, who threw for nearly 2,700 yards and 23 touchdowns in nine games.
Garcia led the state in passing yards per game at 293.4. He compiled over 500 yards in offense and five touchdowns in the Panthers loss to Feather River last fall.
Garcia has an abundance of receivers to get the ball to, including former Salinas High standouts Ivan Curiel and Cade Smith.
Hartnell’s ground game got a boast with the addition of UC Davis transfer Anthony Villegas, who chalked up over 1,800 yards and 31 touchdowns as a senior at Palma in 2919.
The strength of the Panthers defense starts with preseason All-American defensive back Deonte Ferguson.
The sophomore broke up a state leading 17 passes in nine games last year with a pair of picks. Ferguson also collected 40 tackles.
Solidifying the front seven for the Panthers will include a pair of Palma products in linebacker Casey Mena and defensive lineman Daniel Cabrera. Joey Moag and Konnor Barrett have been impressive in practice.
Yuba at Monterey Peninsula College, 1 p.m.
There was no shortage of heart-stopping late-game dramatics in the second half of the season last fall for the Lobos, who won five straight games by three, one, four, five and one point.
The result was an American Golden Coast Conference championship and an appearance in a bowl game against undefeated Feather River.
Anchored by the return of conference Defensive Player of the Year Guy Bessey, MPC’s defense held four teams to 13 or less points last year.
Bessey, who finished among the state leaders in sacks last fall, will be joined by the return of linebacker Dre Gomez.
The Lobos offense is expected to provide more of an impact this year with their depth, particularly at quarterback where Kai Lee and Josh Elmore are alternating reps in practice.
Lee, who has been out of football for two years after playing basketball, threw for 6,700 yards and 45 touchdowns in three seasons at Carmel.
With Elmore throwing three touchdown passes last year and Bessey producing 1.5 sacks, MPC beat Yuba 27-10 in Week 2.
A running back by committee approach for the Lobos will include the return of Devin Bradd, who rushed for nearly 700 yards after assuming the starting job in Week 5.
State pole vault finalist Julian Bishop returns as a receiver, while the offensive line is anchored by returning all-conference center Terrance Hawkins, who prepped at Seaside.
The 49ers are looking for a revival after going 0-9 last year. They were outscored 93-3 in their final two games, scoring just 61 points on the season.
Yuba, who plays in the America Pacific 7 Conference, where three teams were a combined 26-4 last year, is just 3-16 in its last two seasons after going 8-2 in 2018.
Contributed by local news sources