Hoped-for rematch may not be in cards

PREP FOOTBALL NOTES: Placer, Lincoln could be in different divisions in playoffs
By: Journal Sports Staff
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Even before the final snap in Friday’s showdown between Placer High and Lincoln, there were murmurings of a rematch — perhaps later this month in the section football playoffs. But there’s a chance the Hillmen and Zebras will be in different brackets in the Sac-Joaquin Section’s new postseason format. The top 32 teams in Divisions III and IV will be divided up into 16-team brackets based on enrollment. The 16 teams in Division IV will then be put into two eight-team brackets, with the winners squaring off in the championship game. It appears Lincoln, with an enrollment of 1,473, and Placer (1,370) will both be right at the cutoff for Division III when the brackets are determined after the games on Nov. 13. The formula is complicated and most teams will have no idea of their playoff fates until the day after their final games. But players and fans on both sides of Friday’s battle at LeFebvre Stadium welcomed the thought of a rematch. qqq There were several comments at regarding J.J. Castillo toting the Lincoln flag through the postgame handshake line. Castillo was quick to apologize in an interview with the Journal moments later. “I want to apologize for carrying the flag. I didn’t mean any disrespect at all,” Castillo said. The 6-foot-4, 250-pound defensive end was all over the field in Lincoln’s win, but despite his excitement after the game, he wasn’t ready to stake a claim to the Pioneer Valley League title. “We can’t think about that yet,” Castillo said. “We still have two games to play. Bear River and Colfax are good teams. “It would be great to win a league title as a senior, but we’re not there yet.”