PVL Grid Title Through Colfax? - Not This Year

Nov. 2 Center at Placer Game Will Be Decider
By: Mike Ray, Gold Country News Services
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Before the Pioneer Valley League football season began, Placer High coach Joey Montoya’s belief was that the PVL football championship would run through Colfax. "They've won the last two league titles and until someone dethrones them it still goes through Colfax," said Montoya. Bear River co-head coach Terry Logue echoed Montoya's sentiments when he added the week his Bruins played the Falcons: "Colfax is still the champion until someone knocks them off." Well, coaches, while the Falcons have won eight of the last 10 PVL football championships thank you, the PVL crown won't go through Colfax - at least not this season. In fact, regardless of what happens in this weekend's PVL action when Placer visits Colfax and Center hosts Foothill - the PVL title - in some form or another - will be decided at Placer's Lefebvre Stadium on Nov. 2 when the Hillmen entertain Center in the regular season finale. "I wish it did run through Colfax this season," said Colfax coach Tony Martello whose Falcons (4-4, 1-2)have two league losses. "Right now we're just trying to get healthy and play better every week." So, as the first rains of the season start to pelt down this week and the prep campaign winds down into the final plays of the regular season, here's the myriad of PVL possibilities that exist, team-by-team: *Placer (8-0 , 3-0) - The Hillmen, who escaped with their closest call of the season by using a last second field goal for a 10-7 win at upset-minded Lincoln last Friday, still have business to take care of as they seek the school's first league title since 1998 and the first "outright" loop crown since 1980. Placer will play Friday at Colfax needing a win to set up a showdown for the PVL crown on Nov. 2 when Center (7-1, 3-0) calls on the Hillmen. However, regardless of the outcome of the Placer-Colfax game and Friday's Center-Foothill contest, the Nov. 2 Placer-Center game will either have sole league or co-league title aspirations for both the Hillmen and Cougars at stake. Making the Nov. 2 crucial even more important is that if Placer and Center both land in the Div. IV or Div. III playoffs together, the winner of next Friday's game would have a huge impact on playoff seeding, something that could determine the winner being bracketed opposite of Oakdale in Div. III or Central Catholic in Div. IV. *Center (7-1, 3-0) - The Cougars, who are the highest scoring team in league action and are averaging 36 points a game in PVL play, host Foothill this week in a North Highlands-Antelope area rivalry that has the earmarking of a game where records get thrown out the window. Center is already playoff eligible and like Placer is sitting on the fence between Div. III and Div. IV. "If a team like Center gets in the Div. IV playoffs, their speed would completely change the landscape of that division,” said Escalon coach Mark Louiero. *Bear River (6-2,1-2) - Going into Friday's homecoming game with Lincoln, the Bruins, still licking their wounds from a 36-0 loss last Friday versus Center, need a win to reach two league victories and become playoff eligible. "Top to bottom our league has as much parity as I've seen in a long time," said Logue. "I'm just hoping our kids can get back on track." If the Bruins can weather the Zebras and Foothill next week, an 8-2 record would probably earn Bear River a top eight seed and a first round home Div. IV playoff game. Again, the key for the Bruins is to garner a second league win. *Colfax (4-4, 1-2) – The Falcons must also reach two wins in PVL games and get to five overall wins to be in the playoff picture. That means winning at least one of its two final regular season games – Friday at home vs. Placer or Nov. 2 at Lincoln. If the Falcons can get to five wins, their overall opponent win total bodes well for them in garnering an at-large berth. *Lincoln (4-4, 1-2) – Like Colfax, the Zebras need another league win to get into the playoff picture. However, if the Zebras can’t sweep Bear River and Colfax to reach six wins, a 5-5 record may not be enough to get Lincoln into the Div. III playoffs because of a low opponent win total. Last week’s heroic effort in the 10-7 loss to Placer, however, gives the Zebras something to build on. *Foothill (1-7, 0-3) – The Mustangs showed some offensive spunk in scoring 34 points in last week’s loss to Colfax. Foothill has an outstanding 1-2 running punch in Dillon Thomas and Robert Dotson.