BIG SHOWDOWN FOR FLAMES FOOTBALL
There is a lot at stake at the Grape Bowl today.
Lodi and Tracy enter today’s Tri-City Athletic League football game at the Grape Bowl, which is scheduled to kickoff at 7:15 p.m. with a lot on the line. Lodi (1-2 in the TCAL, 5-3) and Tracy (1-2 in the TCAL, 2-6) are thinking playoffs.
“I know that this week is exciting for us, since Lodi has entered a Week 9 and have some value to it,” said Lodi coach George Duenas. “I think that they are just excited to have that opportunity (tonight).”
Lodi running back Christian Zamora has 1,001 yards on 122 carries, averaging 125.1 yards per game, and 13 touchdowns this season. Another Flame running back in Jose Bravo has 272 yards, and quarterbacks Logan Stout and Adam Schallberger have 261 and 225 yards respectively.
On defense, five Lodi players have double-digit tackles. Bravo has 25, while Myles Lozano has 15, Andreas Pappas and Adolfo Sanchez each have 13 and Reggie Miles and Ethan Bronson each have 12.
The Bulldogs have found success with the veer offense that has been known to change into different formations, including the shot gun. Tracy has averaged 28.2 points per game.
According to The Fresno Bee, Tracy’s senior quarterback Logan Fife committed to Fresno State after switching from a verbal commitment to Cal Poly. This season, Fife has throw for 1,568 yards and 15 touchdowns.
On defense, Tracy anchors a 4-4 base that has given up 34.6 points per game. That is good news for a Lodi squad that is averaging an even 25 points per game.
Both Lodi and Tracy are jockeying for playoff positions. If Lodi beats Tracy, it would end the Bulldogs’ last hopes of making the playoffs. If Tracy wins tonight, then Lodi must beat Tokay to finish 6-4 and might need a little bit of help from other schools in Division II — which MaxPreps is projecting Lodi will go into if it earns a playoff berth.
According to the Sac-Joaquin Section, teams with at least four wins are considered to have earned a shot at a playoff berth, based on the strengths of their schedules. This format has been in place since the 2017 season. The section plans to release the playoff brackets on Saturday, Nov. 2.
Additionally, if Lodi wins tonight, plus a victory over rival Tokay in the TCAL finale at Hubbard Field a week from Friday, the Flames would finish the regular season with a 7-3 record.
Currently, Lodi has a 6.6 rating and its opponents’ overall record is a combined 31-33. Tracy has a 10.1 rating and its opponents have a combined 45-20 record.
“Tracy is the best 2-6 team in the history of 2-6 teams,” Due
nas said. “Their schedule is a bunch of juggernauts. This is a very good football team. We’re in a better position than Tracy is.”
Tonight at 7:15, Tokay (1-2 in the TCAL, 2-6) plays at defending league champion St. Mary’s (3-0 in the TCAL, 4-4).
Tokay running back Joseph Filippini has rushed 187 times for 1,142 yards and 19 touchdowns. Quarterback Jacob Varney has completed 41 of 90 passes for 465 yards and two touchdowns. On defense, Tiger outside linebacker Haseem Khan has 57 tackles.
Before Lincoln posted a 64-0 win at Hubbard Field last week, Tokay had averaged 27 points per game. The Tigers are looking to get back on the scoreboard. But that could be tough against a Rams’ defense that has yielded only 12 points in three league games.
Today at 7:30 p.m., Galt plays at Union Mine in a Sierra Valley Conference game in El Dorado.
Eight games under his belt, quarterback Robert Bulahan has completed 96 of 165 passes for 1,374 yards and 13 touchdowns for Galt (4-4 and 0-3 in the SVC). Running back Kenny Tran has 353 yards and two touchdowns. Marcelo Lopez continues to be a force on both sides of the ball for the Warriors; he has 29 receptions for 455 yards and five touchdowns. From his inside linebacker’s spot, Lopez has 12 tackles.
Galt and Union Mine (4-4 and 1-2 in the SVC) each need a win to improve their playoff chances.
Both have met the section’s criteria with four wins each. But Galt, which watched Rosemont jump out to a 34-10 halftime lead and won the SVC game 48-30 last week, needs to win its final two games to have a shot of a playoff berth.
The Warriors could also win one of two. But either way, they need a lot of help to earn a playoff berth.
Playing its final regular season at Hawk Stadium today at 7:30 p.m., Liberty Ranch (4-4 and 2-1 in the SVC) takes on Rosemont (7-1 and 2-1 in the SVC).
Liberty Ranch running back Isiah Ricci has 85 carries for 410 yards and six touchdowns. Gabriel Simoes-Ojeda is also part of the Hawks’ backfield with 327 yards rushing, plus a touchdown.
In the air, Hawks’ Cameron Hopkins has eight receptions for 166 yards and two touchdowns and Austin Davis 133 yards on 11 receptions.
On defense, Liberty Ranch linebackers Rosalio Lopez has 72 tackles and Kade Koepplin 54.
Entering today’s conference game, Liberty Ranch is ranked No. 7 by MaxPreps among D-V schools in the section. Rosemont is No. 7. If Liberty Ranch wins tonight, it is almost certain that it will trade places with the Wolverines in rankings.
That would also inch closer toward Liberty Ranch hosting its first-ever, first round playoff game at Hawk Stadium on Friday, Nov. 8. But first, the Hawks need to close out the regular season with wins if they potentially want to host a playoff game.
Lodi's Jose Bravo tackles Bear Creek's Brian Adams during Lodi’s victory at the Grape Bowl in Lodi on Sept. 27.