#1 Denair (9-2) v. #2 Mariposa (7-4), 7 p.m. (@ Joe Debely for the SJS D7 title)
Last week: Denair defeated Le Grand, 21-14
Preview: The defending Sac-Joaquin Section Division-VII champions, Denair High, are back where they were last year after toppling a familiar foe from league play in the semifinal round in Le Grand. Denair came out on top, but barely, making the section finale that much more interesting when they take on a squad whom they already beat in the regular season —Mariposa County. Mariposa is fresh off a 52-27 win over Vacaville Christian in last Friday’s semifinal contest and are looking to ride that momentum against a team who barely beat them last time they met, in the regular season. Mariposa has now won seven games, including back-to-back contests. Their last loss came at the hands of Denair when they fell 14-13 on Oct. 25. In that game, Denair clinched second place in the Southern League, finishing league play at 6-1. Mariposa ended up taking third in the Southern League with a 5-2 record. Mariposa’s only league losses came at the hands of league champions, Ripon Christian, and Denair High. Things will be interesting on Friday night when both squads meet at neutral site, Joe Debely, for the section title. Denair has a chance to win not only back-to-back section titles, but also their second in program history. Head coach Anthony Armas and his coaching staff helped the Coyotes notch their first ever section title last year (D-VII) and also the CIF D-VII AA State in the process. That team had a plethora of utility players including three 1,000-plus yard rushers. They only returned one of those in Dylan De Silva, but he has been a steady workhorse for the top-seeded Coyotes all year. Him, along with majority of the line and starting quarterback Elvis Silva, have helped the Coyotes win six straight since losing to Ripon Christian back on Sept. 27. After 11 games played, Denair’s defense has allowed just 14.8 points per game. Their only two losses have come at the hands of 10-1 Ripon Christian, and 8-3 Soquel. Denair has put up 25.9 points per game after 11 games played.
#2 Hilmar (10-1) v. #3 Ripon Christian (10-1), 7 p.m.
Last week: Hilmar defeated Bear River, 49-17
Preview: The rematch of last year’s Sac-Joaquin Section Division-VI semifinal is set between Hilmar and Ripon Christian High, but with very different rosters, and starting lineups. There is no doubt that RC remembers what happened last year when the Yellowjackets won, 57-14. This year’s Knights squad, however, looks different, and their defense has been lights out after 11 games played. The RC defense has allowed just 50 points, while putting up a total of 392 points. They are No. 215 in the state while Hilmar is No. 142. RC is also riding a 10-game winning streak and are 22-2 over the past two seasons. Hilmar has won five straight games heading into their third straight section semifinal contest. Their defense has allowed 138 points in 11 games while the offense has put up 403 points. They are also coming off a game where they handled Bear River from the onset and never gave up. In that game they scored in their first six possessions and rallied behind Seth Miguels’ four touchdown passes after he went 15 of 18 for 326 passing yards. Justin Barros caught eight passes for 140 yards and finished the game with three total touchdowns. Aidan Azevedo had two receiving touchdowns on four catches for 118 yards. The winner will take on the winner of Escalon and Sonora for the section title the following week. This contest should be an interesting one with plenty of hard hits and big plays.
Bye week: None