It’s settling in time for Mother Lode football teams. With seven weeks of games down and at least two league games played by each team, here’s what to expect from this week’s matchups.
Bret Harte vs Amador, 7 p.m.
The Bullfrogs head into Friday night’s game at home with plenty of bumps and bruises. The roster has been ravaged by injuries this season. And head coach Casey Kester hasn’t glossed over the fact the team and the coaching staff are still trying to find their stride.
Last week they played the heft of Calaveras High School and lost 45-7. The loss moved their overall record to 1-5 and 0-2 in league play.
Keys to the game: The Bullfrogs will need to give their quarterback Ryan Kraft some time to throw. His arm strength and accuracy haven’t been the issue for the ‘Frogs’ offense so far this season.
When there has been protection there have been glimpses of what Kester is working towards on the offensive side. Look for Kraft to find Karson Kirk and Michael Hughes early and often.
In last week’s loss they were able to find momentum with their run game, but the Calaveras defense proved too stout.
Kraft is also a slippery runner. Last week he escaped the Calaveras defenders at midfield and sped down the field and into the endzone. But a penalty negated the play and Calaveras was able to force an eventual punt on the series.
It’s the kind of mistake Kester said his team is making too many of.
“We’ll have a great play and then we’ll follow that up with a roughing the passer,” Kester said after last week’s loss.
Cleaning those up mistakes will be crucial to a ‘Frogs win tonight.
The Amador Buffaloes are 2-4 overall and 1-2 in league play.
Sonora vs. Linden, 7 p.m.
The Sonora High School football team is looking to extend their winning streak and remain undefeated in the Mother Lode League. They will host the Linden Lions for homecoming.
The Wildcats have won their last five games and own a 3-0 league record, earning them the top spot in the standings. The team defeated Summerville on the road last week, 37-27.
Keys to the game: Senior fullback Jack Camara was a dominant factor in last week’s win. Camara rushed for 138 yards and two touchdowns. Junior quarterback Jake Gookin passed for 82 yards and a touchdown, and rushed for 59 yards.
Junior Linden Lion quarterback Kaige Camper has passed for 201 yards and a touchdown this season. Junior running back Christian Sanders has rushed for 574 yards and seven touchdowns. Senior receiver Michael Cowan has caught five passes for a total of 86 yards and a touchdown, and sophomore Joseph Morgan leads the Lion defense with a total of 25 tackles.
And don’t forget about Sonora’s 12th man. It’s homecoming so expect the Wildcat faithful to add to the energy on the field.
The Lions are 0-2 in league play and 0-6 overall.
Summerville at Argonaut, 7 p.m.
The Bears are coming off a tough home loss against Sonora. After winning five in a row, the Wildcats were able to force mistakes last Friday night.
After last week’s game, Summerville’s head coach Sean Leveroos was already contemplating the fixes.
“We’ll correct our mistakes and go from there,” he said.
Summerville will play an Argonaut team that’s coming off a decisive league win over Amador 43-21.
Keys to the game: Junior quarterback Mike Litzler has plenty of options. Expect to see Litzler looking for passing opportunities to Luke Fulkerson. The six-foot senior running back’s list of clutch plays is lengthy.
To say he’s an all-around offensive force is an understatement. In week 4 play at Hughson, Fulkerson’s game highlights included a leaping interception, a tip-toeing run up the sidelines to set up a touchdown and a touchdown pass on a Litzler handoff.
And there’s Dominic Esquivel. His speed has proven difficult for opponents to contain. He’s listed as five-foot, nine inches and 180 pounds on the team roster. He plays much bigger and it’s not unusual to see him drag as many as four defenders for gains.
The Argonaut Mustangs are 3-3 overall and 2-1 in league play.