For Mother Lode football teams, the playoff brackets are now officially the light at the end of the tunnel.
With just two weeks of regular season games remaining, two teams are left undefeated in league play. Here’s a preview of this week’s matchups:
Sonora at Calaveras, 7 p.m.
Sonora and Calaveras are jostling for much more than bragging rights, although those are in the balance, too.
Those two teams will lay it all out as they play each other in Calaveras.
Game of the week? No question.
Sonora has managed to salvage what was a four loss season until charging through league play on a four-win streak.
Calaveras was off to the same shaky start.
But those games are rear-view-mirror material. Tonight’s game could decide playoff seeding and , well, a year’s worth of chin-held-high attitude at having beaten your cross river rival.
Calaveras is big on both sides of the ball. Senior John Arbuckle is averaging just over eight tackles a game, but Sonora’s Evan Bearden is the league’s No. 2 tackler — strength meets strength.
Wildcat senior Jake Gookin has settled into his quarterback role nicely this year. He’s nearing 1,000 yards on his season and can mix it up with the run game and in the air.
Calaveras’ Zach Nordahl is a constant rushing threat and when he’s not gobbling up yardage he’s got Clayton Moore and Logan Weatherby at the ready.
Sonora’s Evan Bearden is tough for any offense to escape and averages just over nine tackles a game. Expect plenty of pressure from him, too.
Friday’s game in San Andreas starts at 7 p.m.
Summerville at Amador, 7 p.m.
Momentum is a good thing and the Bears have it.
They cruised by Bret Harte last week 34-0, finally getting a chance to see what all their moving pieces look like when they’re working right.
It was their first league win, giving them a 1-2 MLL record as they meet a 1-2 Buffaloes team.
Once again Summerville’s sophomore quarterback Jaden Brocchini showed why he got the nod as this season’s starter. As the league’s No. 3 ranked passer, he’ll face off against Gunner Drake, who happens to also be a sophomore and the league’s No. 2 guy. Oh, and both players are ready to run when needed. Neither team has put up any monster defensive numbers, so this could be a battle of the O-lines.
Friday’s game in Sutter Creek starts at 7 p.m.
Argonaut at Bret Harte, 7 p.m.
The Bullfrogs would sure like to improve their 2-6 record. Picking up a league win at home would be a fine way to do that.
Argonaut is 5-3 overall and has one league win.
The good news for Bret Harte is at the quarterback position where Ryan Kraft is playing his final season in a Bullfrog uniform.
The senior leads the league in passing and has the Nos. two, three and four receivers to look for in Hunter Brewer, Karson Kirk and Hunter Foust. If the ‘Frogs can throw their offense into high gear, they’ve got a chance.
Friday’s game in Angels Camp starts at 7 p.m.