Tonight, after a week one bye, the defending Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV and CIF State Division 5-AA champion #1 seeded Rio Linda Knights football team welcomes the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs back to Marion Adams Memorial Field where they will host the #8 seeded Vanden Vikings of Fairfield in a second round tilt.
The Knights have been on a tear during the last three weeks, outscoring opponents 115-49 and winning over playoff teams Lincoln, Oakmont and Nevada Union. Rio Linda’s dynamic yardage gobbling duo of Cameron Skattebo and Abraham Banks finished the regular season with nearly 3000 yards rushing and 33 touchdowns between them. QB Banks has thrown 723 yards and 8 touchdowns in the regular season, and primary receiver Kyle Deloney-Spencer has 486 yards and 3 touchdowns on the year.
Ben Pau, Thomas Froberg and Johnny Serrano have combined for 326 tackles on the defensive side, while Serrano and Lashawn Collins have 3 interceptions each to lead the team.
Vanden finished the regular season 5-5 and are enjoying a 4 game win streak.
Last week in the first round of the playoffs, Vanden defeated #9 seeded Nevada Union 56-14 and outplayed NU in the air and on the ground. Vanden forced Nevada Union’s offense to three straight punts to open the game, and the Vikings scored the first four times they had the ball.
In that game, Vanden QB Jordan Wollard was 9-18 for 188 yards with 3 touchdowns and 1 interception. He averages 2 touchdown throws per game, but has thrown 9 interceptions in 9 games. #23 Malakhi Demoss is Vanden’s primary running back, and has 14 touchdowns and over 1000 yards this season. Kurt Gandy is far and away Vanden’s primary reciever, with 40 catches for 677 yards this season, scoring 9 touchdowns.
MaxPreps has Rio Linda projected to win 42-17. Joe Davidson at the SacBee has Rio Linda favored 30-28, mainly on the Knight’s playoff experience; Vanden hasn’t seen semi-final play since 1995.
The winner of this game will face the winner of the #5 Atwater at #4 Sierra game, also taking place tonight. If the Knights win, that game will take place in Rio Linda.
Game time is 7pm.
Note: There is NO broadcast available for this game. The NFHS network holds the broadcast rights to CIF playoff games and does not plan a broadcast of this one. RLO will be live on Facebook before and after, and at halftime, with frequent updates.