Knightline

Rio Linda hosts Sierra in Playoff Final Four Matchup

Abraham Banks
Cameron Skattebo

The #1 seeded Rio Linda Knights have enjoyed a first round bye, and have gotten past #8 Vanden in the second round of the 2019 CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Football Playoffs, and will now face Sierra of Manteca in a semi-final matchup tomorrow night.

The Sierra Timberwolves are 9-3 overall this season. Earlier this year, Sierra lost to Oakdale who is the #2 seed in the playoff bracket and are facing Merced tomorrow night to determine who goes on to play for the Section D4 title. Last week #4 Sierra dispatched #5 Atwater 63-15.

The Rio Linda Knights are 9-2 overall and 4-1 in league play this year.

This playoff game could be the Battle of the Fives. Sierra Junior running back #5 Kimoni Stanley carried the ball 20 times for 241 yards and 5 touchdowns against Atwater. Stanley has 1728 yards this season and averages 10.9 yards per carry. He has scored 31 touchdowns. Knights phenom #5 Cameron Skattebo has 1605 yards this season and averages 10.5 yards per carry with 18 touchdowns.

What Sierra does not have is an ultra-mobile run/pass threat at QB, such as Rio Linda’s Abraham Banks. Banks has come on like a freight train this year, running for 1464 yards, averaging 10.6 yards per carry and scoring 20 touchdowns. Banks has also thrown for 876 yards and 9 touchdowns. For his efforts, Abraham was named this year’s Foothill Valley League MVP.

Jamone Gates

This Rio Linda double-threat is what has local prep sports reporters and analysts picking the Knights to win this game and move forward to the Section Championship game (likely versus Oakdale, who the Knights faced in the playoffs last year and beat in a cold, drizzly 2nd round home game 31-28.

Analysis Via Black Hat Football on Twitter:

WINS
SIERRA has opened the playoffs with two lopsided games, crushing Golden Valley 61-15 in the opener and the routing Atwater 63-14.
RIO LINDA beat D4 #3 seed Casa Roble 54-26 early in the season – though Merced’s win over Casa Roble last week takes much of the luster off that win; Also beat larger Lincoln-Placer County (impressive 27.5 Calpreps power rating)

LOSSES
SIERRA lost to Central Catholic, Oakdale and Manteca – 3 of the Section’s premier programs. They gave up an average of 43 points in each of those losses.
RIO LINDA’s losses are hard to complain about: A Week 1 loss to Center (10-0 and the #1 seed in D5) and a Week and a Week 8 loss to D3 #2 seed Placer.

NOTES

Both these teams beat everyone they were supposed to beat, and lost to the teams they were supposed to lose to. This will be the signature win for whichever team wins Friday night.


BLACK HAT SAYS: Sierra 42, Rio Linda 38

MAX PREPS SAYS: Rio Linda 38, Sierra 26

JOE DAVIDSON @Sacbee SAYS: Rio Linda 35, Sierra 28

The Rio Linda Knights will face the Sierra Timberwolves tonight, November 22nd at Marion Adams Field in Rio Linda. Game time is 7pm. ADMISSION is $12 adults, $8 seniors (65-over)/military, $5 students (k-12), children 5-under are free

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