There is no place like home. Following their long four game road trip, the Hillmen finally return home for the first time since September 18th to face Lincoln tonight, needing just one win to secure their fourth straight PVL title. The Hillmen (8-0, 3-0) are coming off arguably their most impressive victory of the season against Bear River, and will looking to continue to build momentum as they head towards the playoffs. Lincoln (5-3, 2-1) is coming off a 69-62 defeat to Foothill. The Zebras offense has been carrying them all year, as they are averaging 53 points a game in PVL play. They are led by quarterback Elijah Garcia (20 touchdowns, 2066 yards), running backs Elijah Cunningham (922 yards, 19 touchdowns), Ryan Graham (801 yards, 10 touchdowns), and wide receiver Caleb Kettlehut (1017 yards receiving, 15 touchdowns). However, they will be facing their toughest challenge of the season in the Hillmen defense. In three league games so far this season, the defensive starters have allowed just 33 points. Anchored by a strong defensive line of Michael Downen (8.5 sacks, 69 tackles, 11 tackles for loss), Logan Crawford (5.5 sacks, 59 tackles, six tackles for loss) Simeon Engle ( four sacks, 45 tackles, three tackles for loss), and Jacob Capra and Diego Lopez who have split time at the other tackle spot, the starting defense has given up the the fewest points during league. The Linebacking corp of Dallan Trentman, Taylor Levesque, and Derek Haney has also been solid for Placer. Senior Brian Stangland who has been out since the second game of the season, is eyeing a return in week one of the playoffs, which will provide a huge boost defensively. Ryan Huston and Anthony Pierce have been stellar all season long in the secondary, and Joe Robinson and Chris Mcdonell have been playing well of late as well. Offensively, the Hillmen have been racking up 37 points per game in the PVL, thanks to a well balanced attack. The offensive line has been dominant up front this season has opened up holes for the running game, which has been particularly strong of late. Led by Jared Halbert (717 yards, 10 touchdowns), Waylen Cozad (623 yards and seven touchdowns), and Owen Scott (491 yards, seven touchdowns). The Hillmen will be without Cozad for a few weeks as he recovers from a knee injury, but he should return for the first game of the playoffs. In his place, Mikey Ferreria and Mcdonell will look to fill the void. Derek Haney, Robinson, and Xavier Lovelace, have made key plays in the passing game in recent weeks for the Hillmen. Quarterback Marcus Ante (14 touchdowns, 1085 yards) has been solid all season long, and will look to exploit a Lincoln defense which has allowed 125 points in the last three games. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm with the JV starting at 5:15. Tune in to KAHI 950 to hear all the action. Follow us on Twitter for live in-game scoring updates!
“PLAYOFFS?” A look at the looming Sac-Joaquin Section football postseason
2015 Hillmen Football Schedule
2015 Pioneer Valley League Standings