At this point in the season, names of top football performers sounds really familiar. You hear pretty much every week, from my coverage and elsewhere, that St. Mary’s linebacker Khalil Hodge leads the state in tackles, and that Sierra running back Mark Paule Jr. has more rushing yards and TDs than anyone in the section.
And every now and then, we get a curious case like Cutrell Haywood’s.
CUTRELL HAYWOOD (Stagg WR/DB, So.)
Haywood, a sophomore, played just his second varsity game for the Delta Kings Friday in a 55-20 win over McNair: Stagg’s first victory this season.
And he didn’t just play well, he was astounding, with three touchdown catches and four, count ‘em, four, interceptions. Most players in the state don’t get four interceptions the entire season. And those four interceptions came against McNair’s Osai Brown, one of the top junior passers in the section and state.
Haywood lead’s off my Week 7 edition of “Helmet Stickers” – celebrating the best in local Friday night football.
MICHAEL BROWN (Tracy QB, Sr.)
Brown was a dual threat again for the Bulldogs in a 35-21 win over Lodi, with 119 rushing yards on 20 carries and a touchdown, and a 5-of-7 passing night with 94 yards and an aerial TD.
RONALD WALKER (Lincoln RB, Jr.)
Walker, a workhorse for the Trojans, was the key to Lincoln’s 14-6 win at West Friday. He had 21 carries for a game-high 198 yards and the game-sealing touchdown.
NOAH RIGHETTI (St. Mary’s QB, Sr.)
Righetti is really finding his stride down the stretch, and went 18 of 23 for 243 yards and four touchdowns in St. Mary’s 32-0 shutout of Tokay on homecoming Friday.
DAKARAI CHARLES (Manteca QB, Jr.)
Charles’ stock is rising in terms of Sac-Joaquin Section quarterbacks, and in a 55-7 win over Kimball, went 5 of 5 passing with 115 yards and two touchdowns, with 85 rushing yards including a 31-yard TD.
PRIEST JENNINGS (Chavez RB, Sr.)
Jennings already led the section in rushing, and just added to it with his 20-carry, 249-yard, two-touchdown performance in a win over Edison Friday. This guy’s breakaway speed and agility is incredible. And he’s humble to boot.
SEAN BULIGON (Edison QB, Sr.)
Buligon didn’t have gaudy stats Friday, but an amazing 30-yard TD run, 69 rushing yards despite being sacked five times and took a gnarly hit to the helmet only to return healthy a couple drives later.
JACK WEAVER (East Union QB/LB/DB, So.)
Weaver may’ve been an underclassman, but he was Superman for the Lancers Friday, with three touchdown passes, a rushing TD, and forcing the game-clinching fumble in a 28-21 VOL win over Lathrop.
MARK PAULE JR. (Sierra RB, Jr.)
Paule leads the section with 28 rushing touchdowns, by far, and is second behind Jennings with 1,329 yards after posting 217 yards and three touchdowns in the Timberwolves’ huge 31-20 home win over Oakdale Friday. It’s Sierra’s first home win ever over Oakdale, it’s 7-0 overall and 4-0 in the VOL and Paule is a huge reason why.
LESTER WILLIAMS (Stagg WR, Sr.)
Williams had two second-half carries against McNair. And they both displayed why he’s so dangerous. They were touchdown runs of 70 and 80 yards. This guy is a beast, and Chavez needs to be wary of him when they square off Nov. 7 to finish the regular season.
HUNTER CALTON (Escalon RB, Jr.)
Calton, in the shadows behind seniors Christian May and Wesley Dick, was the star in Cougars coach Mark Loureiro’s section-record clinching 262nd win, 41-34 over Hilmar Friday. Calton had 13 carries for 171 yards and a TD.
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