Our opening Game of the Week might not just be the best in Stockton.
It’s one of the biggest matchups in the Sac-Joaquin Section.
Lincoln, ranked No. 14 in MaxPreps’ Top 25 SJSCIF Preseason rankings, hosts Stagg at 7:30 p.m. That’s the same Stagg team which went a perfect 5-0 to win the Tri-City Athletic League (TCAL) a year ago, and earned the No. 2 seed in the SJSCIF D-I playoff bracket.
Stagg only reached the quarterfinals, losing to Elk Grove-Pleasant Grove, but it was a mighty accomplishment.
Now, the Trojans look to return to prominence and the Delta Kings look to keep building their program under a massive spotlight at 7:30 p.m. Friday. I’ll have updates on Twitter, and check out our game-night coverage and live chat on Recordnet.com.
For now, here are players to watch for both squads:
OL – TRISTEN TAYLOR (Stagg, Sr.)
Taylor, a 6-7, 310-pound beast, was named an OL to watch by Cal-Hi Sports, and already has offers from Idaho and Eastern Washington. I’m guessing he’s going to get some true D-I offers, too.
And he’s pivotal for the Delta Kings, who will be in offensive transition with dual-threat quarterback Lavante Bushnell leading the way in Stagg’s spread offense.
He must protect the run game, and oppose Jordan McMiller.
WR – MARK RUSSELL (Lincoln, Sr.)
Russell is rumored to be a WR to watch in the section and the area this year, and he could do his damage out of the slot for the Trojans.
He’s got a heck of a counterpart for Stagg, too.
WR – LESTER WILLIAMS (Stagg, Sr.)
Williams is not to be trifled with, and had a team-high 43 catches for 914 yards and 13 touchdowns as a junior.
I’m fascinated to see how he syncs up with Bushnell, and in the second half of the season, how he and QB Marcus Moore (Weston Ranch transfer) connect.
QB – COLBY DICKSON (Lincoln, Jr.)
With a weapon like Russell, it’ll be interesting to see how Trojans coach Brian Gray and company utilize their young quarterback.
And, how Stagg’s 4-3 defense can affect Dickson’s comfort in the pocket.
QB – LAVANTE BUSHNELL (Stagg, Jr.)
Bushnell is at 5-8, 155, and was a wide receiver before this year.
Delta Kings coach Don Norton is tremendously impressed with his development as a passer and a leader, though, so this offense may not be as run heavy as once thought.
It certainly helps to have Williams to throw to, and Taylor protecting him.
DL – JORDAN MCMILLER (Lincoln, Sr.)
McMiller’s senior leadership on a scary Trojans’ line should be something to watch Friday, especially when paired against the Delta Kings and Taylor.
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