Buhach Colony High football coach Kevin Navarra knew there wasn’t going to be any easy matchups for the Thunder in the Sac-Joaquin Section II playoffs.
So it wasn’t much of a surprise when Buhach Colony received the No. 13 seed and will open up against undefeated No. 4 Del Campo in the first round.
“I knew anything we drew in Division II would be tough,” said Navarra, whose team finished with a 7-3 record. “I saw many of the projections and I saw us playing Inderkum and Del Oro. Del Campo, what can I say? They are 10-0. Talking to (Merced coach) Rob (Scheidt) at our preseason league meeting we talked about them generally and he said they return a lot of their players, including their running back and quarterback.”
It’s the Thunder’s first playoff appearance since 2012. Buhach Colony capped the regular season with a 41-21 win over Atwater in the Bloss Bowl on Friday night.
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Buhach Colony enters the playoffs winning seven of its final eight games. So does Navarra like the way the Thunder are playing entering the playoffs?
“That’s a tricky question,” he said. “I thought we could have played better (on Friday night). We played good in the second half. I think we let the bye week and the rivalry atmosphere get to us in the first half.”
Buhach Colony was one of six Area teams to qualify for the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs. Chowchilla earned the No. 11 seed in the Central Section Division III playoffs and will open at No. 6 Kingsburg on Thursday in the first round.
Sac-Joaquin Section playoff games will be either held on Thursday, Nov. 9 or Friday, Nov. 10. It’s up for the two teams to decide with most school districts honoring the Veterans Day holiday on Nov. 10.
Los Banos (9-1) will play its first round game on Friday according to head coach Dustin Caropreso. The Tigers are the No. 6 seed in Division III and will host No. 11 Rio Linda.
Caropreso said his coaching staff was following action around the section the final few weeks in hopes of staying in Division IV. Union Mine’s 23-20 upset of El Dorado bumped the Tigers up to Division III and also booted Pacheco (5-5) out of the playoffs.
“We didn’t think Division III was a possibility until last week when American Canyon beat Vanden,” Caropreso said. “We were hoping for one school smaller than us to get in to knock Manteca up to Divsion III. We ended up getting too much help and we got bumped up too.”
The Tigers ended the regular season with a 55-21 over Pacheco in the Crosstown Clash on Friday night as Anthony Caballero threw five touchdown passes.
Three Area teams are part of the eight-team Division VI bracket. Number five seed Gustine (8-2) will open at No. 4 Modesto Christian (5-5). It’s a rematch from a game earlier this season in which the Crusaders routed the Reds 42-21.
Hilmar (5-5) is the sixth seed in the same bracket and will open at No. 3 Summerville (8-2) and No. 7 Mariposa (5-5) will face No. 2 Escalon (6-4).
Stone Ridge Christian (9-1) is the No. 3 seed in Division VII and will open at home against No. 6 Brookside Christan (5-5) in a rematch of last year’s section title game won by BC. Stone Ridge Christian defeated Brookside Christian 28-6 earlier this season.