FOX40’s Lindsey Pallares will have a live report Friday on FOX40 News at 5, 6, 7 and 10 p.m.
FOLSOM, Calif. (KTXL) — The Folsom Bulldogs have been the best high school football program in the region for more than a decade and on Friday night, they will play for another State Championship in Southern California.
Folsom’s signature moment came at the goal line against their game against De La Salle as their defense preserved a one-point lead over the Spartans.
“It’s impressive what they’ve done. They’ve bailed us out week after week, and we need it again this week,” said Folsom head coach Paul Doherty.
“We don’t always get all the credit, but our defense is special. We have a lot of special players and I had all the trust,” linebacker Caden Bienvenue said. “I was actually on the far side, away from the jet-sweep. So, seeing that go back, I just had trust and faith in my teammates, and they did it.”
Folsom’s high-powered offense is normally the topic of conversation, but their defense is what carried the team down the stretch this year, especially in the NorCal Championship.
“Seven stops in a row, I think, in the second half, and I tell everybody we’ve been leaning on this defense for weeks, for months,” Doherty said.
“I wouldn’t say we’ve carried this team. We’ve done a lot to help out, but it’s two ways for sure. And our offense, you know, they score the points, so we just try and do our job out there and keep it up and keep the energy going,” Bienvenue said.
Folsom has played in four previous state title games, all since the 2010 season — and won each time.
So, is there any added pressure to keep a perfect record in state bowl games?
“Once you start thinking things like that … You don’t need to start thinking like that,” wide receiver Rico Flores Jr. said. “Just think about your job assignments in the game and things will go into place.”
“And now they get another week of football. They did it for the Jesuit week, the Rocklin week, the De La Salle week, Cathedral week. So it’s a pretty cool deal we got going on,” Doherty said.
So far, that strategy has worked well for the Bulldogs.
“To be coming in with a little bit of momentum, I think, and hopefully there is still a little something left in the tank to finish the job I think would be incredibly rewarding,” Doherty said.
The Folsom game against Cathedral Catholic is Friday night at 8 p.m. at Saddleback Junior College.