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STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) — The second round of the high school football playoffs kicks off this weekend.

The Folsom Bulldogs have won the Division 1 section crown for five of the past seven years. However, this year’s 7-3 record has many doubting if Folsom is the team to beat again — or not.

“We haven’t played great lately, and everybody knows that,” said Head Coach Paul Doherty. “We know that. We’d be the first one’s to admit it.”

Since a 31-10 loss to northern California power De La Salle four weeks ago, Folsom has dropped three of their last four games.

 “Just a lot of, Folsom ain’t the same,” said D.J. Brown, Bulldog wide receiver and cornerback. “A lot of, Folsom has died off or falling off and all this stuff.”

Fans in the Folsom area haven’t seen those types of results from the Bulldogs in more than a decade.

“We might be better off now because of it,” Doherty said. “You know, we went through that adversity, we had to do a couple of things differently and get better in other areas, and we have.

That’s also how Brown sees it.

“You know, it motivates us as players. It motivates us as a team to come together and be better than we were. You know, work harder in practice and be better in the games,” Brown said.

Bulldog senior quarterback Tyler Tremain said he believes the team can still come out on-top of any rival.

“People say it’s a down year, I wouldn’t say it’s a down year,” Tremain said. “I mean, we can come out and put up 50 (points) on anybody.”

Folsom’s best chance at doing just that in Friday night’s game against Lincoln of Stockton is having Tremain return from the non-throwing shoulder injury he suffered in the De La Salle matchup.

“If not the best player in the Section, certainly the most valuable,” Doherty said. “The way we build it here at Folsom, through the quarterback, a quarterback-driven system. He’s just so familiar with everything we’re doing, and it’s just a huge advantage for our team.” 

And Tremain is eager to get back on the field.

“I’m super excited to play. I know it’s been a month since I’ve played in a football game, so I’m ready to be back out here,” Tremain said.

The quarterback’s return — and going through the recent adversity — may just be all the Bulldogs need this postseason.

“It really grounds us. It reminds us of what it took to get here, and it reminds us of what we need to, you know, to get to the place we want to be,” Brown said. “So, it’s good that we have that and we’re just going to learn from it and grow from it.”

It appears the Bulldogs already have.

Join the Final Quarter team Friday night from 10:30 to 11 p.m. for the playoff edition of the Final Quarter High School Football show, right here on FOX40.