The Shasta County Sports crew picked out one player from each local team playing in Week 3 who can be an impact player this Friday night. Keep an eye out for these playmakers or ‘X-Factors’ for Week 3 in high school football action, sponsored by Kenny Breedlove Realty 110, the real estate MVP in Shasta County.
Tri Counties Bank Game of the Week
West Valley at U-Prep | 7:30 p.m.
Noah Mason | QB | West Valley | So.
In two games, Mason has led the Eagles’ offense to 59 points and accounted for four total touchdowns. Usually West Valley’s quarterback isn’t relied on too much to throw the ball but the signal caller is playing above his years so far. Only a sophomore, Mason has plenty of room to grow and gain valuable experience in this shortened spring season.
Payton Henderson | QB | U-Prep | Jr.
There’s no doubt Henderson has been a playmaker for the Panthers so far this year, accumulating a Northern Section-best 338 passing yards and four touchdowns while adding a rushing score. The junior is bursting on the varsity scene in Shasta County, both with his arm and his legs, and has the Panthers sitting at 2-0 and featured as the Tri Counties Bank Game of the Week. A strong showing against West Valley could catapult his impact into Heisman consideration at the midpoint of the season.
Foothill at Enterprise | 6 p.m.
Cooper Laloli | RB | Foothill | Sr.
The Cougars have been productive on the ground two games in and Laoli is a big reason why. The Flyin’ Hawaiian has four touchdowns in the two games, scoring one of Foothill’s two touchdowns in last week’s narrow victory over Red Bluff. Enterprise had a difficult time matching Shasta’s speed on the perimeter and Laloli can not not burn you outside but he can break off long runs inside the tackles as well.
Aiden Borges | FB/LB | Enterprise | Sr.
The Hornets might not have won River Bowl last week but Borges stood out with his vicious sideline hits that knocked Shasta quarterback Layton Dunlap off his feet multiple times stretching for more yards. Borges isn’t afraid to deliver punishing blows and is a physical presence for the Enterprise defense looking to rebound from last week’s loss. Expect the senior backer to be an impact player this week.
Shasta at Red Bluff | 6 p.m.
Mason Stankey | LB | Shasta | So.
The sophomore linebacker shook off what looked like first-varsity-game jitters vs. West Valley and had a standout night in his first River Bowl win over Enterprise on Friday. The third Stankey to come through the Shasta program could be a difference-maker for the Wolves for two more years. He’s got size, mobility, speed and is a weight-room animal, according to coach JC Hunskaer. D-Coordinator Jim Schuette will rely on Stankey this week to bottle up a new-look Red Bluff attack.
Braden Robinson | RB | Red Bluff | Sr.
The Spartan senior back totaled 15 carries for 59 yards and a touchdown against Foothill last week – all team-highs. If Red Bluff is going to have success against a stout Shasta defense that gave up less than 40 yards of offense and pitched a shutout in River Bowl last week (the only score was a kick return) then the run game is going to need to get going – and that starts with Robinson.
Anderson at Central Valley | 6 p.m.
Mason Smith | WR/DB | Anderson | Jr.
Cubs head coach Don Trotter knew he had a playmaker in his arsenal in Smith, who was athletically gifted enough to move to wide receiver. The QB-WR chemistry and connection is there between him and Devin Armstrong and the duo displayed it on Friday against U-Prep with Mason hauling in six passes for 128 yards and a score. It’s not rocket science to know Smith has many more of those types of games in him and this week’s contest against CV could be a repeat performance.
Jonny Mack | RB | Central Valley | Sr.
The Falcons got a big boost from Mack in last week’s win over Yreka as the senior tallied a team-high 65 yards on the ground. If CV can get a consistent producer like Mack going against Anderson then it should bode well for the Falcons, who are looking to start 2-0 for the first time since 2011.