The Shasta County Sports crew picked out one player from each local team playing in Week 5 who can be an impact player this Friday night.
Keep an eye out for these playmakers or ‘X-Factors’ for Week 5 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
Central Valley at U-Prep | 7:30 p.m.
Willie Mowry | QB/DB | Central Valley | Sr.
The athletically gifted and shifty ball carrier scored a touchdown for the Falcons last week against Lassen. Take away the West Valley game, U-Prep has only allowed 31 points in the other three games. CV hasn’t scored very many points and faces their toughest test coming up this week in U-Prep but Mowry’s production will be key for the Falcons to have success this week to stay unbeaten.
Connor Gilbreath | DE | U-Prep | Jr.
The Shasta County Sports Defensive MVP candidate continues to dominate in the trenches. The junior had four sacks last week to add to his Northern Section-leading total of nine this season. At 6-foot-5, 240-pounds, there aren’t many offensive linemen who can block his athletic frame … and it’s showing. CV is going to need to focus on No. 7 with double teams or run to the opposite side of the field to stay away from this monster.
Shasta at Enterprise | 6 p.m.
Michael Traylor | LB | Shasta | Sr.
The Wolves linebacker and defensive leader seems always makes his presence known on the field. Traylor blocked a Foothill punt last week that he nearly scooped and scored for what would have been his third straight game with a defensive touchdown. Shasta’s first string defense has been nasty since losing to West Valley in the opener, only giving up 14 offensive points in the past three games and Traylor’s leadership and impact has been a main reason why. Now he leads the Wolves against their rival Hornets after not allowing a single offensive point in their last meeting.
Eli Cortinas | RB/LB | Enterprise | Sr.
The last time Cortinas laced ’em up against crosstown rival Shasta was three weeks ago and a game he’d likely want to forget – or would he? Cortinas rushed seven times for a career low two yards in the earlier meeting in River Bowl XXVIII. This is the last time he’ll face Shasta and there’s no one pushing more for a redemption game than No. 26 in the black and gold. Cortinas has shown he has the capabilities of being a workhorse but will Enterprise give him that many chances if game script doesn’t go its way and the Hornets fall behind?
Foothill at West Valley | 7:30 p.m.
Caleb Tuggle | DE | Foothill | Sr.
Tuggle was disruptive last week against Shasta, ripping the ball out of QB Layton Dunlap’s hands for a fumble recovery off his own strip sack. At one point Shasta senior lineman Bladen Stankey said “75 was the best player on the team” — high praise from who is considered the top lineman in Shasta County. The 6-foot-2, 235-pound Tuggle already presents a problem for offenses with his size and he’s elevating his play this spring to become a well-rounded nightmare for opponents.
Dominic Sweeney | RB | West Valley | Jr.
It’s senior night and the last home game for West Valley, but Sweeney has shown enough on the field that he can be an impact player Friday night against Foothill that gav eup 42 points to Shasta last week. Sweeney has 97 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries with 75 of those yards coming against U-Prep two weeks ago. He’s quick and patient, waiting for his line to set the blocks but showed he can find the cutback lanes and turn on the jets.
Lassen at Anderson | 6 p.m.
Kaeson Saelee | RB | Anderson | Jr.
Anderson has had two weeks off due to COVID but Saelee has scored three of Anderson’s four touchdowns on the year — two on the ground and one through the air. The Cubs’ tailback is shifty, which could present problems for the Grizzlies. This is a get-right game for Anderson with one more week to play and Saelee is showing how he can not only be a valuable asset this season, but is showing the North State a glimpse of what could be an MVP-worthy senior campaign.
Maxwell at Redding Christian | 7 p.m.
Carson Piper | QB | Redding Christian | Jr.
Piper’s athleticism makes him one of the more dynamic small school players in Shasta County. He guided the Lions to a season-opening win but has faced tougher and larger schools since. That valuable experience can come in handy this week against a winless Maxwell team that gave up 201 yards through the air and another 149 yards on the ground. Piper could be in for a big night due to his dual-threat ability.