The section large school prep football playoffs are a lonely gathering for Empire teams and the region's small schools are set up for games with familiar foes.
Rancho Cotate looks to keep a perfect season going, though the Cougars must wait a week with a first-round bye in Division 2. On the other side of the bracket is North Bay League rival Casa Grande, one of only two other league teams in the section playoffs and also holding an opening-week bye.
"Just put us in there and we'll go play," said Rancho Cotate coach Ed Conroy.
"We're having a great year. Hopefully it can continue."
Also placed in opposite playoff pairings were Analy and Cardinal Newman, in Division 3. Analy, the Sonoma County League champion, gets a No. 5 seed and home game against Tamalpais on Saturday. On Friday, third-seeded Cardinal Newman hosts Sonoma Valley.