We get a few NCS versus CCS affairs, including three classic showdowns on Saturday.
Here’s a look at some of the more interesting matchups.
#7 California (1-0) at #24 Pittsburg (0-1), 7
This is the most interesting NCS game on the Friday night schedule for me just because I’m curious how Pittsburg responds after their loss at Analy.
Pittsburg is without quarterback Keith Walker after a collarbone injury (out six weeks) suffered late in the Analy contest.
This game could be huge for NCS Division I playoff seedings come November.
Cal won last season, 40-34, and weren’t stopped on offense all night as they rolled up 449 yards.
California 37, Pittsburg 34
#21 Los Gatos (0-0) vs. #11 Mitty (0-0) at Foothill College, 7
Last season, Los Gatos fell victim to Mitty’s outstanding team speed in a 28-20 Monarchs win.
Mark Krail makes his Wildcats coaching debut and hopes his team can win the battle up front but Los Gatos has one returning starter on the offensive line.
Mitty 26, Los Gatos 20
#15 Foothill (1-0) at Freedom (0-1), 7
Freedom is in the same position as last year when they were trying to avoid a 0-2 start. They responded with a 41-28 win at Foothill which included 317 yards rushing and 133 from Joe Mixon.
This has all the makings of a high-scoring game again and a key for Freedom to win again is staying balanced and keeping Joe Mixon healthy as he continues to play both sides of the ball.
Foothill 41, Freedom 38
#13 Valley Christian-San Jose (0-0) at Vacaville (0-0), 7:30
Two great rushing attacks collide once again. Vacaville has scored 76 points in two wins against the Warriors these last few seasons.
Valley Christian star back Kirk Johnson hadn’t practiced until this past Monday. He may be limited for this game against last season’s SJS Division I quarterfinalist.
Vacaville 35, Valley Christian 34
#20 St. Francis (0-0) at Oak Grove (0-0), 7
The tradition continues as these programs square off for their season-openers.
The Last three meetings have been tight and decided by a total of six points, including last year’s 21-20 Oak Grove win as the Eagles ran at will.
St. Francis wants to impose their will and establish a more consistent run game under new coach Greg Calcagno.
Remember, Lancers quarterback and Mountain View transfer Will Fiscer-Colbrie won’t be playing the first four games of the season.
St. Francis 27, Oak Grove 26
Monte Vista (0-1) at Berkeley (1-0), 7
Just because Castro Valley ran wild on the Mustangs doesn’t mean it’s a guarantee for Berkeley.
The Yellowjackets will notice a huge difference in speed and size going from Washington (SF) to Monte Vista.
Monte Vista has won the last four meetings with the Yellowjackets, including last season’s 21-0 win when they held Berkeley to 161 total yards.
Monte Vista 28, Berkeley 26
Sacred Heart Cathedral (0-0) at Saratoga (0-0), 7:30
Ken Peralta’s Fightin’ Irish coaching debut is against one of the more prolific quarterbacks in the area, Jonathan Walters. Walters threw for over 3,500 yards last season and it will be interesting to see how improved Sacred Heart Cathedral junior quarterback Logan White is after solid experience last season.
Sacred Heart Cathedral will be looking to disrupt the passing lanes and combat Walters’ quick release.
Sacred Heart Cathedral 34, Saratoga 28
Acalanes (1-0) at #18 Castro Valley (1-0), 7
Castro Valley is riding a high that the natives haven’t seen in awhile. The Trojans need to not let up against an Acalanes team whose defense played better than the 34-28 score indicated in their overtime win over Hercules.
Sounds like they’re having a great pregame tailgate party prior to one of the more underrated matchups of the week.
Castro Valley 30, Acalanes 21
Concord (0-1) at #14 Amador Valley (1-0), 7
Both teams had eye-opening results in Week Zero.
Don’t expect Concord to punt after their issues in the punting game last week.
Concord has taken two of the last three meetings with the Dons and the last two have been low-scoring, including last year’s 16-10 Minutemen win.
Amador Valley 27, Concord 14
#25 Casa Grande (1-0) at Heritage (0-1), 7
Casa Grande won last year’s meeting, 34-21, but Heritage is a much better team than a year ago.
JaJuan Lawson could have a big day in the air for the Gauchos, but it will be tough to run the ball on the Patriots.
Casa Grande 34, Heritage 28
San Leandro (1-0) at #16 James Logan (0-1), 7
San Leandro has dropped three straight meetings to the Colts, including two shutout losses.
The Pirates are a much improved team from last year, but Logan will be looking to get healthy after an opening loss to Del Oro.
James Logan coach George Zuber says they are simplifying things on offense this week.
James Logan 38, San Leandro 19
San Marin (1-0) at Northgate (1-0), 7
In last year’s opener, Northgate used a 33-26 win at San Marin as a springboard to one of their better seasons. The Broncos ran for 346 yards and need to do more of the same to keep Manny Wilkins and the Mustangs offense off the field.
Northgate 34, San Marin 28
Palma (0-0) vs. Carmel (0-0) at Salinas Sports Complex, 7
These teams haven’t played since Palma’s 33-21 win in the 2011 CCS Division IV championship.
Palma 26, Carmel 20
Alhambra (0-0-1) at Rancho Cotate (0-0), 7:30
Alhambra played Rancho Cotate tough last year before falling, 23-14.
The Bulldogs, though, need to tighten up on defense but running back Ciozanne Foster is one of the better under-the-radar players around.
Rancho Cotate 30, Alhambra 21
#9 Analy (1-0) at Maria Carrillo (0-0), 7:30
Analy looks ready for another offensive explosion after winning last season, 63-6, against the Pumas.
Analy 51, Maria Carrillo 13
College Park (0-0-1) at Dougherty Valley (1-0), 7
Can Dougherty Valley pull off another shocker and beat a team that humbled them last year, 49-7?
College Park’s veer offense appears to be in midseason form.
College Park 34, Dougherty Valley 21
Encinal (0-0) at Aptos (0-0), 7:30
I’m curious to see if Encinal put their 2012 offensive struggles behind them as Joe Tenorio’s group plays an Aptos team they edged last season, 12-11.
Encinal 20, Aptos 14
#23 Campolindo (1-0) at Menlo-Atherton (0-0), 7
The Cougars passing offense has little to no drop-off from what we’ve seen the last couple of seasons.
Menlo-Atherton has good speed and has potential to hurt Cougars on the perimeter.
Campolindo 34, Menlo-Atherton 19
Benicia (1-0) at Windsor (1-0), 7:30
This is a good test for Windsor after their come-from-behind effort at Granada last week.
Benicia is no stranger to Livermore opponents after their overtime triumph against the LHS Cowboys.
Windsor 34, Benicia 31
Wilcox (0-0) at Manteca (1-0), 7:30
Both teams can run the ball and the question is if the Chargers come out rusty against a Manteca team that already has a win under their belts.
Wilcox 31, Manteca 28
Terra Nova (0-0) at Bishop O’Dowd (0-1), 7
Bishop O’Dowd’s 2012 offensive issues seemed to creep up again in last week’s loss at Las Lomas and now they play a Terra Nova team that was a CCS Open Division playoff squad.
Terra Nova 14, Bishop O’Dowd 7
#2 Bellarmine (0-0) vs. #4 El Cerrito (1-0) at De Anza HS, 7
Unfortunately, Cal commit Jalen Harvey is out for El Cerrito after two unsportsmanlike penalties last week against Sutter. This is a huge loss as Harvey seems to really set the tone with his physical play and big hits.
For the Gauchos to pull off a win, quarterback Keilan Benjamin needs to make a few miraculous plays.
Bellarmine’s double-wing will try to wear El Cerrito’s defensive line in the second half.
Bellarmine 27, El Cerrito 21
#1 De La Salle (1-0) at #8 Serra (0-0), 1
Serra coach Patrick Walsh is 0-6 against his alma mater, but not many teams have played De La Salle closer than the Padres did in 2009 and 2008.
Serra was already a big underdog, but now it appears they will be without three of their best players, including Notre Dame defensive line commit Matt Dickerson.
De La Salle 45, Serra 19
#6 Marin Catholic (1-0) at #12 St. Ignatius (0-0), 1
These games are always tight and Marin Catholic has won the last three games.
Can St. Ignatius and their terrific run game, led by Elijah Dale, keep Marin Catholic’s offense off the field?
The Wildcats special teams appear to be in midseason form.
Marin Catholic 28, St. Ignatius 24
Ferndale (1-0) at #25 McClymonds (1-0), 7
Both teams won convincingly in the opening week and both are looking to repeat as section champions this season.
McClymonds 21, Ferndale 7
Middletown (0-0) at Salesian (1-0), 1:30
Salesian won last year’s low-scoring affair, 7-3, and have won six straight meetings.
Salesian 21, Middletown 13