Football

Bay Area high school football 2023: Week 12 preview, schedule

The high school football playoffs start this weekend across the Bay Area.

For the next three weeks, dozens of teams will compete for championships in the Central Coast Section and North Coast Section.

After that, champions will move on to California Interscholastic Federation regionals on the weekend of Dec. 1-2, with the winners advancing to state championship games in Southern California on Dec. 8-9.

The Bay Area News Group will have complete coverage throughout. If you have not already, please sign up for a digital subscription. Your contributions keep us going.

Here are this weekend’s top matchups and schedule:

No. 7 Campolindo (7-2-1) at No. 2 San Ramon Valley (9-1) in NCS Open/Division I playoffs, Friday, 7 p.m.: Third consecutive year in which these teams have met in the playoffs. Previous two times in Division II. Campo beat SRV 17-14 in a 2021 semifinal on its way to capturing the title. In a rematch last season, SRV toppled then-undefeated Campo 35-21 in the final. Campo graduated numerous players from last year’s team. SRV returned numerous key players, including QB Luke Baker, the reigning Bay Area News Group player of the year, and four-star linebacker/receiver/running back Marco Jones. SRV is a significant favorite in this matchup. The Wolves’ only loss this season was in overtime to De La Salle, which hasn’t lost to an NCS team in 32 years. SRV rolled through a non-league schedule that included St. Ignatius, Acalanes and McClymonds and then most of its league foes. Campo bounced off the playoff bubble on the final Friday of the regular season, overcoming a two-touchdown deficit in the fourth quarter to stun Acalanes 25-24 and capture a share of its league’s championship. Sophomore RB Micah Parker was the hero down the stretch, making big runs on Campo’s winning drive, including a 23-yarder for a late TD. WR/FS Scott Lyon, QB Isiah Ortiz and WR/DB Tim Daugherty are other Campo players to watch. Calpreps.com’s computer says SRV rolls 38-13, presumably to get a rematch with DLS for the Open title next week. — Darren Sabedra

No. 7 Wilcox (7-3) at No. 2 St. Francis (7-3) in CCS Open Division/I playoffs, Friday, 7 p.m.: Third meeting between the teams in the MaxPreps era (2004 to present). In the previous two games (2015 and 2017 playoffs), St. Francis won by multiple scores. St. Francis is the favorite in this one, but Wilcox shouldn’t be awe-struck. The teams scrimmage one another every August, and Wilcox has played one of St. Francis’ West Catholic Athletic League rivals, Valley Christian, for several consecutive years. Valley beat Wilcox by a point to open this season. Wilcox has won five of its past six, the one loss a heartbreaker at home to Los Gatos in which the Wildcats scored a touchdown in the final minute to win 24-21. QB Tyson Bonilla leads Wilcox’s veer-option offense, rushing for a team-best 1,174 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also has passed for 618 yards and five TDs. Elijah Walker and Jamontay Amataga have each rushed for eight TDs. St. Francis, the runner-up to Serra in the WCAL, relies heavily on junior RB Kingston Keanaaina, a 1,000-yard rusher this season. QB Aaron Knapp, also a junior, has thrown for more than 1,000 yards to provide balance to the offense. Calpreps.com’s computer projects St. Francis to advance 31-17. — Darren Sabedra

No. 6 Amador Valley (7-2) at No. 3 Pittsburg (10-0) in NCS Open/Division I playoffs, Friday, 7 p.m.: When these teams met two years ago in the first round of the NCS playoffs, it was a mismatch. Pittsburg lost only one game during the regular season. Amador Valley entered the postseason on a six-game losing streak. Final score: Pittsburg 69, Amador Valley 7. It should be much closer when the teams meet again Friday for only the second time in the MaxPreps era, dating back to 2004. Pitt, ranked No. 4 in the Bay Area News Group Top 25, will enter the game a solid favorite. The calpreps.com computer is picking the Pirates by two touchdowns, but the 13th-ranked Dons are much better than two years ago. Since junior Tristan Tia became the starting quarterback on Oct. 6, the Dons are 4-0 and have outscored their opponents 208-7. The Granada transfer threw for 1,158 yards and 18 touchdowns in his four starts. Two weeks ago he completed all 17 pass attempts for 329 yards and five TDs in a 48-0 rout of Dublin. Amador Valley’s defense has been outstanding all year. It has allowed 79 points. The offense, on the other hand, managed just 75 points in the five games before Tia became eligible to play after transferring. Pittsburg will be the toughest opponent Amador Valley has faced. The Dons opened by going 2-1 against El Cerrito, Campolindo and Acalanes, three formidable rivals. They have since played one team that finished above .500. The Pirates, who completed a 10-0 regular season for the first time since Lyndon Johnson was president, have sought-after recruits everywhere you look. They also have a big-time transfer in RB Jamar Searcy from Liberty. He splits time with 1,000-yard runner Elijah Bow. Pittsburg had a couple of close calls early in the season with three-point wins over Monterey Trail and California, but in their final three games, the Pirates beat league foes Heritage, Liberty and Antioch by a combined 145-47. – Mike Lefkow  

No. 6 Valley Christian (6-4) at No. 3 St. Ignatius (6-4) in CCS Open/Division I playoffs, Friday, 5:30 p.m.: The CCS has a points system for seeding the postseason that can yield a surprise now and then. In Division I, for instance, every metric pointed toward Riordan being over St. Ignatius when the bracket was announced. Riordan beat the Wildcats during the regular season, finished ahead of SI in the WCAL standings and had a better overall record. But when the brackets were released, St. Ignatius was the third seed. Riordan was seeded fifth. The calpreps.com computer said SI played the tougher schedule, but the difference wasn’t that dramatic. The seeding might have a huge impact on the field, however. The Wildcats host Valley Christian while Riordan has a fairly lengthy bus ride to Los Gatos. The game at SI will kick off at 5:30 because of complaints from area residents about noise, Wildcats coach Lenny Vandermade wrote in a text. SI beat Valley Christian 15-14 during the regular season, and this game could be just as close. The Wildcats appear to have the edge at quarterback in junior Soren Hummel, but Valley Christian has a pair of excellent receivers in Kai Hamilton and Uchenna Eke. Both teams have productive running games. Valley Christian is stout defensively. Opponents are scoring about 15 points per game against the Warriors, just a tad more than half of the 28 points per game being allowed by SI. The Wildcats have the better offense, by about four points per game. Which team is hotter coming in? SI won three of its last four, including the one-point victory over Valley Christian. The Warriors finished up 1-3, but they only lost by 10 against St. Francis, threw a scare into Serra before dropping a 24-13 decision and manhandled Mitty 35-0 last week. Valley Christian and St. Ignatius has all the earmarks of a game that could go down to the wire. Just don’t disturb the neighbors. – Mike Lefkow

No. 5 Archbishop Riordan (7-3) at No. 4 Los Gatos (8-2) in CCS Open/Division I playoffs, Friday, 7 p.m.: For the third year in a row, Los Gatos will get a shot at a WCAL opponent in the first round of the CCS playoffs. Bellarmine beat the Wildcats with a pick-six in the last minute in 2021 and Archbishop Mitty eliminated Los Gatos last season on a walk-off two-point conversion in overtime. Like Friday, those games were played at Los Gatos. Archbishop Riordan, appearing in the playoffs for the first time since 2015, will bring a high-octane passing game to the South Bay. Mike Mitchell Jr. has passed for 2,610 yards this season, spreading the ball around to major college prospects Chris Lawson, Cynai Thomas and Tyrone Jackson. The Crusaders started the season 6-1 but lost to Serra and St. Francis down the stretch. Los Gatos has the firepower to keep pace, with running back Boxer Kopcsak-Yeung (18 rushing touchdowns) and QB A.J Minyard (13 passing TDs) leading a balanced attack. Los Gatos finished the regular season on a five-game winning streak, with the only close game a 24-21 last-minute victory against Wilcox. Calpreps’ computer picks Los Gatos to prevail on Friday 35-31. – Joseph Dycus

No. 4 Clayton Valley Charter (5-5) at No. 5 California (6-4) in NCS Open/Division I playoffs, Friday, 7 p.m.: California is hosting this opening-round game despite being the lower seed because CVC excessively celebrated on the field after winning on the road over the Grizzlies 33-24 on Oct. 27. Because of the incident, eight CVC players were suspended for last week’s game against De La Salle and the Ugly Eagles lost a home game Friday. The suspended players are back this week. Until De La Salle routed CVC 48-0 last week, the Ugly Eagles had a three-game winning streak that included the Cal High victory. Tyler Lovett has played well since taking over the quarterback job midseason, throwing for eight touchdowns and just two interceptions. Tight end Tony Keck is his top target with 574 receiving yards and five touchdown receptions. Quarterback Jayden Macedo has had some big moments for California and also has 925-yard rusher Devan Love to give the offense balance. Jack Schlicher has 8.5 of the Grizzlies’ 22 sacks on the season. CVC has won the last four meetings between the teams, but CalPreps’ computer predicts Cal High to win 28-20 on Friday. — Joseph Dycus

Central Coast Section

Open/Division I

No. 8 Salinas (7-3) at No. 1 Serra (10-0), Saturday, 1 p.m.

No. 7 Wilcox (7-3) at No. 2 St. Francis (7-3), Friday, 7 p.m.

No. 6 Valley Christian (6-4) at No. 3 St. Ignatius (6-4), Friday, 5:30 p.m.

No. 5 Archbishop Riordan (7-3) at No. 4 Los Gatos (8-2), Friday, 7 p.m.

Note: The first-round winners in the top half of the bracket will play for the Open Division championship in Week 2 of the playoffs. The loser of the Open Division championship will play the winner of the bottom half of the bracket for the Division I championship in Week 3 of the playoffs.

Division II

No. 6 Monterey (7-3) at No. 3 Sacred Heart Prep (6-4), Saturday, 1 p.m.

No. 7 Carmel (10-0) at No. 2 Soquel (8-2), Friday, 7 p.m.

No. 5 Menlo (9-1) at No. 4 Live Oak (9-0), Friday, 7 p.m.

No. 8 Christopher (9-1) vs. No. 1 Archbishop Mitty (5-5) at Foothill College, Friday, 7 p.m.

Division III

No. 6 Scotts Valley (9-1) at No. 3 Aragon (8-2), Friday, 7 p.m.

No. 7 Alisal (9-1) at No. 2 Capuchino (9-1), Friday, 7 p.m.

No. 5 Hollister (4-6) vs. No. 4 Palma (3-7) at Rabobank Stadium in Salinas, Friday, 7 p.m.

No. 8 Hillsdale (7-3) at No. 1 Menlo-Atherton (4-6), Friday, 7 p.m.

Division IV

No. 6 Greenfield (9-1) at No. 3 Branham (8-2), Friday, 7 p.m.

No. 7 Burlingame (3-7) at No. 2 Mountain View (4-6), Friday, 7 p.m.

No. 5 Leigh (7-3) vs. No. 4 North Salinas (7-3) at Rabobank Stadium, Friday, 4 p.m.

No. 8 Seaside (7-3) at No. 1 Palo Alto (5-5), Friday, 7 p.m.

Division V

No. 6 Silver Creek (7-3) at No. 3 South San Francisco (9-1), Friday, 7 p.m.

No. 7 Leland (3-7) at No. 2 Overfelt (6-4), Friday, 7 p.m.

No. 5 Los Altos (5-5) at No. 4 Santa Teresa (4-6), Friday, 7 p.m.

No. 8 Del Mar (8-2) at No. 1 Woodside (6-4), Friday, 7 p.m.

North Coast Section

Open/Division I

No. 8 James Logan (6-4) at No. 1 De La Salle (8-2), Friday, 7 p.m.

No. 7 Campolindo (7-2-1) at No. 2 San Ramon Valley (9-1), Friday, 7 p.m.

No. 4 Clayton Valley (5-5) at No. 5 California (6-4), Friday, 7 p.m.

No. 6 Amador Valley (7-2) at No. 3 Pittsburg (10-0), Friday, 7 p.m.

Note: The first-round winners in the top half of the bracket will play for the Open Division championship in Week 2 of the playoffs. The loser of the Open Division championship will play the winner of the bottom half of the bracket for the Division I championship in Week 3 of the playoffs.

Division II

No. 8 Berkeley (7-3) at No. 1 El Cerrito (8-1), Friday, 7 p.m.

No. 5 Heritage (4-6) at No. 4 Redwood (7-3), Saturday, 1 p.m.

No. 7 Vintage (5-5) at No. 2 Windsor (8-1-1), Friday, 7 p.m.

No. 6 Rancho Cotate (6-4) at No. 3 Granada (7-3), Friday, 7 p.m.

Division III

No. 8 Bishop O’Dowd (6-4) at No. 1 Marin Catholic (9-1), Saturday, 1 p.m.

No. 5 Tamalpais (7-3) at No. 4 Casa Grande (9-1), Friday, 7 p.m.

No. 7 Ukiah (7-3) at No. 2 Las Lomas (9-1), Friday, 7 p.m.

No. 6 American Canyon (6-4) at No. 3 Cardinal Newman (9-1), Friday, 7 p.m.

Division IV

No. 8 Kennedy-Fremont (7-2) at No. 1 San Marin (10-0), Friday, 7 p.m.

No. 5 Petaluma (6-4) at No. 4 Maria Carrillo (5-5), Friday, 7 p.m.

No. 7 Mt. Diablo (7-3) at No. 2 Acalanes (6-4), Friday, 7 p.m.

No. 6 Del Norte (6-3) at No. 3 Vallejo (7-3), Friday, 7 p.m.

Division V

No. 8 San Rafael (5-5) at No. 1 Miramonte (6-4), Friday, 7 p.m.

No. 5 Piedmont (7-3) at No. 4 Alhambra (7-3),  Friday, 7 p.m.

No. 7 Terra Linda (5-5) at No. 2 St. Bernard’s (7-3), Saturday, 1 p.m.

No. 6 Justin-Siena (5-5) at No. 3 Analy (6-4), Friday, 7 p.m.

Division VI

No. 8 Kennedy-Richmond (7-3) at No. 1 St. Vincent de Paul (8-2), Saturday, 1 p.m.

No. 5 Middletown (8-2) at No. 4 Fortuna (7-3), Friday, 7 p.m.

No. 7 Arcata (8-2) vs. No. 2 Moreau Catholic (5-5) at McKinleyville HS, Friday, 7 p.m.

No. 6 St. Mary’s-Berkeley (6-4) at No. 3 Salesian (8-2), Saturday, 1 p.m.

Division VII

No. 1 Clear Lake (9-1), bye

No. 5 Ferndale (6-4) at No. 4 St. Helena (6-4), Friday, 7 p.m.

No. 7 Berean Christian (3-6-1) at No. 2 Willits (7-3), Friday, 7 p.m.

No. 6 St. Patrick-St. Vincent (5-5) at No. 3 Kelseyville (7-3), Friday, 7 p.m.

Oakland Athletic League

Oakland Tech (5-4) at McClymonds (6-2), 7 p.m.

Oakland (5-4) at Skyline (1-7), 7 p.m.

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