Football

Bay Area high school football 2023: Week 6 preview, schedule

Any time there are four Top 10 matchups in one weekend, it has the makings of a pretty special week.

That’s what we have in Week 6.

On Friday, it’ll be Pittsburg — ranked fourth by the Bay Area News Group — traveling to the South Bay to play No. 6 Los Gatos and No. 2 De La Salle playing host to No. 8 McClymonds.

On Saturday, the West Catholic Athletic League takes the stage as No. 10 St. Francis visits No. 1 Serra and No. 5 Valley Christian plays at No. 7 Archbishop Riordan.

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

Here are this week’s top matchups and schedule:

Friday

No. 8 McClymonds (2-1) at No. 2 De La Salle (3-2), 7 p.m.: This one could be over in a hurry as neither side passes much. Both are physical. Both have storied traditions. Both played in upper-division state championship games last season. But De La Salle is the deeper team — Mack has 31 players on its roster — and that should be the difference in this matchup. Mack had last week off after losing to San Ramon Valley 35-7 two weeks ago. The Oakland powerhouse’s only touchdown against SRV came on a kickoff return to start the third quarter. SRV responded with 21 unanswered points to close out the game. De La Salle, meanwhile, has gotten back to its roots after opening the season with losses to Orange Lutheran 35-14 and Serra 28-0. The Spartans have beaten Folsom, St. Mary’s-Stockton and St. Francis in their past three games, getting it done behind a defense led by the likes of LB Drew Cunningham and DBs Johnathan Guerrero and Jaden Jefferson and a running attack ignited by RBs Dominic Kelley and Derrick Blanche. Both RBs rushed for more than 100 yards against Folsom. Ta’Jir Golden (458 yards, six TDs) and Sharky Tamale (257, three TDs) lead Mack’s running game. DLS will be playing the last of six consecutive nonleague games. The Spartans have a bye next week and then a much-anticipated matchup at SRV on Oct. 13. Calpreps.com’s computer picks DLS to win on Friday, 21-7. — Darren Sabedra

No. 4 Pittsburg (4-0) at No. 6 Los Gatos (3-1), 7:30 p.m.: Two of the best public school programs in Northern California will play for the first time in the MaxPreps era, which dates back to 2004. The similarities and differences between the teams are stark. The visiting Pirates usually have their share of high-profile recruits. This year’s crop includes four-stars Jadyn Hudson and Jewelous Walls, and three-star Etene Pritchard Jr. Hudson is a safety, Walls plays the edge and Pritchard is a linebacker who likely will wind up in the secondary in college. QB Marley Alcantara, RB Elijah Bow, receivers Noah Quesada and Makari Kenion, and 300-pound lineman Bradley Ruffin are other Pirates with college potential. Los Gatos counters with two-star WR/DB Jaylen Thomas, under-recruited OL/DL Ryan Vernale and 6-foot-3 quarterback A.J. Minyard, whose Twitter account indicates his future is on the mound rather than behind center. While Pittsburg does have an edge in talent, Los Gatos has a more experienced roster and the home field. All three Wildcats mentioned above, as well as RB Boxer Kopcsak-Yeung, WR/CB Scott Garwood, linebackers Nate Goldsbury and Layton Doslak, and PK Sam Pearman are seniors. Pitt, despite its star power, relies largely on underclassmen. Quesada is the only senior among the previously mentioned Pirates. Both teams slightly favor passing over running, but they are flexible enough to change up if necessary. Both also have had spotty performances at times in the early going. The Pirates’ last two wins, both at home, were three-point squeakers over Monterey Trail-Elk Grove and California. Neither was decided until the fourth quarter. Before that, Pitt ran roughshod over a very good Granite Bay team on the road. Los Gatos staged a remarkable second-half comeback at Liberty, rallying from a 34-14 deficit to win 35-34. A week later the Wildcats lost 22-21 in a hastily arranged game against Grant-Sacramento after Live Oak suddenly canceled. The game was at Los Gatos, the home team led 14-0 after one quarter, but Grant had a 502-241 edge in total yardage. When all is added up, you can definitely make a case this is the premier Bay Area prep game of the weekend. – Mike Lefkow 

Mountain View (3-1) at No. 11 Wilcox (2-2), 7 p.m.: This is a Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division opener for both teams. Wilcox is staying home a week after it made a four-hour drive south to Bakersfield. The Chargers, led by quarterback Tyson Bonilla’s 100 rushing yards, lost to Edison-Huntington Beach 21-7 in a game that was scheduled late after The King’s Academy canceled its matchup against Wilcox. Jamontay Amataga has rushed for two TDs and has emerged as a threat out of the Wilcox backfield alongside Jeiman Delos Santos. Lineman Justin Hylkema, who is 6-foot-8, paves the way as a blocker. Linebacker Brayden Rosa leads the Wilcox defense with 44 tackles and is tied with Lotrail Riggs for the team lead with two sacks. Mountain View bounced back from a 20-14 loss to Live Oak, routing Leigh 40-21 and Homestead 38-0 before having last week off. The Spartans’ offense runs through three players: QB Kevin Conway, WR Lex Silver and RB Arturo Hernandez. Five of quarterback Conway’s six TD passes have gone to Silver. Hernandez has run for 10 touchdowns. Linebacker Diego Ortega-Gerow leads the Mountain View defense, but is also a rushing threat. He ran for two TDs against Homestead. Mountain View has not defeated Wilcox in the MaxPreps era, which started in 2004. The Chargers are 12-0-2 in that span, the two ties coming in 2007 and 2011. CalPreps’ computer has Wilcox winning on Friday, 26-12. — Joseph Dycus

Granada (4-1) at No. 12 California (3-2), 7 p.m.: This nonleague game between East Bay Athletic League schools pits arguably the best team from the league’s Valley Division (Granada) against a California team that could surprise opponents in the EBAL’s top division (the Mountain). California bounced back from a 38-35 defeat at No. 4 Pittsburg with a 48-6 rout of previously undefeated Milpitas. When California running back Devan Love isn’t teaming up with Cole Fokas in the defensive backfield, the senior is averaging over 100 rushing yards per game. Jayden Macedo has thrown for 14 touchdowns for California, and his top target is WR Nick Fox, who has 473 receiving yards. Chase McGill has only eight receptions but has turned six of them into touchdowns. Linebacker Carson Fife blocked three – yes, three – punts last week. Jack Schlicher has eight sacks. He will need to put consistent pressure on Granada QB Quinn Boyd, who has a sterling 16 to 1 touchdown-to-interception ratio for the Livermore school. Boyd splits his targets evenly between Christian Clauser, Peyton Richards and Mikey Boyd, all of whom have over 300 receiving yards. Senior defensive end Riley Winchell has a team-high seven sacks, leading a unit that has 18 as a group. After starting the year with a 42-3 loss against Monte Vista, Granada has reeled off four victories, all by double-digits. California has dominated the series in the MaxPreps era (2004 to present), going 16-1 against Granada and winning the previous nine matchups. Granada’s last victory came in 2011. The score was 26-22. CalPreps’ computer favors California to win 42-19. – Joseph Dycus

Saturday

No. 10 St. Francis (2-2) at No. 1 Serra (4-0), 1:30 p.m.: Serra has left no doubt that it’s the top team in Northern California. Wins over Folsom 21-14 and De La Salle 28-0 cemented the San Mateo powerhouse’s placement at the top. If there are to be caution flags for Serra as it aims to defend its West Catholic Athletic League championship — a big if given the Padres’ talent and experience — the game Saturday against St. Francis would qualify. St. Francis and Serra have a deep history. Serra has won four of the past five and 13 of the past 21 between the teams dating to 2007. Before that, St. Francis owned the long-running series, going 35 games over 34 years without losing to the Padres. Both teams enter this game having won league openers last week. Serra, as expected, rolled over Sacred Heart Cathedral 61-0 as Jaden Green and Nano Latu scored early touchdowns to help lead the way. St. Francis opened its WCAL schedule with a 41-20 victory over Archbishop Mitty as Kingston Keanaaina ran for 167 yards and scored four touchdowns for the winning side. When St. Francis visited Serra two years ago with the league championship on the line, the visitors hammered the Padres 44-21 as Viliami Teu rushed for 344 yards and two TDs in 45 carries. Serra has won the two games since then, including a 17-12 triumph in the Central Coast Section Division I final just three weeks after Teu’s huge game against the Padres. Calpreps.com’s computer projects Serra to win on Saturday, 42-7. — Darren Sabedra

No. 5 Valley Christian (4-0) at No. 7 Riordan (3-1), 2 p.m.: Long before the season began, Valley Christian and Riordan were hot topics. The Warriors were 1-9 last season, but many felt that was an aberration. Coach Mike Machado’s last losing season was 2006, when Valley Christian was 3-7. Riordan was attracting attention because of all the football players transferring there. After being bottom-feeders last year in the West Catholic Athletic League (Riordan was 3-7), both teams seem primed to compete. The key Saturday could be whether Valley Christian can keep the ball away from Riordan’s offense. In at least two wins, the Crusaders ran more plays than their opponent. But in a 24-14 loss to St. Bonaventure, the visitors from Ventura ran more plays. The Crusaders are a difficult team to defend. They average 38 points per game. They beat St. Ignatius 41-34 in their WCAL opener. Sophomore QB Michael Mitchell, who has offers from Cal, Arizona and Washington State, is averaging 315.5 passing yards per game. He’s thrown for nine TDs without an interception. His receivers include big-time recruits Chris Lawson and Cynai Thomas, Boise State commit Tyrone Jackson and junior Jacob Dubriwny, who’s flying under the radar but probably not for long. He’s 6-1, 180 and has 4.51 speed in the 40. Last week the Crusaders introduced freshman RB Isitolo Tuugamusu, who scored five TDs while totaling 89 yards on 17 carries. Valley Christian, which beat Bellarmine 23-7 in its WCAL opener, will counter with a physical team that includes four-star recruit Champ Taulealea, a junior who measures 6-3, 335 and has 10 power-5 offers. Senior Rayne Mayo Jr. goes 6-2, 285. Receiver Kai Hamilton, who has an offer from Washington State, is also pretty physical at 6-3, 178 pounds. A road win would certainly send a message that the Warriors are back. – Mike Lefkow

Schedule

Thursday, Sept. 28

SOUTH BAY/PENINSULA

BVAL Mt. Hamilton

Leland at Santa Teresa, 7:15 p.m.

BVAL West Valley

Hill at Prospect, 7:15 p.m.

PAL De Anza

Half Moon Bay at Hillsdale, 7 p.m.

Nonleague

Independence at Willow Glen, 7:15 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 29

EAST BAY

Bay Valley

Antioch at Heritage, 7 p.m.

Liberty at Freedom, 7 p.m.

DAL Foothill

Campolindo at Benicia, 7 p.m.

Miramonte at College Park, 7 p.m.

Northgate at Las Lomas, 7 p.m.

DAL Valley

Alhambra at Concord, 7 p.m.

MVAL/WACC Shoreline

Arroyo vs. Kennedy-Fremont at Washington-Fremont, 7 p.m.

San Lorenzo vs. Alameda at Thompson Field in Alameda, 7 p.m.

Nonleague

Acalanes at Vallejo, 7 p.m.

Berean Christian vs. Healdsburg at Rec Park in Healdsburg, 7 p.m.

Dublin at Hayward, 7 p.m.

Granada at California, 7 p.m.

Livermore at Foothill, 7 p.m.

Salesian at St. Patrick-St. Vincent, 7 p.m.

Washington-Fremont at Dougherty Valley, 7 p.m.

Ygnacio Valley at Pinole Valley, 7 p.m.

SOUTH BAY/PENINSULA

BVAL West Valley

Del Mar at San Jose, 7:15 p.m.

Evergreen Valley at Gunderson, 7:15 p.m.

Yerba Buena at Lick, 7:15 p.m.

PAL Bay

Burlingame at Sacred Heart Prep, 7 p.m.

Mountain View at Wilcox, 7 p.m.

PAL Ocean

Aragon at San Mateo, 7 p.m.

Capuchino at Terra Nova, 7 p.m.

Milpitas at Sequoia, 7 p.m.

PAL El Camino

El Camino at Fremont-Sunnyvale, 7 p.m.

Los Altos at Carlmont, 7 p.m.

Woodside at Santa Clara, 7 p.m.

PAL Lake

Gunn at South San Francisco, 7 p.m.

Jefferson at Monta Vista, 7 p.m.

Lynbrook at Cupertino, 7 p.m.

Saratoga at Mills, 7 p.m.

West Catholic

Bellarmine at St. Ignatius, 7 p.m.

Sacred Heart Cathedral vs. Mitty at Foothill College, 7 p.m.

Nonleague

Branham at Leigh, 7:15 p.m.

Piedmont Hills at Mt. Pleasant, 7:15 p.m.

Pioneer at Overfelt, 7:15 p.m.

Silver Creek at Westmont, 7:15 p.m.

INTERSECTIONAL

Jesuit-Carmichael at Clayton Valley, 7 p.m.

King’s Academy vs. Rio Hondo Prep-Arcadia at Kare Park in Irwindale, 7 p.m.

McClymonds at De La Salle, 7:30 p.m.

Millennium-Tracy vs. Kennedy-Richmond at West-Tracy, 7 p.m.

Oakland at Atascadero, 6 p.m.

Oakland Tech at Del Norte (Crescent City, CA), 7 p.m.

Pittsburg at Los Gatos, 7:30 p.m.

San Leandro at Castlemont, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 30

EAST BAY

MVAL/WACC Shoreline

Newark Memorial vs. American at Washington-Fremont, 7 p.m.

SOUTH BAY/PENINSULA

PAL De Anza

Homestead at Menlo School, 2 p.m.

West Catholic

St. Francis at Serra, 1:30 p.m.

Valley Christian at Riordan, 2 p.m.

Nonleague

Gilroy at Sobrato, 2:30 p.m.

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