Bay Area high school football 2023: Week 8 preview, schedule

We’re on to Week 8 of the high school football season.

The biggest game will be Friday in Danville as De La Salle — ranked second by the Bay Area News Group — visits third-ranked San Ramon Valley.

But that’s not the only big game.

In Atherton, two unbeaten teams will play on Friday afternoon as Hillsdale travels to Menlo School, both bringing 6-0 records to the field.

California, fresh off a bye week, will play at Monte Vista in an East Bay Athletic League Mountain Division game.

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:


No. 2 De La Salle (4-2) at No. 3 San Ramon Valley (6-0), 7 p.m.: Lots of hype for this matchup as San Ramon Valley has rolled through its first six opponents to set the stage for what looks like an epic game against De La Salle. SRV will certainly need another big performance from QB Luke Baker, who has thrown for 1,845 yards and 22 touchdowns and has a completion percentage of 67.5. The Wolves also will need a high level of play from LB Marco Jones, who had eight solo and 11 assisted tackles and also caught two touchdown passes in a 35-7 victory last week at Clayton Valley. With senior RB John Ben Pau Mendoza (knee) out for the season, SRV shared 15 carries last week among three players: Matthew Garibaldi, Joel Perez and Sammy Avalos. They combined for 66 yards. The Wolves average 45.5 points per game and allow 11.3. Their closest result was a 44-21 victory over Acalanes in Week 2. De La Salle makes no secret about what it will aim to do. The Spartans will run the ball behind backs Derrick Blanche and Dominic Kelley and play physical defense, led by the likes of senior edge rusher Drew Cunningham and linemen Matthew Johnson and Chris Biller. De La Salle is 18-0 against San Ramon Valley during its 32-year, 265-game unbeaten streak against North Coast Section opponents. The Spartans are 264-0-1 over that stretch within their own section. While nearly all of the games against SRV have been lopsided affairs, DLS survived 28-27 in 2016.’s computer picks SRV to clear the hurdle on Friday. It says SRV 28, DLS 21. – Darren Sabedra

No. 7 California (4-2) at No. 16 Monte Vista (4-2), 7 p.m.: Both teams have four games left in the regular season, but for Monte Vista, Friday night’s contest looks like a must-win. After California, the Mustangs play Clayton Valley and San Ramon Valley on the road and De La Salle at home. DLS, SRV and California are three of the top four teams in the North Coast Section, according to this week’s rankings. Monte Vista is No. 14. Among the 11 D-I teams in the section, rates the Mustangs ninth. The NCS seeding committee has its own criteria for setting up its seven eight-team playoff brackets, but common sense tells us Monte Vista will need to win at least one more win to have a reasonable shot at the postseason. This wouldn’t be an issue if the NCS determined its playoff divisions after the regular season. The Mustangs would then likely qualify for the playoffs in a lower division. California is in better shape. The Grizzlies play their last three games at home. None of the teams – SRV, Clayton Valley, Foothill – is a cupcake, but not playing De La Salle and staying home is an advantage. Cal-Monte Vista should be entertaining. Both teams have high-powered offenses. Monte Vista is averaging 38.5 points per game, the Grizzlies are at 35.6 ppg. Monte Vista junior Brayden Turner and Cal senior Jayden Macedo are fine quarterbacks. Mustangs RB Julian McMahan is a three-star recruit with nine college offers. Grizzlies RB Devan Love isn’t getting that kind of love, but he averages 108.7 yards per game on the ground. Both teams have solid receivers, with the standout perhaps being Monte Vista TE Kellan Ford, a 6-5, 230-pound three-star recruit with several offers. Both teams will have to protect their quarterbacks against tough defensive lines. The Grizzlies have 22 sacks, led by Jack Schlicher with 8.5. Monte Vista sack leader Dakota Dickson has six. California has played the tougher schedule. The two teams Cal lost to – San Juan Hills-San Juan Capistrano and Pittsburg – are a combined 13-0. Overall, the Grizzlies’ opponents are 30-9. This is an EBAL Mountain contest. It’s the league opener for Cal. Monte Vista is 1-0. – Mike Lefkow

No. 14 St. Ignatius (3-3) at No. 10 Valley Christian (5-1), 7 p.m.: Valley Christian returns home after surviving two trips to San Francisco last weekend to complete a 21-16 victory over Sacred Heart Cathedral. The game at Kezar Stadium was postponed on Friday when the lights went out. The teams returned to the field Saturday to complete the game that improved Valley’s record to 2-1 in the West Catholic Athletic League. That’s quite a jump from last season when the traditional San Jose power went winless in league play and 1-9 overall. The Warriors are getting it down this fall behind RB Ekiah McLemore and quarterback Joseph Stephens. St. Ignatius had scored at least 28 points in four consecutive games until being quieted during a 21-6 loss to St. Francis last week in Mountain View. Valley could pose a similar challenge for the San Francisco school. The Warriors are 3-0 at home this season and have given up just 25 points in those games. Plus, SI has struggled to beat Valley. Before beating the Warriors 24-0 last season, SI had lost nine in a row in the series. QBs Soren Hummel and Brandon Mann combined for just 94 yards passing and Daniel Jung was held to 41 yards in SI’s loss to St. Francis.  — Darren Sabedra

No. 18 Hillsdale (6-0) at No. 19 Menlo (6-0), 3 p.m.: Talk about even matchups. If these teams didn’t wear different-color uniforms, you might think they are identical twins. In addition to their perfect records thus far, they are tied for first at 2-0 in the PAL De Anza Division. On offense, Hillsdale has scored four more points than Menlo. It comes out to about 31 points per game. Defensively, Menlo has yielded six fewer points, or 10 per game as opposed to 11 for Hillsdale. And their nicknames: Hillsdale is the Fighting Knights, Menlo is simply the Knights. So how many overtimes will be necessary to determine a winner? The teams have only played one common opponent. Hillsdale beat Homestead 35-0. Menlo outscored the Mustangs 55-22. Yardage-wise, Menlo averages 351.1 per game. Hillsdale accumulates 356.8 yards on average. Ah, but there is a difference in how they get those yards. Menlo likes to throw the ball, and about three of every four yards comes via the pass. Senior Mikey McGrath has completed 73 of 97 passes for 936 yards and 11 touchdowns. Brady Jung has 35 catches for 664 yards and six touchdowns while Nicholas Scacco has scored eight TDs on 29 receptions that have totaled 313 yards. Hillsdale also prefers passing, but splits it about 60-40. Senior Erick Waugh has thrown 17 touchdown passes and three interceptions. Kyle King is his main dude at the receiving end with 23 catches and 452 yards. Dante Allendorf handles most of the load at running back with 61 carries and 422 yards. Both coaches are comfortably above .500. Hillsdale’s Mike Parodi is in his 15th season. He’s 89-62 overall and 32-12 since his last sub-.500 season in 2018. The Fighting Knights are off to their best start since winning their first seven games in 2017. Menlo’s Todd Smith is 32-8 in three-plus seasons. He took over at the beginning of the pandemic-shortened spring 2021 season and immediately reversed the Knights’ fortunes after they suffered back-to-back losing years for the only time since the MaxPreps era began in 2004. –  Mike Lefkow 

No. 24 Antioch (5-1, 1-0) at No. 20 Liberty (4-2, 1-0), 7 p.m.: This game could tell us which of these teams is the primary threat to Pittsburg in the Bay Valley Athletic League. Liberty has dominated the series in recent years, winning five of the last six games, including a 35-6 victory last season. The Lions defeated Freedom 41-0 in their BVAL opener last week. Their offense runs through RB Jaxon Bell, a sophomore who has rushed for 987 yards and 17 touchdowns. WR Ryan McKendry provides balance in the passing game, having caught 24 passes for 555 yards and seven touchdowns. LB Zaire Calhoun is a 6-foot-3 edge rusher with interest from UMass. Liberty’s four victories are by an average margin of more than 30 points. Its two losses were against Los Gatos 35-34 and San Ramon Valley 66-12. Antioch rallied in the fourth quarter to defeat Heritage 18-17 in its last game and also has victories over MVAL-WACC Foothill Division teams James Logan and Tennyson. Elijah Stingley, Larenzo Mayfield and Curtis Tucker lead a Panthers rushing attack that averages 201 yards per game. Mayfield doesn’t throw often, but he is effective when he does, having tossed 10 TDs to eight different targets. Keon Fosselman and Kha’mahri Jones each have two TD catches. Antioch DB Issac Gaines should be a tough matchup for McKendry. CalPreps computer has Liberty winning 38-14. — Joseph Dycus

Mt. Diablo (5-1, 1-0) at Alhambra (5-1, 2-0), 7:30 p.m.: This looks like the de-facto championship game for the Diablo Athletic League Valley Division title. First-year Mt. Diablo coach Fetau Muau has ridden the state’s leading rusher Herschel Turner (1,708 yards and 27 TDs) to three consecutive victories. Turner transferred in from Freedom in the offseason. He carried three times for 124 yards and two touchdowns against Ygnacio Valley, but Muau expects the three-star recruit with offers from Air Force, Utah and Yale to be “full-speed” for the Alhambra game. The 190-pound Turner has been the main reason for the Red Devils’ turnaround from last year’s 3-7 record. But he isn’t the only one. Jakorey Robinson, a 6-foot-2 athlete, scored two touchdowns against Ygnacio Valley. The Red Devils aren’t just all offense, either, with linebacker Jeremiah Owens among the team’s leaders in tackles and TFL, and 245-pound lineman Santiago Rojas one of the best pass-rushers in the DAL. The defense will be tested by an Alhambra offense that scored 71 points against Berean Christian last week. Bulldogs quarterback Beau Blau threw for six touchdowns and ran for another in the route, with receiver Luke Beaty catching three TDs. The senior now has 11 touchdown receptions this season. Versatile RB/WR Lucas Pieper has six TDs for the Bulldogs, who have scored more than 25 points in every game this season. The defense has eight interceptions, although Sergio Tapia and Co. may not get many chances to play the passing lanes against Mt. Diablo’s run-heavy attack. Alhambra is 7-0 against Mt. Diablo in the MaxPreps era (2004 to present), and Alhambra is favored to win 44-26 by CalPreps’ computer. – Joseph Dycus


Thursday, Oct. 12



Pinole Valley at El Cerrito, 6:30 p.m.

MVAL/WACC Shoreline

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


BVAL Mt. Hamilton

Live Oak at Leland, 7:15 p.m.

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

BVAL Santa Teresa-Foothill

Piedmont Hills at Branham, 7:15 p.m.

BVAL West Valley

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

Prospect at San Jose, 7 p.m.

PAL EL Camino

Carlmont at El Camino, 7 p.m.

Fremont-Sunnyvale at Woodside, 7 p.m.

PAL Lake

Lynbrook at Gunn, 7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 13


Bay Valley

Antioch at Liberty, 7 p.m.

Heritage at Deer Valley, 7 p.m.

Pittsburg at Freedom, 7 p.m.

DAL Foothill

Benicia at Acalanes, 7 p.m.

Campolindo at Northgate, 7 p.m.

Las Lomas at College Park, 7 p.m.

DAL Valley

Concord at Ygnacio Valley, 7 p.m.

Mt. Diablo at Alhambra, 7 p.m.

EBAL Mountain

California at Monte Vista, 7 p.m.

De La Salle at San Ramon Valley, 7 p.m.

Foothill at Clayton Valley, 7 p.m.

EBAL Valley

Granada at Dougherty Valley, 7 p.m.

Livermore at Amador Valley, 7 p.m.

Oakland Athletic League

Castlemont at McClymonds, 7 p.m.

Oakland at Fremont-Oakland, 7 p.m.

Skyline at Oakland Tech, 7 p.m.


Bethel at Hercules, 7 p.m.

Salesian at De Anza, 7 p.m.

TCAL Stone

Kennedy-Richmond at St. Patrick-St. Vincent, 7 p.m.

St. Mary’s-Berkeley at Vallejo, 7 p.m.

MVAL/WACC Foothill

Bishop O’Dowd at Moreau Catholic, 7 p.m.

Castro Valley at Logan, 7 p.m.

Tennyson vs. San Leandro at Burrell Field in San Leandro, 7 p.m.


Berkeley at Washington-Fremont, 7 p.m.

Encinal at Hayward, 7 p.m.

Irvington at Mt. Eden, 7 p.m.


BVAL Mt. Hamilton

Oak Grove at Lincoln, 7:15 p.m.

BVAL Santa Teresa-Foothill

Gilroy at Independence, 7:15 p.m.

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

BVAL Santa Teresa-Valley

Sobrato at Mt. Pleasant, 7:15 p.m.

Westmont at Overfelt, 7:15 p.m.

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

BVAL West Valley

Lick at Gunderson, 7:15 p.m.

Yerba Buena at Del Mar, 7:15 p.m.


Mountain View at Los Gatos, 7 p.m.

Sacred Heart Prep at Menlo-Atherton, 7 p.m.

Wilcox at Burlingame, 7 p.m.

PAL De Anza

Half Moon Bay at Palo Alto, 7 p.m.

Hillsdale at Menlo, 3 p.m.

King’s Academy at Homestead, 7 p.m.

PAL Ocean

Milpitas at Aragon, 7 p.m.

San Mateo at Capuchino, 7 p.m.

Terra Nova at Sequoia, 7 p.m.

PAL EL Camino

Los Altos at Santa Clara, 7 p.m.

PAL Lake

Jefferson at Cupertino, 7 p.m.

Mills at Monta Vista, 7 p.m.

Saratoga at South San Francisco, 7 p.m.

West Catholic

St. Francis vs. Sacred Heart Cathedral at Kezar Stadium, 7 p.m.

St. Ignatius at Valley Christian, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 14


MVAL/WACC Shoreline

Alameda at Arroyo, 2 p.m.

Piedmont at San Lorenzo, noon


West Catholic

Bellarmine at Serra, 1:30 p.m.

Archbishop Mitty at Archbishop Riordan, 2 p.m.

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