Football

Bay Area high school football 2023: Week 9 preview, schedule

We’re down to just three weekends left in the regular season.

And this one should be pretty good.

There are three Top 10 matchups in Week 9 — thanks to El Cerrito at De La Salle being added to the schedule on Wednesday — and plenty more that will help shape league races and possible playoff matchups.

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. 6 El Cerrito (7-0) at No. 2 De La Salle (5-2), 7 p.m.: This non-league matchup was added after both teams had opponents cancel games this weekend. De La Salle was supposed to play Foothill, El Cerrito was scheduled to face Hercules. Instead of taking a forfeit win, both coaches preferred to give their kids a chance to get on the field. “We are grateful for an opportunity to play,” El Cerrito coach Jacob Rincon said. El Cerrito has mostly breezed through its schedule, winning four games in onesided fashion and two others decided by single digits. The Gauchos also have a forfeit win over Fremont-Oakland. Last week, El Cerrito rolled over Bethel 64-0 as Ziare Eastman (two rushing TDs), QB Michael Vanhook (two passing TDs) and Sione Fanaika (two sacks) helped lead the way. De La Salle survived against San Ramon Valley last week, 33-27 in overtime. Derrick Blanche scored the winner in OT on a 6-yard run and interior linemen Chris Biller and Matthew Johnson were a force rushing the quarterback. This is the first game between El Cerrito and De La Salle since 1992, a DLS victory. — Darren Sabedra

No. 3 San Ramon Valley (6-1, 1-0) at No. 7 California (5-2, 1-0), 7 p.m.: Given that games against De La Salle do not count in the EBAL Mountain standings, the outcome of this one could have a lot to say about which team finishes first. Both are 1-0 in EBAL Mountain play, with SRV winning at Clayton Valley two weeks ago and California turning back Monte Vista last week. SRV is coming off an overtime loss to DLS. California doesn’t play DLS this season. The obvious key on Friday will be how recharged and/or healthy SRV will be after nearly handing DLS its first loss to a North Coast Section opponent in 32 years. “Body is not feeling great right now,” SRV quarterback Luke Baker said after the 33-27 loss on Friday. Baker will need to be on his game for the Wolves to bounce back against a California team that almost won at Pittsburg last month, losing 38-35. SRV also will need more of the same from LB/WR Marco Jones and speedsters such as receiver Owen Scott. California’s Jayden Macedo has thrown for 16 touchdowns and RB Devan Love is averaging 7.1 yards per carry and 102.7 yards per game on the ground. Nick Fox leads the Grizzlies in receptions with 20 for 575 yards and six touchdowns. California is 11-10 against SRV in the MaxPreps era (2004 to present), but SRV has won the past four in the series, including 38-21 last season. Calpreps.com’s computer projects SRV to win 40-19. — Darren Sabedra

No. 14 Valley Christian (5-2, 2-2) at No. 11 St. Francis (4-3, 3-1), 7 p.m.: The Lancers will be going for their third win in a row against Valley Christian when the teams play in Mountain View. A St. Francis victory would keep it in the running for its third West Catholic Athletic League championship in six years. The Lancers also won the WCAL in 2021 and 2018. Serra (4-0) is the prohibitive favorite to capture its second successive title, but the Padres must still get past Riordan on Saturday. Serra has already beaten St. Francis. Meanwhile, the Lancers host Riordan (4-0) on Oct. 27. St. Francis seems to be back in charge of its series with Valley Christian after losing four in a row between 2018 and 2021. There are other metrics featuring St. Francis also. The Lancers’ three non-league opponents are 18-5. Valley Christian’s are 11-10. Calpreps.com rates the Lancers’ schedule twice as difficult as Valley Christian’s. As for common opponents, Valley Christian lost 15-14 to St.Ignatius. St. Francis beat SI 21-6. Both teams posted wins over Sacred Heart Cathedral, the Lancers winning 44-22, the Warriors 21-16. Lancers’ QB Aaron Knapp is having a solid season with 602 passing yards and five touchdowns. Kingston Keanaaina has rushed for 678 yards and nine scores. Sophomore WR Perrion Williams has 25 catches for 233 yards and four scores, plus an offer from Washington State. Valley Christian has a pair of good running backs in Uchenna Eke and Marcel Leggett. Receiver Kai Hamilton has committed to Sacramento State. Heavily recruited linemen Champ Taulealea and Rayne Mayo give VC a strong physical presence. — Mike Lefkow

No. 12 Campolindo (5-1-1, 3-0) at No. 23 Las Lomas (7-0, 3-0), 7 p.m.: With three weeks to play in the regular season, four teams are tied for first in the DAL Foothill Division. Campo and Las Lomas are two of them. Acalanes and Miramonte are the others. They all play one another over the next three weekends. Campo, the league’s defending champion, has won 11 in a row over Las Lomas, including a 42-21 result last season. Calpreps.com’s computer projects that streak to continue. It says Campo wins 31-20. The Cougars have won four in a row and have not lost since falling to Amador Valley 6-0 on Sept. 1. Their tie was to Windsor, 14-14. They have gotten it done behind QB Isaiah Ortiz (1,128 yards, eight TDs passing) and a hard-nosed running attack led by sophomore Micah Parker and senior Tim Daugherty. Las Lomas moves the ball behind QB Dylan Thomas (1,089 yards, 14 TDs passing) and a handful of runners, led by Sava Pouridis, Kaden Lagaya, Jabron Bevineau and Roman Mercado. After this week, Campo plays host to Miramonte and then closes out the schedule at Acalanes. Las Lomas will be at home to face Acalanes next week and then will finish at Miramonte. — Darren Sabedra

No. 15 Amador Valley (5-2, 2-0) at Granada (6-2, 2-0), Friday, 7 p.m.: The winner of this game will probably finish first in the East Bay Athletic League’s Valley Division. Amador Valley has won the previous four matchups between the teams, all by double-digits. Quarterback Tristan Ti’a, a Granada transfer, has excelled since becoming eligible after a five-game sit-out period. The dual-threat junior threw for five touchdowns and ran for one in his season debut two weeks ago, a blowout of Dougherty Valley. Last week, he helped the Dons score 42 points in a lopsided win over Livermore. Jake Goldsworthy ran back for 227 yards in a 41-34 victory over Monte Vista, and Nate Jetter is Ti’a’s top target. Before Ti’a became eligible, Amador Valley averaged 15 points per game. The AV defense has been stingy all season, allowing a shade over 11 points per game. The Dons have won three of four games against ranked teams, and its two losses are 14-7 and 12-7 defeats to No. 6 El Cerrito and Foothill, respectively. Granada has an offense that can give AV trouble though. It starts with 6-foot-4 quarterback Quinn Boyd. The senior has thrown for 24 touchdowns and rushed for 299 yards and five TDs. Peyton Richards and Mikey Boyd are tied for the team lead with eight touchdown receptions, and senior slot receiver Christian Clouser paces the Matadors with 669 receiving yards. Granada pass rushers Riley Winchell, Carlos Hernandez and Viliami Fisiiahi have combined for 17 sacks and will need to keep pressure on Ti’a to slow down the AV passing game. Granada won a 21-14 thriller against Dublin in its league opener and then breezed by Dougherty Valley 42-7 last week. Calpreps’ computer has Amador Valley winning 27-17. — Joseph Dycus

No. 21 Acalanes (4-3, 3-0) at Miramonte (6-0, 3-0), 7 p.m.: Going into the final three weeks of the regular season, Miramonte is unbeaten overall, tied for first with three other teams in the DAL Foothill and is outscoring opponents by an average of 26 points. Unlike the three teams they are tied with, the Matadors are the only unranked team in the Bay Area News Group’s Top 25. In the calpreps.com rankings, Miramonte is No. 27 in the North Coast Section, 10 spots below Las Lomas. Acalanes is No. 15. Campolindo is ninth. Are the Matadors being disrespected? Not really. Of the Foothill Division’s four even schools, Miramonte has the smallest number of students, about 50 fewer than Acalanes, according to greatschools.org. It’s also 1-14 against the Dons, Las Lomas and Campolindo since 2018. No matter what happens in the last three games, the Matadors are a shoo-in for the NCS playoffs. Right now they are the No. 1 team in Division V. Even if they lose their last three, they’re unlikely to tumble out of the playoffs. Probably the worst that can happen would be a long bus ride to a place such as St. Bernard’s-Eureka in a later round. Miramonte is a young team. QB Carson Blair is a sophomore. He has passed for 746 yards and 11 TDs. The receiving corps of senior Finn McManus, junior Jack Quinnild and sophomore Andrew Bjornson might be the team’s strength. All stand at least 6-foot-2, all have double figures in receptions and all are within 13 total yards of each other with those catches. Acalanes also appears to be in good shape for the NCS playoffs. The Dons are second in the calpreps.com rankings in Division IV behind San Marin, a team they lost to earlier this season. You can probably pencil them in for a first-round home game if they win one of their last three. QB Sully Bailey has passed for 1,675 yards and 19 touchdowns. The Dons have three receivers with at least 23 catches in Cal commit Trevor Rogers, Henry Souza and Niko White. Paul Kuhner has 12 catches for 206 yards, with four of those grabs having gone for touchdowns. – Mike Lefkow 

Saturday

No. 5 Archbishop Riordan (6-1, 4-0) at No. 1 Serra (7-0. 4-0), Saturday 1:30 p.m.: If there is a WCAL team this season that can possibly beat Serra — a big if — it’s Archbishop Riordan. Led by QB Michael Mitchell Jr. and a bevy of playmakers, Riordan averages 43 points per game. Chris Lawson is Mitchell’s main target. He has 641 yards and eight touchdowns receiving this season. The transfer from Foothill is also a threat in the return game. In a 56-42 victory over Archbishop Mitty on Saturday, Lawson returned a punt for a touchdown, the second time this season he has done that. Cynai Thomas, Judge Nash and Tyrone Jackson add quite a bit to the passing game — the receivers are all over 6 feet — and have the speed to turn any attempt by Mitchell into a touchdown. Riordan’s offensive line is huge and will be a significant factor against Serra’s physical defense. Tommy Tofi and Peter Langi are well over 6 feet and each weighs more than 320 pounds. They will need to create running lanes to keep Serra’s defense from teeing off on the passing game. RB Charlie Johnson rushed for 200-plus yards and four TDs last week. He faces a much bigger challenge against a Serra team that is allowing just eight points per game in WCAL play. Serra has top-level talent at every position on defense. Senior linebackers Marley Alapati, Danny Niu and Jabari Mann are all Division I college prospects. The secondary includes strong safety Joseph Bey and defensive back Kyon Loud. Serra also is explosive on offense, with QB Maealiuaki Smith, a Power 5 prospect, leading the way. His top two receivers are Cole Harrison, a towering 230-pound tight end, and Loud. CalPreps predicts Serra to win 49-21. — Joseph Dycus

Schedule

Thursday, Oct. 19

SOUTH BAY/PENINSULA

BVAL Mt. Hamilton

Christopher at Lincoln-San Jose, 7:15 p.m.

BVAL Santa Teresa-Foothill

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

BVAL Santa Teresa-Valley

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

BVAL West Valley

Evergreen Valley at Yerba Buena, 7:15 p.m.

PAL Bay

Los Gatos at Burlingame, 7 p.m.

Menlo-Atherton at Mountain View, 7 p.m.

PAL Ocean

Aragon at Terra Nova, 7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 20

EAST BAY

Bay Valley

Deer Valley at Liberty, 7 p.m.

Freedom at Antioch, 7 p.m.

Heritage at Pittsburg, 7 p.m.

DAL Foothill

Acalanes at Miramonte, 7 p.m.

Campolindo at Las Lomas, 7 p.m.

Northgate at College Park, 7 p.m.

DAL Valley

Ygnacio Valley at Alhambra, 7 p.m.

EBAL Mountain

Monte Vista at Clayton Valley, 7 p.m.

San Ramon Valley at California, 7 p.m.

EBAL Valley

Amador Valley at Granada, 7 p.m.

Dublin at Livermore, 7 p.m.

MVAL/WACC Foothill

Logan at Tennyson, 7 p.m.

Moreau Catholic vs. San Leandro at Burrell Field in San Leandro, CA, 7 p.m.

Bishop O’Dowd at Castro Valley, 7 p.m.

MVAL/WACC Mission

Irvington at Encinal, 7 p.m.

MVAL/WACC Shoreline

Alameda at Newark Memorial, 7 p.m.

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

Oakland Athletic League

Fremont at Oakland Tech, 7 p.m.

Oakland at Castlemont, 7 p.m.

Skyline at McClymonds, 7 p.m.

TCAL Stone

Kennedy-Richmond at Vallejo, 7 p.m.

Non-league

Benicia at Mt. Diablo, 7 p.m.

El Cerrito at De La Salle, 7 p.m.

SOUTH BAY/PENINSULA

BVAL Mt. Hamilton

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

Santa Teresa at Live Oak, 7:15 p.m.

BVAL Santa Teresa-Foothill

Independence at Branham, 7:15 p.m.

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

BVAL Santa Teresa-Valley

Overfelt at Leigh, 7:15 p.m.

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

BVAL West Valley

Gunderson at San Jose, 7:15 p.m.

Hill at Del Mar, 7:15 p.m.

Prospect at Lick, 7 p.m.

PAL De Anza

Homestead at Half Moon Bay, 7 p.m.

Menlo at King’s Academy, 7 p.m.

Palo Alto at Hillsdale, 7 p.m.

PAL Ocean

Milpitas at San Mateo, 7 p.m.

Sequoia at Capuchino, 7 p.m.

PAL El Camino

Carlmont at Woodside, 7 p.m.

Los Altos at El Camino, 7 p.m.

Santa Clara at Fremont-Sunnyvale, 7 p.m.

PAL Lake

Gunn at Mills, 7 p.m.

Jefferson at Saratoga, 7 p.m.

Monta Vista at Lynbrook, 7 p.m.

South San Francisco at Cupertino, 7 p.m.

West Catholic

Bellarmine at Mitty, 7 p.m.

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

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

INTERSECTIONAL

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

Saturday, Oct. 21

EAST BAY

DAL Valley

Concord at Berean Christian, noon

MVAL/WACC Mission

Hayward at Berkeley, 2 p.m.

Mt. Eden at Washington-Fremont, 7 p.m.

MVAL/WACC Shoreline

Arroyo at San Lorenzo, noon

TCAL Rock

Bethel at Salesian, 1 p.m.

Pinole Valley at De Anza, 7 p.m.

TCAL Stone

Richmond at St. Mary’s-Berkeley, 1:30 p.m.

Non-league

St. Patrick-St. Vincent at Justin-Siena, 7 p.m.

SOUTH BAY/PENINSULA

PAL Bay

Wilcox at Sacred Heart Prep, 2 p.m.

West Catholic

Riordan at Serra, 1:30 p.m.

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