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Monday Morning Lights: Why Campo’s win was important. WCAL play heats up this week.

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CAMPO: WHY WIN OVER MONTE VISTA WAS IMPORTANT

Campolindo’s 38-14 victory over Monte Vista on Friday night could be the most consequential result of either team’s season.

They are two of 11 schools competing for eight North Coast Section Division I playoff spots.

De La Salle, San Ramon Valley and Pittsburg are a lock to get in.

Clayton Valley figures to be there, too.

The others in Division I are California, Liberty, James Logan, Amador Valley and Antioch, along with Campo and Monte Vista.

If Logan wins its league and Amador Valley captures the East Bay Athletic League Valley Division to become automatic qualifiers, that could leave just two more openings.

When considering who makes the cut, the section will look at big non-league wins, something Campo’s players were keenly aware of on Friday.

“If we want to make the playoffs, we needed to win this game tonight,” Campo safety Luke Bonardi said.

Bonardi isn’t quite right.

Even though Campo lost to Amador Valley and tied Windsor in nonleague, the Cougars can still automatically qualify for the playoffs by winning the Diablo Athletic League Foothill Division.

That won’t be easy, with talented Acalanes (1-3 after a brutal non-league schedule) in the mix, as well as undefeated Miramonte and Las Lomas.

Losing on Friday hurt Monte Vista more — the Mustangs now have losses to Amador Valley and Campolindo in back-to-back weeks after opening the season with three consecutive wins.

They have this week off before opening EBAL Mountain Division play at Foothill on Oct. 6. After that, Monte Vista closes with California, Clayton Valley, De La Salle and San Ramon Valley.

A win on Friday certainly would have helped.

“We’re just focused on league,” Monte Vista coach Johnny Millard said. “We’ll take it one game at a time, and make some noise in league.”

— Joseph Dycus

FOOTHILL: HUGE VICTORY OVER RIVAL

Foothill coach Greg Haubner was emotional and proud after his winless Falcons went on the road on Friday night and stunned archrival Amador Valley 12-7 in a nonleague battle between Pleasanton’s two high schools.

“This is one of the better wins I’ve had as a coach,” said Haubner, who is in his seventh season at Foothill. “We were 0-3 coming into the game. This team, this program has experienced a lot of frustration. The kids played at an extremely high level tonight. This was a really good win.”

Most of the frustration for Foothill has centered around the loss of three of the team’s top players. WR/CB Chris Lawson, a four-star recruit, transferred to Riordan in the off-season. RB Samear Lattier left for Tracy.

But most hurtful was the loss of free safety Jackson Chandler. He stayed at Foothill but was lost for the season when an ACL injury didn’t heal properly.

“I’m so happy for our seniors,” Haubner said. “They have continued to give us their best efforts.”

— Mike Lefkow

WCAL: TWO BIG GAMES THIS WEEK

Serra clearly didn’t collect any rust in its week off before beginning defense of its West Catholic Athletic League championship.

The Padres routed Sacred Heart Cathedral 61-0 on Friday, marking the second time the San Mateo powerhouse has reached 60 points against a WCAL opponent in the MaxPreps era (2004-present).

The other was a 64-21 win over Archbishop Mitty in 2017. Serra lost to Archbishop Riordan 66-45 in 2015.

The competition for Serra will stiffen on Saturday when St. Francis pays a visit.

The last time St. Francis visited Serra, two years ago, it wasn’t a good day for the home team. Viliami Teu ran for 344 yards and two touchdowns in 45 carries as St. Francis won 44-21.

Since then, Serra has had the upper hand against its Mountain View rival, winning 16-12 to capture the 2022 Central Coast Section Division I title and 29-7 last season at St. Francis.

In the other big WCAL game this week, Valley Christian travels to Riordan on Saturday.

Valley (4-0) won one game last season. Riordan (3-1) won three.

This season, Valley has allowed an average of 8.3 points per game. Riordan has scored 37.8 per game.

Something will have to give.

DE LA SALLE: GRIT OVER FLASH

In this era of video game passing numbers, De La Salle has turned the clock back.

In the past three games — victories over St. Francis, St. Mary’s-Stockton and Folsom — the Spartans have rushed for 856 yards and passed for 62.

They have run 147 times during the winning streak and attempted 19 passes.

“We’re starting a lot of underclassmen, we’ve got a young group and we’re really trying to have them embrace the Spartan way,” DLS coach Justin Alumbaugh said after his team’s 14-7 win at Folsom on Friday. “We’ve played five great opponents to start our season, and we’re getting better.

“We’re very clearly better than we were at the beginning of the year, and it’s because these guys are buying into it. I am proud of them. It’s gratifying as a coach when they’re taking to coaching.”

DLS opened the season with losses to Orange Lutheran 34-14 and Serra 28-0. They had 63 runs for 270 yards and 42 pass attempts for 181 yards in the two defeats.

“We weren’t physical at all the first two weeks, especially offensively,” Alumbaugh said. “I’ve really liked our increase in physicality. We’ve been doing a lot of physicality drills. We’ve been challenging them with early-morning practices. A lot of very old techniques to get them going. They’ve responded really well.”

Up next: Friday at home against McClymonds.

— Darren Sabedra

DEER VALLEY: BOUNCE-BACK SEASON CONTINUES

An 18-game losing streak that spanned three years seems far away now, replaced by a 3-2 record at the midway point of this season for Deer Valley.

The Wolverines bounced back from a 19-14 loss against Castro Valley to beat Dougherty Valley 34-28 victory on Friday.

It was during the loss, not the victory, that Deer Valley’s second-year coach Matt Mills said he could see the difference between this year’s and last year’s teams.

“Instead of saying ‘Oh, we’re not good enough’ or ‘We don’t have the talent,’ the guys were upset and saying, ‘Man, we let one get away,’” Mills said.

After spending last season laying what he called the foundation of a winning culture in the locker room, Mills is now seeing successful results on the field.

Deer Valley has a bye this week, then will open league play at home on Oct. 6 against defending champion Pittsburg.

“Last year was tough at times,” Mills said. “But when the juniors came back, it wasn’t about teaching them about what the expectations were. This year, we were able to focus more on the scheme and how to utilize our talent.”

— Joseph Dycus

PEEK AHEAD TO WEEK 6

Friday

Pittsburg (4-0) at Los Gatos (3-1), 7:30 p.m.: Pittsburg has narrowly won its past two games. Expect another tight one on Friday.

McClymonds (2-1) at De La Salle (3-2), 7 p.m.: DLS will try to win four in a row to finish nonleague play.

Granada (4-1) at California (3-2), 7 p.m.: Granada QB Quinn Boyd has been electric. Will California pull the plug here?

Mountain View (3-1) at Wilcox (2-2). 7 p.m.: Wilcox is 12-0-2 against Mountain View in the MaxPreps era (2004-present).

Jesuit-Carmichael (4-1) at Clayton Valley Charter (2-2), 7 p.m.: When these teams played last season at Jesuit, CVC won 35-21.

Saturday

St. Francis (2-2) at Serra (4-0), 1:30 p.m.: Serra is the clear favorite, but St. Francis will make it physical.

Valley Christian (4-0) at Archbishop Riordan (3-1), 2 p.m.: Valley’s defense vs. Riordan’s offense will be something to see.

— Darren Sabedra

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