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Today’s games

Lowell (8-1, 6-0) at Balboa (5-4, 5-1), 2:15 p.m.

A Balboa win would create a three-way tie atop the Academic Athletic Association standings with Lincoln and reduce the league’s regular-season title to a game of chance — the three team names would be placed in a hat and the school drawn would enter the playoffs as the top seed.

To do it, the Buccaneers will have to slow down a Lowell ground game that has averaged 265 yards rushing a game this year.

Balboa has the bodies to do it, boasting one of the top two-way lines in the league that features Asofo Ia and Johnathon Kaulave.

Sacred Heart Cathedral (5-4) vs. Casa Grande (8-1) at Kezar Stadium, 7 p.m.

The Irish finally get a chance to play in front of their home fans after spending what seems like their entire season on a bus.

Sacred Heart has played seven of its nine games on the road, including last week’s 28-27 loss to Sonoma Valley in a contest that was originally scheduled for Kezar Stadium, but had to be moved at the last minute due to unplayable field conditions.

The Irish will have to play well to finish their season above .500 as Casa Grande has won eight straight after losing its opener to Santa Rosa.

Saturday’s games

Bellarmine (5-4, 3-2) at St. Ignatius (6-2-1, 4-1-0), 1 p.m.

St. Ignatius will clinch a share of the West Catholic Athletic League title for the first time since 1967 with a win over Bellarmine.

The Wildcats showed they are capable of grinding out a victory last week against St. Francis, beating the Lancers 10-6 behind a defense that provided great field position on both SI scores and pitched a shutout until a little more than one minute remained in the game.

This week’s challenge will be slowing down Bellarmine quarterback Jordan Vargas, the WCAL’s leading passer.

St. Francis (4-4-1, 1-4-0) at Riordan (4-5-0, 2-3-0), 1 p.m.

A win in this game would do wonders for Riordan’s postseason resume as the Crusaders look to reach the Central Coast Section playoffs for the first time since 2000.

Riordan has already made giant steps in coach Mike Langridge’s first year, winning two league games (including one at WCAL-leading Serra) after going two straight seasons without a conference win. Safety Daniel Cannon has been a difference-maker in the much-improved Riordan defense and has set a school record with eight interceptions.

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