Multiple rivalries and a battle for Academic Athletic Association supremacy between Galileo and Lincoln will headline a must-see week of prep football in San Francisco.
Galileo (6-1, 3-0 AAA) @ Lincoln (6-0, 2-0), Saturday, 2 p.m.
With both teams beating Mission in the past two weeks, the AAA regular-season title will likely come down to what happens on Saturday afternoon. While both teams have put up big numbers on offense this season, Lincoln’s defensive prowess must also be noted. The Mustangs have allowed just 81 points, and 34 of those came a month ago against Piedmont. Lincoln even held Mission to 15 points in last week’s showdown, with Desean Crawford not only running for two touchdowns but also snagging an interception that put the finishing touches on a convincing performance. Galileo won both of last year’s meetings, 42-28 in the regular season and 22-17 in the playoffs, but the Lions played both of those games at home.
Galileo should be the more rested team coming into this week’s game, going to a running clock in last week’s 39-8 win over Lowell. That rest is much needed with a 23-man roster, and that includes lineman Joseph Ale, who’s out for the season with a meniscus injury. Even without his size in the trenches, the Lions have made do, with Kobe Cabuntala and others making an impact as two-way players. They’ll have to deal with one of the biggest lines in the league this week as the Mustangs have three players over 250 pounds.
Stanfel Cup: Riordan (1-6, 0-4 WCAL) @ Sacred Heart Cathedral (4-3, 2-2), Friday, 7 p.m. at Kezar Stadium
The Stanfel Cup has been up for grabs since 1992, with Riordan holding a 14-12 series lead, but the Fightin’ Irish have won the last two meetings, including a 42-21 victory last season to lock up a playoff berth. With last week’s win over Bellarmine, SHC is in prime position to return to the postseason again, and if they could keep the Stanfel Cup, they may be en route for not only a second consecutive playoff trip, but also a home playoff game for a second straight year after going without one for four decades.
Balboa (4-1, 2-0 AAA) @ Burton (5-1, 1-1), Saturday, 2 p.m.
The fourth and final AAA playoff spot may very well come down to this game. With Mission, Lincoln and Galileo heavily favored to lock up the top three spots, the last one is likely to go to either the Buccaneers or Pumas. Both posted shutout wins over Lowell, and while Burton was beaten handily by Galileo, Balboa has yet to face the Lions. Balboa has yet to allow any points in league play, shutting out both the Cardinals and Washington. Both teams will look to have the ball in the hands of their best athletes, with Balboa running back A.J. Velasquez and Burton QB Alfonzo Smith.
St. Ignatius (1-6, 1-3 WCAL) @ Serra (4-3, 3-1), Friday, 7 p.m.
Serra’s lone night game of the year always provides a wild atmosphere, and with the Padres hosting one of their biggest rivals and coming off a lopsided defeat from Valley Christian, one could only expect Serra to come out firing. They certainly won’t take St. Ignatius lightly, especially with the Wildcats coming off an impressive win against Mitty behind the contributions of some newcomers. Zach Taylor-Smith got a win in just his second varsity start at quarterback, and sophomore Siaki Gallegos-Hunkin has taken over at middle linebacker as a midseason JV call-up, becoming an immediate impact player.
Marin Catholic (5-3, 3-0 MCAL) @ Drake (4-4, 2-3), Saturday, 2 p.m.
After a grueling non-league schedule, Marin Catholic has once again been tearing up the MCAL, outscoring opponents 124-27. The Pirates have often suited up 20 players or fewer this season, but they’ve managed to post a 3-1 home record so far this. Keeping this one close would be a tremendous showing for a Drake team that has losses to San Marin and Terra Linda, both of which were smashed by the Wildcats.
Lowell (0-5, 0-3 AAA) @ Washington (1-6, 0-3), Friday, 3 p.m.
Always a fun rivalry that catches the attention of both schools, this one will see one team pick up its first win on the field. Washington’s lone victory is by forfeit, and the Eagles have been held scoreless in three league games while allowing 155 points. Lowell had been shut out in three straight as well before picking up a late touchdown in last week’s 39-8 loss to Galileo.