The Examiner breaks down this weeks prep football action.
SAN FRANCISCO GAME OF THE WEEK
Sacred Heart Cathedral (3-0) vs. St. Ignatius (3-0) (Kezar Stadium), today, 5 p.m.
Friendly wagers are being made throughout The City as fans and players alike prepare for the Bruce-Mahoney Game. Pageantry and a packed, electric Kezar Stadium aside, this year’s game shapes up to be a close, competitive one. Both teams enter the game undefeated for the third consecutive year and are led by strong defenses. Sacred Heart has allowed an average of just 12 points in its three wins while SI has been even more dominant in giving up a paltry 9.3 points per game.
Running back Dasarte Yarnway is the headliner on offense for the Irish, but multidimensional quarterback Matt Loftus (247 yards rushing, 246 yards passing, five total TDs) will be just as critical to Sacred Heart’s fortunes. The Wildcats won last year’s game 24-7 and have been remarkably efficient in outscoring its opponents 115-28 thus far. First-year starting quarterback Abe Waziri is off to a hot start and has already thrown for 349 yards and six touchdowns.
TODAY'S SAN FRANCISCO GAMES
Galileo (0-0) at Kennedy (Sac.) (1-1), 6:30 p.m.
The Lions look to build some momentum for the Academic Athletic Association season in their lone nonleague game. Quarterback play could be the key, with Galileo’s Javohn Cherry and the Cougars’ Anthony Davis both capable of producing points.
Lincoln (1-2) at Merrill West (Tracy) (0-2), Tracy High, 7 p.m.
David Henderson quickly cashed in three third-quarter turnovers by South San Francisco into 21 points to lead the Mustangs to a huge 28-17 win last week. Now Lincoln completes its rigorous nonleague slate at perennial Central Valley power West.
SATURDAY'S SAN FRANCISCO GAMES
Burbank (Sacramento) (2-1) at Riordan (1-1), 1 p.m.
Could Johnny Greene be the answer at tailback for the Crusaders? The junior came off the bench and ran for 105 yards and two scores in the second half in Riordan’s last game, a tight 14-10 win over Woodside.
Burton (0-2) at Berean Christian (Walnut Creek) (0-2), 1:30 p.m.
Daniel Lindsey was the bright spot for the Pumas in last week’s lopsided loss at Analy of Sebastopol, returning two kickoffs for touchdowns. The Eagles beat Burton 37-12 a year ago.
Mission (1-0) at St. Elizabeth (Oak.) (2-0), Skyline High, 1:30 p.m.
The Bears won last year’s meeting between these two teams 24-0, but St. Elizabeth appears to be much improved in 2007. After a winless 0-9 campaign last season, the Mustangs are now 2-0.
Jesse Bethel (Vallejo) (2-0) at Balboa (0-2), 2 p.m.
Running back Luther Gary had a productive debut in running for 122 yards and two scores last week, but not much else went right for the Buccaneers in a 38-12 loss at Oakland Tech. Balboa will face another tough test in a Jaguars team that won last year’s matchup 54-14.
Washington (2-0) at Arroyo Grande (0-3), 7 p.m.
Wash will make the four-hour drive south to face Arroyo Grande in this battle of the Eagles. Star running back Maurice Barton did not play last week due to a tender ankle, but he should be good to go in this one as Washington looks to remain perfect entering conference play.
— Matt Elliser
PENINSULA SPOTLIGHT GAME
Aragon (1-1) at Carlmont (1-1), today, 3:15 p.m.
One of the biggest differences between the Peninsula Athletic League’s Bay and Ocean divisions is the game is quicker in the Bay. Much quicker. With the Scotsmoving up to the more advanced division, they will witness this contrast right off the ball in the person of Dons center T.Y. Faaumu.
With Aragon looking to win its fifth straight Bay title, Faaumu will be leading the way for an explosive Dons offense and their top running back of a year ago, Seta Pohahau.
“He’s quick for his size and he’s got nice feel,” Pohahau said of his top blocker. “He gets to where he needs to get to and creates holes.”
And now that he has slimmed down, Pohahau says that Faaumu “looks like he’s fast like linebackers and defensive backs now.”
Standing at 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, Faaumu, with such explosive foot speed, will complement a sleeker interior line than last year, with new senior starting guards Nikko Lilomaihiva and Ahmed Shehade.
“[Faaumu] is incredibly agile,” coach Steve Sell said. “He’s a legitimate Division I guy because of his feet and his strength.”
TODAY’S PENINSULA GAMES
Half Moon Bay (0-2) at El Camino (0-2), 3:15 p.m.
Half Moon Bay drops from the Bay and, like every team in the Ocean Division thus far, will be vying for its first win of the season. The Colts have not won on their home field since ’05.
Jefferson (0-2) at Hillsdale (0-2), 3:15 p.m.
Hillsdale fell to a tough, undefeated Yerba Buena team last week, which, along with home-field advantage, could make the difference against a Jefferson team that won its only division game last year on the road.
Sequoia (0-2) at San Mateo (0-2), 3:15 p.m.
The Cherokees were a surprising overachieving team last year, and could benefit from the luck of the draw in the first week of Ocean play against an undersized San Mateo squad.
Terra Nova (0-2) at Menlo (2-0), 3:15 p.m.
The Tigers have started each of the last three seasons 0-2 and each year have rebounded to finish with a winning record. Menlo, meanwhile, starts Bay Division play for the first time in three seasons, when it last matched up with, and fell, to Terra Nova 38-14.
Capuchino (0-2) at Leigh (2-0), 7 p.m.
Leigh’s been playing ’em close after advancing to the Central Coast Section semifinals last year, while Cap is just looking to stay in one after surrendering 42 points in each of its previous loses to Miramonte and Saratoga.
Los Altos (2-0) vs. Mills (0-2) at Burlingame, 7 p.m.
The Vikings may have their hands full this week against a steady Los Altos squad and former Capuchino coach Jeff Kalb, but look for Mills to get a win on the board in one of its first two Ocean Division games starting next week.
Burlingame (0-2) at South CITY (0-2), 7 p.m.
Both teams are notorious for maintaining strong lines on both sides of the ball from year to year. Panthers linebackers Todd Mortensen and Brandon Francesconi will collide with Warriors guard Ina Faalau to try and keep the South City running game in check.
Woodside (0-2) at Alisal (2-1), 8 p.m.
The Wildcats continue non-league play for one more week, as they travel to Salinas to take on an Alisal team to which Woodside handed a 27-7 loss last year. Woodside running back Jason Simpson is coming off a 163-yard rushing effort in last week’s 28-27 loss to Los Altos.
— Terry Bernal