The Examiner breaks down this weeks prep football action.
SAN FRANCISCO GAME OF THE WEEK
St. Ignatius (4-0-1, 0-0-1 WCAL) at Riordan (3-1-0, 0-0),Kezar Stadium, Friday, 7 p.m.
Any sentiment that SI would struggle some this season after losing so many quality players from last year’s Central Coast Section Medium School Division championship team is long gone. The always well-coached Wildcats showed tremendous poise in last week’s 21-21 tie against Valley Christian of San Jose as quarterback Abe Waziri (13 touchdown passes, just one interception this season) found Roy Lang in the end zone with 27.4 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter for the final score. The defense has also been stout, allowing an average of just 12.6 points per game.
“[SI is] one of those teams that you can always count on to reload,” Riordan coach Mike Langridge said.
The Crusaders beat Sacred Heart Cathedral 35-28 last week behind the arm (215 yards passing, two TDs) and legs (44 yards rushing, one score) of quarterback Darius Bell. The Riordan defensive line, led by Ryan Jones and Errol Tu’ufuli, will have to work hard to win the pivotal battle for the line of scrimmage against the big, physical Wildcats offense.
Mission (2-1, 0-1 AAA) at Washington (2-2, 0-1), 3 p.m.
The final San Francisco Section playoff berth was decided when the Bears beat Washington 30-13 late last season. The two teams meet early this year in what is a crucial game for both, as the loser drops to 0-2 in Academic Athletic Association play.
Sacred Heart Cath. (3-2) at Petaluma (2-2), 7:30 p.m.
Both teams are coming off back-to-back losses, but the Irish played rival Riordan tough before falling 35-28 a week ago. Running back Dasarte Yarnway and quarterback Matt Loftus have combined for 1,557 yards of offense and 15 touchdowns.
Galileo (0-2, 0-1) at Balboa (1-3, 0-0), 2 p.m.
Shaun Jones had two huge second-half touchdown receptions for the Buccaneers in last week’s 22-21 win over Oakland Tech and stands atop The City’s receiving chart in catches (17), yards (416) and touchdowns (five).
Lowell (2-0, 1-0) at Burton (1-3, 1-0), 2:30 p.m.
Bismark Navarro has scored on nearly a quarter of his carries (eight touchdowns in 35 rushes) as the Cardinals have racked up 854 yards on the ground in their first two games. The Pumas are coming off an impressive 34-0 win over Galileo.
— Matt Elliser
PENINSULA SPOTLIGHT GAME
Menlo-Atherton (3-1, 1-0 PAL Bay) at Terra Nova (2-2, 2-0), Friday, 8 p.m.
Talk of the town is that M-A is now the team to beat in the Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division after beating perennial powerhouse Aragon last week. Terra Nova, however, is the only team with two wins in the league. The Tigers’ defense has been nails against the run, but will haveto prove it can stop the pass against quarterback Troy McCabe and the top-flight Bears aerial attack.
Tigers running back Richard Castillo has fronted a bread-and-butter running attack thus far, but the Bears’ defense — which held Aragon to just 14 points last week — is going to challenge Terra Nova to be more diverse than to rely on its
5-foot-9 senior, who rambled for more than 200 yards last week against Woodside.
M-A meanwhile has running back Will Latu to balance its offense. The senior is averaging 7.8 yards per carry and 116.5 yards per game, leading the way for a Bears backfield that should surpass the 1,000 yard rush mark this week.
<p>FRIDAY'S PAL BAY GAMES
Woodside (1-3, 0-1) at Aragon (2-2, 1-1), 3 p.m.
After falling last week to current Bay Division top dog Terra Nova, the Wildcats must tackle a Dons team coming off a rare league loss. Since moving up to the Bay two years ago, Woodside has been beaten by Aragon in consecutive matchups.
Menlo (3-1, 1-1) at South CITY (1-3, 1-1), 7 p.m.
Both teams are coming off shutout wins. While the Knights’ 24-0 win last week was a monumental defensive accomplishment it came against a Burlingame team that has just one win this year. Meanwhile, South San Francisco’s defense has improved from week to week, although its offense has just 46 points in four games.
Carlmont (1-3, 0-2) at Burlingame (1-3, 1-1), 7:30 p.m.
Both teams suffered unexpected shutouts last week, so both should look to get on the board early and often. Turnovers led to Burlingame’s loss to Menlo, while Carlmont’s offense simply could not generate momentum against South City.
FRIDAY’S PAL OCEAN GAMES
Half Moon Bay (1-3, 1-1) at Hillsdale (0-4, 0-2), 3 p.m.
After a turnover-plagued Ocean Division opener, Half Moon Bay showed it could crank up the offense to the tune of a 49-20 win over San Mateo. The Hillsdale air attack, however, will be hungry to capitalize on the last of five consecutive home games before hitting the road for three straight.
San Mateo (0-4, 0-2) at Mills (1-3, 1-0), 3 p.m.
Tailback Josh Uikilifi had a career game last week, racking up 149 rushing yards as Mills won its Ocean Division opener. Look for the Vikings to have the upper hand against the Bearcats, though San Mateo quarterback Nate Davidson did complete 26 passes for 227 yards last week.
Sequoia (1-3, 1-1) at El Camino (2-2, 2-0), 3 p.m.
After a 2-0 start in the Ocean Division in which they have compiled 73 points, the question persists: Can the Colts keep their streak alive? Next up is a hungry Sequoia team that started a five-game win streak last year by handing the Colts one of their lowest point totals of the season.
Capuchino (1-3, 1-0) at Jefferson (0-4, 0-2), 7 p.m.
It was the Eloy Moreno Show for the Mustangs last week as the running back rolled to 290 yards and three touchdowns in Cap’s narrow 25-24 win over Sequoia. Pair that with a Jefferson defense that was dominated by a 200-plus-yard performance from El Camino’s Charles Truong and you have a recipe for Cap’s second straight win.
FRIDAY’S WCAL GAME
Valley Christian (3-0-1, 0-0-1) at Serra (3-2, 0-1), 7 p.m.
Serra won a slugfest against a not-so-hot Valley Christian team in 2006, but the Warriors have turned things around this season. The Padres aren’t exactly in a must-win situation to entertain the chance of a West Catholic Athletic League title, though they would like to avoid dropping into a 0-2 hole in the stackedleague.
— Terry Bernal