The Examiner breaks down this weeks prep football action.
SAN FRANCISCO GAME OF THE WEEK
Balboa (2-3, 1-0 AAA) at Lincoln (2-3, 1-0), Friday, 7 p.m., at Kezar Stadium
Balboa coach Keith Minor had a pretty direct response when asked about the key to his defense containing Lincoln senior running back David Henderson, who ran for nearly 600 yards in two meetings against the Buccaneers last year, including a memorable 376-yard effort in the Mustangs’ 38-32 regular-season Academic Athletic Association win.
“He’s going to get his yards,” Minor said. “We just have to make sure our defense stays focused and doesn’t commit mistakes or else he’ll put up crazy numbers.”
Balboa will counter Henderson’s legs with the arm of senior quarterback Eric Lara, who leads The City with 939 passing yards. The Bucs also benefit from the return of running back Luther Gary, who sat out last week’s win over Galileo due to an illness. Lincoln, the two-time defending San Francisco Section champ, has won its last seven games against AAA opponents.
Lowell (3-0, 2-0 AAA) at Mission (2-2, 0-2), 3:30 p.m., Kezar Stadium
Led by Bismark Navarro and his 10 yards per carry average, the Cardinals have averaged an impressive 402 yards in their three wins this season. After opening the year with two non-conference wins, Mission has yet to pick up a victory in the AAA.
St. Ignatius (4-1-1, 0-1-1 WCAL) at Mitty (4-1, 0-1), 7 p.m., Foothill College
SI will look to break their current two-game winless streak with a win against Mitty, which will have revenge on its mind after suffering a 28-2 shellacking last year against the Wildcats in San Francisco.
Serra (4-2, 1-1 WCAL) at Riordan (4-1, 1-0), 1 p.m.
DeLeon Eskridge ran for a season-high 195 yards last week in Serra’s first league win of the season, though Matt Calderon and the rest of the Padres’ secondary will be tested this week against a Riordan offense that features a mighty passing attack of quarterback Darius Bell and wide receiver Daniel Cannon.
Washington (3-2, 1-1 AAA) at Galileo (0-3, 0-2), 2 p.m., SOTA
The Eagles, led by the accurate passing of first-year starting quarterback Derf Butler (39-for-61, seven TDs), have split their first two games in AAA play. Galileo, which suited up just 15 players against Balboa last week, still seeks its first league win of the year.
Burton (1-4, 1-1) at Irvington (0-5, 0-2), 1 p.m.
Burton steps out of league play this week to take on Irvington of Fremont, which has lost all five games this year be an average of 30 points. With a win, the Pumas will match last season’s victory total (two).
— Will Reisman
PENINSULA GAME OF THE WEEK
El Camino (3-2, 3-0) at Capuchino (2-3, 2-0), 3 p.m.
The El Camino offensive line is geared for the big play this season. Blocking for game-breaking tailback Charles Truong, who has consistently broken the 100-yard mark this season — including a 191-yard effort in last week’s win over Sequoia — has been a surefire strategy.
The motivation for senior right guard Maurece Metoyer and the rest of the EC line is simple, according to interim Colts coach Mark Turner.
“You know that one block can mean a touchdown,” Turner said.
In his second season, pacing EC to an undefeated Peninsula Athletic League Ocean Division record has been a matter of “redemption” for Truong. The Ocean’s rushing leader admits he got off to a slow junior season in 2006. Then, just as he began settling into varsity play, he suffered a season-ending injury when he broke his collarbone Oct. 6 against Menlo School.
“In league this year, it’s all about redemption from last year,” Truong said of El Camino’s 1-6 record in league last year. “I just want to get back at all those teams that beat us last year and help my team out.”
Capuchino was one of those teams, downing the Colts 34-13 a week prior to Truong’s injury. The Mustangs are a physical team and playing for first place in the Ocean Division is about getting back as well, after Cap posted a 3-4 record in league last year.
FRIDAY'S PAL BAY GAMES
Terra Nova (2-3, 2-1) at Burlingame (2-3, 2-1), 7 p.m.
With four teams sporting 2-1 records in the Bay Division, this figures to be a pivotal matchup. Burlingame safety Jason Carlos has been on an interception frenzy this season, though the Panthers’ defense will be tested this week against Terra Nova running back Richard Castillo and the run-intensive Tigers.
Carlmont (1-4, 0-3) at Woodside (1-4, 0-2), 8 p.m.
This game will help determine exactly how misleading Woodside’s record is as the Wildcats have endured two losses against a pair of the Bay’s best in Aragon and Terra Nova. Carlmont, too, has been scuffling against some tough PAL opponents, though the Scots have totaled just 15 points in three games.
FRIDAY’S PAL OCEAN GAMES
Jefferson (0-5, 0-3) at San Mateo (1-4, 1-2), 3 p.m.
Both teams had their best showings of the season last week. While Jefferson is still seeking its first win since November 2006, the Indians closed to within a point in their loss to Cap last week. Meanwhile, San Mateo earned its first victory since November 2005, behind 254 yards of total offense from quarterback Nate Davidson.
Mills (1-4, 1-1) at Half Moon Bay (2-3, 2-1), 7 p.m.
Despite another 100-yard effort from Josh Uikilifi, Mills endured a disheartening upset at the hands of San Mateo last week. The Vikings will be looking to get back on track against a third-place Half Moon Bay team trying to claw its way into contention. The Cougars, paced by running back Nik France, have a valuable opportunity to gain ground this week with the two Ocean leaders playing one another.
Hillsdale (1-4, 1-2) at Sequoia (1-4, 1-2), 7 p.m.
After losing two in a row, Hillsdale’s schedule keeps getting tougher as the Knights play the first of three consecutive road games. Like the Knights, Sequoia has also lost two straight, but has been playing close games, with its three decided by a touchdown or less.
SATURDAY'S PAL BAY GAMES
Menlo-Atherton (4-1, 2-0) at Menlo (4-1, 2-1), 2 p.m.
One of the best matchups left on the Bay schedule this season, M-A is quite the favorite having knocked off two of the top Bay contenders in consecutive weeks. The schools haven’t met in three years, since M-A shutout its neighbor 21-0. This year, though, Menlo’s adept crew of linebackers, led by Ryan O’Holleran and Chris Giglio, will be looking to show off its versatility against a balanced Bears offense.
South City (1-4, 1-2) at Aragon (3-2, 2-1), 2 p.m.
Seta Pohahau keeps rolling as the Aragon senior racked up 180 rushing yards in last week’s win over Woodside. The Warriors will have to hold the Dons’ offense in check to stay in this one, as the South San Francisco offense has yet to break the 20-point mark in a game this season.
— Terry Bernal