Menlo-Atherton (0-0) at Saratoga (0-0), 7:30 p.m.: Advancing to the postseason was a big step last season for a predominantly non-senior Menlo-Atherton football team. Now, heading into a season-opening nonleague game against Saratoga, the Bears are considered big-time contenders.
“They did pretty well last year and they’ve got a lot of guys coming back too,” M-A coach Bob Sykes said. “So they should be pretty competitive.”
The game features a versatile and potent Falcons offense going up against M-A’s defense, which returns the Peninsula Athletic League’s Defensive Lineman of the Year in senior defensive end Latani Moi Moi.
Moi Moi will attempt to pressure a Saratoga offense which, although featuring one of the best passing attacks in the El Camino League last season, will be guided by a new starting quarterback in Kyle Guengerich. The Falcons also graduated top wide receiver Alex Lagemann — now at Cal — and will be counting on returnee Andy Capek to anchor a run-and-gun offense.
M-A, however, returns starting quarterback Troy McCabe, who as a junior last season passed for more than 1,000 yards.
“I think we’re going to be pretty potent,” Sykes said. “We just have to be consistent and not turn the ball over.”
Sykes used to coach Saratoga, though he says M-A has never before played the Falcons. M-A went one-and-out in the CCS Large School Division last year, falling at home to Santa Teresa in a 14-7 thriller.
Jefferson at San Ramon Valley (Danville), 6 p.m.
This will be a definite test for the Indians, as they travel on the road to face a Wolves team that went 10-2 last year and is consistently one of the East Bay’s best teams from the competitive East Bay Athletic Legaue. To stay close, Jefferson will need bruising fullback Basil Bondoc to move the ball and help control the clock.
Menlo School (0-0) vs. Quincy (0-0) at Feather River CC, 7 p.m.
Menlo takes on Quincy for the first time in the school’s history, with a pair of quarterbacks vying for the starting job. Travis Boyce and Matt Corley will both get looks to lead the Knights’ run-and-shoot offense.
Serra at Buchanan (Clovis), 7:30 p.m.
The Padres open against Buchanan for the second straight year, after defeating the Bears 35-14 last season to begin their postseason charge. Serra coach Patrick Walsh expects Buchanan to air the ball out, which will test Padres linebackers J.P. Hurrell and Sean Sabian.
Saturday’s game – El Camino (0-0) at Sacred Heart Prep (Atherton) (0-0), 1:30 p.m.
The Colts are looking to last year’s leading rusher, Charles Truong, to lead the charge. El Camino is 2-0 against SHP over the past two seasons and started the year 3-0 last year before losing seven straight.