Lincoln (3-0) @ El Camino (1-2), Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Already boasting solid wins over Capuchino and Piedmont, the Mustangs have a chance to continue bolstering their resume with a nonleague showdown against the Colts. El Camino has lost two straight, most recently a 38-0 tilt with Half Moon Bay, but the one win brought enough thrills to last for a while. The Colts won their opener, 20-19 over San Mateo, on a last-second 41-yard Hail Mary from Noel Valdez to Jonas Junio. Lincoln has won three straight meetings with El Camino, including the last two by identical 14-13 scores.
Valley Christian (2-1) @ Sacred Heart Cathedral (2-1), Friday, 7 p.m. at Kezar Stadium
So far, the Fightin’ Irish have put up a strong showing despite their inexperience, with only a tight loss to a strong Palma team. They’ll have a chance to make a major statement against one of the WCAL’s regular powers, a Valley Christian team that features three-star tight end Skylar Loving-Black. It’s a surprise to see the Warriors entering league play with a loss, a defeat that came to Santa Clara-Wilcox to open the season.
Serra (1-2) @ Mitty (2-1), Friday, 7 p.m. at Foothill College
A battle of two stellar quarterbacks will take place at foothill College on Friday night, with Serra senior pocket passer Luke Bottari facing Mitty’s junior dual-threat Shamir Bey. The question is which team’s supporting cast can step up. In both of last year’s meetings — including a one-sided CCS quarterfinal — the Padres’ depth made the difference.
California School for the Deaf (4-0) @ Burton (3-0), Friday, 3:30 p.m.
The Pumas are off to an impressive 3-0 start, but they’ll be facing their toughest opponent yet on Friday afternoon when they host an undefeated Eagles team that’s coming off a 44-0 shutout of Washington on September 7.
Balboa (2-0) @ Santa Rosa (3-2), Friday, 7 p.m.
Having shut out two teams that are typically at the bottom of the regional pecking order, Balboa’s competition will kick up a notch with Friday’s trip to take on the Panthers. Santa Rosa’s three wins include victories over Petaluma and Windsor.
Lowell (0-1) @ Harker (3-2), Friday, 7 p.m.
The Cardinals put up a respectable showing in last week’s 28-20 loss at Santa Rosa-Piner, and they’ll now head down to San Jose to take on a Harker team that has a 40-6 win over Washington under its belt.
Eureka-St. Bernard’s (5-0) @ Marin Catholic (1-3), Saturday, 2 p.m.
This is a clear case of a game where the records don’t tell the full story. Yes, the Crusaders are 5-0, but the competition they’ve faced behind the Redwood Curtain doesn’t have the pedigree of Marin Catholic. Conversely, the Wildcats do have three losses, but those came to regional and state title contenders in Campolindo, McClymonds and Antioch.
St. Ignatius (0-3) @ St. Francis (2-1), Friday, 7 p.m.
SI enters league play battle-tested from a grueling nonleague schedule, which is a good way to prepare for a league opener against one of the WCAL’s top title contenders. St. Francis is a defending state champion and is expected to be neck-and-neck with Serra. The Lancers are loaded at the skill positions with Evan Williams and three-sport star Maurice Wilmer, and they’ve got tons of talent on the lines in Mose Vavao, Nikko Pohahau and tight end Joshua Pakola, a four-star recruit who may wind up choosing Stanford over offers from Notre Dame, UCLA, USC, Georgia and others.
Galileo (2-1) @ San Lorenzo (0-4), Saturday, 1:30 p.m.
Coming off a loss to Rio Vista in a NorCal title rematch, the Lions will travel to face a Rebels team that has been in two tight games and two blowouts. It’s an excellent opportunity for a bounce-back performance for a Galileo defense that gave up 54 points last week, as San Lorenzo hasn’t scored more than 15 in a game.
Riordan (1-2) @ Bellarmine (1-2), Friday, 7 p.m. at San Jose City College
Traditionally among the powers of the WCAL, it’s odd to see Bellarmine not among the list of major contenders for the league title, but the Bells still play a tight, fundamentally-sound game and have talent at the skill positions to make up for an undersized line. Both teams traveled to Napa for their final nonleague games, with Bellarmine falling to Vintage and Riordan taking down Napa. Expect the quarterbacks to put up big numbers in what could be a breakout league opener for both Riordan’s Adham Abdelghani and Bellarmine’s Harry Mingrone.
Madison Park Academy (0-3) @ Washington (0-3), Saturday, 3 p.m.
Opportunities are certainly present for the Eagles, taking on a team that has lost a pair of blowouts— including 48-0 to Burton — and forfeited to Albany earlier in the month. A win would give Washington momentum entering league play.