Archbishop Riordan quarterback Azaan Ledbetter (10) hands the ball off to Fazon Ruth in a game against Terra Nova on Aug. 30, 2019 in Pacifica, Calif. (Ryan Gorcey / S.F. Examiner)

SF Preps Football Preview: Riordan faces test in Week 3

Crusaders look to go 3-0 for first time since 2015, Balboa looks to bounce back

Riordan (2-0) at Napa-Justin-Siena (3-0), Fri., Sept. 13, 7 p.m.: The Crusaders haven’t gone 3-0 since 2015, and they’ll face a major challenge in the Braves. Like Week 1 opponent Terra Nova, Justin-Siena likes to throw the ball around, but they also have a big, bruising running back in 6-foot-2, 195-pound junior Noah Young. Do-everything senior Solomone Anitoni plays receiver, running back and defensive back, while Hudson Beers slings the rock. Last season, Beers threw for 1,363 yards and 14 touchdowns to seven interceptions on junior varsity.

The Crusaders have rushed for over 300 yards in each of their first two games, led by 495 yards and six touchdowns from junior Fazon Ruth. Fullback Kemoeatu Kefu has 157 rushing yards of his own, and Aden Jackson has 138 yards on 16 carries.

St. Ignatius (1-1) vs. Spokane (Wash.) Gonzaga Prep (1-0), Sat., Sept. 14, 3 p.m.: The Bullpups come to the Sunset District after beating the Wildcats 42-37 last season, a campaign which ended in a Washington 4A state quarterfinals appearance. St. Ignatius returns home to what’s become a raucous student section, and they’re led by Division I prospect Teddye Buchanan.

On defense, Buchanan has racked up 18 tackles, six tackles for loss, three sacks, a pass breakup, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. At quarterback, he’s completed 24 of 39 passes for 373 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing 15 times for 59 yards and two more scores. Receiver Danny Ryan — a soccer star —has caught 14 passes for 279 yards and two touchdowns so far.

Lowell (1-1) at San Jose-Harker (1-1), Fri., Sept. 13, 7 p.m.: Harker has now faced two AAA opponents and split, getting stomped 57-22 at the hands of Alfonzo Smith and Burton in Week 1, but beating Washington 20-6 in Week 2. The Cardinals were especially good against the run in an 18-12 win over Albany, and that rushing defense will be tested by the Eagles, led by senior running back Devin Keller. The Cardinals flashed a tough ground game of their own in the opener, thanks to 89 yards on 21 carries by junior Brandon Ng, but he’ll be faced with a tough customer up front in two-way lineman Nicholas Coulter. Harker is not big (Coulter checks in at 6-foot, 210 pounds), but it’s known for speed and execution.

Mission (0-2) at Sequoia (1-1), Fri., Sept. 13, 7 p.m.: Mission trailed 15-12 late in the third quarter last week against Santa Clara, but the Bears couldn’t get any closer, as the Bruins pulled away for a 36-12 win. Still, there were some bright spots, including running back Will Delaney, who ripped off 96 rushing yards on just 10 carries. The Bears, though, aren’t one-dimensional. Quarterback Jamariea threw two touchdown passes and totaled 173 yards through the air. Sequoia, on the other hand, has been primarily employed a ground-based attack, with 385 rushing yards on 51 carries, compared to just 218 passing yards on 31 attempts. Their top back is senior Simon Talauati, who’s averaging 7.2 yards per carry and 123 yards per game.

Washington (0-1) vs. Richmond (0-2), Fri., Sept. 13, 3 p.m.: The Eagles’ defense was tough against San Jose-Harker last week, holding them to one score through the first three quarters. Washington, though, couldn’t hold in the fourth quarter, allowing 13 unanswered points. The Oilers have been outscored 72-6 in their first two games, with Burton running roughshod over them last week to the tune of a 32-6 win.

Balboa (0-1) at Daly City-Jefferson (1-1), Fri., Sept. 13, 7 p.m.: The Buccaneers lost 27 of 44 players from last year’s team, but a strong JV team that went 7-0 in 2018 has moved up to replace them. Balboa has a strong secondary and returns top running back AJ Velasquez, who’s been getting Division I recruiting attention, but has not yet played this season. 

The Buccaneers fell 55-0 to Woodinville (Wash.) in Week 1, but Jefferson doesn’t quite present the same offensive threat. In Week 1 against Half Moon Bay, the Grizzlies went just 1-for-10 passing and rushed 16 times for 99 yards. They were a shade better in a 28-0 win over Los Altos, but the Eagles are coming off a middling 4-6 season.

Sacred Heart Cathedral (0-2) at Aptos (0-2), Fri., Sept. 13, 7 p.m.: The Irish have had a hard time replacing graduated every-down back Anthony Heard, and depth issues have caused them to fade late in each of the first two weeks. Aptos, despite its record, is experienced virtually everywhere, except for the quarterback spot, which should ease the pressure on Sacred Heart Cathedral’s inexperienced secondary. The Irish should also be getting playmaker Tyrice Ivy Jr. back from a concussion, which should help immensely against a defense that has a lot of length. The Mariners return senior running back/defensive tackle Josh Powell (5-9, 185), senior fullback/linebacker Deyondre Gomez (6-0, 215) and senior running back/defensive end Vaughn Holland (6-1.5, 175).

Galileo (0-2) vs. Concord-Ygnacio Valley (2-0), Sat., Sept. 14, 2 p.m.: The Lions lost their six top two-way players and have been outscored 83-6 in the first two weeks of the season. The Warriors have only played one game (their opener was forfeited by Crockett), but looked strong in a 48-26 win over Stockton-Brookside Christian. Galileo tackle Joseph Ale is back playing after missing time with injury. He missed all of last season, and is among the best players in the City.

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