Saturday’s Mission-Lincoln game, a rematch of last year’s AAA Championship, looks to be the most compelling football game within City limits this weekend, but with two WCAL teams trekking down to San Jose and a third playing at Kezar Stadium, it’s far from the only action on the gridiron worth keeping an eye on.
Mission (2-3-1, 2-0 AAA) @ Lincoln (3-1, 2-0), Saturday, 2 p.m.: After losing last year’s Academic Athletic Association championship game 53-0, the Bears will certainly be out for revenge, hoping to hand Lincoln its first league loss since 2017. They may have to do so without the services of quarterback Jamareia Burroughs, who hyperextended his knee at the start of last week’s win over Galileo, but backup Matt Cohn showed he was more than capable of filling in, guiding Mission through a 54-0 rout. Coming off a bye week, the Mustangs will be well-rested. Having posted a 50-0 shutout of Washington in its most recent game, Lincoln hasn’t yielded a single point since September. Through four games, the Mustangs have allowed just 31 points, with more than half of those coming in a 17-14 loss to Piedmont.
Mitty (4-2, 2-1 WCAL) @ Sacred Heart Cathedral (0-6, 0-3), Friday, 7 p.m. at Kezar Stadium: Yes, the Fightin’ Irish are coming off a 61-0 loss to Valley Christian, but the Warriors have established themselves as one of the best teams in the Bay Area. Playing a team of Valley’s caliber makes any other mountain look much easier to summit, and though Mitty is certainly a strong team, SHC is now more than familiar with playing elite competition. Led by quarterback Shamir Bey, wide receiver Reymello Murphy and running back Zach Tabangcura, the Monarchs have become one of the most compelling stories in the Bay Area, barely beating Riordan but following that up by squandering a two-score lead to Serra before ultimately falling 35-29. Even with a 35-9 non-league loss to Marin Catholic, Mitty is averaging 31.7 points per game, meaning the Irish defense will be tested repeatedly while trying to defend their home soil and pick up their first win of the year.
St. Ignatius (4-2, 2-1 WCAL) @ Bellarmine (2-4, 1-2), Friday, 7 p.m. at San Jose City College: With wins over their Jesuit brothers in each of the last two meetings, SI won’t be taking the Bells lightly as they renew their longtime rivalry. A Bellarmine program that’s several years removed from its glory days of earlier in the decade — forecasted by many to be at the bottom of the WCAL — turned heads with last Friday’s victory, and with the league’s strength, the Bells may now be just one or two wins away from a postseason berth after missing out on the playoffs last year. To win a second game in a row, they’ll have to find a way to stop an SI team that’s riding high after putting up 35 points on St. Francis, opening up a 21-0 lead before holding on in the second half. Teddye Buchanan put up 338 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns in that win over the Lancers, though his biggest strength is his ability at linebacker. On Wednesday, the senior announced his commitment to UC Davis, where he’ll feature on defense in the coming years.
Riordan (2-4, 0-3 WCAL) @ Valley Christian (6-0, 3-0), Friday, 7 p.m.: Friday’s double overtime loss to Bellarmine was a reminder of just how unforgiving the WCAL can be, and it won’t get any easier for the Crusaders this week as they head down to San Jose. Valley Christian has outscored opponents 200-39 on the season, beating the likes of Wilcox and Clovis West. Last week’s 61-0 win over Sacred Heart Cathedral was the Warriors’ second shutout of the season as they can rely on a defense led by nose tackle JT Reed and a secondary full of elite talent, including Kavir Bains and Washington State commit Moon Ashby. They’ll make a great challenge for Riordan receiver Zachary Charlton, who had 111 receiving yards last week.
Balboa (2-4, 2-0 AAA) @ Washington (0-5, 0-2), Friday, 3 p.m.: The Buccaneers were rewarded last week for playing a grueling nonleague schedule by beating Burton 38-14, rattling off 26 unanswered points to pull away for their first win on the field (the other was by forfeit). Suddenly, Balboa looks to be in prime position to make the AAA playoffs for a second straight year, and should they manage to beat a Washington team that’s been shut out in four consecutive games. Balboa will be on the verge of qualifying for the postseason just three weeks into league play. With a six-game league schedule and four of the seven teams reaching the playoffs, a 3-0 start would all but seal a second straight year of playoff football for the Buccaneers.
Burton (2-2, 0-1 AAA) @ Galileo (0-6, 0-2), Saturday, 2 p.m.: A loss to Balboa and upcoming games against Mission and Lincoln has effectively made this week a must-win game for the Pumas if they hope to earn their first playoff berth in more than a decade.