Cloudy, with a chance of explosive offense.
I won’t claim to have a ‘lock’ this week, as Chace and I are trying to pick five of the most competitive games of the week for The Forecast. But in the interest of bragging rights, I’ve ranked my picks from most confident on down.
Sadly, Chace and I agree on the probable outcome of three of the five games this week, and for similar reasons. But those other two could be veeeeery interesting.
(5) Foothill over Berkeley
The Falcons just seem to have the Yellow Jackets number. They pulled out a gritty 21-7 win in Berkeley last year against a very physical Jackets defense. And the last time the Yellow Jackets played at Foothill, the Falcons clobbered ‘em 37-0 on Sept. 7, 2001. Sure, these teams are not those teams, but Foothill coach Matt Sweeney just seems to know how to get things done against the fast, physical Berkeley squads.
(4) California over Alameda
First, the Hornets must be lauded for their impressive 14-13 season-opening win over highly touted Bishop O’Dowd. However, the Grizzlies have a certain swagger about them after the way they romped over Vanden last week. Cal 2005 is reminiscent of San Ramon Valley 2004 — outstanding at skill positions and able to do everything well offensively. The Wolves went 11-2 and won a section title last year. The Griz could be on their way to a crown in the loaded EBAL for the same reasons.
BOD is a run first, run second offense. I’m not sure Alameda’s defense can handle the kind of versatility Cal is going to throw at it.
(3) De La Salle over Serra-San Mateo
Put it this way: There’s no way the Spartans open the season 0-2 for the second straight year. Like Chace said, there will be hounds, and they will be released.
I just don’t see the student (Patrick Walsh) eclipsing the master (Bob Ladouceur) at this point. Yes, Walsh has a good thing going in San Mateo, but Lad’s the genius — maybe the best high school football coach in the country. Rest assured, he’s already figured out a way to jump-start the offense. And those kids are going to be fired up to win at home. That 7-0 loss to Clovis West last week was probably the worst news Walsh got all month…
(2) Ygnacio Valley over Clayton Valley
Considering how much trouble the Eagles had with College Park’s veer last week, there’s a good chance the Warriors, too, could run hog-wild with their double-wing ground attack. Recent history favors YV in the matchup — the Warriors have won five of the past six meetings, including a 28-27 squeaker last year. YV’s defense looked tough vs. Alhambra, and that passing game is sneaky-effective.
On the other hand, the Eagles likely are still stinging from the error-filled 49-33 Week 1 loss, and could come into their home-opener with a load of emotion. Hence the reason for only valuing this pick at 2.
(1) Acalanes over Miramonte
What can I say? I love a punishing running attack. The Dons seem to have that in spades with Chris Bohannan, and coach Ron Thompson loves to pound the rock. If Acalanes manages to beat the Matadors for the third time in six meetings, it will be because Thompson, Bohannon and Co. win the time-of-possession battle with the ground game, just like they did in a 14-10 playoff win in 2002.
The young Matadors clearly started to figure things out as their tough 2004 season went along, and seem to have made the most of their experiences. WR Chucky Watts is the real deal — a speed burner who runs good routes and catches the ball. And when he does, he’s tough to track down. The question marks are QB Clark Feusier and the other receivers and backs. When Watts is getting triple teamed, will they rise to the occasion?
Maybe the most evenly matched game of the week. There’s a good chance this one turns on one or two plays.
Other compelling games: Campolindo vs. College Park at DVC, Alhambra at Dublin, Pittsburg at Freedom, Salesian at John Swett, McClymonds at Granada.
Think you can do better? Bring it with a comment. As an added bonus, if you make weekly picks along with Chace and me (and any other CCT prepsters, hint, hint), I promise to keep standings for all participants. If you you score more points than I do when all is said and done, I’ll let you taunt me publicly.
That’s some prize, eh?