Like so many high school football teams, I need to bounce back from a tough week. After going 2-3 last week, I did some soul-searching. I had to ask myself if I was really invested in the season, or if I was going to just start mailing it in when times got tough.
I took a long hard look in the mirror and decided that I was going to give it all I had, for myself, for my family, for my team. If I lose anyway, well, at least I left it all on the field.
With that said, here are my picks for the week.
(5) Alameda over El Cerrito — I haven’t seen Alameda, but I saw the fact that the Hornets beat what turns out to be a halfway decent Bishop O’Dowd team in Week 1. And, I have seen El Cerrito. Sure, it was in the weird, no-fan game on Monday at De Anza, but that team simply did not look crisp. Throw in the fact that the Gauchos will be playing their second game in five days, and that they’re at Alameda, and I’m taking a flying stab that Alameda’s defense is better than De Anza’s (which still managed six takeaways on Monday), and I’m going with the Hornets.
(4) YV over Liberty — Call me a Warriors homer if you want, but this team is on a solid roll after a crazy hiccup against Clayton Valley in Week 2. They’ve recorded dominant wins over Deer Valley (21-0) and Skyline (35-7) entering the game. The Lions, though, are coming off a thrilling 30-29 come-from-behind win over Carson in Carson City, Nev. in which QB Jason Smith completed 27 of 43 pass attempts for 334 yards. Still, the Lions only rushed for 29 yards in that game, and allowed 168 rushing yards. If the Warriors can put the clamps on Smith, this one could get out of hand.
(3) Las Lomas over Miramonte — The Knights have been the best team in the DFAL since league play started, including a tough win over Alhambra. Despite an easy 29-0 win over Concord last week, the Matadors have yet to really hit their stride. Bet money on the fact that both of these teams will be geeked for this game. I just think the Knights have more horses this time around.
(2) Cal over Foothill — The Grizzlies get Foothill the week after a 34-20 loss at Monte Vista. Welcome to the EBAL! Yeesh. That’s a rough way to start league. The Falcons have been rolling, but I don’t think they’ve faced a team with the kind of crisp offense Cal can bring (when it isn’t pressing, like it did at MV). This one has all the makings of a classic, and I’m sticking with the team I picked to win the league. Of course, I’ve been wrong before…
(1) De La Salle over Mission Viejo — The Diablos are getting a little too big for their britches. I think it’s about time someone knocks them down a peg. Why not the Spartans? DLS played MV basically to a standstill last year, and the Diablos has Mark Sanchez on their side then. This year, the Spartans don’t have to worry about the pass as much, meaning they’ll be geared up to stuff big RB Chane Moline. Look for California’s No. 5 to upset CA No. 1 (and the No. 2 team in the country) in a Southern Cal stunner.
Pittsburg over Deer Valley — The list of truly compelling matchups was kinda slim this week, but I’m going with a surging Pirates squad over the surprisingly rudderless Wolverines. But this one could be interesting, especially if DV figures out a way to get Chris Allen more involved in the offense.