FRIDAY FORECAST: No time for a letdown

Finally! After another strong week, the upper hand is on the other foot. I have surged into a six-point advantage, but I’m not letting it go to my head. A few missed extra points and a careless turnover could lead to a tragic final-week downfall. But I’m still confident, and there will be no "playing it safe". As Don Henley once sang, "Kick ‘em when they’re up, kick ‘em when they’re down."

And with that said, here are this week’s games.

(5) Foothill over Liberty: The Falcons came within eight minutes of upsetting Monte Vista last week, and they have had to chew on that for a six days. Oh, those poor, poor Lions.

(4) Monte Vista over Amador Valley: Over the next two weeks, we’ll finally get to the heart of Amador Valley. What will we find? My guess is a group of overachievers who will play hard enough to stay in games against the Mustangs and rival Foothill, but won’t have the firepower to get it over the top and pull off an upset.

(3) Pinole Valley over El Cerrito: The Gauchos’ stumble at Encinal last week makes this a little more interesting, especially since the Spartans were idle due to a Richmond forfeit. Still, I have to figure that Pinole Valley isn’t going to leave anything in doubt for Week 10 and will make sure to clinch a share of the ACCAL title this week.

(2) Acalanes over Alhambra: The confidence of Acalanes must be soaring this week after going into Las Lomas and taking a convincing 16-7 win. That confidence, in addition to Alhambra having its troubles at home this season, could lead to another big win for the Dons. Plus, the Bulldogs defense is going to look like welcome mat after facing the Las Lomas defense.

(1) Casa Grande over Pittsburg: What happened to the Pirates last week? Geesh!! Perhaps some of the youth on the team is beginning to show. If that’s the case, they could have a hard time getting back on track against a very experienced Gauchos group.

Swing time — Miramonte over Campolindo: The Lamorinda rivalry bragging rights return to the green and silver this season. The Matadors defense will be the difference.