Second-season suspicions

After an unscheduled hiatus in Week 10, the Friday Forecast is back in action, just in time for the playoffs.
We took a week off unexpectedly, thanks largely to the fact that most of our games were switched to Thursday, and we couldn’t think of a catchy name for a Thursday predictions entry.
You’d think we could plan far enough in advance to be prepared for that sort of thing. But you’d be wrong.
Hey, we’re journalists, not schedule makers.
When last we met, The Dizzy had cut Chace’s 6-point lead clean in half by scoring 15 points to his 12. Chace now leads 72-69. Ben and Curtis played even in Week 9, both scoring 11 points and now stand at 54 and 53 points, respectively, entering the playoffs.
So, without further ado, let’s get on with the Forecast.

5) Ygnacio Valley over El Cerrito — I’ve been accused of disrespecting teams from the West side of the hills, and I can’t really argue with that. I wouldn’t really call it a lack of respect, however. I tend to think I’ve got a pretty good handle on what’s going on in the high school football world, and the fact of the matter is, this year, the ACCAL and the BSAL weren’t exactly at their best. Meanwhile, the EBAL was unbelievable (six out of seven teams made the playoffs, 24-4 overall record vs. nonleague opponents). The BVAL was pretty good, too, and YV’s only losses were to teams in higher classifications (Clayton Valley, Pitt, DLS).
None of which is going to make the Gauchos feel any better after the top-seeded Warriors rack up 300+ punishing rushing yards in a first round win.

4) San Ramon Valley over Hayward — Here we go again with the Central County bias. I know the Farmers are the No. 1 seed, and the Wolves are 5-5, the No. 8 seed, and were the last at-large team to earn a berth in the NCS 3A East Bay bracket. But let’s remember that SRV lost three of its games by 7 or fewer points, and that the other two were to 4A teams that went undefeated (Monte Vista and San Leandro). Let’s also remember that the Wolves lost to SL by 20 points (34-14), and the Farmers lost by 14 (26-12). In my book, that’s about a push.
I just think the Wolves, by virtue of having played a grossly more competitive season in the EBAL, have essentially been playing playoff games for the last seven weeks. They’re battle-tested.

3) Clayton Valley over Las Lomas — I always have trouble picking against the Knights and Doug Longero, but you have to give the edge to the red-hot Eagles, who roll into the playoffs on a 5-game winning streak after starting the season 1-4. Las Lomas, on the other hand, sorta sputtered down the stretch, missing a shot at an outright DFAL crown by losing to Dublin in Week 10 while Miramonte topped Alhambra to grab a share.
This might end up being another barn-burner, though, like the 2003 3A EB title game…

2) Pitt over San Leandro — What can I say? I like the underdog. But with the way Romont Taylor is running the ball for Pitt, I’m not sure they’re that much of an underdog. I don’t know if speedy San Leandro has been forced to match up with this kind of team speed yet this season. We’ll see how SL fares against its mirror image.

1) California over Foothill — This is the classic home-team-wins-it game. Despite a lopsided regular-season win, I don’t think the Griz are really that much better than the Falcons, per se. I’d be stunned if Cal can out-rush Foothill 251-21 like it did during the first meeting, and I’m guessing the score will be closer than the 35-21 win Cal put up in EBAL play. Sweeney’s had five weeks to make adjustments since that loss, and it will show on the field. I do think the Grizzlies will end up gutting it out, though.

SWING TIME: Miramonte over Piedmont — The Mats are playing scary-good defense right now, and quarterback Chris Vasilas is hitting on all cylinders. It’d be a surprise if the Highlanders got anything going against them, even though, as a league champ, they earned the home field in the first round.

OTHER LOCALS: These picks don’t count for points, but they could help mitigate the shame I may have to endure should I, the football writer, end up trailing Chace in the standings when all is said and done. (And yeah, I will be keeping track of these, too. Just because I can.)

DLS over James Logan Romp city.
Monte Vista over Amador Valley — Just like in the regular season: close but no cigar for the Dons.
Acalanes over Bishop O’Dowd — The Dons are still steaming over a perceived snub by the seeding committee. Here’s guessing they take it out on the defending champs.
Dublin over Encinal — The Gaels are clicking right now. Watch for a big game from Plimmer.
Granada over Pinole Valley — That’s right. I picked the bottom half of every first-round matchup in the 3A East Bay bracket. Deal with it.
Alameda over Irvington — Get ready to take a ride on the Jonathan Ve’e express…
Justin-Siena over St. Mary’s — The Braves just keep rolling in Class A.
Salesian over John Swett — With the emergence of WR Andre Wells and QB David Singleton and the continued good play of RB Jahvid Best, the Chieftains are too multi-faceted on offense for the Indians to handle.


  • benos

    The Dizzy catches flak for dissing West County but I’ve seen West Co. games all year and I’m telling you right now that any kudos he may give to the “other side of the hill” (as we call it out here), are justified. If anyone should be saying west county gets dissed, it would be me. But let’s face it, the ACCAL and BSAL were not super good this year. Now, in the words of Darrell Waltrip, let’s go racin!

    (5) YV over El Cerrito
    I saw EC’s win over Berkeley last week, and it wasn’t pretty. They did, however, show a lot of heart in sticking with the Yellow Jackets, but I’m not too comfortable saying it was a great win when Berkeley’s RB Dwayne Adams goes down in the 1st Quarter with an injury. That said, run, run, run for the hills and watch Coach I’s boys emerge victorious. Dizzy, you might want to play tonight for the Gauchos…

    (4) Hayward over SRV
    I’m not buying this underdog theme today. If I had to pick the Farmers to cover a spread, I’d go with SRV. But, I’m going with the Farmers in a squeaker.

    (3) San Leandro over Pittsburg
    SL is a machine right now. Yes, I know Pitt is playing well with Taylor getting the ball, but San Leandro dominated a somewhat decent HAAL. Maybe I’m just picking against the Dizzy on all of these to make up points?

    (2) Clayton Valley over Las Lomas
    I too have a hard time picking against coach Longero’s bunch. If you had to buy a ticket to any game this weekend, wouldn’t it be this one? These two teams locked up in a game for the ages two years ago and these coaches will see to it that the intensity is there again.

    (1) California over Foothill
    I have no idea here. Pick Em. I’m picking Cal.

    (Swing) Salesian over John Swett
    I’ve seen both of these teams this year and I think this is a mismatch. Both teams will start the game looking to run with three of West County’s best backs in Jahvid Best, Jake Haskell and Santario Carson. But, the difference will come when David Singleton and Andre Wells continue their dominance of smaller defensive backfields for the Chieftains.

    And for kicks, I’ll follow the trend and try to redeem my horrific season in one fell swoop:

    DLS over James Logan

    Monte Vista over Amador: I’ll pay money to see MV and DLS at the end.

    Bishop O’Dowd over Acalanes: Give my team Louis Arnold and watch us run for 400 more yards.

    Dublin over Encinal

    Pinole Valley over Granada: This is going to be a shootout.

    Alameda over Irvington

    Justin-Siena over St. Mary’s: Another game I’d pay to see at the end – Salesian v. Justin Siena

    Miramonte over Piedmont