It’ll be one of those nights where you want to be in about five places at once. The list of high school football games being played Friday night is chock full of matchups that have league championship implications or local bragging rights. Since this is the first week where play in most East Bay leagues gets underway, we’ll renew the Weekly Forecast, where some Times writers try to predict the outcomes of a handful of important games. We’ll weigh each game, with the game that has the highest number beside it being the prediction we feel most confident in. Those of you that saw our forecasts last year know what we’re talking about. Those of you that didn’t, well, just follow along and have some fun with it. As always, you’re welcome to comment on our predictions.
(6) Deer Valley over Antioch — Cinderella’s been wearing black and gold through the first three weeks of the season, as the Panthers are off to their first 3-0 start since 2003. This game’s bound to be a barnburner, but you have feel like Rich Woods has taken his team to a new level this season.
(5) Clayton Valley over Ygnacio Valley — Eagles coach Herc Pardi either downplayed what his team would be like this season to local sportswriters or is doing an incredible job of coaching his smaller-than-usual team. Probably a little bit of both. If Clayton Valley QB Joey Levine can eliminate any mistakes, then Clayton should win this battle of longtime rivals. Note: Pardi played at YV’s field as a senior at CV in 1969.
(4) Monte Vista over Foothill — I’d feel a little more comfortable with this pick if Mustangs RB Peter Geurts was playing. As it is, I think MV is better prepared just because their nonleague schedule was more challenging. It may come down to the wire, but QB Drew McAllister has shown he’s comfortable in just about any situation.
(3) Las Lomas over Alhambra — The Knights did just enough to get by Dublin two weeks ago before blowing out Mt. Diablo last week. Doug Longero’s teams seem to get a little better every game, and if they hold Brandon Rutley to under 100 yards, then the Knights will still have a place atop the DFAL.
(2) Salesian over Sacred Heart Cathedral — This is a big game for the Chieft… er, Salesians. It seems they don’t get a ton of respect, even though they feature the best running back in Northern California. It says here that Salesian comes back over the Bay Bridge with a win, and a little more respect.
(1) Hayward over Amador Valley — The Dons have been rolling so far this season, and their dismantling of Irvington last week showed that they will be a force in the EBAL this year. But Hayward looks to be putting together something special this season, and their team speed could end up being the difference.