Oakland area football previews


De Anza (0-7, 0-4) at Berkeley (6-1, 3-0), 5:30 p.m.

Last week: De Anza lost to Pinole Valley 49-15; Berkeley beat Alameda 52-0

Notes: The Dons were tied 7-7 with Pinole Valley after a quarter last week after Greg Vidal hit Demario Williams with a 17-yard touchdown pass. To compete with Berkeley, De Anza will need Vidal to make plays with his arm, hitting Williams and the ACCAL’s leading receiver, Tommy Phimpavahn. The Yellowjackets appear nearly unbeatable in the ACCAL after a 52-0 win over Alameda. Berkeley continues to be a force on the ground and Rickey Galvin continues to emerge as a legit threat on every carry. He is averaging 8.3 yards per carry and is second in the league with 759 yards after 142 against the Hornets.

Durkin’s prediction: Berkeley 48, De Anza 7

Alameda (2-6, 2-2) at Pinole Valley (4-3, 2-2), 7 p.m.

Last week: Alameda lost to Berkeley 52-0; Pinole Valley beat De Anza 49-15

Notes: Even though Berkeley seems to be in control of the ACCAL and El Cerrito is in good shape in second place, the Hornets and Spartans play a big game tonight. Both teams are tied at 2-2 in the league as they look to finish strong. Alameda usually has a very strong ground game with James Powell and Romel Obcena, who have combined for over 900 yards and are third and fifth, respectively, in the ACCAL. The Spartans also have a great ground game behind league leader Tyrell Smallwood, who has rushed for 799 yards. Pinole Valley also found its passing game last week when Derek Crenshaw threw for five touchdowns.

Durkin’s prediction: Pinole Valley 21, Alameda 17


St. Patrick-St. Vincent (6-1, 4-0) at Encinal (7-0, 4-0), 7 p.m.

Last week: St. Patrick-St. Vincent beat; Albany 26-12; Encinal beat St. Mary’s 41-14

Notes: It’s not hard to figure out the signifigance of this game with both teams bringing in unbeaten BSAL records. Michael Meekins is the league’s leading rusher with 846 yards and is coming off a two-touchdown performance against Albany. The Jets have been looking forward to this game for some time and have a chance to make a big step toward their first league title since a co-championship in 1994 as members of the ACCAL when it was a two-division league. Dominique Sashington and Xavier Milton are both coming off three-touchdown games and QB Jonathan Brown is fourth in the league in rushing and passing yards. SPSV won the last meeting in 2006.

Durkin’s prediction: Encinal 38, St. Patrick-St. Vincent 21

Kennedy (4-3, 2-2) at Albany (3-4, 1-3), 3:30 p.m.

Last week: Kennedy lost to Piedmont 33-26; Albany lost to St. Patrick-St. Vincent 26-12

Notes: The Eagles showed a lot of heart last week in battling back from a 26-0 deficit against Piedmont. Second-string quarterback Darious Johnson threw for 147 yards and three touchdowns during the furious rally. Now they have to carry it over to face an Albany team led by quarterback Andrew Spivey. The Cougars kept it close against the same St. Patrick-St. Vincent team before falling 26-12. A win for Kennedy would give it five wins and enhance its playoff changes.

Durkin’s prediction: Kennedy 28, Albany 21

St. Mary’s (2-5, 1-3 BSAL) at John Swett (2-5, 1-3), 7:30 p.m.

Last week: St. Mary’s lost to Encinal 41-14, Swett beat Moreau Catholic 47-22.

Notes: A week after their first on-field victory, the Panthers faced an uphill battle against Encinal. St. Mary’s gave up 365 yards of offense and 41 points, including 27 in the first half, to the host Jets last week. Quarterback Jelani Rivera hit wide receiver Najee Lovett for the Panthers two touchdowns on 23 and 29 yard scores. The Indians Matthew Word, Johnson Sheppard and Anthony Arguello each found the endzone in the fourth quarter to help Swett defeat Moreau Catholic for its first league win. Arguello completed 10-of-13 for 213 yards and two touchdowns.

Durkin’s prediction: St. Mary’s 28, John Swett21


Skyline (1-6, 0-2) at Castlemont (5-1-1, 2-0), 3:30 p.m.

Last week: Skyline lost to Fremont 34-20; Castlemont beat McClymonds 39-7

Notes: The Titans didn’t find the end zone offensively last week, but a fumble return by Eric Tuihalangingie, a punt return by Ryan Norris and a kick return by Darquis Rucker got Skyline on the board. The offense will need more production this week against the Knights. Castlemont showed off the East Bay’s top-ranked defense by holding Mack to minus-50 yards last week and it now is allowing 101.4 yards per game. Aaron Horne had four touchdowns last week and continues to lead the OAL in scoring with 17 TDs and 108 points.

Durkin’s prediction: Castlemont 33, Skyline 7

Oakland Tech (1-6, 0-2) vs. Fremont (6-1, 2-0) at Curt Flood Field, 3:30 p.m.

Last week: Oakland Tech lost to Oakland 19-16; Fremont beat Skyline 34-20

Notes: The Bulldogs suffered their toughest loss of the year as they watched Oakland rally with 12 points in the final two and a half minutes. Ryan Murphy caught a pair of TD passes from QB Justin Wilson to help Tech build a 16-7 lead. The Tigers continued to roll, getting a big day from Roy Beltz Jr. (171 rushing yards, 3 TDs) and the defense didn’t surrender a point. Turnovers have been a problem with 11 in the past two weeks, something to watch for on what could be a wet field.

Durkin’s prediction: Fremont 31, Oakland Tech 14

Oakland (5-2, 1-1) at McClymonds (2-5, 0-2), 3:30 p.m.

Last week: Oakland beat Oakland Tech 19-16; McClymonds lost to Castlemont 39-7

Notes: The Wildcats were in danger of falling way back in the playoff race before rallying to beat Tech. Damante Horton helped lead the comeback, finishing with 62 rushing yards on six carries and catches five passes for 135 yards and a touchdown. The Warriors offense couldn’t get it going against Castlemont’s top-ranked defense, gaining positive yards on only five plays and netting minus-50 yards of offense. Lathen Gibbs provided the highlight with a 14-yard fumble return for a touchdown.

Durkin’s prediction: Oakland 21, McClymonds 16


Richmond (1-6, 1-2) at El Cerrito (4-3, 3-0), 1:30 p.m.

Last Week: Richmond beat Hercules 12-7; El Cerrito had a bye

Notes: The Gauchos can’t get caught looking ahead in either of their next two games before a possible league show down with Berkeley. El Cerrito should not overlook a fired up Richmond team that is finding success in the Wing-T offense, which showed in a 12-7 win over Hercules last week. Donte Brown scored both touchdowns, the first on a 99-yard run and the second on a 90-yard kick return to win the game. El Cerrito is coming off a bye after a 28-14 win over Hercules two weeks ago in which Andre Williams scored all four Gaucho touchdowns.

Durkin’s prediction: El Cerrito 28, Richmond 12


Castro Valley (1-6, 1-3) at Bishop O’Dowd (6-1, 3-1), 2:45 p.m.

Last week: Castro Valley lost to Hayward 47-27; Bishop O’Dowd lost to San Leandro 40-13

Notes: The Trojans were burned on the ground for 321 yards last week. Castro Valley’s defense is ranked No. 6 in the league, allowing 329 yards per game. The Trojans are second in the HAAL in offense (384.3 yards per game), led by QB Michael Rojas and WR’s Darnell Reed and Dominic Shortridge. The Dragons were bruised in last week’s loss, losing QB Matt Balich to injury and RB Mario Brown for part of the game. BOD’s defense was torched on the ground and air, giving up 428 total yards. The Dragons are led by RB’s Brown and Che’Rod Simpson — the No. 2 and No. 3 rushers in the league.

Durkin’s prediction: Bishop O’Dowd 35, Castro Valley 14


Piedmont (5-2, 3-1) at Moreau Catholic (0-4, 0-7), 7 p.m.

Last week: Piedmont beat Kennedy-Richmond 33-26; Moreau Catholic lost to John Swett 47-22

Notes: The Highlanders scored the games first 26 points then held on to beat Kennedy. WR Joey Andrade caught two TD passes, while QB Jeremy George threw for 115 yards and two TDs. The Mariners continued to struggle on offense last week, gaining only 121 yards. RB Christopher Allen had 72 yards on 12 carries. Moreau’s defense was shredded, allowing 431 yards.

Durkin’s prediction: Piedmont 38, Moreau Catholic 7

Jimmy Durkin

Jimmy Durkin is a sports writer for the Bay Area News Group.