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Five East Bay high school football games to watch: Week 6

With league play now underway pretty much everywhere, here are five games to watch.

Washington vs Campolindo High School Football Fremont MoragaAntioch (4-1) at Freedom (3-2), Friday, 7 p.m. — The Bay Valley Athletic League opens with all six teams holding a winning record in nonleague play, signaling that the league should be pretty competitive week in and week out. This opener could be the best. Freedom has played a challenging schedule in the post-Joe Mixon era with respectable results. The only losses were to Granite Bay and Foothill. Meanwhile, Antioch is two points away from being undefeated this year after going 1-9 in 2013. Running back Najee Harris has been a key part of their emergence with over 1,000 rushing yards in just five games.

 Campolindo (6-0) at Alhambra (5-1), Friday, 7 p.m. — The Cougars continue to make winning look easy while the Bulldogs are coming off their first loss of the season, a 28-7 defeat to Acalanes. After dominating in nonleague play, Alhambra has come back to earth a little since DFAL play begin, but could surprise Campolindo. The Cougars are tough to stop on offense with QB Jack Stephens directing the passing game and Nick Fadelli providing balance on the ground.

Amador Valley (4-1) at California (4-1), Friday, 7 p.m. — This game was a little more intriguing before Amador Valley was upset by Monte Vista 17-14 last week, but it is still important. The Grizzlies will have to be careful not to look past the Dons to their Oct. 17 matchup against Foothill that could decide the EBAL title. Amador Valley will be motivated after Monte Vista ended its unbeaten season. Cal QB Jacob Wooldridge is coming off one of his best games of the season, completing 8 of 11 passes for 192 yards and four touchdowns.

Bishop O’Dowd (2-3) at Tennyson (2-2-1), Friday, 3:45 p.m. — Tennyson leaves the WACC’s Shoreline league after winning two straight titles and takes on O’Dowd in its opener as a WACC-Foothill member. The Lancers can be tough to stop on offense behind QB Christian Silva and RB Tukai Laginikoro, but defense is a bit of a concern. O’Dowd and Tennyson have a common opponent in James Logan. The Dragons lost 27-22 last week while the Lancers fells 28-14 in their season opener.

James Logan (4-1) vs. De La Salle (6-0), Saturday, 3 p.m. — If quarterback Christian Leota can’t play (the Colts’ dual-threat star was injured in last week’s 27-22 win over Bishop O’Dowd), James Logan could be in for a long afternoon against a De La Salle team coming off a 70-14 thumping of San Ramon Valley. But no matter the result, both teams (and fans) will get to enjoy Levi’s Stadium, the new billion dollar home of the San Francisco 49ers. The game is part of a prep quadrupleheader at Levi’s, featuring teams from across Northern California. The event was originally scheduled to be a doubleheader on Aug. 29, but a turf issue at the stadium forced the cancellation and the four originally scheduled teams were invited back to play this weekend.

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East Bay football poll — 10/7

With several teams coming off a bye week, there’s minimal movement in our latest East Bay football poll.

Team Record Points Last week
1. De La Salle (5) 6-0 75 1
2. Foothill 5-0 70 2
3. California 4-1 62 3
4. Clayton Valley Charter 5-0 61 4
5. Pittsburg 3-2 56 5
6. San Ramon Valley 2-3 49 6
7. Campolindo 6-0 47 7
8. McClymonds 4-0 38 8
9. James Logan 4-1 37 9
10. Concord 5-0 30 10
11. Liberty 5-0 25 12
12. St. Mary’s 6-0 20 13
13. Las Lomas 5-1 12 NR
14. Freedom 3-2 6 15
t15. Antioch 4-1 5 NR
t15. Amador Valley 4-1 5 11

Also receiving votes:  Las Lomas (4-1, 1 vote), Kennedy-Fremont (5-0, 1), Antioch (4-1, 1).  The East Bay Football Poll is voted on by the prep sports staff of Bay Area News Group East Bay. Records are through Saturday.

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Army All-American tour to visit Clayton Valley Charter

CTR-DVALPREV-0829-03The Army All-American Bowl selection tour is coming to Clayton Valley Charter next week to honor defensive lineman Kahlil McKenzie. The Tennessee commit was selected for the prestigious all-star game, which will be played Jan. 3 at the Alamodome, earlier this year.

McKenzie will be honored in a ceremony on Oct. 10 at the school. He’ll receive his honorary jersey for the game in front of family, friends, teammates and classmates.

McKenzie hasn’t played a down of football yet this season after the North Coast Section ruled him ineligible following his transfer from De La Salle. McKenzie has appealed the decision and recently met with the CIF’s appeals committee. The committee’s decision is expected within the next couple weeks.

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Early CIF bowl game rankings favor East Bay teams

Could the East Bay have four teams to cheer on at the CIF state bowl games in December? Quite possibly.

Cal-Hi Sports has released its latest bowl game rankings and De La Salle, Clayton Valley Charter and Campolindo all hold down the No. 1 spot in Northern California in their respective divisions while McClymonds is No. 2 in the small school division. All four of those teams are unbeaten halfway through the regular season.

Of course, rankings in October don’t mean much in December. Last year at this time, De La Salle and Clayton Valley Charter were ranked No. 1 in their respective divisions while Campolindo and McClymonds held down No. 2 spots. Of those teams, only De La Salle made the trip to Carson. McClymonds reached the small school NorCal regional game, but lost and didn’t advance to state. Clayton Valley and Campolindo were eliminated weeks before by losing in the North Coast Section semifinals.

Other local teams with high NorCal rankings this week include Foothill (No. 5 in Div. I), Concord (No. 3 in Div. II), St. Mary’s (No. 5 in Div. III) and Salesian (No. 5 in Div. IV).

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Five East Bay high school football games to watch: Week 5

A bit of a slow week for the East Bay with several teams on a bye before starting league play next week. But there are still some games worth watching. And with the DFAL moving all their games to Thursday this week for Yom Kippur, the opportunity is there to catch multiple games in one weekend. Here are picks for the top games of the week.

- Acalanes (3-1) at Alhambra (5-0), Thursday, 7 p.m. — Can Alhambra continue its turnaround season against a solid Acalanes team coming off a bye? It’s going to be tough. Last week, the Bulldogs survived a scare from a young Miramonte team in their DFAL opener, needing to rally from a 20-point halftime deficit to win 43-40. Grant Hill continued to be Alhambra’s top playmaker, catching a 49-yard touchdown pass with 2:21 to play for the go-ahead score. But Alhambra was burned by Miramonte’s passing game, allowing QB Ryan Anderson to throw for 372 yards (though Alhambra did pick off four passes). Slowing Acalanes QB Casey Harrington will also be a challenge. The Dons can run the ball, too, and they’ll be well-rested. Acalanes has won three straight since dropping its season opener 30-28 to Antioch. Don’t be surprised if  this one is wild and high scoring.

- Miramonte (1-4) at Las Lomas (4-1), Thursday, 7 p.m. — The Matadors have just one win to their name this year after winning last season’s North Coast Section Division II title, but they can be dangerous in the DFAL. Just ask Alhambra. Miramonte piled up over 500 yards of offense in a heartbreaker of a 43-40 loss to the unbeaten Bulldogs last week. If they can limit the mistakes, they could be capable of ending Las Lomas’ winning streak at four games. The Knights have played well since opening the season with a loss to San Ramon Valley. Zack Fulks has been the catalyst on both sides of the ball in recent weeks. He’s intercepted three passes and rushed for close to 300 yards total in wins over Northgate and Dougherty Valley the last two weeks. Ben Wood, Las Lomas’ QB, is a threat with his arm and legs.

- James Logan (3-1) at Bishop O’Dowd (2-2), Friday, 7 p.m. — In its final tuneup before WACC-Foothill play starts, O’Dowd will face likely its biggest test yet in Logan. The Dragons have had mixed results so far in their first few games under new coach Napoleon Kaufman, winning a close one against Terra Nova but falling to St. Mary’s and Will C. Wood after holding second-half leads. After playing a series of close games, Logan is coming off a dominant win over Castro Valley. QB Christian Leota and the Colts had 565 yards of offense in the 43-0 win. Logan, which plays a freelance schedule, will use the O’Dowd game to gear up for its Oct. 11 date against De La Salle at Levis’ Stadium.

- De La Salle (5-0) at San Ramon Valley (2-2), Friday, 7 p.m. — The Spartans look like their usual dominant selves as they begin the local part of their schedule. Only in-section teams are left to face De La Salle in the regular season, beginning with San Ramon Valley. While the Wolves have had their ups and downs to start the season — a thrilling double OT win over Pittsburg but disappointing losses to James Logan and Foothill — they typically play De La Salle tougher than many East Bay teams. Last year, the Wolves even held a brief lead on the Spartans’ home field before eventually losing 47-21. San Ramon Valley will be tasked with slowing the Spartans’ stout rushing attack, led by Antoine Custer. The junior rushed for 257 yards and three touchdowns in a 47-24 win over Servite-Anaheim last week.

- El Cerrito (2-2) at St. Mary’s (5-0), Friday, 7 p.m. — This TCAL-Rock matchup is one St. Mary’s probably circled on the calendar months ago. Last season, behind a once-in-a-generation group of seniors, El Cerrito knocked off the Panthers 43-7 on its way to the league and NCS Division III section titles. But this year, St. Mary’s has its sight set on upending the defending champs and taking the TCAL-Rock title for itself. An experienced and talented defense, led by Ben Schrider, Aaron Mercadel and Ron Smith, have the Panthers 5-0. El Cerrito, on the other hand, is young and still trying to find its way. The Gauchos have been on both ends of blowouts in a 2-2 start to the year. Both teams handily won their TCAL-Rock openers last week.

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East Bay football poll — 9/30

Here’s our latest East Bay prep football poll. Quite a bit of shuffling near the top.

Team Record Points Last week
1. De La Salle (6) 5-0 90 1
2. Foothill 4-0 83 5
3. California 3-1 77 3
4. Clayton Valley Charter 5-0 71 6
5. Pittsburg 3-2 64 2
6. San Ramon Valley 2-2 63 4
7. Campolindo 5-0 56 7
8. McClymonds 4-0 46 8
9. James Logan 3-1 44 9
10. Concord 5-0 36 10
11. Amador Valley 4-0 29 11
12. Liberty 5-0 25 12
13. St. Mary’s 5-0 18 13
14. Alhambra 5-0 9 14
15. Freedom 3-2 6 15

Also receiving votes:  Las Lomas (4-1, 1 vote), Kennedy-Fremont (5-0, 1), Antioch (4-1, 1).  The East Bay Football Poll is voted on by the prep sports staff of Bay Area News Group East Bay. Records are through Saturday.

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Campolindo’s Petite presented with All-American jersey

Tyler Petite has been a big part of the great run Campolindo High’s football team has put together over the last few years, and on Tuesday the senior tight end was honored for his talent.

Petite, a Duke commit, was presented with his honorary jersey for the Under Armour All-American game in a ceremony at school. He is one of 90 players from across the country selected to play in the Jan. 2 game held at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.

“You’re talking about the best of the best in this game, and I’m putting my skills against theirs,” Petite said at the ceremony.  “It will be a great way to see where I am and see what I need to work on.  As much fun as it’s going to be, I’m going to get down to business and try to get better as a player.”

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Five East Bay high school football games to watch in Week 4

League play begins in some areas but there are also quite a few nonleague games of significance. Here are our picks for the top five games of the week (though several other could also have made this list):San Leandro vs Foothill Pleasanton High School Football

- San Ramon Valley (2-1) at Foothill (3-0), Friday, 7 p.m.: East Bay Athletic League play gets started with what could be one of the games of the year in the competitive conference. Foothill, behind SMU-bound QB Kyle Kearns and USC-bound Isaiah Langley, is off to a fantastic start. San Ramon Valley had a hiccup against James Logan, but has an excellent win in double OT over Pittsburg. Foothill is looking for its first EBAL championship since 2006, but hasn’t fared well against bigger, more physical teams in recent years and haven’t defeated SRV since 2008.

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Elite matchups headline NorCal Tip Off, Winter Classic basketball tournaments

BISHOP O'DOWD BASKETBALL/SPORTSWith basketball season only a couple months away, tournaments are beginning to announce their schedules. Two big ones came in today.

The NorCal Tip Off Classic, now in its eighth year, has a great slate of games all day and a particularly intriguing headliner. Bishop O’Dowd, led by Ivan Rabb, will face Bishop Gorman-Las Vegas (Nev.) and the frontcourt combo of 7-foot Stephen Zimmerman and 6-foot-9 Chase Jeter. Rabb, Zimmerman and Jeter are considered top 10 national prospects in the class of 2015.

The tournament includes five finalists from last year’s CIF state championships: Bishop O’Dowd (Open Division), Folsom (Division II), Drake (Division III), Moreau Catholic (Division IV) and St. Joseph’s-Notre Dame (Division V).

Here’s the full schedule for the NorCal Tip Off Classic, which is Nov. 29 at Newark Memorial High School.

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East Bay football poll — 9/23

Here’s our latest East Bay prep football poll. The top 10 stays the same, but there’s some movement after that.

Team Record Points Last week
1. De La Salle (6) 4-0 90 1
2. Pittsburg 3-1 84 2
3. California 2-1 77 3
4. San Ramon Valley 2-1 72 4
5. Foothill 3-0 65 5
6. Clayton Valley Charter 4-0 62 6
7. Campolindo 4-0 54 7
8. McClymonds 3-0 46 8
9. James Logan 2-1 43 9
10. Concord 4-0 37 10
11. Amador Valley 3-0 30 11
12. Liberty 4-0 24 13
13. St. Mary’s 4-0 17 14
14. Alhambra 4-0 11 NR
15. Freedom 2-2 6 NR

Also receiving votes:  Las Lomas (3-1, 1 vote), Kennedy-Fremont (4-0, 1).  The East Bay Football Poll is voted on by the prep sports staff of Bay Area News Group East Bay. Records are through Saturday.