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