Here are this weekend’s slate of opening-round games in the North Coast Section Division 3 football playoffs and, for games involving East Bay schools, what brought the teams here:
No. 16 Ygnacio Valley at No. 1 Campolindo (1 p.m. Saturday)
- Campolindo (9-1): The way coach Kevin Macy saw it after a 37-0 shutout of Miramonte, “It’s been a long year of everybody in the league wanting to knock us off. They look at us like wounded prey with all of our big-name kids gone.” They still rolled through league play, after a loss to Napa broke their streak of 19 straight wins, and are looking to repeat as NCS and state champions.
- Ygnacio Valley (3-7): The Warriors scored 60-plus points in each of their three wins but just 122 total in their losses. They have a junior-heavy roster (17 of 28 players), most of whom were there last year when the Warriors lost to Campolindo in the first round of the playoffs
No. 9 Eureka vs. No. 8 Acalanes (7 p.m. Friday)
- Acalanes (3-7): When the Dons score 30 or more points this season, they prevail, so that will surely be their target in the game. Running back Leo Barakos should be key to hitting that.
- Eureka (4-6): The Loggers are on a three-game win streak that includes last week’s 53-7 win over Arcata last week.
No. 13 Piner-Santa Rosa at No. 3 Bishop O’Dowd (1 p.m. Saturday)
- Bishop O’Dowd (5-5): The Dragons, whose two league losses were by a total three points, are a defense-oriented team this year behind linebacker Chris Flood, free safety Jevon Holland and Je’Quari Baggett. On offense, quarterback Nick Allen and freshman running back Austin Jones provide the most punch.
- Piner-Santa Rosa (6-4): The Prospectors are on a three-game win streak with the help of running back Jose Ramirez and two-way lineman Sean Terry.
No. 12 De Anza at No. 5 Alhambra (7 p.m. Friday)
- Alhambra (6-4): The Bulldogs are on a three-game win streak, including over playoff-bound Dougherty Valley, and have outscored their last two opponents 66-13. Their leaders on both sides of the field is tailback/safety Jonathan McCart.
- De Anza (6-4): This is the first time since 2004 that the Dons reached the playoffs, thanks largely to third-year head coach Richard Gaskell. His run-heavy offense uses a rotation of Joseph Sedillo, Jalen Placide and Devon King.
No. 15 Albany at No. 2 Analy-Sebastapol (7 p.m. Friday)
- Albany (4-6): The Cougars haven’t been to the playoffs since at least 2003 and are back behind second-year coach Donnell Carson. “We finally got a weight training program established as well as players bonding and sticking together,” Carson told me Wednesday. They are led by captains Uthman Sabir, Amin Fusion, Corey Sterner and Wynter Huntenburg.
- Analy-Sebastapol (10-0): The Tigers are unbeaten behind quarterback Jack Newman, who has 2,631 passing yards and 34 touchdowns and just four interceptions.
No. 10 Kennedy-Fremont at No. 7 El Cerrito (7 p.m. Saturday at De Anza)
- El Cerrito (5-5) The Gauchos have won four straight, including three over playoff-bound teams. Their a young team with just 14 seniors and six underclassmen out of 35 players.
- Kennedy-Fremont (4-6): The Titans are riding a three-game win streak, including an overtime win over playoff-bound Washington, behind running back Joshua Mckinnie.
Also on tap, outside of the East Bay: No. 14 Terra Linda-San Rafael at No. 3 Rancho Cotate-Rohnert Park (7 p.m. Saturday) and No. 11 Novato at No. 6 Petaluma (7 p.m. Friday)