The main message Mike Ivankovich wanted to send when asked about his retirement as head coach of the Acalanes football program was that wins meant far less to him than helping his players.
Get the lowdown on prep football playoffs from the East Bay and beyond Saturday with in-game updates and scores beginning at 6:45 p.m.
Get the lowdown on prep football playoffs from the East Bay and beyond Friday with in-game updates and scores beginning at 6:45 p.m.
Get the lowdown on prep football playoffs from the East Bay and beyond Friday with in-game updates and scores beginning at 3 p.m. with the Silver Bowl.
Get the latest updates from the prep football playoffs in the East Bay and beyond Saturday beginning at 6:45 p.m.
Get the lowdown on prep football playoffs from the East Bay and beyond Friday with in-game updates and scores beginning at 4:45 p.m.
Here are the North Coast Section football playoffs games featuring East Bay schools and what the matchup looks like:
- No. 1 De La Salle vs. No. 8 California (7 p.m. Friday): The Spartans (9-1) won a previous matchup 56-0 behind their usual unstoppable offense and strong defense, so the Grizzlies (7-4) will have to ride their first-round win and roll on offense to upset the 25-time champs.
- No. 2 Antioch vs. No. 7 Amador Valley (7 p.m. Friday): The Panthers (10-0) have sat a week after their epic comeback win over rival Pittsburg while the Dons (8-3) got back on track after falling to Foothill by beating San Leandro handily in the first round. Antioch’s Najee Harris has the speed of Amador Valley’s Ledre McCollough, but with more power, so the Dons must slow the Alabama commit and score in bunches.
- No. 3 Foothill vs. No. 6 Freedom (7 p.m. Saturday): The first matchup between these two Falcons squads, back in September, went Foothill’s way early but Freedom rallied in the second half to get within two scores. Foothill (10-0) needs to rely on Isaiah Floyd and Freedom (7-4) must stop him.
- No. 4 Monte Vista vs. No. 5 Pittsburg (7 p.m. Saturday): Their first matchup was a barnburner that the Mustangs (7-3) won with a late touchdown drive and a stop on defense, but that surely motivates the Pirates (9-2). Monte Vista will have to hold off Pittsburg early, when that fire fuels it most, and hope QB Jake Haener can come up big late again.
Prep football playoffs are here! Follow the live prep football action from the East Bay and beyond Friday with in-game updates and scores beginning at 6:45 p.m.
Here are the North Coast Section Division 4 and 5 football playoffs games featuring East Bay schools and what brought the teams here:
No. 13 Hercules at No. 4 Moreau Catholic (7 p.m. Friday)
- Moreau Catholic (9-1): The Mariners are having their best season since at least 2004 powered by junior running back Jullen Ison, who has 2,147 rushing yards and 33 total touchdowns, and senior fullback Johnny Den Bleyker. Their lone loss was 27-20 to playoff-bound American and they outscored their next two opponents by a total of 96-0.
- Hercules (6-4): The Titans have lost four of five since starting 5-0, though all four defeats were to playoff-bound teams. Their leaders are defensive end/tight end Ernest Jackson and linebacker/fullback Monah Weaver.
No. 12 Encinal at No. 5 Saint Mary’s (1 p.m. Saturday)
- Saint Mary’s (7-3): The Panthers have prevailed in seven of their last eight games after opening 0-3. Offensively they are powered by running back Tamarick Pierce, who has 1,298 and 10 touchdowns, and quarterback Ryan Jenkins, who has thrown 21 touchdowns against just four interceptions.
- Encinal (4-6): In five previous matchups against Saint Mary’s, the Pilots have not lost. But they have dropped their last four games this season. Still, the Pilots returned to the playoffs after an 0-9 year in coach Ricky Rodriguez’s first at the helm.
No. 11 Del Norte-Crescent City at No. 6 Piedmont (7 p.m. Saturday)
- Piedmont (8-2): The Highlanders dominated their league, winning all five games by a combined score of 201-41.
No. 11 Livermore Valley Charter at No. 6 Ferndale (1 p.m. Saturday)
- Livermore Valley Charter (5-4): After two wins in the program’s first two years, the Hawks five against an independent docket. Credit largely goes to running back Austin Brown, who had 1,724 yards and 19 touchdowns.
No. 9 Stellar Prep at No. 8 Cloverdale (7 p.m. Friday)
- Stellar Prep (6-3): The Thunder are on a five-game winning streak, outscoring opponents 203-35. One of their leaders is junior linebacker Addison Gumbs.
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)