Football: Second-round playoff matchups in NCS playoffs

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.

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Live blog: East Bay prep football playoffs begin, Friday, 6:45 p.m.

Pittsburg's Montaz Thompson (21) runs the ball en route to the end zone to score a touchdown in the first half of the Big Little Game at Pittsburg High football field in Pittsburg, Calif., on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

Pittsburg’s Montaz Thompson (21) runs the ball en route to the end zone to score a touchdown in the first half of the Big Little Game at Pittsburg High football field in Pittsburg, Calif., on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

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.

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Football: First-round playoff matchups in NCS Division 4 and 5

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.








Football: First-round playoff matchups in NCS Division 3

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)




Football: First-round playoff matchups in NCS Division 2

Here are this weekend’s slate of opening-round games in the North Coast Section Division 2 football playoffs and what brought the teams here:

No. 15 Redwood-Larkspur at No. 2 Miramonte (7 p.m. Friday)

  • Miramonte (9-1): After opening with an eight-game win streak, the Matadors ran into defending Division 3 state champion Campolindo and lost 37-0, plus lost top wide receiver Sutter Lindberg to injury. Miramomte is led by quarterback Tim Tague (2,859 yards, 28 TDs passing) and linebackers Clayton Stehr and McClain Marks.
  • Redwood-Larkspur (5-5): The Giants are powered by running back Nick Calzaretta (1,314 yards, 19 TDs rushing) and lineman Jacob Curhan (6 sacks).

No. 14 Hayward at No. 3 Concord (7 p.m. Friday)

  • Hayward (6-4): The Farmers’ four losses are to teams that made the playoffs, which brings them to a rematch of last year’s first-round game against Concord. Quarterback Dave Moi Moi Jr. (1,351 yards, 14 TDs passing) and running back Ke’nigil Williams (822 yards, 10 TDs rushing) led the way on offense while Williams (5 picks) is joined as a defensive standout by lineman Seperini Togiai Aumua (7.5 sacks) and linebacker Odale Hickman (74 tackles).
  • Concord (6-4): In head coach Mark Bywater’s first year, the Minutemen were a run-heavy outfit that leaned on tailback Harold Tidwell (1,544 yards, 23 TDs rushing) that also relied on linebacker Brandon Espinosa (63 tackles) and defensive end Deandre Morgan (5.5 sacks). Concord beat Hayward in the first round last year and then reached the title game.

No. 13 Washington at No. 4 Granada (7 p.m. Friday)

  • Granada (4-6): The Matadors dominated rival Livermore 51-6 in their regular-season finale for some much-needed momentum after five straight league losses. Beside its loss to Foothill, they played each East Bay Athletic League opponent within two scores and went 3-1 in non-league play.
  • Washington (5-5): The Huskies are on a three-game losing streak after winning four in a row, but bounced back from a 2-8 record last year in head coach William Edwards’ first season. Their strength is a tailback tandem Mark Colbert (1,083 yards, 16 TDs rushing) and Ajit Parmar (894 yards, 7 TDs rushing).

No. 12 Alameda at No. 5 Tennyson (1 p.m. Saturday)

  • Alameda (6-4): Dropping its regular-season finale halted the Hornets’ five-game win streak that started in the Island Bowl. In those victories captains Sione Mesui, Alec Denney and Mica Sanchez meshed well with junior standouts Devin Nash and Adam Joo as Alameda returns to the playoffs after a season away.
  • Tennyson (8-2): The Lancers were on an eight-game win streak until a heartbreaking 44-43 overtime loss to San Leandro in their regular-season finale. Their leaders are dual-threat quarterback Christian Silva (1,434 yards, 22 TDs passing; 1,035 yards, 13 TDs rushing) and Stanley Falenofoa, who is on a defensive line that has amassed 26 sacks.

No. 11 Northgate at No. 6 Maria Carrillo (7 p.m. Saturday)

  • Northgate (6-4): Freshman quarterback Jack Fulp already shows poise, helping the Broncos beat three Diablo Valley Athletic League opponents. Credit can also go to two-way lineman Ian Morford, wide receiver/strong safety Dylan Alves and running back/free safety Mason Mitchell.
  • Maria Carrillo (6-4): The Pumas won by one point in back-to-back weeks, downing Rancho Cotate-Rohnert Park 36-35 and Casa Grande-Petaluma 28-27, and just beat Ukiah 32-12.

No. 7 Casa Grande at No. 10 American (7 p.m. Saturday at Tak Fudenna Stadium)

  • No. 10 American (8-2): The Eagles have outscored their past two opponents by a combined 104-9, providing plenty of momentum headed into the playoffs. Dual-threat quarterack Junior Diala (1,577 yards, 14 TDs passing; 822 yards, 14 TDs rushing) leads the way along with safety Aaron Bell (8 picks) and linebacker Geordan Raines (99 tackles).
  • No. 7 Casa Grande (4-6): The Gauchos use a pass-heavy offense handled by quarterback JJ Anderson (1,971 yards, 20 TDs passing), whose favorite target is two-way leader Nic Petri (657 yards, 5 TDs receiving; team-high 89 tackles, 6 picks).

No. 9 Windsor at No. 8 Pinole Valley

  • Pinole Valley (6-4): The Spartans are sparked by running back Michael Kyle (1,729 yards, 16 TDs rushing) and quarterback Troyante Mcconico (1,419 yards, 11 TDs passing; 1,309 yards, 24 TDs rushing). Their defense totaled 27 sacks, led by sophomore Noel Patillo (7 sacks), and was anchored by linebacker Christopher Iliili (97 tackles). This matchup is a rematch of last year’s first round, which the Spartans won.
  • Windsor (6-4): The Jaguars are a defense-oriented team that is led by linebackers Sam Fletcher and Anthony Spallino.
  • Winner plays: No. 1 Clayton Valley Charter

Football: First-round playoff matchups in NCS Division 1

Here are this weekend’s slate of opening-round games in the North Coast Section Division 1 football playoffs, all set for 7 p.m. Friday, and what brought them here:

No. 12 Dougherty Valley at No. 5 Pittsburg

  • Pittsburg (8-2): Pirates coach Victor Galli has his team in its regular stellar form, led by running back Montaz Thompson (1,412 yards, 14 TDs rushing). The defense is stingy as usual behind linebacker Charles Ramirez (111 tackles, two picks, two forced fumbles), cornerback Jordan Parker (three picks) and lineman Iffy Joyner (seven sacks). Pittsburg held off two league opponents by seven total points but couldn’t halt unbeaten Antioch in its season finale and its second loss in a wild game after falling 49-42 to Monte Vista in September.
  • Dougherty Valley (6-4): The Wildcats have their first winning record since 2007 in coach Nick Tisa’s fourth year at the helm. “We have good senior leadership,” Tisa said in September, noting those kids transformation from when he took over the program. “All they know is me, so they don’t know the old Dougherty. I definitely am getting calls from alumni, they’re excited.” He said that right after DV’s 5-0 start, though it won only once the rest of the way — a 34-7 victory over Acalanes. It’s pass-happy offense is powered by jack-of-all-trades Sam Tarasow (588 yards, six TDs rushing; 583 yards, 5 TDs receiving) and  Hawaii-bound receiver Trey Hoskins (470 yards, seven TDs receiving).
  • Winner plays: No. 4 Monte Vista (7-3)

No. 11 Dublin at No. 6 Freedom

  • Freedom (6-4): The Falcons are on a three-game win streak since being downed by the BVAL’s top two teams, Pittsburg and Antioch, largely because of quarterback Joey Sweeney. The senior has 10 touchdowns and just one pick in the last three games, along with 779 of his 2,309 yards this season. Also integral is running back Ronnie Rivers (1,218 yards, 18 TDs rushing). Junior linebacker Kyle Harmon (109 tackles) leads a defense that has totaled 14 interceptions this season.
  • Dublin (7-3): The Gaels started out 4-0, including wins over two eventual playoff teams, before nearly toppling defending Division 3 state champion Campolindo in a 14-10 loss. After shutting out Acalanes 17-0, they were edged 14-13 by Alhambra — two more playoff teams. Then Dublin won twice before falling 29-14 in its regular-season finale. Leading the way all season has been senior running back John Son.
  • Winner plays: No. 3 Foothill (10-0)

No. 7 Amador Valley at No. 10 San Leandro

  • Amador Valley (7-3): The Dons defeated playoff-bound California and San Ramon Valley back-to-back by a total of seven points, setting them up to enter their season finale against rival Foothill as potential spoilers for the outright EBAL title (though they lost big to the Falcons). Their leaders on offense this year are running back Ledre McCollough (1,016 yards, 8 TDs rushing) and wide receiver Grant Huggins (432 yards, 6 TDs receiving).
  • San Leandro (6-4): The Pirates are on a six-game win streak since starting 0-4, including a 44-43 overtime victory over playoff-bound Tennyson to take the West Alameda County Conference-Foothill Division title. Three of their running backs have at least 500 yards and five touchdowns, a mark of a complex offense. Defensively the Pirates are led by defensive end Jahari Kay (65 tackles, 7.5 sacks).
  • Winner plays: No. 2 Antioch (10-0)

No. 9 James Logan vs. No. 8 California

  • California (6-4): A two-point conversion run by Justin Locklear for a 50-49 overtime win over Monte Vista two weeks ago kept the Grizzlies from going into the playoffs on a four-game losing streak. Their offense is a balanced attack led by Locklear (750 yards, 11 TDs) and helped by the junior trio of Cameron Norfleet, Trevor Leathley and Brandon Perrilliat who were huge in California’s five-game win streak during the season. It’s defense was also important, including defensive end Nick Friedel (53 tackles, six sacks), linebacker Pavin Virdee (63 tackles) and cornerback William Gin (four picks).
  • James Logan (7-3): In coach George Zuber’s last season before stepping down to be with his family, the Colts have lost only two powerhouse teams: De La Salle, Clayton Valley Charter and Atascadero of the Southern Section, which was just a one-point loss in overtime. Otherwise they’ve been pretty dominant in a fully non-league schedule, including a 26-20 win over San Leandro and a 63-6 win over Washington.
  • Winner plays: No. 1 De La Salle

Big Little Game memories: Past high-stakes games for both Antioch, Pittsburg

Antioch's Jerone Simmons, #25, can't stop Pittsburg's Robert Jiles, #6, after making a 42-yard touchdown pass in the 1st quarter during the 90th annual Big Little Game on Saturday, November 15, 2008 in Antioch, Calif. Pittsburg defeated Antioch 42-0. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Staff)

Antioch’s Jerone Simmons, #25, can’t stop Pittsburg’s Robert Jiles, #6, after making a 42-yard touchdown pass in the 1st quarter during the 90th annual Big Little Game on Saturday, November 15, 2008 in Antioch, Calif. Pittsburg defeated Antioch 42-0. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Staff)

There’s much on the line with Saturday’s Big Little Game featuring Antioch and Pittsburg. Both teams are undefeated in league play, making this one at Pittsburg at 1:30 p.m. winner-take-all for the BVAL championship.
There are countless stories of dramatic games, upsets and fantastic finishes in the rivalry that dates back to 1924 – enough for several books. Usually the stakes are high for at least one of the two rivals. But how often both Antioch and Pittsburg had a chance at a league championship in the Big Little Game?
Here are some recollections of a few games when stakes were high for both teams (we know there are many more):
2002 – Pittsburg 31, Antioch 21. Antioch and Pittsburg met tied for the BVAL lead, and the Panthers led 21-7 at the half, recalls Ruben Luna Jr., Antioch’s starting center that day. Luna has fonder memories of the 2001 game, which Antioch won 21-19. Luna’s father, Ruben Sr., played for Antioch teams in 1977-78 that won the BLG and went on the NCS championship game both times. Those were the last Antioch football teams to reach an NCS final, creating the inspiration for the son to follow the father to Big Little Game glory.
1991 – Pittsburg went to beat Antioch 26-20 in overtime in a game where playoff berths were on the line for both teams. Longtime Bay Area sports reporter Steve Dulas, who covered this game for the Ledger Dispatch, says of this game “It may have been the best high school game I have ever seen. You don’t often see the emotional momentum carry through for all four quarters, and then into overtime.”
A diving catch by Percy McGee of a Chris Shipe pass gave the Pirates the win.
“They sold out of 10,000; they wouldn’t let anyone else in … it was amazing,” said Herc Pardi, who was in his first year as head coach at Pittsburg. Pardi recalled a standout defensive play by future Oakland Raider Regan Upshaw that set up the overtime touchdown.
Pittsburg went to beat De La Salle in the NCS 3A championship game, to this date the last time a Northern California team has beaten De La Salle.
1984 – Antioch 18, Pittsburg 6: Heading into this game, Antioch had one loss, and in winning this BLG handed Pittsburg its first defeat on a rainy field in Antioch. This created a three-way in the DVAL with Antioch, Pittsburg and Northgate. Pardi recalls that a coin-flip left Pittsburg as the odd team out, with Antioch and Northgate moving on to NCS. The result was tough for Pittsburg after going into the BLG as undefeated league leaders, and the end result of not going to NCS.
1970 – Antioch 40, Pittsburg 32. After a loss to Ygnacio Valley earlier in the season, Antioch came back and won this BLG. Tom Lamothe, coordinator of Antioch Sports Legends, recalls this shooting between future BYU quarterback Gary Sheide of Antioch and Pittsburg QB Steve Camitz.
1966 – Antioch 13, Pittsburg 13: Both teams headed into this Big Little Game undefeated. This one was staged the next-to-last week of the regular season, says Pittsburg football historian Bob Lewis, the city’s former mayor. It was Lewis’ senior year, and he recalls the game like it was yesterday.
Going into the game, Antioch had last won the BLG in 1947, before any of the current players in ’66 were born. The Diablo Valley Athletic League title was at stake. Antioch scored twice to take a 13-0 halftime lead, and Pittsburg’s star running back Carlos Harris suffered what was thought to be a sprained ankle.
On the second play of the second half, Harris, whose ankle was taped up at halftime, ran 62-yards for a touchdown to cut the deficit to 13-7. “Then Harris collapsed in the end zone. It turned out it was a broken ankle, not a sprained ankle. So he ran 62 yards on a broken ankle,” Lewis recalls. Pittsburg scored a second touchdown in the fourth quarter, but a holding call during the point-after on Pittsburg led to a missed kick and a 13-13 tie.
The following week, Antioch beat Pacifica and won the DVAL title, finishing the regular season 8-0-1. Pittsburg still finished undefeated at 7-0-2, but took its second tie that final week 0-0 against Pleasant Hill High, playing without Harris and then losing quarterback Butch Cattolico — who went to a fabled career as coach at Los Gatos High for 36 years– to a concussion.
– After a 6-6 tie in 1968, the pendulum swung Antioch’s way in the rivalry, with 11 straight wins from 1969 to 1979, during the heyday of legendary Panthers coach Marv Comstock. When Larry Rodriguez (later the first varsity coach at Freedom) took over the Pittsburg program, the Pirates seized back control for much of the 1980s.
– More recently, Antioch scored a 27-21 double overtime win in 2006, and Pittsburg has since won the last nine meetings, including one in the 2011 NCS playoffs.
–Last year’s 17-14 Pittsburg win was the closest margin of victory since Antioch’s 21-19 win in 2001.


Live prep football updates from East Bay tonight

Castlemont quarterback Joe Feao (1) is pressured by Castlemont's Ramone Sanders (25) and Jayshaun Thomas (86) in the first half of their Oakland Athletic League game at McClymonds High School in Oakland, Calif., on Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

Castlemont quarterback Joe Feao (1) is pressured by Castlemont’s Ramone Sanders (25) and Jayshaun Thomas (86) in the first half of their Oakland Athletic League game at McClymonds High School in Oakland, Calif., on Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

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.

Click here if viewing on a mobile device


East Bay football rankings, 10/29

Here’s our East Bay rankings after the 10th week of play.

Team Record Last Week Up Next
1. De La Salle 7-1 1 vs. James Logan
2. Clayton Valley Charter 7-1 2 vs. Ygancio Valley
3. Foothill 9-0 3 BYE
4. Monte Vista 6-2 4 vs. California
5. Pittsburg 7-1 5 @ Liberty
6. Antioch 4-1 6 vs. Deer Valley
7. Campolindo 7-1 7 vs. Miramonte
8. Miramonte 8-0 9 @ Campolindo
9. James Logan 6-2 11 @De La Salle
10. Amador Valley 6-2 11 vs. Livermore
11. California 5-3 8 @ Monte Vista
12. McClymonds 8-0 12 vs. Skyline
13. Freedom 4-4 13 @Heritage
14. Berean Christian 7-1 14 vs. De Anza
15. Tennyson 7-1 15 @ Berkeley

On the bubble: John Swett (7-1), Moreau Catholic (7-1), Piedmont (6-2). Results are through Saturday. The East Bay rankings are compiled by the Bay Area News Group, selected from high schools in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.