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East Bay football rankings — 10/8

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

Team Record Last Week Up Next
1. De La Salle 4-1 1 vs. San Ramon Valley
2. Clayton Valley Charter 4-1 2 @Mt. Diablo
3. Foothill 6-0 3 vs. Livermore
4. Monte Vista 4-1 4 @Amador Valley
5. Pittsburg 4-1 5 @Freedom
6. California 4-1 6 vs. Granada
7. Antioch 5-0 7 @Heritage
8. Campolindo 5-1 8 vs. Alhambra
9. James Logan 5-1 11 @Atascadero
10. Freedom 3-2 10 vs. Pittsburg
11. Amador Valley 4-1 12 vs. Monte Vista
12. Miramonte 6-0 13 @Dougherty Valley
13. McClymonds 5-0 14 vs. Castlemont
14. American 5-1 NR @Washington
15. Swett 5-0 NR vs. Berean Christian

On the bubble: Dublin (4-1), Moreau Catholic (5-1), Piedmont (3-2). The East Bay rankings are compiled by the Bay Area News Group, selected from high schools in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

 

 

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Prep football: Amador Valley edged Granada in EBAL showdown

Ledre McCullough rushed for three touchdowns in the second half and, as Amador Valley coach Rick Sira put it, the Dons “held on for dear life” in a 29-22 EBAL win over host Granada on Oct. 1.

“It was just a great high school football game,” Sira said.

Amador Valley ruined the Matadors’ homecoming game by collecting itself at halftime, when it trailed 16-7.

“Early in the game we turned the ball over and they took advantage of that,” said Sira, noting a 10-0 deficit. “We had not played to the best of our ability. Granada did a good job, not to take away from them. We needed to do the things we were capable of and play at the level we knew we could.”

The Dons (4-1, 1-0 EBAL) did so behind McCullough, who rushed for 229 yards on 29 carries. Along with a 20-yard touchdown that proved to be the game winner, he senior scored on runs of 44 and 3 yards.

The latter, which gave Amador Valley its first lead, was set up by a 31-yard toss from senior quarterback Ronnie Jones to senior wide receiver Grant Huggins.

“It was a really gigantic play on a broken play to keep us in that situation,” Sira said. “If we don’t score there, it gets dark quickly.”
McCullough finished off that drive and, after he scored again, the teams traded punts until Granada (3-3, 0-2 EBAL) got in gear. The Matadors made it to the 30-yard line with a 14-yard drive in the waning minutes, but couldn’t complete the comeback.

Throws into the end zone on third and fourth down were broken up, the latter by senior cornerback Vincent Ruso.

Sira praised the play of senior safety Matthew Mahurni, junior lineman Mason Bartolo and senior linebacker/tailback Patrick Loughnane — who scored on a 14-yard run in the first half.

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Prep football: Berean Christian beat Salesian for first time since 2001

Berean Christian High football downed Salesian on Saturday for the first time since 2001 with a second-half surge powered by inserted quarterback Vince Guarisco and an interception returned for a score by Isaiah Hodgins in the 47-30 win.

Berean Christian coach James Hodgins said he prepares his team to treat all games with the same importance. “But the reality is,” he said, “it had some special meaning to us because we hadn’t beaten them in so long and because the rivalry has been so lopsided over the years.”

For example, Salesian has won the last four matchups by a combined score of 188-27. This time, Salesian took an early 8-0 advantage and led 8-7 at halftime, ceding only a 92-yard punt return for a score by Isaiah Hodgins — the coach’s son.

But the third quarter proved problematic for the Pride. Guarisco, who came into the game in the second quarter, found senior receiver Michael Fulton for a 28-yard score that put Berean Christian up 14-8. After Salesian tied the game at 14-all midway through the third quarter, Guarisco tossed a checkdown to Joshua Smith which the senior receiver ran 84 yards for a touchdown.

“He turned on the jets and took off,” James Hodgins said of the 6-foot-2-inch, 230-pound Smith. “I tell the colleges when they come around that he’s the biggest guy on the field, but he’s also the fastest.”

Then Isaiah Hodgins snagged his second interception of the game and returned it 46 yards for the pick-six for a three-score advantage. Salesian junior Alex Hutchison ran the kickoff back to edge Salesian within 34-22 before Berean Christian senior Joey Esco scored a 74-yard rushing touchdown. Salesian scored again but couldn’t convert an onside kick, ending its comeback attempt.

“Our guys just made plays,” James Hodgins said. “Those big plays gave us the momentum and gave us what we needed to put it past them.”

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East Bay football rankings — 9/23

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

Team Record Last Week Up Next
1. De La Salle 3-1 1 BYE
2. Clayton Valley Charter 3-1 3 BYE
3. Foothill 4-0 4 vs. Granada
4. Monte Vista 3-0 7 @Livermore
5. Pittsburg 3-1 6 vs. Vacaville
6. California 2-1 6 vs. San Ramon Valley
7. Antioch 4-0 8 @Pinole Valley
8. Campolindo 3-1 5 vs. Dublin
9. Freedom 3-1 9 @Will C. Wood
10. Moreau Catholic 4-0 11 @Mission San Jose
11. James Logan 3-1 10 @Castro Valley
12. Amador Valley 2-1 13 vs. Northgate
13. San Ramon Valley 1-2 12 @California
14. Miramonte 4-0 14 @Alhambra
15. McClymonds 3-0 NR @Stagg

On the bubble: Concord (3-1), Piedmont (3-1), Pinole Valley (3-1). The East Bay rankings are compiled by the Bay Area News Group, selected from high schools in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

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East Bay football rankings — 9/9

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

Team Record Last Week Up Next
1. De La Salle 1-1 1 vs. Servite
2. Pittsburg 2-0 2 @Monte Vista
3. Clayton Valley Charter 1-1 3 vs. Cardinal Newman
4. Foothill 2-0 4 @Stagg
5. Campolindo 2-0 6 vs. Deer Valley
6. California 1-1 7 @Liberty
7. Monte Vista 1-0 8 vs. Pittsburg
8. Antioch 2-0 12 vs. San Leandro
9. Freedom 1-1 5 vs. Amador Valley
10. San Ramon Valley 1-1 9 @James Logan
11. James Logan 2-0 11 vs. San Ramon Valley
12. Amador Valley 1-0 13 @Freedom
13. Piedmont 2-0 14 @Moreau Catholic
14. Moreau Catholic 2-0 NR vs. Piedmont
15. Salesian 2-0 NR BYE

On the bubble: Miramonte (2-0), McClymonds (1-0), Concord (1-1), Liberty (1-1). The East Bay rankings are compiled by the Bay Area News Group, selected from high schools in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

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Clayton Valley Charter’s Jalen McKenzie out for season

Clayton Valley Charter lineman Jalen McKenzie is out for the season after suffering a torn ACL on the second play of Friday’s loss to Folsom, Ugly Eagles head coach Tim Murphy confirmed to Bay Area News Group on Tuesday evening.

McKenzie is the son of Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie and the younger brother of Kahlil McKenzie, now at Tennessee.

Murphy called the situation “horrible.” Particularly considering the injury was initially thought to be an MCL issue, which might have healed in time for McKenzie to return to the field this fall.

“His dad works for Raiders (so) the guy even checked him out,” Murphy said. “From the outside test, they thought it was just going to be cartilage. MRI comes back, finds out his ACL is torn in half.

“It’s a shame. His backup did a good job, but Jalen is the real deal.”

Murphy wound up awarding that backup, junior Jalyn Mitchell, with player of the game honors.

“Good kid and he did an amazing job coming in,” Murphy said of Mitchell. “But Jalen McKenzie isn’t exactly a replaceable kid. Amazing lineman. He might be in the NFL some day. Think about the difference that kid makes.”

On the first play from scrimmage Friday, tailback Ray Jackson III ripped off a 31-yard burst that brought Clayton Valley Charter into Folsom territory. The next snap might replay through McKenzie’s mind for the rest of the season, though it was tough to tell the cause of injury from afar.

“Honestly it was the old-school turf thing, where the foot sticks in the ground and the knee pivots,” Murphy said.

McKenzie, who was going to play both sides of the line, laid on the ground for about five minutes before being helped off the field.

Jackson still racked up 225 yards on the ground in the 27-26 defeat, including an 84-yarder to the 3-yard line that helped keep Clayton Valley Charter close. Murphy credited Jackson, a senior who sat out last year after transferring from College Park, and quarterback Luis Ramos as well as the blockers who remained around him. Center Jacob Linderman and fullback Jake King earned specific mention.

However, McKenzie will surely be missed.

Clayton Valley Charter's Jalen Mckenzie (78) walks on the sideline as steam comes off his head while playing Oakdale in the fourth quarter of their NorCal Division II regional title game at Clayton Valley Charter High School in Concord, Calif., on Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014. Clayton Valley Charter defeated Oakdale 28-7. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

Clayton Valley Charter’s Jalen Mckenzie (78) walks on the sideline as steam comes off his head while playing Oakdale in the fourth quarter of their NorCal Division II regional title game at Clayton Valley Charter High School in Concord, Calif., on Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014. Clayton Valley Charter defeated Oakdale 28-7. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)