League play begins in some areas but there are also quite a few nonleague games of significance. Here are our picks for the top five games of the week (though several other could also have made this list):
- San Ramon Valley (2-1) at Foothill (3-0), Friday, 7 p.m.: East Bay Athletic League play gets started with what could be one of the games of the year in the competitive conference. Foothill, behind SMU-bound QB Kyle Kearns and USC-bound Isaiah Langley, is off to a fantastic start. San Ramon Valley had a hiccup against James Logan, but has an excellent win in double OT over Pittsburg. Foothill is looking for its first EBAL championship since 2006, but hasn’t fared well against bigger, more physical teams in recent years and haven’t defeated SRV since 2008.
The NorCal Tip Off Classic, now in its eighth year, has a great slate of games all day and a particularly intriguing headliner. Bishop O’Dowd, led by Ivan Rabb, will face Bishop Gorman-Las Vegas (Nev.) and the frontcourt combo of 7-foot Stephen Zimmerman and 6-foot-9 Chase Jeter. Rabb, Zimmerman and Jeter are considered top 10 national prospects in the class of 2015.
The tournament includes five finalists from last year’s CIF state championships: Bishop O’Dowd (Open Division), Folsom (Division II), Drake (Division III), Moreau Catholic (Division IV) and St. Joseph’s-Notre Dame (Division V).
Here’s the full schedule for the NorCal Tip Off Classic, which is Nov. 29 at Newark Memorial High School.
Here’s our latest East Bay prep football poll. The top 10 stays the same, but there’s some movement after that.
|1. De La Salle (6)||4-0||90||1|
|4. San Ramon Valley||2-1||72||4|
|6. Clayton Valley Charter||4-0||62||6|
|9. James Logan||2-1||43||9|
|11. Amador Valley||3-0||30||11|
|13. St. Mary’s||4-0||17||14|
Also receiving votes: Las Lomas (3-1, 1 vote), Kennedy-Fremont (4-0, 1). The East Bay Football Poll is voted on by the prep sports staff of Bay Area News Group East Bay. Records are through Saturday.
Campolindo High’s Tyler Petite has been selected for the Under Armour All-American high school football all-star game and will be presented with his jersey during a ceremony at his school’s gym next Tuesday, Sept. 30.
Petite is a heavily recruited tight end who gave a verbal commitment to Duke over the summer. He has helped Campolindo open the season with a 4-0 record, catching 11 passes for 352 yards and four touchdowns. He also plays defense and has contributed an interception, sack and fumble recovery from his linebacker spot.
The Under Armour All-American game will be played Jan. 2 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg (Fla.) and will be televised by ESPN2. The Under Armour selection tour visits different high schools over a three-month period to present official jerseys in front of the selected players’ family and friends.
In Week 3 — the final week of nonleague play for teams in the EBAL and DFAL (and some in the TCAL and MVAL) — close games were hard to come by. Even ones that looked like they could be good ones on paper, like the Battle of the Creek game between Northgate and Las Lomas, were one-sided. Here’s a breakdown of the action.
- I headed to Danville to see Liberty play Monte Vista. The Lions won 34-7 and start the season 4-0 for the first time since 1967. Liberty certainly has a good thing going since Jeff Walters took over as head coach before last season. It was interesting to hear him address the team afterwards. The win was a good one, but the Lions are thinking bigger. Next week’s game with San Leandro will be a fun one for sure.
- De La Salle went to Loomis, but Del Oro’s rowdy crowd was silenced by the Spartans. Antoine Custer rushed for 143 yards and two touchdowns in the first half as De La Salle won 52-0. A matchup with SoCal power Servite-Anaheim comes next week for De La Salle.
- Two other teams are a somewhat surprising 4-0: Alhambra and Kennedy-Fremont. I wrote about both teams in our football notebook earlier in the week. Alhambra put up monster offensive numbers again in a 62-20 win over Washington as QB Mark Azevedo passed for 252 yards and accounted for six touchdowns. Kennedy dominated Hercules 62-0.
- In the Battle of the Creek, Zack Fulks score on the first play from scrimmage and Las Lomas never looked back. The Knights won 38-8 to break a tw0-game losing streak against their Walnut Creek rival, Northgate.
- El Cerrito vs. Amador Valley was another one that looked interesting on paper, but ended up being a one-sided game. The Gauchos scored first, but Amador Valley scored the next 39 to win 39-7. The Dons are undefeated at 3-0 and face Granada next week in their EBAL opener.
El Cerrito (1-1) at AmadorValley (2-0), Friday, 7 p.m. – Coming off a bye, El Cerrito will take on an East Bay Athletic League opponent for the second straight game. The Gauchos took a step forward with a 54-14 drubbing of Livermore after opening the season with a loss to Northern Section power Sutter. But AmadorValley will be a stiffer challenge. The Dons are unbeaten and are also coming off a bye. AmadorValley is averaging 387 rushing yards per game but will need to tighten up its defense a bit against an inexperienced El Cerrito team that is getting better from week to week.
San Leandro (1-2) at Freedom (1-2), Friday, 7 p.m. – Both teams’ records are a little misleading as both have faced some very strong nonleague competition. They had similar results last week. San Leandro played one of the CCS’ top programs, Bellarmine, tough while Freedom couldn’t hold on to an early lead against SJS power Granite Bay as late turnovers made the difference. San Leandro’s win over James Logan last week is looking even better after the Colts upended SanRamonValley last week. The Pirates hope to get standout senior QB Stephen Johnson back soon from a fractured foot.
Northgate (3-0) at Las Lomas (2-1), Friady, 7 p.m. – Northgate is going for a third straight win over its Walnut Creek neighbor in the annual “Battle of the Creek” rivalry game. Las Lomas owned the matchup for many years, but an improved Broncos program has had the upper hand recently. This game should be a good indicator for both teams. Northgate’s defense has been especially good early in the season, allowing just 21 total points in three wins under new head coach Ben Ballard, who was previously the team’s defensive coordinator. Las Lomas owns a two-game winning streak behind dual-threat QB Ben Wood.
Liberty (3-0) at Monte Vista (1-2), Friday, 7 p.m. – Liberty continues to turn heads with its strong start to follow up last year’s breakout season and is eyeing its first win over an East Bay Athletic League team since knocking off Livermore in 2009. Quarterback Joseph Tolentino has played well in the Lions’ first three games, throwing six TDs without an interception. Riley Condon and Dylan Gilfoy have made big defensive plays for Liberty. A young Monte Vista team will try to rebound from being shut out last week by Pittsburg. It’s been a tough couple of seasons for the Mustangs, who missed the playoffs last year. Monte Vista’s sophomore quarterback, Jake Haener, has thrown for 663 yards.
Bishop O’Dowd (1-1) at St. Mary’s (3-0), Saturday, 1:30 p.m. – Defense has powered St. Mary’s, the defending NCS Division IV champion, in the early part of the season. Defensive end Ben Schrider has been especially disruptive with seven sacks, three forced fumbles and a blocked punt. But O’Dowd might be the Panthers’ strongest opponent yet. O’Dowd suffered a last-minute loss last week against Wood-Vacaville to fall to 1-1 under new head coach Napoleon Kaufman.
Here’s our latest East Bay prep football poll.
|1. De La Salle (6)||3-0||90||1|
|4. San Ramon Valley||2-1||73||2|
|6. Clayton Valley Charter||3-0||64||5|
|9. James Logan||2-1||42||12|
|11. Amador Valley||2-0||28||11|
|12. San Leandro||1-2||26||10|
|14. St. Mary’s||3-0||9||t15|
Also receiving votes: Freedom (1-2, 2 votes), Alhambra (3-0, 1). The East Bay Football Poll is voted on by the prep sports staff of Bay Area News Group East Bay. Records are through Saturday.
Concord High’s football team is looking for another game this week after Oakland High cancelled their Friday matchup.
Concord coach Brian Hamilton learned of the cancellation on Monday night. He was told that Oakland only had 17 healthy players available this week.
Oakland was 1-1 overall while Concord is 3-0 and coming off a 54-8 victory over San Lorenzo.
With another Friday night of high school football is in the books, what did we learn about East Bay teams?
- James Logan still has San Ramon Valley’s number. SRV came into the game fresh off an overtime win over Pittsburg while Logan had lost to San Leandro in the final minutes last week. But Logan prevailed over SRV for the third straight year, racing out to a 21-3 lead before Jose Rodriguez secured a fumble in the end zone late in the fourth quarter to stop the Wolves’ comeback attempt and win 28-23.
- De La Salle is one of the top teams in the country. OK, this is true just about every year. But the Spartans looked good on national TV for the second time in three weeks, taking down 11-time South Carolina state champion Byrnes-Duncan 56-28. The game marked the return of quarterback Anthony Sweeney, who was intercepted on the Spartans’ first play from scrimmage but was solid after that and allowed De La Salle to open up its passing game. He passed for 148 yards in the first half as De La Salle built a 35-7 halftime lead and overcame a long, penalty-filled third quarter to win comfortably for the third straight week.
- McClymonds is a candidate for the NorCal small school regional title game, again. With another productive game from QB Kevin Davidson, a transfer from San Ramon Valley, the Warriors scored a resume-boosting win over the defending NCS Division V champs. McClymonds has played in the last two NorCal small school games, but this team might be even better.
- The Stephens family is full of great quarterbacks. Campolindo starts the season 3-0 for the fifth straight year as QB Jack Stephens passed for 234 yards and four touchdowns in a 49-7- rout of Washington. Jack’s older brothers Tommy and Brett put up similarly big numbers for the Cougars in the past.
Other games from Friday night, with links to full recaps: