With first-place showdowns all over the place, what happens this weekend could play a big role in determining the champion in several leagues. Here’s a look at some of the top games of the week.
- Pittsburg (4-2) at Heritage (4-2), Friday, 7 p.m. — A week after ruining rival Liberty’s perfect season, Heritage will try to take down the BVAL’s defending champion. The Patriots will be feeling good about themselves after Ezra Magalei hauled in a 21-yard touchdown catch with 1:37 left for the go-ahead score against Liberty last week. The Patriots, who went 1-9 last year, have now won three straight. But Heritage has only beaten Pittsburg once since the Patriots began varsity competition in 2007. That win was an upset in the 2010 NCS playoffs. Like Heritage, Pittsburg won its BVAL opener last week with its third shutout of the season. A challenging nonleague schedule paid off for the Pirates, who routed Deer Valley 50-0 last week.
- Las Lomas (5-1) at Campolindo (7-0), Friday, 7 p.m. — The Cougars have played one more game than the Knights, giving them a half-game lead and meaning Friday’s winner will have sole possession of first place in the DFAL standings. Las Lomas looks like one of two teams (Acalanes is the other) capable of ending Campolindo’s three-year reign in the DFAL. The Cougars’ 55-21 win over Alhambra last week was their 21st straight victory in DFAL play. Las Lomas has won five straight games this season. Both teams feature solid quarterbacks (Jack Stephens for Campo; Ben Wood for Las Lomas) and good running games.
- California (5-1) at Foothill (6-0), Friday, 7 p.m. — Like San Ramon Valley, California has been a thorn in Foothill’s side for several years. The Falcons finally beat SRV earlier this year. Perhaps this is also their year to beat Cal High for the first time since Eric Billeci took over as the Grizzlies’ head coach. The game is for the EBAL lead with both Cal and Foothill holding 3-0 EBAL records. Since the 40-28 win over SRV, Foothill has posted easy wins over Livermore and Monte Vista, winning a combined 92-7. Cal has won five straight after grinding out a 17-7 win over Amador Valley last week. Cal is the defending EBAL champion.
- San Ramon Valley (3-3) at Amador Valley (4-2), Friday, 7 p.m. — Amador Valley, which started the season 4-0, will need to beat the Wolves in order to avoid a three-game EBAL losing streak. The Wolves have also struggled lately. They briefly trailed against Livermore last week before winning 33-10. Before that SRV, lost to Foothill and gave up 70 points in a loss to De La Salle. Both teams need a win to avoid falling too far behind in the EBAL standings.
- St. Mary’s (7-0) at Salesian (4-2), Saturday, 1:30 p.m. — The only two teams still unbeaten in TCAL-Rock play get together to decide who gets to sit all alone in first place. Both teams are defending NCS champions. St. Mary’s is one of the hottest teams around and hasn’t lost since Nov. 2, 2013 — a span of 12 games. Though the Panthers won the NCS Division IV title last year, they lost three games in league play, including a 14-3 setback to Salesian. St. Mary’s hasn’t beaten Salesian since 2009 (though there were a few years when they weren’t in the same league and didn’t meet). Salesian, which won the NCS Division V title a year ago, has won three straight games.