Foothill’s Isaiah Floyd (22) celebrates a touchdown with Ruben Mercado (1) in the second quarter of their high school football game against San Leandro in Pleasanton, Calif., on Friday, Aug. 28, 2015. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group File)
The last two football matchups between Monte Vista and Foothill have been one-sided in favor of the Falcons, but this year may be different. Backed by a high-powered, pass-happy offense, the Mustangs (5-1, 2-0 East Bay Athletic League) welcome Foothill (7-0, 3-0) on Oct. 16 in a 7 p.m. game that could wind up deciding the league title.
Quarterback Jake Haener bounced back from Monte Vista’s lone loss, a 21-17 defeat at the hands of Clayton Valley Charter, by connecting repeatedly with receiver Noah Sol in a 34-12 win over Amador Valley last week. Twelve of his 18 completions were to Sol, who finished with 164 yards and a touchdown. That combination, along with fellow senior receiver Traehone Banda, should threaten unbeaten Foothill.
The Falcons feature a more run-oriented offense behind running back Isaiah Floyd, whose statistics on MaxPreps are listed at 1,100 yards and 16 touchdowns. But their defense is just as important. In three EBAL games this season, Foothill has allowed 14 total points. Its closest margin of victory is a 28-14 non-league win over Freedom, a rematch of last season’s North Coast Section Division 1 semifinal won by Foothill.
Monte Vista and Foothill have two common opponents this season. Both teams planted 42 points on Castro Valley, though the Mustangs allowed fewer points (14) than the Falcons (19). Monte Vista downed Livermore 48-17 while Foothill prevailed 42-7 against the Cowboys.
Even with a win, either the Mustangs or Falcons would have another roadblock en route to an undisputed EBAL crown: California High (5-1, 3-0). Foothill visits the Grizzlies on Oct. 16 and Monte Vista hosts them Oct. 23.
This week California plays Amador Valley (4-2, 1-1) and San Ramon Valley (1-5, 0-2) hosts Livermore (3-4, 0-3).