Here are the North Coast Section football semifinal games featuring East Bay schools and what the matchup looks like:
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.
Among the North Coast Section girls volleyball semifinals set for 7 p.m. Saturday, seven involve at least one local team. Here’s a look at the local teams in those matchups.
No. 1 Monte Vista hosting No. 4 Liberty
- The defending champion Mustangs (30-5) swept College Park and San Leandro in the first two rounds, respectively. They lost just once in the hyper-competitive EBAL and recently took second at the strong Northgate Varsity Tournament despite dealing with injuries — though their health is improved now as they ready to face a team they beat 3-1 in their season opener.
- The Lions (31-9) cruised through BVAL play undefeated and swept Dublin in the first round of the playoffs before battling Amador Valley in a four-set win in the quarterfinals. They’re looking to win the school’s first NCS title since a three-peat from 2003-2005.
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
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.