Bay Area high school football: Week 1 preview, schedule
№1 De La Salle (0–0) at St. Mary’s-Stockton (0–0), Friday, 7:15 p.m.: De La Salle is 6–0 against St. Mary’s since 2010. When the teams met five months ago in Concord to open the abbreviated spring season, DLS withstood a late rally to win 35–27 — perhaps a sign that the game Friday will be close. After his team’s scrimmage last week, DLS coach Justin Alumbaugh noted that stopping №2 will be crucial for his defense. №2 for St. Mary’s is Jadyn Marshall, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound receiver rated a four-star prospect by 247Sports. The senior has several Power 5 offers. He caught seven passes for 117 yards and a TD against De La Salle in the spring. DLS will counter with a strong and deep secondary, led by Arizona commit Zeke Berry. Senior Luke Dermon has taken over from the graduated Dorian Hale at quarterback and no doubt will be tested in this road matchup. Meanwhile, Berry will join a handful of players who will run the ball for DLS, which graduated its top backs from the spring. DLS tight ends Brodie Tagaloa (6–4, 260) and Cooper Flanagan (6–5, 228) figure to be a handful for any opponent. — Darren Sabedra
№2 Serra (0–0) at №3 Pittsburg (0–0), Friday, 7 p.m.: Is there a better game on the schedule all fall in the Bay Area? It’s hard to top №2 Serra at №3 Pittsburg, which we’ve had circled since it was finalized. There could be dozen future Division-I athletes on the field Friday night. Serra’s Hassan Mahasin is the reigning Bay Area News Group Player of the Year, but Pittsburg QB Jaden Rashada and WR Rashid Williams could realistically challenge for the title. Mahasin catches passes and takes handoffs from senior QB Dominique Lampkin, a childhood friend, and a future D-I player himself. Israel Polk, Khai Taylor, Zack Card, and Keynan Higgins round out a talented receiving corps that will face a stiff test against Serra’s loaded secondary. Pittsburg looked overmatched in the trenches in a scrimmage against De La Salle, and if there’s anything the Padres aren’t lacking, it’s size. (And speed…and athleticism…and coaching…OK, these teams are pretty well-rounded.) Here’s a piece of advice: Find a way to Pittsburg High School Friday night. — Evan Webeck
MORE PREP FOOTBALL PREVIEW COVERAGE
- Where to find our league previews, preseason all-area player lists
- Opening weekend: What impact will COVID have and other top storylines this fall
- Preseason rankings: Bay Area News Group Top 25
№4 San Ramon Valley (0–0) vs. Vintage-Napa (0–0), Friday, 7 p.m.: The only previous meeting between these top NCS programs came three years ago in the section playoffs when San Ramon Valley knocked off the Crushers en route to an NCS title. The Wolves maybe even better this year, with returning starter Jack Quigley at QB, throwing to WR/LB Tanner Salisbury, TE/DE Tyler Hoffman, and RB/LB Za’Darion Nardi. As for Vintage, here’s the scouting report from Wolves coach Aaron Becker: “They’re a tough team. They’re well-coached. Physical. Really aggressive up front, in the front seven defensively. Offensively, they like to hit you right in the face.” SRV was missing players from practice last week due to COVID-19 contact tracing, but Becker was said he expected to be at full strength and was confident the Wolves wouldn’t be impacted by the absences leading up to a tough season opener. — Evan Webeck
№5 Menlo-Atherton (0–0) vs. Bellarmine (0–0) at San Jose City College, Friday, 7 p.m.: Bellarmine coach Jalal Beauchman minced no words about this matchup against M-A, saying he’ll “100%” know where his team stands after the game. Beauchman is beginning his second season (first in the fall) since taking over from longtime coach Mike Janda. The new coach has installed a spread offense, led by senior QB Wade Smith, that in theory could keep scoreboard operators busy. The offense might need to be in midseason form Friday as the Bells aim to keep pace with an M-A team that is loaded with talent. M-A QB Matt Macleod and WR Jalen Moss form one of the Bay Area’s top passing duos. Thomas Taufui gives M-A balance from his running back spot, and CB Jeremiah Earby, who is drawing Pac-12 interest, will present problems for the Bellarmine passing game. M-A has won the past two games in this series and neither was close — 51–14 in 2019 and 28–0 in 2018. — Darren Sabedra
№6 Valley Christian (0–0) at №11 Wilcox (0–0), Thursday, 7 p.m.: Watch out, Wilcox: Valley Christian’s got bulletin board material. All three Bay Area News Group writers predicted a Chargers victory in their turn hosting this annual contest. They’ve won only once in four previous tries against the Warriors. Valley Christian coach Mike Machado thanked us for the bulletin-board material. “I put that up and our guys have done nothing but talk about that all day,” he said. A smaller-than-usual roster will be bolstered by call-ups from a JV team, which Machado eliminated this year, but the real highlight is the topline talent: QB Jakson Berman throwing to WR Jurrion Dickey. Berman will have to utilize his sprinter’s speed against the intimidating front seven of Wilcox. But the game could come down to how well Luther K. Glenn establishes the running game. This will be the first competition Glenn and his backfield-mate, sophomore Andrew Palacios, have faced outside of the SCVAL — and it’s a steep first test for the rushing attack that averaged 377 yards per game last spring. The Warriors defense held a tough WCAL schedule to 14 points per game en route to a fourth overall ranking in the final Bay Area News Group poll of the spring. However, with concerns over roster depth, they fell to №6 in the preseason poll. — Evan Webeck
№9 St. Francis (0–0) at Central Catholic-Modesto (1–0), Friday, 7 p.m.: St. Francis won at least 10 games in four straight seasons from 2015–2018, and it appears the Lancers are back after a couple of so-so seasons in 2019 and 2020. St. Francis has five starters attracting attention from Division I colleges in OLB/DE Clayton Lynam, TE Dillon Golden, OL/DL Denaris DeRosa, OL Uluakinofo Taliauli, and RB/LB Camilo Arquette. All five are seniors and rated as three- or two-star recruits by 247Sports. Central Catholic from the Sac-Joaquin Section opened its season last week by squeezing past Merced 31–28. The Raiders have two solid running backs in Julian Lopez and Aiden Taylor. Their best player might be junior Jaelen Nichols, who plays WR, DB, and RB. On paper, St. Francis looks to be the better team, but this game could be tricky because it’s on the road, Central Catholic has played a game and it’s a good program that could compete in the WCAL. — Mike Lefkow
№12 Bishop O’Dowd (0–0) at №14 Liberty (0–0), Friday, 7 p.m.: For several years now, one measure of success for Bishop O’Dowd is how it fares against teams from Contra Costa County. Since 2014, the Dragons are 4–10 against opposition from that side of the Caldecott, including 1–9 on the road. So BOD will be trying to make a statement against a tough Liberty team. BOD has marquee offensive players in RB/WR Matt White and WR/CB Isaac Green. Both are seniors, as is quarterback Michael Dixon, a first-year starter replacing John Madden’s grandson, Jesse, who is now at Michigan. The defense should remain O’Dowd’s strength with bookend defensive ends Alijah Brown and Sipili Fonua leading the pass rush. Liberty counters with a dangerous dual-purpose QB Nate Bell and 6–1, 200-pound RB Deovion Hill. But the Lions’ strength might also be defense. DL Olugbenga Komolafe and LB Dominic Bustos stand out on a defense that is strong at linebacker and in the secondary with Deuce Carr and Khirion Green lurking back there. — Mike Lefkow
№16 California (0–0) at №15 James Logan (0–0), Friday, 7 p.m.: In five games between these teams since 2007, California has won four. All except one were in lopsided fashion. The matchup Friday is not expected to be one-sided as both begin the 2021 fall season ranked in the Bay Area News Group’s Top 25. California QB Teddy Booras and WR Jake Calcagno were among the state’s top passing combos last spring and their production isn’t likely to diminish in the fall. Calcagno caught 56 passes for 607 yards and three TDs in six games. James Logan went 4–1 in the spring and returns QB Marcus Sanders, whom coach Eddie Smith called a “big-time player.” — Darren Sabedra
№25 Heritage (0–0) at Dublin (0–0), Friday, 7 p.m.: Heritage and Dublin are improving programs with good coaches. On Friday, all eyes will be on Heritage RB Devon Rivers, a 5–6, 165-pound junior who recently earned a three-star rating from 247Sports. As he goes, so will the Patriots, though senior WR/SS Jayden Ennis should lend a valuable assist. Heritage has only five returning starters under second-year coach Dave Fogelstrom. Dublin was 6–4 in 2019, then slipped to 2–3 during the abbreviated 2021 spring season. The Gaels have size, smarts, and leadership with players such as LB/TE T.J. Costello, RB/LB Jayden Petrus, and two-way lineman Jake Cooney. But a bruising non-league schedule could prevent third-year coach Brandon Black’s team from improving after a 6–4 record in 2019. — Mike Lefkow
Thursday, Aug. 26 Non-league (South Bay/Peninsula)
Harker at San Jose, 7 p.m.
Westmont at Monta Vista, 5:30 p.m.
Valley Christian at Wilcox, 7 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 27 Non-league (South Bay/Peninsula)
Aragon at Homestead, 7 p.m.
Branham at Gunderson, 7 p.m.
Capuchino at Burlingame, 7 p.m.
Carlmont at El Camino, 7 p.m.
Del Mar at Cupertino, 7 p.m.
Fremont-Sunnyvale at Evergreen Valley, 7 p.m.
Gilroy at Live Oak, 7 p.m.
Half Moon Bay at Salinas, 7 p.m.
Harbor at Lynbrook, 7:30 p.m.
King’s Academy at Mountain View, 7 p.m.
Leland at Pioneer, 7 p.m.
Lincoln-San Jose at Leigh, 7 p.m.
Los Altos at Independence, 7 p.m.
Menlo-Atherton vs. Bellarmine at San Jose City College, 7 p.m.
Mills at Aptos, 7:30 p.m.
Mitty vs. Palma at Salinas Sports Complex, 7 p.m.
Oak Grove at Los Gatos, 7 p.m.
Overfelt at Yerba Buena, 7 p.m.
Prospect at Mt. Pleasant, 7 p.m.
San Benito at Santa Teresa, 7 p.m.
San Mateo at Saratoga, 7 p.m.
Silver Creek at Woodside, 7 p.m.
St. Ignatius at Palo Alto, 7 p.m.
Terra Nova at Hillsdale, 7 p.m.
Willow Glen at Piedmont Hills, 7 p.m.
Non-league (East Bay)
Alameda at Richmond, 7 p.m.
Alhambra at Hercules, 7 p.m.
Bishop O’Dowd at Liberty, 7 p.m.
California at James Logan, 7 p.m.
Campolindo at Moreau Catholic, 7 p.m.
Castro Valley at Foothill, 7 p.m.
De Anza vs. Napa at Memorial Stadium, 7 p.m.
Dougherty Valley at Concord, 7 p.m.
Encinal at Newark Memorial, 7 p.m.
Freedom at Hayward, 7 p.m.
Heritage at Dublin, 7 p.m.
Kennedy-Fremont vs. Tennyson at Washington-Fremont, 7 p.m.
Kennedy-Richmond vs. Stellar Prep at TBA, 6 p.m.
Marin Catholic at El Cerrito, 7:15 p.m.
Monte Vista at Antioch, 7 p.m.
Northgate at Deer Valley, 7 p.m.
Piedmont at Miramonte, 7 p.m.
Pinole Valley at Benicia, 7 p.m.
Rancho Cotate at Las Lomas, 7 p.m.
St. Helena at St. Patrick-St. Vincent, 7 p.m.
St. Mary’s-Albany at Middletown, 7 p.m.
Vintage at San Ramon Valley, 7 p.m.
Amador Valley at Milpitas, 7 p.m.
Clayton Valley at Turlock, 7 p.m.
De La Salle at St. Mary’s-Stockton, 7:15 p.m.
Galileo at Santa Clara, 7 p.m.
Lincoln-San Francisco at Jefferson, 7 p.m.
Livingston at Livermore, 7 p.m.
Mt. Diablo at Lathrop, 7 p.m.
Riordan at Granada, 7 p.m.
Serra at Pittsburg, 7 p.m.
St. Francis at Central Catholic-Modesto, 7 p.m.
Tamalpais at McClymonds, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 28 Non-league (South Bay/Peninsula)
Christopher at Sobrato, 3 p.m.
Gunn at Monterey, 3 p.m.
Sacred Heart Cathedral at Sacred Heart Prep, 3 p.m.
Sequoia at Menlo, 2 p.m.
Non-league (East Bay)
American at Washington-Fremont, 7 p.m.
Berean Christian at Williams, 2 p.m.
College Park at Redwood, 2 p.m.
Irvington at Mt. Eden, 7 p.m.
San Leandro at Cardinal Newman, 7 p.m.
Acalanes at Sierra, 7 p.m.
Originally published at https://www.hsfootballhub.com on August 26, 2021.