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The Spartans held on for a 35-27 victory over St. Mary’s (Stockton) to extend their Northern California unbeaten streak. Sacramento State signee Dorian Hale totaled more than 200 yards offensively. Running backs Mekhi Norfleet and Nico Torrez each ran for 100-plus yards.
A state runner-up last season, Serra’s only two losses came by a combined nine point to St. Ignatius and Corona del Mar, with much of the star power returning. Junior quarterback Dominique Lampkin boasts multiple Division I offers, while junior athlete Hassan Mahasin – another top FBS prospect – comes back next to Louisville tight end signee Christian Pedersen and top rusher Vince Poni. Serra’s leading tackler, Fynn Williams, also returns.
While Pittsburg loses a strong 2020 class from a team that captured a Bay Valley Athletic crown, the Pirates are locked and loaded with superb talent everywhere. Two quarterbacks moved in – senior Eli Brickhandler and sophomore Jaden Rashada – both of which hold multiple Division I offers. Other key players include four-star sophomore receiver Rashid Williams, UNLV linebacker signee Maurice Jamison and senior defensive back Lamont Fortenberry, who led the team in interceptions last season.
Four-star tight end Sam Roush, a Stanford commit, moved east, but the Warriors remain one of the most talented teams in the region after winning 11 games a year ago. Among the notable athletes are four-star sophomore athlete Jurrion Dickey (team-high 541 receiving yards) and linebackers William Cuddie (116 tackles and 18.5 tackles for loss) and Dominic Oliver (62 tackles and 15 tackles for loss).
Senior linebacker Dylan Seeley – the 2019 state championship game MVP – came away with two interceptions, as the defending state champions opened the 2021 spring season with a 20-15 road victory over Inderkum, who went 11-1 last season. Next up is a tilt against California to open up EBAL play.
The defending state champion went 14-1 last season and outscored opponents 534-150. Top seniors Shane Moran (1,068 total yards, 108 tackles), Washington State signee Tsion Nunnally (770 receiving yards) and Mitch Russell (125 tackles). Sophomore Santino Aevedo is another player to watch after accumulating 64 tackles and 13 tackles for loss as a freshman.
While U.S. Army All-American receiver Troy Franklin enrolled in January at Oregon, the Bears’ roster remains stacked across the board. Top prospects from a league championship squad include junior quarterback Matt MacLeod (1,834 yards, 19 TD, 2 INT), junior Power Five receiver prospect Jalen Moss (541 yards), junior running back/defensive back Thomas Taufui (500-plus rushing yards), junior linebacker Andrew Buck (67 tackles) and UC Davis defensive back signee Jayden Stanley.
San Ramon Valley withstood a late Las Lomas comeback attempt, scoring in the final minute to win a top 25 matchup on the road, 35-28. Junior quarterback Jack Quigley, who has a William & Mary offer, threw for 305 yards and a touchdown and ran for another 80 yards and a score. Caleb Padrid had 106 receiving yards, while Caden Ridley had 89 yards and two touchdowns. Wolves players thought they could have scored more, too.
The Wildcats captured a Central Coast Section title in 2019 while outsourcing opponents 463-199. Senior linebacker Will Schweitzer enrolled at Notre Dame, but much star power returns, including senior Division I running back prospect Adam Garwood (1,260 rushing yards, 20 TD), junior Jake Ripp (87 tackles) and seniors Carson Gardner (65 tackles) and Jaden Mazzaferro (64 tackles). Lots of optimism is in the air for senior quarterback Alex Grado.
An 11-game winner and NCS runner-up, Marin Catholic obliterated its 2019 competition and allowed 69 total points in 13 games, with its only defeats coming by two points to McClymonds and three points to Cardinal Newman. Some key players are junior quarterback Michael Ingrassia (1,688 yards, 20 TD, 5 INT), UC Davis running back signee Matteo Perez (2,024 rushing yards, 30 TD) and senior tight end Geordie Aarsheim (553 receiving yards).
The Lancers went 4-7 last year, but all their defeats came to opponents with a combined 67-14 record. Plus, a plethora of experience returns, including all but 54 rushing yards. Some key players are junior Camilo Arquette (906 rushing yards, 72 tackles), junior Viliami Teu (503 rushing yards), junior Nico Andrighetto (75 tackles), senior Carsten Rawls (400 receiving yards), Division I tight end/linebacker prospect Clayton Lynam and senior Southern Utah lineman signee Joe Tongamoa (57 tackles).
McClymonds went 11-1 last season, with its only defeat coming in the CIF Division 2-A state championship game to Pacifica (Oxnard). Its program has won three state titles in four years and boasts numerous collegiate prospects, including seniors Caleb Kendricks and DaVeonne Sanders – both of which have an offer from William & Mary.
The defending Northern California 3-A state champion finished last year strong, winning eight in a row before its state title defeat. Some talent does come back, featuring senior linebacker Mihalis Santorineos, whose offer list continues growing following a junior campaign when he had 237 tackles, six fumble recoveries and six blocked PATs.
The Mustangs provided one of the most valiant efforts, only falling in just 33-27 fashion at Acalanes despite having only a little over 20 players due to contact tracing. They will not be penalized for the defeat in the rankings. They had two chances in the fourth quarter to come away with the road win. Senior running back Gavin Cribb dominated, taking 29 carries for 231 yards and two touchdowns, throwing an 18-yard touchdown on a trick play and also bringing in 36 receiving yards.
In one of the best games of the weekend, Campolindo scored in the fourth quarter to come away with the 27-23 win at Freedom. Quarterback Jacob Griessel threw for 286 yards and four touchdowns. Dillan Thomas took 20 carries for 137 yards. Max Heffernan, Joey Schmidt and Maxwell Weaver each amassed 60 receiving yards.
Half Moon Bay’s defense came to play, starting off the year with a 19-10 win over Burlingame after allowing an average of 12.4 points per game last season. Senior Tristan Hofmann ran for 70 yards on 18 carries and tallied 38 receiving yards.
Vintage opened the season with a 53-6 obliteration of Casa Grande. Junior Dylan Smith needed just five carries to reach 112 yards and three touchdowns, equating to 22.4 yards per carry. Senior quarterback Jacob Aaron completed four passes for 124 yards.
Coming off an 8-3 campaign and an EBAL Valley Division title, the Dons feature some prolific talent. Three of the top four tackles – Spencer Oxe, Matthew Hallgrimson and Spencer Scranton – headline a strong defensive unit. Other strong players are senior running back Eric Hunter III (833 rushing yards, 211 receiving yards), San Diego signee Josh Heverly (716 receiving yards, 4 INT) and Gabe Solo.
St. Ignatius shined in a challenging West Catholic Athletic League, going 9-3 overall and splitting a league crown. Its only losses came to teams with a combined 19-6 record, with those squads all advancing to at least the section semifinals. St. Ignatius gave up 14.7 points per game.
A Northern California runner-up in 2019, King’s Academy is locked and loaded for another special campaign despite the shortened schedule. Starting quarterback Antonio Gonzalez returns after throwing for 1,773 yards and 17 touchdowns, and so is Army bound Noah Short, who is one of the premier all-around athletes in California. Short ran for 552 yards, had 404 receiving yards and also registered 160 tackles, 17 tackles for loss and five interceptions.
Lots of experience comes back from a special Oak Grove team that went 10-3 and played for a CCS title. Starting quarterback Jessie Miller is healthy and has some of his top receivers back in Devyn Parker and Marcellino Henry. Other key players are running back/linebacker Elias Herrera, Christopher Mendoza and Foothill College bound lineman Izaya Sabedra.
Acalanes took a commanding 33-14 lead before a shorthanded No. 14 Monte Vista squad nearly completed the comeback in a 33-27 Dons win. Despite multiple turnovers from the offense, Acalanes found contributors all across the board to come away with the win. Senior quarterback Brady Huchingson extended numerous plays and completed 18 of 26 passes for 261 yards and four touchdowns. Nic Rossi had 11 carries for 86 yards. Dante Montgomery had 68 receiving yards and 68 rushing yards. Evan Malmquist caught four passes for 67 yards and a score. Will Berrien finished with 64 receiving yards.
A late comeback wasn’t enough, as No. 10 San Ramon Valley scored in the final minute to defeat Las Lomas, 35-28. But there was a lot to like from Las Lomas’ effort, as Jermaine Land surpassed 90 yards offensively (61 receiving, 32 rushing) and Jabre Bevineau caught six passes for 87 yards.
Livermore survived a thrilling game in a 14-13 win at Foothill to open the slate, as quarterback Shaun Smith took a QB sneak in the fourth quarter for the go-ahead score. Dominic Belluomini paced the Cowboys with 79 rushing yards on 11 touchdowns. Next up is a big tilt versus Amador Valley, who won the East Bay Athletic League Valley Division in 2019.
Head coach Ricky Rodriguez recently took a job on the east coast, but the Colts do feature some impact players from a team that went 9-2 and outscored opponents 445-162. Among them is senior athlete Shamoun Duncan Niusulu, who has multiple offers, and senior receiver/defensive back Jeremiah Patterson.
Armijo on the come up
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