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Here are some takeaways from the second weekend of Bay Area high school football action.
Livermore is the real deal
Livermore head coach John Wade spoke to his team following Saturday’s game and highlighted just how much that victory meant to the school.
The Cowboys were once in the cellar of the East Bay Athletic League, struggling to muster one or more wins in one of California’s toughest leagues. But the program is in much different shape now, and it showed.
They took a commanding 21-0 lead before winning a 21-7 ballgame over then-No. 18 Amador Valley, catapulting the Cowboys to a No. 19 ranking in the Bay Area. It marked the first time in multiple decades they were able to beat both Pleasanton schools in the same year.
“It’s huge. It’s huge,” said Livermore senior tight end Matthew Polaski. “Coming into this season, not knowing if we’re going to get a season, and then going out and beating two Pleasanton teams back-to-back. A Livermore school hasn’t done that since probably the ‘90s, so it’s been a long time. I don’t know the exact time, but it’s been a long time. Huge win for the program. Huge win for everyone, as you see over here. Speechless.”
During the win, Livermore flustered Amador Valley, including holding it to 1-of-8 passing in the first half for minus-6 yards.
Dual-threat senior quarterback Shaun Smith was an efficient 10-of-14 for 80 yards, also rushing for 109 yards and two scores – featuring an 80-yard scoring run where he showcased why he ran a sub-4.7 40-yard dash.
And Livermore forced three turnovers, including a fumble recovery in the endzone that put it up 14-0 late in the first half.
“Our defense is unbelievable this year,” Polaski said. “Coming into the offseason, not knowing what our defense was going to look like, to turning around and holding a great team to seven points is absolutely unbelievable. Couldn’t be more proud of them.”
MacLeod, Menlo-Atherton dominate
Two years ago, Menlo-Atherton won a state title, and this team – if a full season were intact – looked like it could replicate much of that success on Friday evening.
M-A rolled to a 30-0 halftime lead before pulling out a 36-20 win over then-No. 16 Half Moon Bay, as its offense dominated every which way against a squad that was undefeated in the regular season a year ago.
In just over two quarters of action, quarterback Matt MacLeod tossed for 315 yards and four touchdowns.
“He played amazing,” said Menlo-Atherton junior receiver Jalen Moss. “Matt is an amazing quarterback.”
Jeremiah Earby – also a star defensive back – led M-A with 105 receiving yards and a touchdown on two catches. Johnnie Barbie had 80 yards and a score on three receptions. Moss, a Power Five prospect, caught three passes for 69 yards and two touchdowns.
“My receivers are incredible,” MacLeod said. “Jalen, Jeremiah, Johnnie, all of them. There are so many of them. Studs, man.”
Serra’s offensive firepower
There’s a reason – or many – that Serra is ranked No. 2 in the Bay Area, and it showed why in a 33-26 win at No. 4 Valley Christian on Friday.
Junior quarterback Dominique Lampkin – with offers from Fresno State and Illinois State – completed 15 of 23 passes for 224 yards and four touchdowns, adding another 79 rushing yards on 11 carries.
Fellow junior athlete Hassan Mahasin – with an extensive Division I offer list – was a force every single time he touched the ball, with seven catches for 115 yards and two scores.
“Missile went crazy as usual,” said Serra senior tight end Christian Pedersen. “He did his thing. Just another day in the office for that guy. That guy is going to do big things at the next level and not only here. Don’t have enough good words to say about him.”
Behind Mahasin was sophomore Joey Villaroman, who notched four catches for 58 yards and a score in his first varsity game. Pedersen, a Louisville signee, caught three balls for 49 yards, highlighted by a 21-yard touchdown to end the first half.
Don’t forget about Serra’s defense, though, which forced three turnovers and capitalized on those takeaways with 13 points – the ultimate determinant in the outcome.
“Truth is, the team that turns the ball over the most usually is going to have a tough time winning the game,” Pedersen said. “And we saw that come to fruition tonight, and I’m happy we were able to take care of the ball. It’s been 15 months since we’ve played, so it’s natural to have a lot of miscues. I like that we keep them to a minimum and the turnovers to zero.”
Homa’s big first game in California
After moving to the Bay Area from New York, Angelo Rodriguez senior receiver Anthony Homa started off his California football tenure in dramatic fashion.
Homa caught 17 passes for 186 yards and two touchdowns, lifting Rodriguez to a 56-12 rout of Armijo.
Homa was one of New York’s best receivers in 2019, totaling 35 receptions for 479 yards in nine games at Grand Island High School, which was the 66th-most receiving yards in the state.
Sacred Heart Prep’s senior stars
Two Sacred Heart Prep seniors shined in a 17-0 shutout of Burlingame on Saturday.
Senior quarterback Teddy Purcell showed why he’s receiving some college interest, taking numerous hits throughout the game and still finding ways to extend plays by finishing with a 23-of-30 line passing for 253 yards and a touchdown.
Through two games, Purcell is up to 454 yards passing and four touchdowns.
“He’s one of the best leaders I’ve ever had in sports,” said Sacred Heart Prep senior receiver Paul Barton. “Every practice he comes out ready to play. He’ll play through whatever, and he keeps reiterating how important it is to come focused. I think he’s one of the best leaders we have, and he’s the reason we were able to get this win today.”
Barton, in just his second-ever football game, was an unstoppable force, too.
The University of North Carolina bound lacrosse athlete tallied seven catches for 96 yards and a touchdown, marking the second time in two career games he has amassed 90 yards.
“He’s a stud,” Purcell said. “Overall, he’s an unreal athlete. He’s committed for lacrosse, but I tried to get him out here. He’s one of my best friends. Just to come play with me. I feel so lucky to be able to throw to 6-5, 205 pounds, be able to run like that. It’s just incredible. Amazing athlete.”
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