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Game of the Week: No. 24 Livermore vs. No. 18 Amador Valley
It’s an early battle between some of the East Bay Athletic League Valley Division’s preseason frontrunners.
Amador Valley is the defending EBAL Valley champs, and much of its experience from that squad headlines the roster, including two-way standout Josh Heverly, a San Diego bound senior who tallied 716 receiving yards and four interceptions last year.
Eric Hunter III, a first team all-league running back and safety, has Black Hills State and Linfield offers after rushing for 833 yards and picking off three passes.
Puget Sound bound linebacker Spencer Oxe led the team in tackles last season (78) and is joined by fellow senior Spencer Scranton (36 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss), whose offer list includes Lewis & Clark and Whittier.
Livermore is coming off its best season in decades and its first winning season in the MaxPreps, which dates back to 2004, by going 6-5 overall and appearing in the North Coast Section playoffs.
A strong senior class is paced by quarterback Shaun Smith, an honorable mention all-league quarterback who holds Lewis & Clark and Whittier offers. Smith has been a star performer during this entire offseason.
Tight end Matthew Polaski – with offers from Carthage, Clarke, Lake Erie, McMurry, McPherson, Pacific, Pacific Lutheran, Whittier and William Jewell – brought in 45 receptions for 460 yards and seven touchdowns as a junior.
Eli Nuddleman put up a stellar junior year, too, going for 120.5 tackles, 28.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks. He is a Distinguished Athlete by the Marines.
Dominic Belluomini ran for 79 yards on 11 carries in last week’s 14-13 win at Foothill.
No. 4 Valley Christian vs. No. 2 Serra
The biggest game in the Bay Area opens up the West Catholic Athletic League slate.
Both teams captured successful 2019 campaigns, with Valley Christian winning 11 games, splitting a WCAL crown and appearing in the Central Coast Section championship game, while Serra won 13 games, split the WCAL crown and beat Valley Christian in the CCS title game. Serra was victorious in both meetings, winning 10-0 and 17-0, respectively.
Junior quarterback Jakson Berman leads a Valley Christian offense that thrived on the ground a year ago, totaling 3,148 rushing yards and 30 touchdowns as a team. Valley Christian’s top target, four-star sophomore Jurrion Dickey, returns after leading the team in receiving with 541 receiving yards, alongside Lafayette bound athlete Tyler Roberts.
Top defenders from a defense that surrendered a mere 82 points in 13 contests are linebackers William Cuddie (116 tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss) and Dominic Oliver (62 tackles, 15 tackles for loss) – the latter of which is a San Diego State signee.
Serra, fresh off another incredible season, brings back a plethora of experience, too.
Junior quarterback Dominique Lampkin took over for current Arizona State quarterback Daylin McLemore after a season-ending injury and delivered in astonishing ways, guiding the Padres behind his 750 rushing yards and 448 rushing yards. Illinois State and Fresno State have each offered the dual-threat signal-caller.
Also back from an offense that averaged 33.3 points per game is junior athlete Hassan Mahasin, who boasts a slew of FBS offers and ran for 434 yards and had 292 receiving yards as a sophomore.
Other Serra standouts are Louisville tight end signee Christian Pedersen and running back Vince Poni, who led Serra in rushing.
No. 7 Menlo-Atherton vs. No. 16 Half Moon Bay
Another top game in the Central Coast Section pits a pair of outstanding programs.
Half Moon Bay went a perfect 10-0 in the regular season last year, ultimately falling in the opening round of the CCS playoffs. Menlo-Atherton was 7-4 following its 2018 state title run.
Menlo-Atherton’s secondary is deep, led by UC Davis bound Jayden Stanley, senior A’marion McCoy – who recently returned to the game and is receiving college interest – and junior Jeremiah Earby.
Offensively, M-A features some premier talent, including senior quarterback Matt MacLeod, who tossed for 1,894 passing yards, 19 touchdowns and just two picks in 2019. Junior running back Thomas Taufui (509 rushing yards, 5 TD) is a key name and holds an Arizona State offer, while junior Jalen Moss (541 yards, 9 TD) – with offers from Arizona State, Colorado State, Fresno State, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oregon, Oregon State and UNLV leads the receiving corps.
Senior running back, linebacker and punter Tristan Hofmann is a star for Half Moon Bay. The four-year varsity player and Puget Sound commit totaled 1,286 rushing yards, 104 tackles and a 35.5 yards per punt average.
Junior quarterback William Moffitt joins Hofmann in the backfield and registered 1,492 yards of offense and 22 touchdowns his sophomore year.
No. 23 Las Lomas vs. No. 22 Acalanes
This is another top 25 matchup pitting some electric squads.
Acalanes is coming off a 33-27 victory over Monte Vista to begin the season, which was carried by an all-around dominant showing from its offense.
Senior quarterback Brady Huchingson – after throwing for more than 2,600 yards and 29 touchdowns as a junior – completed 18 of 26 passes for 261 yards and four touchdowns. Three receivers – Dante Montgomery (68 yards), Evan Malmquist (67 yards) and Will Berrien (64 yards) surpassed 60 receiving yards.
Montgomery also had a 68-yard rushing touchdown, while Nic Rossi carried the ball 11 times for 86 yards.
Jermaine Land was the star of the show for Las Lomas in a 25-28 defeat to now-No. 8 San Ramon Valley, rushing for 32 yards and recording 61 receiving yards. Diamond Loosli threw for 228 yards and two touchdowns.
Jabre Bevineau was the top receiver with 87 yards on six receptions.
No. 8 San Ramon Valley vs. Bishop O’Dowd
San Ramon Valley said it expected even more out of itself despite a prolific day in a 35-28 victory in a top 25 matchup at Las Lomas.
Senior quarterback Jack Quigley totaled 385 yards offensively – 305 passing and 80 rushing – as he continually extended plays and showed why he’s a Division I prospect, currently with a William & Mary offer.
Junior Za’Darion Nardi – who also had two picks in a travel football game for Cal Strength earlier in the offseason – ran for 100 yards and two scores, which was next to his 30 receiving yards.
The receiving attack was spread out, as sophomore Caleb Padrid shined with 106 yards on six catches. Caden Ridley was close behind with 89 yards and two scores, while San Diego State signee JP Murphy had 59 yards on three catches.
But Bishop O’Dowd boasts a lot of talent under first-year head coach David Perry, featuring a pair of Division I bound players in athlete Harrison Jenkins (Lehigh) and lineman Matthew Shaddle (Southern Oregon).
Other Dragons to keep an eye on are quarterback Jesse Madden (preferred walk-on offer from Michigan) and kicker Gabriel Plascencia (offers from Adams State, Arizona Christian, Iowa Wesleyan and Pacific).
Antioch vs. Liberty
Both BVAL programs are hungry to prove their worth this year.
Antioch is coming off a fourth-place finish in the league standings, with two off those league defeats coming by one possession – 27-22 to Freedom and 42-41 to Pittsburg. And with some experience and leadership paving the way, the Panthers are ready to come back in a hurry – they have won seven-plus games all but once since 2014.
Among the notable prospects is defensive end Jailen Weaver, a Nebraska signee who had 46 tackles and 12 tackles for loss last season. Next to him is senior linebacker Cameron Wright, who is having extensive conversations with Laney College after notching 58 tackles and eight tackles for loss.
Liberty ushers in a new wave of Lions football under Matt Hoefs, who takes over Ryan Partridge after Partridge guided the program to 34 wins in three years and a state title in 2018.
The Lions are young and talented. Junior linebacker/safety Colin Borrelli is the leading returning tackler (49 tackles), while sophomore Nate Bell is the starting quarterback. Other prospects are senior lineman Trevor McCurry (La Verne commit) and senior receiver Leo Reichhold (253 receiving yards).
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