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Here are some takeaways from the third week of Bay Area high school football action.
Elijah Klock’s strength
The perseverance shown by Campolindo junior lineman Elijah Klock inspired everyone.
Five days before Campolindo’s rivalry game against Acalanes, Klock’s father tragically passed away. The two were inseparable, a relationship his teammates discussed and raved about.
But Klock hung tough and was there all week for the Cougars, smiling at practice, laughing and leading his teammates in a big week of preparation as they looked to keep their perfect record intact.
That is just what they did, with Klock and the Cougars making Klock’s father proud in a 28-13 victory to improve to 3-0.
“It’s huge,” said Campolindo senior lineman Jelani Matai Bell.” Even the fact that all of us were shedding tears on that Monday night. It was all hard just thinking about what happened. I’ve never seen a stronger relationship between athlete and father on this field.
“And just going into that, seeing how he can just keep his strong face, smile throughout practice, trying to let us know that he’s okay was huge for us. Obviously we’re still letting him know that we’ll always be here for him because you never know when something like that is going to come back up.”
Klock said his teammates and the brotherhood they have forged together at Campolindo has really helped him.
“My teammates for sure and coach (Kevin) Macy,” Klock said. “This team is really a brotherhood, and it’s no B.S. Everyone really supported me. That’s how I got through this week was my teammates.”
Cal’s rise in the rankings
During the preseason, the California Grizzlies were an unranked team and gearing up for a new era of football in the incredibly challenging East Bay Athletic League Mountain Division.
And the change of staff wasn’t just an ordinary one. Eric Billeci stepped down after an impressive run of success that included multiple league crowns behind a punish ground game that consistently featured power sets and the I-formation.
Then, Cal hired Danny Calcagno – whose offense is out of the shotgun, a spread offense resembling that of most collegiate football programs. On top of the change was the fact the COVID-19 pandemic hit, changing the landscape on how to install a new system.
“Oh my gosh. Offense, defense,” Calcagno said with a smile on his face. “The kids have been awesome. They’re paying attention. We watch film every day, so we’re doing those kind of things.”
Although much of it was learned virtually, through Zoom meetings, Cal’s players have made the transition appear seamless – as seen in a thrilling 38-31 overtime victory over a then-No. 17 Monte Vista squad.
Quarterback Teddy Booras threw the ball 48 times, completing 29 of those passes for 306 yards and two touchdowns. Jake Calcagno caught 13 completions for 156 yards and a touchdown. Tyler Jarvis had 52 yards on three catches. Dominick Tuyor had 50 yards on six receptions. Darius Foster had 39 yards.
In total, six Grizzlies caught a pass.
Jake Hubbard continued his strong senior season, rushing for 163 yards and three touchdowns – including the game-winning touchdown in overtime.
Additionally, the defense forced three turnovers and held the Mustangs to 17 points, as 14 of the 31 points came on special teams.
“They’re doing well,” Danny Calcagno said. “We’re trying to keep it as simple as possible and not have too many different plays. Just be good at a few. They’re stepping up, doing good.”
Cal is now 2-1, with a 63-33 victory versus Dublin sprinkled in there. Its only loss was by four points on the road to Clayton Valley Charter, a very winnable game against the defending state champion when it dropped two touchdown passes and missed two field goals.
In the latest Bay Area Football Rankings, Cal jumped seven spots from No. 24 to No. 17.
McClymonds remains the top dog in Oakland
McClymonds certainly made a statement Saturday evening.
In a rematch of last year’s Silver Bowl, McClymonds came out in a hurry, scoring 36 points in the first half in what turned out to be a 60-0 rout of Skyline, which is one of the most improved programs in the Bay Area under head coach Joe Bates (Skyline was 9-3 last year).
McClymonds was the state runner-up at the Division 2-A level in 2019 and has won three state titles since 2016 – all of which came in succession to become the first public school to claim three straight CIF state titles.
Perry gets first win as O’Dowd’s coach
David Perry is off to a strong start in his first year as Bishop O’Dowd’s head coach.
One week after a 21-13 loss to No. 8 San Ramon Valley, the Dragons rolled through Encinal – the runner-up in the North Coast Section Division V championship game last season – in 41-7 fashion.
Senior quarterback Jesse Madden – with a preferred walk-on offer from Michigan – was a highly efficient 17-of-22 passing for 235 yards and four touchdowns, adding another score on the ground.
Eight Dragons players caught a pass, and two caught a pair of touchdown passes – Tyler Martin and Ben Hunter. Martin led the way with 55 receiving yards.
Isaac Green had two interceptions
Next up: a road tilt at 7 p.m. Thursday versus San Leandro.
Vintage is on a roll
One of the region’s hottest teams kept it going over the weekend.
Vintage obliterated American Canyon in 55-0 fashion, which marked its second shutout this spring. Only one team has scored on Vintage, as it is outsourcing opponents 165-6 through three games.
The Crushers ran for 388 yards and six touchdowns while averaging 12.1 yards per carry. Mosaati Schaumkel needed just four carries to reach 114 yards. Dylan Smith scored three times and had 89 yards.
With only 24 carries, Smith is up to 398 yards and eight touchdowns for the season, equating to an average of 16.6 yards per carry. Schaumkel has 295 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries, averaging 22.7 yards per touch.
Luther Green’s dominance
Wilcox running back Luther Green could not be stopped in a 48-14 win over Milpitas.
Green totaled 215 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries, lifting Wilcox to its second straight victory to stay unbeaten.
Last week, Green had 109 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 15 carries in a 56-28 victory against Palo Alto.
Thoms is a workhorse
Dillan Thoms keeps on plugging away as Campolindo’s starting running back.
After one year in Utash, Thoms is back at Campolindo for his senior season and is enjoying his final ride with the Cougars. And his teammates and coaches are sure enjoying it, too, as Thoms’ impact in the backfield is a key reason why they are 3-0.
Thoms carried the ball 31 times for 119 yards and two touchdowns in the 28-13 victory against Acalanes. It was the third time in three games he had 20 or more carries, with 20 in the season opener against Freedom for 132 yards and one touchdown, and 24 carries for 129 yards and a score versus Benicia.
His season totals read 380 rushing yards and four touchdowns.
“He’s a beast,” said Campolindo senior receiver Joey Schmidt. “So mentally tough. Our offense rallies around him. Can’t do it without him.”
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