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Week 4 Games to Watch

Chris Jackson / Staff Photo
Chris Jackson / Staff Photo

No. 24 Bishop O’Dowd vs. San Leandro

The West Coast Preps Game of the Week features a pair of teams who are off to strong starts this season.

Bishop O’Dowd is 1-1, with its lone loss coming by one score to San Ramon Valley, who is now the No. 8 team in the Bay Area Football Rankings. It won in 41-7 fashion over Encinal last week, a team that was an NCS runner-up in 2019.

Senior quarterback Jesse Madden – who has a University of Michigan preferred walk-on offer – is up to 567 passing yards and five touchdowns on a 72.1% completion percentage. Madden delivered an incredible performance versus Encinal, going 17-of-22 for 235 yards and four touchdowns, adding a rushing score.

San Leandro boasts a pair of close wins on its resume, opening the campaign with a 20-14 victory over Hayward and a 50-46 overtime win against Moreau Catholic in week No. 2. 

Two Pirates ran for 150-plus yards versus Moreau Catholic – junior quarterback Demetrius Freeney (167) and senior Ismael Sanchez (152).

No. 9 Los Gatos vs. Mountain View

Two of some of the De Anza League’s top teams are set to square off at 7 p.m. Friday.

Both teams, at 2-0, have rolled through their competition thus far. Los Gatos has outscored its opponents 100-7, while Mountain View has outscored opponents 78-28.

Division I running back prospect Adam Garwood is on a tear for Los Gatos, as he is averaging 13.1 yards per carry in addition to his 301 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. He carried the ball 12 times for 187 yards and four touchdowns last week against Santa Clara.

One prospect to watch for on Mountain View is senior receiver Austin Flax, a Drake signee who totaled 849 receiving yards and nine touchdowns as a junior.

No. 23 James Logan vs. Moreau Catholic

James Logan is off to a fast start in its first two games since Ricky Rodriguez took a job in Tennessee.

The Colts are 2-0 and dominated their competition, allowing just 14 points while scoring 65 of their own – topped off with a 41-8 victory over Modesto’s Davis High School. 

Moreau Catholic brings in one of the area’s top players in Colorado signee Nikko Reed, who was a first team all-league selection at receiver, defensive back and on special teams as a junior, going for 1,328 all-purpose yards, 17 touchdowns and five interceptions for Moreau Catholic in its trip to the NCS semifinals.

No. 3 Pittsburg vs. No. 25 Liberty

Pittsburg and Liberty have been the cream of the crop in the Bay Valley Athletic League in recent years.

The two programs have captured the last three league crowns, with Pittsburg winning in 2017 and 2019, while Liberty won it in 2018 next to its first-ever state title.

Last year’s meetings were as close as they get, as Pittsburg won the regular season meeting, 24-21, in overtime and then 21-14 in the North Coast Section Division I semifinals over a Liberty squad that won 10 games.

Pittsburg boasts one of the country’s top quarterback rooms, with senior Eli Brickhandler and sophomore Jaden Rashada each courting numerous Division I offers. Brickhandler has 264 passing yards and Rashada has 137.

Running back Daytuawn Pearson is a key name to watch for the Pirates, too. The senior running back’s 214 rushing yards lead the team, and his season includes a 141-yard effort a week ago.

Xavier Willis has four sacks.

But Liberty is coming in hot under new head coach Matt Hoefs, entering the Bay Area Football Rankings at No. 25 following a 20-point win over Antioch and a 36-point win over Deer Valley. 

Liberty sophomore quarterback Nate Bell is one of the most underrated signal-callers in the region, completing 22 of 39 passes for 210 yards and two touchdowns alongside two rushing touchdowns. Senior running back Jaylin Thompson has 177 rushing yards.

Opponents have scored a mere six points versus this Lions defense, which has made 18 stops in the backfield and forced seven fumbles.

No. 2 Serra vs. No. 11 St. Francis

The West Catholic Athletic League never fails to excite, and this meeting between two top 15 teams should certainly deliver again.

Serra is 2-0 following some big wins over No. 4 Valley Christian (33-26) and Sacred Heart Cathedral (49-10).

Junior athlete Hassan Mahasin has shined for Serra through its first two games, picking up three rushing touchdowns against Sacred Heart Cathedral and two receiving touchdowns in the win at Valley Christian.

And Mahasin is just where the talent begins for Serra offensively, as he’s next to junior quarterback Dominique Lampkin (Illinois State and Fresno State offers), tight end Christian Pedersen (Louisville signee), running back Petelo Gi and many others.

While St. Francis’ week No. 2 contest against Bellarmine was rescheduled due to COVID-19 protocols, it started the year with a 24-19 victory over San Benito.

Two Lancers rushed for more than 100 yards, led by senior Adonis Hernandez’s 128 yards and junior Camilo Arquette’s 111 yards. 

Arquette, who also notched 13 tackles, recently picked up a San Jose State offer. 

No. 6 Menlo-Atherton vs. No. 22 Sacred Heart Prep

Neither team has been stopped through its first few games.

Menlo-Atherton holds a 2-0 record, recording a 36-20 victory over Half Moon Bay and then a 21-0 shutout of Burlingame. Both of those outings showed the immense talent on its roster.

Junior quarterback Matt MacLeod, following an impressive sophomore season when he threw 19 touchdowns and just two interceptions, is 19-of-28 passing for 427 yards, four touchdowns and zero picks. 

Three different Bears receivers surpassed 100 receiving yards in two contests – FBS prospect Jalen Moss (150), Johnnie Barbie (106) and Jeremiah Earby (103).

Sacred Heart Prep is doing much of the same, improving its record to 3-0 with its massive 38-31 victory at King’s Academy in what was a top 25 matchup at the time. Its other two wins are a 49-12 rout of Aragon and a 17-0 shutout of Burlingame.

Senior quarterback Teddy Purcell is amidst a remarkably efficient season, completing 72.7% of his passes for 633 yards, eight touchdowns and zero interceptions – all of which comes after he had 14 touchdown strikes and three picks as a junior.

Fellow senior Paul Barton, a University of North Carolina lacrosse commit in his first-ever football season, leads the Gators with 218 receiving yards and four touchdowns. His first two games saw him amass 90 yards.

Beck Anderson has 10 catches for 141 yards and a touchdown, highlighted by his 85 yards at King’s Academy.

No. 7 Clayton Valley Charter vs. Monte Vista

It’s just another daunting matchup in the East Bay Athletic League Mountain Division.

Clayton Valley Charter, the defending state champion, is 2-1 and just picked up its first loss against Monterey Trail after wins against Inderkum and now-No. 17 California. And it is finding ways to win in close – and ugly, just like the Ugly Eagles like to do – fashion, eking out a five-point win against Inderkum and a four-point win against Cal.

Ugly Eagles senior running back Omari Taylor is doing just what he did as a junior, when he tallied 1,428 rushing yards. Taylor’s production reads 407 rushing yards and five touchdowns on an average of 5.2 yards per carry.

Next to Taylor is junior Rahsaan Woodland, who has 185 rushing yards on 31 touches.

While Monte Vista is winless in three games, do not let the record be too deceiving, as it lost by one score at Acalanes despite missing more than 20 players due to contact tracing. It then lost at No. 1 De La Salle and then at California in overtime.

Monte Vista senior running back Gavin Cribb – with offers from George Fox and Puget Sound – is an absolute workhorse in the backfield, carrying the football 71 times for 451 yards and four touchdowns. 

Two Mustangs are above 100 receiving yards, featuring 152 from Jack Endries – who has Fresno State, Pennsylvania and UNLV offers – and 113 from Cole Boscia.

Judah Sheppard returned two kickoffs for scores last week against Cal.

No. 8 San Ramon Valley vs. No. 17 California

These 2-1 teams are dazzling whenever they touch the football field.

San Ramon Valley’s only loss is to De La Salle, and in its other contests its offense posted more than 30 points each time. The scary part is its players thought it left multiple touchdowns on the board each time out.

Junior quarterback Jack Quigley has shown why he holds a Division I offer from William & Mary, throwing for 549 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for another score. He had 302 yards in one game alone in the season-opening win at Las Lomas.

A trio of Wolves are past 100 receiving yards through these first three weeks – Caden Ridley (159), San Diego State tight end signee JP Murphy (144) and Caleb Padrid (133). 

Za’Darion Nardi, also a standout defensive back, leads SRV with 241 rushing yards and three touchdowns.

California, meanwhile, is making the adjustment to a spread offense under first-year head coach Danny Calcagno look seamless, even if it wasn’t during a tumultuous offseason rocked by COVID-19 where they completely shifted gears from Eric Billeci’s highly successful ground and pound offense to the spread.

Quarterback Teddy Booras rarely makes mistakes, as he is 61-for-91 for 727 yards and five touchdowns. He just had 306 yards in an overtime win against Monte Vista.

Jake Hubbard is a do-it-all presence for the Grizzlies, compiling 277 yards and three scores on the ground in addition to 96 receiving yards.

Jake Calcagno, the son of head coach Danny Calcagno, is coming off a 151-yard day that put him at 310 yards for the year. Dominick Tuyor (132 yards) and Darius Foster (122 yards) are other receivers to keep an eye on.

One top-notch Grizzlies defensive prospect is Josh Gerlach, who had three interceptions, 31 tackles, one forced fumble and one touchdown.

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