NorCal top game:
De La Salle vs Cathedral Catholic (listing this here because it will be played in NorCal)
The Spartans are coming off of an historic defeat to the St. Francis Lancers. How will they bounce back? While St. Francis was NorCal-ranked, they were not state-ranked by CalHiSports.com. The next opponent is ranked in the state top 10, however. The Lancers used a punishing ground game and opportunistic passing attack to garner the win. Another potentially physical ground game awaits against Cathedral Catholic. DLS is in the middle of a string of high-level contests, which will continue for the next couple of weeks against St. Frances (MD) and Folsom.
The Dons of Cathedral Catholic know a bit about bouncing back from a defeat as they were soundly beaten by Corona Centennial a few weeks ago. They responded with blowout wins over a state-ranked Chaminade and Helix. Hoping that lightning with strike twice, Cathedral Catholic will use a triple-option offense to try to control the ball and the line of scrimmage much like how St. Francis did. For the first time in ages, the Dons will come in as a higher-ranked California DLS opponent not named Mater Dei or St. John Bosco. A win here and they are in the driver's seat for a CIF D-IAA regional bowl berth.
Other interesting games:
Bellarmine vs Central Catholic... With St. Francis' win over DLS, Bellarmine is now in the conversation for a potential CIF Open Division bid if they were to win out as they get their shot at the Lancers on 10/22. Central Catholic is 3-0, having defeated three capable opponents. Teams played in the Spring where the Raiders overcame a 21-point deficit to win 28-21.
McClymonds vs Marin Catholic... McClymonds will demonstrate over the next three weeks whether they are a mere curiosity or if their CalHiSports and NorCalPreps rankings (40 and 10, respectively) are justified. Marin Catholic is undefeated so far (just like the Warriors), but has lost the last two meetings with McClymonds (2019 & 2018).
Del Oro vs Granite Bay... Always tough Golden Eagles of Del Oro have started 4-0 start, having picked up a nice win over Concord Clayton Valley a couple weeks ago. 3-1 Granite Bay looks to spoil Del Oro's bid to be a main contender to Folsom in the Sierra Foothill League
SoCal top game:
Servite vs Sierra Canyon
The Friars have looked explosive in three impressive wins so far and look to add another state-ranked opponent to that list. They have thus far yielded only 28 points in 3 games, including only 7 against powerful Mission Viejo. Servite was very opportunistic last week, taking advantage of several Bishop Amat gaffes on special teams. The Friars have a balanced offensive attack out of their spread formation to go along with their stingy defense. We're going to have to wait for the much-anticipated games against Mater Dei and St. John Bosco as they aren't until weeks 9 and 10 of the regular season, respectively.
Sierra Canyon sits at 2-1, having had two weeks to get over their 19-point loss to Corona Centennial. Although the two teams they've defeated are not chopped liver, JSerra and Oaks Christian do sit at a combined 1-6, having taken on tough competition themselves. While the Trailblazer's efforts to schedule great competition has been rewarded with a top 10 state ranking by CalHiSports, it may be time to demonstrate whether or not they actually belong in that placement. Their tough schedule continues after this week with games against Mission Viejo and Saguaro out of Arizona later in the year.
Other interesting games:
St. John Bosco vs Smith (VA)... The Braves continue their tour of state #1 teams (according to calpreps.com) by traveling across the country to take on the Tigers in Chesapeake. Smith has only allowed 3 points in their 2-0 start, but their competition so far has been... ordinary, with neither team rated in the top 2500 according to calpreps.com.
Los Alamitos vs Santa Margarita... The 4-0 Griffins survived a close battle with Clovis Buchanan last week, 34-31. The 3-1 Eagles are coming off of a win against Nolan Catholic out of Texas, 31-13, with their only loss coming to state top 10 Norco.
Carlsbad vs Mission Hills... Carlsbad is ranked #2 in the SDS by CalHiSports and will have to beat #4 Mission Hills in order to stay there, since #3 Lincoln already has a win over them. Mission Hills fights to remain in CalHiSports' state top 25 this week in a game that may decide the Avocado League title.