The week ahead: There are several intriguing games, but we'll go with Monte Vista at Pittsburg as the one to watch. The Mustangs came into the year with high expectations, but dropped their opener to Serra a week after the Padres were completely dominated by De La Salle. In Pittsburg, the Mustangs are playing a team that probably expected to be 2-0 at this point, but was dominated in the season-opener against Foothill before its puzzling loss to McClymonds last week at home. It should be a good measuring stick for both teams, but I fully expect Monte Vista to send Pitt to an 0-3 start.
De La Salle at St. Mary's-Stockton has the potential to be interesting, but after De La Salle handled Serra in the fashion it did, it'd be tough to expect something different in Concord.
Returning to the scene: When Foothill traveled to James Logan in last year's North Coast Section playoffs, Foothill's Sean Mannion set a Northern California prep football single-game record with 582 yards passing and receiver Cameron Rowland caught 15 passes for a NCS-record 340 yards. The Falcons return to the old-school turf at Logan on Friday looking like a completely different — but still very, very good — team with its double-tight, double-wing offense. The drastic change of identity has the Falcons playing with an added intensity on defense, which coach Matt Sweeney said is more on par with some of his earlier teams.
Lookin' good: Year No. 2 of the Eric Billeci era at Cal has gone about as good as the coach could have hoped. Following blowout victories against Washington and College Park this Grizzlies should have no problem with Castro Valley this week and will likely enter its league-opener against Monte Vista on Oct. 1 at 3-0. The emergence of QB Drew Reil and S Trevor Taft and the continued development of RB Jerrel Dunn to go along with RB Kyle Alvarez and WR John Sarmenta have the Grizzlies looking dangerous.
Figuring out Amador: It's hard to make sense of what is going on so far at Amador Valley. Following 7-0 win (against Freedom) with a 36-23 loss (to Concord) is just bizarre. Freedom did go out and beat Berkeley last week, which makes Amador's win a look little better. However, if the Dons have that much trouble with Concord and future Southern Miss quarterback Ricky Lloyd, it doesn't bode well for when they get to league play and have to deal with some of the area's other most prolific offenses. The Dons will be tested this week when they travel to Washington to cap what's probably the most difficult non-league schedule Rick Sira has lined up in at least 10 years, maybe longer.
Where they're ranked: In the national rankings, De La Salle is No. 9 in the USA Today National Super 25, No. 17 in the MaxPreps.com Freeman Rankings, No. 19 in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 and No. 29 in the RivalsHigh 100. The Spartans are ranked behind Grant-Sacramento by every outlet except USA Today.
USA Today also ranks De La Salle as the No. 3 team in the West region. The Spartans sit a spot behind Chandler-Arizona and one in front of their Sept. 25 opponent, Bishop Gorman-Nevada, which is coached by former Cal High coach Tony Sanchez. Chandler topped Gorman in the season opener for both teams at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff on Aug. 21.
In the Cal-Hi Sports state rankings , De La Salle sits at No. 2 — behind Grant — and San Ramon Valley is listed as a bubble team.
San Ramon checks in at No. 7 in the Cal-Hi Sports Northern California rankings (up from 17 last week) after its 16-13 win against Mitty, which dropped from No. 8 to No. 10. Monte Vista fell seven spots from No. 9 to No. 16 following its 28-21 loss to Serra, which went from unranked to No. 15.
Six EBAL teams are in this week's San Francisco Chronicle Top 25: 1. De La Salle; 5. San Ramon Valley; 12. Foothill; 15. Monte Vista; 19. California and 25. Granada.
Recruiting hot-bed: A year after the East Bay Athletic League sent De La Salle's Tyler Anderson (Oregon State, walk-on) and Terron Ward (Oregon State), Foothill's Sean Mannion (Oregon State) and Monte Vista's Brett Nottingham (Stanford) and Dave Wilkseron (Cal) to Pac-10 Conference schools, recruiting has continued to heat up.
As reported late Sunday night, SRV quarterback Zach Kline is headed to Cal and it came on the heels of news that Granada twins George and Josh Atkinson committed to Notre Dame on an official visit this weekend. National recruiting guru Tom Lemming was quoted in the South Bend Tribune saying: "(George) is one of the premier wide receivers on the west coast. (Josh is) not quite as far along as George yet, (but) I think he could be an outstanding cornerback."
Scout.com ranks George as the No. 15 safety in the country and Josh as the No. 46 corner in the country. Rivals.com pegs George as a four-star recruit, the No. 12 athlete in the country, the No 86 recruit nationally and at No. 11 in the state. The site gave Josh a three-star ranking at corner and ranks him No. 37 at the position nationally and No. 66 overall in the state.
Oregon State tapped back into its De La Salle pipeline over the summer when it got a verbal commitment from defensive end Dylan Wynn, while DLS linebacker Blake Renaud will join San Ramon Valley's Joe Southwick at Boise State.
Monte Vista receiver Dane Turner committed to U.C. Davis last spring while offensive lineman Jacob Welter, who is the No. 60 ranked offensive guard in the country by Scout.com, is set to play at Ohio.
Rob Andrews, San Diego State: Former Foothill linebacker was fourth on the team with four tackles in SDSU's win against New Mexico State.
Zach Ertz, Stanford: Two weeks ago, the redshirt freshman from Monte Vista caught two passes for eight yards and a touchdown in the Cardinal's win against Sacramento State.
Byron Gruedl, U.C. Davis: Former SRV football and swimming star has recorded four tackles through two games playing linebacker and special teams in his sophomore year.
Roy Helu Jr., Nebraska: In Nebraska's lopsided wins against Western Kentucky and Idaho, the SRV alum has run for 136 yards and a score. Helu ran for 1,147 yards in his junior year for the Huskers.
Tom Hemmingsen, U.C. Davis: Former Monte Vista receiver is seeing time in his redshirt freshman year at Davis, but his only registered stat is punt return for no yards.
Kean Stancil, Hastings (Neb.): True freshman quarterback from Amador Valley has carried eight times for 60 yards and has one incomplete pass.
Bo Stompro, Univ. of San Diego: Cal High alum has connected on 2-of-11 passes for four yards appearing in a pair of USD losses.
Ryan Whalen, Stanford: Senior receiver from Monte Vista has eight catches for 104 yards and a touchdown.
Dave Wilkerson, Cal: Monte Vista alum has had a tackle in each of Cal's first two games.
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More Patch East Bay Football Coverage
ACCAL/BSAL Notebook: Mixed Results in Non-League Play. By Jordan Conn
. By Jim Mannion
Friday Sept. 10
San Ramon Valley 16, Mitt-San Jose 13. By Kyle Bonagura
Campolindo 35, Mt. Eden 14. By Kyle Yamamoto
Encinal 59, El Cerrito 20. By Jordan Conn
Marin Catholic 20, Las Lomas 8. By Richard Paolinelli
Serra-San Mateo 28, Monte Vista 21. By Jim Mannion
Dougherty Valley 31, Kennedy-Fremont 13. By Bill Soliday
Foothill 37, Novato 12. By Steve R. Waterhouse
Cal 45, College Park 3. By Adam Berke
Berean Christian 45, St. Helena 7. By Peter Fournier
Northgate 70, Tennyson 18. By Jim Mannion
Vallejo 42, Albany 24. By Patrick Creaven
Concord 36, Amador Valley 23. By Eric Gilmore
Saturday Sept. 11
Acalanes 10, Hayward 6. By Kyle Bonagura
Bishop O'Dowd 59, Alameda 10. By Matt Rempel
By Jim Mannion