Game of the Week
No. 10 Ramona (4-1) at Poway (3-2) Friday 7 p.m.
In a loaded realigned Palomar League that also features Rancho Bernardo and Torrey Pines, the Bulldogs and Titans could be a sleeper for the league title. Ramona’s only loss has come to unbeaten Valley Center and the Bulldogs are averaging 400 yards per game led by running back Tyler Jackson (600 yards, 13 TDs). After losing their first two games, Poway has won three straight, including a 36-32 win last week at Mt. Carmel where they forced five turnovers. Who will prevail when the Bulldogs head west on the 67?
Best of the Rest
Carlsbad (3-2) at No. 7 La Costa Canyon (3-2) Friday 7 p.m.
In the last two years, this battle for Carlsbad has been rather one-sided with La Costa Canyon winning three matchups by an average of 29 points. The Mavericks have not lost in the section, with their losses coming to teams with a 9-1-1 record. La Costa Canyon is led by a steady ground game and a defense that has allowed a total of 17 points in their three wins. Carlsbad has been up and down this season, but might find comfort at La Costa Canyon, where they played three home games in 2008. If the Lancers make a big play it will probably come at the hands of Armani Aburto, who has provided a spark all season long.
Bishop’s (5-0) at Santa Fe Christian (4-2) Saturday 1 p.m.
Sporting a combined preseason record of 19-7, the Coastal League is the best small school league in the section and one of the best in the state. This league will produce a slate of great games for the remainder of the season, starting with this one between the Knights and Eagles. Santa Fe Christian has won the last two meeting between these two, but Bishop’s win in 2007 came on the way to a CIF title.
Granite Hills (4-1) at No. 8 Steele Canyon (4-1) Friday 7 p.m.
With three top 10 teams entering league play, the Grossmont Hills League presents a compelling argument as the best league in the section. The league is so deep that both Granite Hills and Steele Canyon find themselves looking up in the standings at unbeatens Grossmont and Helix. Both teams average 34 points per game in different ways – the Cougars like to run with Jake Wragg while the Eagles like to air it out with quarterback Cory Lockman. A Granite Hills win would put them on the map and exact some revenge – Steele Canyon has won the last five meetings between the two schools.
Lincoln (2-3) at Mira Mesa (2-3) Friday 6:30 p.m.
Lincoln and Mira Mesa played tough preseason slates and won’t want to fall behind in the always-competitive Eastern League. The Hornets haven’t beaten the Marauders in the two meetings since they reopened, including a 42-41 loss at Lincoln last season. Expect another shootout in this one.
In the Red Zone
Morse (5-2, 2-0 Central) at University City (2-3, 1-0) Friday 3 p.m.