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San Ramon Valley breezes past McClymonds — Top 10 game Northern California high school football roundup (9/15/2023)

Wolves get payback as does De La Salle, which knocks off St. Mary's; Clovis North earns statement win over Trinity League, Southern Section power JSerra Catholic

Heading into the week, the following 10 games were identified as a the best to watch in Northern California sections: Central, Central Coast, North Coast, San Francisco, Oakland, Sac-Joaquin and Northern. 

Full section schedules: Central | Central Coast | North Coast | Sac-Joaquin | Oakland | San Francisco | Northern

The numeral rank is how they were ranked coming into Friday's action. Check back for live updates, scoring plays, standout players and game action.   

#10: Hillsdale-San Mateo 21, Sacred Heart Prep 14

How about them Fighting Knights? Quarterback Erick Waugh threw two second-quarter touchdown passes to erase a 7-0 deficit and host Hillsdale won its fourth straight game to start the season. After Anthony Noto scored a 3-yard run for SHP (2-2), Waugh fired an 11-yard TD pass to Jack Haywood, then threw another scoring pass to go up 14-7 at halftime. Nato tied it up with his second 3-yard run before Waugh and Haywood connected again, on a 7-yard TD with five minutes left to go ahead for good. 

Pregame: Following a tough 36-17 opening loss at Riordan, the Gators have responded with impressive wins over Sacred Heart Cathedral (42-23) and Palo Alto (28-14). Hillsdale’s Mike Parodi always gets the most out of the Knights, whose senior quarterback Erick Waugh has eight TD passes to seven different receivers. This series is tied 3-3 since 2016. Both teams are on the bubble for SBLive's NorCal Coast rankings

#9: Amador Valley 41, Monte Vista-Danville 34

Host Amador Valley (3-1) fought back from a 21-7 deficit to knock off the resurgent Mustangs (3-1), capping a 34-6 stretch on a 36-yard catch and run by Nate Jetter with 9:44 left in the fourth quarter. Amador Valley took a 28-21 lead at the half on a 14-yard pass from Aidan Foley to Ben Stout. 

Pregame: Longtime East Bay Athletic League rivals meet in a nonleague game. Monte Vista, led by QB Brayden Turner (720 yards passing, nine TDs) and RB Julian McMahan (342 rushing yards, six TDs), has won 11 of 17 since 2004, including the last two, 21-0 and 10-7. Amador has allowed only 26 points, including a 6-0 win over Campolindo on Sept. 1. But the Dons have only scored 27. Monte Vista is No. 15 in the NorCal Coast rankings. Amador Valley is on the bubble. 

#8: Sanger 21, Centennial-Bakersfield

A 20-yard TD pass from Jaden Chanthalangsy to Bryson Baker opened the scoring and the host Apaches (4-1) never trailed after that. An Isreal Robles 4-yard touchdown run made it 14-0 before Centennial (3-2) closed to 14-7 before halftime on a 33-yard TD run by Angel Lozano. Robles set up his second TD run — a 9-yarder — with another long burst, making it 21-7 early in the third quarter. The Sanger defense was stout the rest of the way. 

Pregame: Centennial, No. 12 in the Central Section rankings, is coming off a 37-0 win over Ridgeview behind a big performance from Adam Copus, who completed 21 of 26 for 290 yards and two TDs, both to Boston College commit Jaxton Santiago (nine catches, 193 yards). Seventh-ranked Sanger breezed past Lemoore 42-13 last week behind five rushing touchdowns. Centennial won two previous meetings against Sanger, 34-26 last season and 17-14 in 2004. 

#7: Del Oro 31, Casa Roble-Orangevale 13 

Marcel Urquhart broke open a tight defensive battle with three second-half touchdowns as Del Oro improved to 5-0 with the tough road win. A Caden Pinnick 15-yard TD pass to Urquhart gave the Golden Eagles a 10-7 lead early in the third quarter and after a fumble at the Casa Roble 1, Pinick snuck the ball over to make it 17-7. Urquahart's 33-yard run made it 24-7 with one minute left in the third when Conoor Campbell threw his second TD of the game, this one 28 yards to Cole Owens to make it 24-13. Urquhart put it away with a 4-yard TD dagger. Casa Roble dropped to 3-1. 

Pregame: Del Oro, coming off a 39-7 win over Lincoln-Stockton, is No. 7 in the Sac-Joaquin Section rankings, and Casa Roble, coming off a bye, is No. 8. Del Oro got big games from its defense and special teams last week as Landon Vander Kooi blocked a punt and scored and Breyden Rush added a pick-6. Remarkably these teams have never met since 2004.

#6: Oak Ridge 31, Pleasant Valley-Chico 7

It was a matter of attrition. Erick Orme and the Trojans wore down the host Vikings on a hot sweltering night in Chico, scoring the final 24 points. Orme rushed for three touchdowns, all from short range, a 6-yarder and two four-yarders. Add in an opening 60-yard TD pass from Joaquin Graves-Mercado to Jadon Anderson and a short field goal by Alex Henslee and the Trojans improved to 5-0. Pleasant Valley, the Northern Section's top-ranked team, got an early 1-yard TD from Lucas Benson, but it wasn't nearly enough. 

Pregame: Great intersectional matchup featuring Oak Ridge, ranked No. 3 in the Sac-Joaquin Section rankings, at Northern Section's No. 1 team according to MaxPreps computer rankings. Oak Ridge is coming off a very impressive 28-0 win over North Coast Section power Clayton Valley Charter, which managed just 216 total yards. The Trojans got 100-yard rushing games from Jasen Womack and Erick Orme, who rushed for two TDs. Womack also had an interception. The teams met in 2022 with Oak Ridge winning at home, 41-10. Pleasant Valley's Lucas Benson has rushed for four touchdowns. 

#5: Pittsburg 38, California-San Ramon 35 

They might be talking about this one for a while. The Pirates, ranked fourth in the NorCal Coast, trailed 14-3 at halftime but  came to life behind Marley Alcantara, who completed two touchdown passes, one of 47 yards to Noah Quesada, to close to 21-16. His third TD pass of the half gave the Pirates (4-0) a 24-21 lead and a fourth, made it 31-21 before holding off the very game Grizzlies (2-2). After Cal cut the lead to 31-28, Alcantara fired his fifth touchdown of the half, a 34-yard to Quesada to help put it away.  

Pregame: Since 2007, these large-school NCS powers have played eight times with Pittsburg winning five, including 34-14 last season for the Pirates’ third straight win in the series. The Pirates needed a late interception by Noah Quesada to beat Monterey Trail-Elk Grove 10-7 last week. Quesada also caught a TD pass. California, led by 421 rushing yards and four TDs from Devan Love, has looked very good since an opening 31-14 loss to SoCal power San Juan Hills-San Juan Capistrano.

#4: Liberty-Bakersfield 35, Central-Fresno 14 

There's a reason why Liberty is the two-time defending Central Section Division I champions. The Patriots win big games and they rebound well from setbacks. Jace Nixon threw two touchdowns and ran for another as Liberty broke open a close game with two late touchdowns in the first half to pull away. Nicon threw two TD passes to TreJon Fulton (23 and 19 yards), and added a 3-yard TD run. Mekhi Delouth and Jalen Murphy added TD runs of 4 and 6 yards. O'Brien's 19-yard TD pass to Fulton made it 21-7 with four minutes left in the half, then Murphy added his rushing TD with less than a minute before intermission. Despite two TD catches from Braylen Hall, the Grizzlies dropped to 4-1. Since a 34-14 home loss to Santa Margarita, the defending state D1-A champions have responded with impressive wins over Buchanan (35-30) and Central. 

Pregame: Central, coming off a 41-point second-half explosion in a 48-28 win over Bishop Diego last week, is No. 4 in the Central Section rankings. Liberty, the two-time defending Central Section D1 champion and defending state 1-A champion, is No. 2. Central QB Earl Riley threw for 336 yards and five touchdowns last week, three to Braylen Hall (nine catches, 192 yards). Liberty defeated Buchanan last week 35-30 thanks to 129 yards rushing and three TDs from Mekhi Deluth. These teams have met 14 times since 2007, with Liberty winning eight, including the last two seasons 35-10 and 42-14. 

#3:  San Ramon Valley 35, McClymonds-Oakland

Visiting McClymonds came in not having allowed a point and only 41 yards of offense all season, but the host Wolves (4-0) had too much Luke Baker and everything else. John Pau Mendoza gave the Wolves a 7-0 lead with a 38-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter, then added a 19-yard TD catch from Baker just before the half to go up 14-0. When Adon Dent returned the second-half kickoff 85 yards, McClymonds looked back in it, but Baker answered right back, capping a long drive with a 7-yard TD scamper and the Wolves, ranked third in the NorCal Coast rankings, were on their way. Mendoza added a 3-yard TD run and Baker completed a 28-yard TD pass to Zack Dodson to close the scoring. The victory paid back a 45-42 loss to McClymonds last season. 

Pregame: The all-Bay Area Game of the Week hopes to repeat last year’s humdinger, a 45-42 McClymonds win in Oakland. SRV QB Luke Baker threw for a school record 513 yards and five TDs, but it wasn’t enough. Baker (54 of 77, 932 yards, 10 TDs) is back but McClymonds’ defense has yet to give up a point while giving up just 41 total yards. The Mack backfield of Tajir Golden and John Tamale combined for 277 rushing yards and four TDs last week in a 45-0 win over Bishop O’Dowd.

#2:  De La Salle-Concord 24, St. Mary's 10

Dominic Kelley rushed 20 times for 102 yards and touchdowns of 3 and 12 yards, Finn Sepic kicked a 39-yard field goal on the last play of the half and fleet quarterback Toa Faavae added the clincher, an 84-yard TD run early in the fourth quarter to post another payback win. Faavae finished with seven carries for 140 yards for the Spartans who lost 45-35 at St. Mary's last season. Game story/photos/video  

Pregame: Another great intersectional matchup as SJS No. 2 St. Mary's travels to NorCal Coast No. 2 De La Salle. It’s the season of payback for De La Salle, which lost 45-35 at St. Mary’s last season. The Spartans won 35-17 last week at St. Francis, which ended DLS’ 318-game NorCal unbeaten streak in 2021. To beat St. Mary’s, the Spartans will have to slow RB Asante Carter (305 yards, eight TDs) and the dual threats of QB Samson Hunkin and WR Kenneth Moore III. The Rams have also shored up their defense. DLS’ running attack is led by speedy QB Toa Faavae (five TDs) and rugged junior RB Dominic Kelley, who had 135 yards rushing and a TD last week. 

#1: Clovis North 23, JSerra Catholic 7

A statement win for the Central Section and its top-ranked Clovis North Broncos (4-0), who used a 99-yard drive, two rushing touchdowns and a 49-yard TD bomb from Mario Cosma to Vincent Cordoba to knock off the Trinity League-power. Game story/photos 

Pregame: Fantastic intersectional battle between JSerra Catholic, the No. 7 team in the Southern Section, travels 275 miles Northeast to battle the Broncos, the top-ranked team in the Central Section. Both teams are ranked in the state SBLive Top 25, JSerra at No. 10 and Clovis North at No. 24. The Broncos are one of the top running teams in the state, averaging more than 300 yards per game (1,216 overall), led by junior Jackson Cinfel (544 yards, seven TDs). The team averages 10.5 yards per carry. JSerra boasts one of the top junior QBs in the state in Arizona State commit Michael Tollefson, who has 23 offers. The 6-1, 195-pounder has thrown for 436 yards and two touchdowns and run for 168 more and four scores.

Check back all night for updates on these games and others throughout Northern California.