If you're a football fanatic, or merely a fan, here are six games that should provide plenty of bang for your buck:
GAME OF THE WEEK
- McCLYMONDS (2-0) at OAKDALE (0-2) -- The Mustangs finished last week's loss to West without Tanner Combs. It'll be a game-time decision if the quarterback plays this nonleague finale. McClymonds of Oakland has broken a half-dozen big plays the first two weeks and the Warriors' attack is built to play on the fast artificial turf.
CHOWCHILLA (2-0) at MODESTO CHR. (2-0) -- Each brings in a big-play stud: Chowchilla's Kyle Espinola and MC quarterback Isaiah Burse (493 yards offense, seven TDs). Espinola had three TDs a week ago, including a 51-yard punt return, but the Crusaders possess the quickness to neutralize him.
MERCED (2-0) vs. EDISON-FRESNO (3-0) -- Edison scored 69 the first week and then put up 70 last week, so it could be another scoring fest. Edison has two preseason all-state DBs -- Cliff Harris and T.J. McDonald -- to counter Merced RB Stephon Mathis and QB Allen Huddleston. Edison is No. 9 in the state; Merced is 17th.
PITMAN (2-1) at DOWNEY (2-0) -- The host Knights have feasted on lesser foes the first two weeks and now must muscle up to play physical Pitman and its running game. The Pride has played a vastly superior schedule -- losing only to powerful Granite Bay -- but the Knights typically play their best on their home turf.
ST. MARY'S (1-1) at LOS BANOS (2-1) -- The Rams fell in the section Division I final a year ago, and much of that team is back, including Oregon State-bound QB Cody Vaz (3,300 yards, 32 TDs as a junior). Los Banos has a potent offense, as well, and the combined score could approach 100 points.
HILMAR (2-0) at CENTRAL VALLEY (2-0) -- Which is for real, or are both? Neither has faced a potent foe: Hilmar posting two shutouts and the Hawks scoring 80 in easy wins. CV quarterback Trevor Mew (653 yards, seven TDs) is red-hot, and the 'Jackets must control the ball to keep him off the field. Hilmar's Donovan Smith is one of the district's top small-school players, and he'll need to come up big.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
-- RICHARD T. ESTRADA