After four weeks of high school football, some teams begin league play while others finish non-conference action. Here are the top games to watch this week:
Manteca (2-2) at Central Catholic (3-1), 7 p.m.
Valley Oak League play kicks off with a fantastic matchup at Central Catholic as the Raiders, ranked No. 1 by the Bee in its large-school rankings, face off against the defending CIF-Sac Joaquin Section Division III Champions.
The Raiders rolled past Lincoln, 47-7, last week while the Buffaloes snapped a two-game losing streak with a 54-18 win over Tracy.
“They score a lot of points,” Raiders assistant coach Myron Larson said. “We are going to have to bring our A game. It’s always a difficult game.”
Central Catholic has four running backs with over 100 rushing yards this year with senior Kyle Jacklich leading the team with 361 yards and six touchdowns.
Raiders coach Roger Canapa said Thursday that he has decided on a starting quarterback but will not announce it until Friday.
Hilmar (4-0) at Ripon (4-0), 7:30 p.m.
The No. 1- and No. 3-ranked teams in the medium-school rankings will open Trans-Valley League play against each other on Friday. Ripon has won three of the last four meetings, including 34-28 in the final regular season game last year.
“The team that perseveres is the one that has the least amount of mistakes,” Hilmar coach Frank Marques said. “Both teams are equally matched and they are a rich program.”
Hilmar beat Sonora 39-20 last week in what Marques called “a really sloppy game” while Ripon held on to beat Calavares, 24-21.
Senior Issac Sharp has 11 touchdowns for the Yellowjackets while senior Ryan Daggett has 10 for the Indians.
McClymonds (1-2) at Downey (3-1), 7 p.m.
Don’t let the Warriors’ record fool you. Before this season, they had won 26 straight games and two section titles. Downey, No. 3 in the Bee’s large-school rankings, is celebrating homecoming week this week.
“They have a lot of size and speed,” Knights coach Jeremy Plaa said. “They only have 26 guys on their roster and this the type of game we need before our bye before we (open CCAL league play against Turlock).”
Freshman quarterback Beau Green has thrown for 955 yards and 11 touchdowns. Senior Anderson Grover has 21 receptions for 447 yards and six touchdowns.
Davis (1-2) at Mountain House (3-0), 7 p.m.
The new era of the Western Athletic Conference begins for Davis when it travels to face Mountain House. Davis was on a bye while Mountain House beat Kimbell, 34-26, in Week 4. The Spartans are No. 5 in the Bee’s medium-school rankings.
“We went and watched them on Friday night,” Spartans coach Tim Garcia said. “They are the only show in town and it was a great crowd. The kids are excited for a new league.”
Senior quarterback Jesse Jordan has five touchdowns and no interceptions and leads the team with 231 rushing yards for the Mustangs. He also has two rushing touchdowns. Junior receiver Gregory Smith has 16 receptions for 431 yards and seven touchdowns this year for Davis.
Woodland Christian (1-2) at Big Valley Christian (2-1), 7 p.m.
After a tough 35-21 loss to Waterford last week, Big Valley Christian looks to get back track when it hosts Woodland Christian. Revenge is on the mind of the Lions coaching staff and players.
“They beat us in the playoffs last year by two points,” Lions coach Brian Berkefeld said. “The kids are really hungry.”
This is the second of four straight home games for the No. 3 Lions. Senior David Corona has four sacks for Woodland Christian.
Modesto (2-1) at Franklin (0-3), 7 p.m.
After a wild 47-40 win over Patterson last week, the Panthers head to Stockton to face the Yellowjackets. The Yellowjackets have been outscored by 80 points this year but Modesto coach Brett Wagner said his team can’t take this game lightly.
“This is a trap game,” Wagner said. “If we don’t play at our level and play at theirs, it could be disastrous.”
The Panthers are No. 5 in the Bee’s large school rankings and senior running back Zaire Eugene has six rushing touchdowns in his last two games.
Waterford (3-0) at Ripon Christian (3-0), 7:15 p.m.
Waterford, No. 1 in the Bee’s small school rankings, travel to face Ripon Christian, No. 2, in the Southern League opener for both teams. The Knights are 3-0 for the first time since 2010 while Ripon Christian has been led by senior running back Michael Kamps, who has 399 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. Waterford hasn’t beaten Ripon Christian since 2012.
Summervile (1-2) at Pitman (4-0), 7 p.m. at Joe Debely Stadium
The Pride are averaging over 45 points per game and face the Bears in their last non-conference game. Senior running back Jakob Partida had a 50-yard touchdown run and a 55-yard touchdown reception in the Pride’s 32-27 win over Bullard in Week 4.
Senior Tres Machado has five tackles for a loss for the Bears. Pitman is No. 4 in the Bee’s large school rankings.
Turlock (2-2) at Central (4-0), 7 p.m.
The Bulldogs concludes their non-conference schedule with a visit to Fresno to face the defending CIF Central Section Division I Champions. The Grizzlies are the No. 1 ranked team in the section by the CIF and are led by senior quarterback Trent Tompkins, who has thrown for over 8,000 yards and 95 touchdowns in three years as starting quarterback. Tompkins is a three-star prospect by 247Sports and has 23 offers.
The Bulldogs couldn’t overcome a 21-0 halftime deficit to Sheldon last week and fell, 41-28. Seenior quarterback Jonah Kosakiewicz had 112 passing yards and two touchdowns and 121 yards on the ground in the defeat.
Oakdale (3-1) at East Union (1-3), 7 p.m.
The Mustangs look to continue their streak against the Lancers when the two teams open their Valley Oak League play against each other. Oakdale has won every meeting since 2004 and have outscored them 124-26 in the last three games.
Senior running back Max Moore had 23 carries for 141 yards and two touchdowns in Oakdale’s 28-20 win over Chaparral (CO) last week. Moore was a Bee Athlete of the Week nominee.
Senior running back Raylen Carter has 431 rushing yards and five touchdowns for the Lancers.