It seems like yesterday was the first week of the season and now we are already in Week 9. Here are the games to watch this week:
Modesto Christian (8-0, 4-0) at Hilmar (6-1, 2-1), 7:30 p.m.
The biggest game in the area pits the Bee’s No.1 medium-school team traveling to face the No. 3 in a Trans-Valley League matchup. Modesto Christian beat Hilmar in the regular season last year but Hilmar beat the Crusaders in the Sac-Joaquin Section Div. VI Championship.
“Frank Marques is one of the best coaches in the area,” Modesto Christian coach Mike Parsons said. “Hilmar has a great atmosphere.”
Modesto Christian junior defensive lineman Xavier Carlton will miss the game after being ejected in the Crusaders’ 47-7 win over Livingston.
Hilmar senior running back Isaac Sharp had 170 yards and two touchdowns in the Yellowjackets’ 49-7 win over Hughson last week.
“He is a tremendous running back,” Parsons said. “He is the fastest kid we will have seen since Edison’s Raleek Brown.”
Ripon (7-0, 3-0) at Escalon (5-2, 1-2), 7:30 p.m.
Ripon’s path for an undefeated season will have another test when it travels to face the rival Cougars.
The Indians, No. 2 in the medium-school rankings, had a bye last week while the Cougars snapped a two-game losing streak with a 63-6 win over Riverbank.
Escalon hasn’t beaten Ripon since 2014.
Ripon junior Grant Wiebe has 69 tackles and 7.5 sacks.
Downey (4-3, 1-1) at Gregori (4-3, 1-1), 7 p.m.
The stakes are high in this Central California Athletic League matchup as the loser of this game will be virtually eliminated from winning a league title.
“Neither team can afford another loss,” Gregori assistant coach Jimmy Oliver said. “He (Plaa) is one of the best offensive coaches at exposing defenses with their weaknesses.”
Gregori beat Downey last year for the first time in school history en route to winning the Modesto Metro Conference title.
Junior quarterback Bryce Gouker will start for the Knights and freshman quarterback Beau Green will “test” his shoulder and “see how he is feeling” before the game, Downey coach Jeremy Plaa said on Thursday.
Green has missed the last two games with the shoulder injury he suffered against McClymonds on Sept. 14.
Downey beat Enochs last week while the Jaguars struggled offensively in their 24-6 loss to Pitman.
Pitman (7-0, 2-0) at Modesto (4-3, 0-2), 7 p.m. at Downey High School
The Pride are the Bee’s No. 3 large-school team and played fantastic in their win over the Jaguars last week. The Panthers lost to Turlock last week and are looking to play spoiler.
“We made every mistake in the book (last week),” Modesto coach Brett Wagner said. “Pitman is really good and we want to knock them off their path.”
Pitman is 7-0 for the first time since 2016 when they started 9-0 and lost in the second round of the playoffs.
“They got some great athletes,” Pitman coach Tom Tyler said. “It’s going to be a whole different (physical) type of game.”
Mountain House (7-0, 4-0) at Pacheco (6-1, 4-0), 7:30 p.m
The winner of this Western Athletic Conference game will be in sole possession of first place.
The two schools have combined to outscore opponents 360-108 in WAC play this year.
Mustangs senior Keenami Maggard has 22 tackles for a loss and 14 sacks while Los Banos senior quarterback Marcus Ordunez has 23 touchdowns.
Orestimba (4-3, 2-2) at Waterford (6-1, 3-1), 7:15 p.m.
After winning 23-straight Southern League games, the Warriors have lost two in a row and travel to face the Wildcats, who have won three in a row.
Friday’s game will be a battle of two of the top producing quarterbacks in the area. Waterford senior quarterback Michael Vivo has over 1,700 total yards and 21 touchdowns while Warriors quarterback Jacob Bettencourt has 25 touchdowns.
Enochs (2-5, 0-2) at Turlock (4-3, 2-0), 7 p.m.
The Bulldogs allowed zero points in the second half in their 38-13 win over Modesto last week while the Eagles fell at Downey.
Turlock’s last three games of the season all are at home.
Davis (2-5, 1-3) at Beyer (0-7, 0-4), 7 p.m. at Johansen High School
Led by record-setting senior quarterback Xavier Rodriguez, the Spartans still have an outside chance to make the playoffs if they win the rest of their games. They face winless Beyer in a WAC contest on Friday.
“We need to take care of the ball and slow down their offense,” Spartans coach Tim Garcia said.
Its been a tough season for the Patriots and they hope to get their first win of the season on their homecoming night.
“They have been putting up a ton of points,” Beyer coach Doug Severe said. “They also have one of the top coaches in the area (Garcia).”
Davis hasn’t beaten Beyer since 2009.
Mariposa (2-5, 1-3) at Ripon Christian (7-0, 4-0), 7:15 p.m.
The Knights have dominated the Southern League, outscoring opponents 149-30. Ripon Christian is the No. 1 school in the Bee’s small-school rankings and will look to remain undefeated when they welcome the Grizzlies.
Kimball (3-5, 1-3) at Oakdale (6-2, 3-1), 7 p.m.
After this week, the Mustangs have a bye before ending the season against Central Catholic. Offense has been the key in the Valley Oak League for the Mustangs as they have scored over 35 points in all three of their league wins.