High School Football

Plenty of big-time matchups in Week 2. Here are some to watch with predictions

Week 2 features a couple of matchups with Sac-Joaquin Section and CIF State Champions from a year ago.

The Bee’s sports reporter Julian A. Lopez and football writer Jim Silva highlight their games to watch for this week along with predictions: (Note: They do not predict games they will be covering):

NameLast WeekOverall
Jim Silva2-22-2
Julian A. Lopez2-22-2

De La Salle (0-1) at Central Catholic (0-1), 7 p.m. at Central Catholic High School

For the first time since 1991, De La Salle is playing in the Central Valley. After a loss against St. Thomas Aquinas last week, the Spartans are trying to avoid an 0-2 start for the first time since 2004. De La Salle has won 299 straight games against California teams north of Fresno, a streak that began in 1992. The only other time De La Salle played a Stanislaus District team was against Ceres and the Spartans won 43-16 in 1980. Central Catholic will look to re-group after a loss to Clovis West in Week 1.

Jim Silva: De La Salle 35, Central Catholic 13. Tough timing for the Raiders, who will be without 2 starters ... and De La Salle comes off a loss.

Manteca (1-0) at Downey (1-0), 7 p.m. at Downey High School

The No. 15 Knights host the No. 17 Buffaloes in what is expected to be a high-scoring affair. Last year, Downey quarterback Beau Green, now at Turlock, scored on a rushing touchdown with 12 seconds left to give Downey a 44-42 win. Manteca beat Lathrop 64-6 last week and Downey beat East Union 49-30.

Julian Lopez: Downey 48, Manteca 44. Knights senior running back Robert Rivera has over 100 rushing yards but also catches the game-winning touchdown pass from senior quarterback Bryce Gouker.

Turlock (1-0) at Clayton Valley Charter (1-0), 7 p.m. at Clayton Valley Charter High School

After a 21-7 win over Freedom, Turlock, which is ranked No. 6 in the Bee’s Large School rankings, travels up to Concord to face the Ugly Eagles. Clayton Valley Charter didn’t play last week and return senior running back Makhi Gervais, who ran for nearly 1,500 rushing yards last year and 18 touchdowns.

JS: Clayton Valley 17, Turlock 13. Turlock’s aggressive defense can keep the game close, but it’s a long trip and tough opponent.

JL: Turlock 24, Clayton Valley 14: While it’s a long trip (80 miles to campus), I’m all aboard the Bulldogs’ train.

Liberty-Brentwood (1-0) at Oakdale (1-0), 7 p.m. at Oakdale High School

After a convincing 41-7 win over Sonora in Week 1, the Mustangs host the defending CIF State Division 1-AA Lions. Liberty is led by senior quarterback Jay Butterfield, who threw for 311 yards and two touchdowns in Liberty’s 49-24 win over Vacaville last week. Liberty is ranked No. 38 in the nation by MaxPreps.

JS: Liberty 31, Oakdale 14. Oakdale impressed in opener at Sonora, but Liberty is ranked 11th in the state and has a D-I recruit at QB.

JL: Liberty 38, Oakdale 24: The key for the Mustangs will be controlling the clock with their run-first offense.

Capital Christian-Sacramento (1-0) at Patterson (1-0), 7 p.m. at Patterson High School

The Tigers host the defending Div. III section champions, which returns senior linebacker Justin Hope. Hope led the team with 116 tackles last year. Capital Christian beat Cosumnes Oaks 32-7 in Week 1 while Patterson Tokay 48-14. Capital Christian is No. 9 in the Large School rankings.

JS: Capital Christian 48, Patterson 24. Patterson rolled in season opener, but won’t be able to hang with much tougher team.

JL: Patterson 28, Capital Christian 24: Tigers pull off the upset behind junior running back Jordan Imada, who runs for a pair of touchdowns.

Hughson (1-0) at Orestimba (1-0), 7 p.m. at Orestimba High School

Two teams who both won in Week 1 face off in Newman. Orestimba beat Hughson 27-24 last year and junior quarterback Anthony Casillas threw for three touchdowns in his varsity debut in a 49-7 win over Bret Harte last week. Hughson beat Stagg 28-14 and junior quarterback Aiden Meyer threw for 232 yards and three touchdowns.

JS: Hughson 21, Orestimba 7. Both teams won their season openers, but Hughson did it on the road against Stagg.

JL: Hughson 31, Orestimba 14: With two talented quarterbacks, expect some trickery from the Huskies.

Los Banos (0-1) at Hilmar (1-0), 7 p.m. at Hilmar High School

The No. 2 ranked Yellowjackets beat Los Banos 41-9 last year and opened the 2019 season with a 55-0 win over Delhi. Junior quarterback Seth Miguel was 5-of-6 for 156 yards and two touchdowns last week. Los Banos lost to Dos Palos, 40-35 last week.

JS: Hilmar 24, Los Banos 3. Yellowjackets were ultra-impressive in opener and Los Banos comes off a defeat to Dos Palos.

JL: Hilmar 28, Los Banos 17: It will be a physical game but I give a nod to the Yellowjackets, who have won their last five home games.

Sonora (0-1) at Ripon (1-0), 7 p.m. at Ripon High School

No. 9 Ripon snapped a four-game losing streak against the No. 7 Wildcats last year with a 34-0 win. The Indians had four rushing touchdowns in a 52-6 over Weston Ranch in Week 1. Sonora struggled in a 41-7 loss to Oakdale.

JS: Ripon 20, Sonora 17. Young Sonora team had a hard time against Oakdale but this game will be close. I give Ripon a slight edge.

JL: Ripon 24, Sonora 21: Ripon senior Danny Hernandez returns an interception for a touchdown.

Merced (1-0) at Gregori (0-1), 7 p.m. at Gregori High School

After losing to Buhach Colony, 34-13, Gregori will host another Central California Conference opponent. Merced has won two of the last three meetings including a 41-22 win last year. Merced beat Del Campo, 13-7 in Week 1.

JS: Merced 31, Gregori 21. Jaguars couldn’t keep pace with Buhach Colony in opener. Same thing here against another CCC contender.

JL: Gregori 21, Merced 17: Jaguars need to give the ball early and often to senior running back Titus Rhiney.

Modesto (0-1) at Beyer (0-1), 7 p.m. at Johansen High School

Two first-year coaches are looking for their first wins when Greg Bockman’s Patriots host Dylan Miller’s Panthers. Modesto has won the last two meetings including a 44-6 victory last year.

JS: Modesto 17, Beyer 14. Both teams come off big losses, so this is a tough pick. Tradition is on MoHigh’s side.

JL: Beyer 17, Modesto 10: While both teams will struggle with new pieces, I give the edge to the Patriots.


Week 2 Schedule

7 p.m.: Modesto at Beyer (JHS), Davis at Franklin-Stockton, Enochs at West-Tracy, Merced at Gregori, Manteca at Downey, Edison-Stockton at Modesto Christian, De La Salle-Concord at Central Catholic, Turlock at Clayton Valley-Concord, Lincoln-Stockton at Pitman (THS), Sierra at Central Valley, Ceres at Lodi, Hughson at Orestimba, Liberty-Brentwood at Oakdale, Riverbank at Delta-Clarksburg, Capital Christian-Sacramento at Patterson, Sonora at Ripon, Ripon Christian at Stone Ridge Christian, Denair at Woodland Christian, Escalon at Calaveras, Los Banos at Hilmar

7:15 p.m.: Waterford at Foresthill

7:30 p.m.: Johansen at Delhi

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Julian A. Lopez has been covering local sports for The Modesto Bee since August 2018. He graduated from Arizona State in 2016 with a BA in Journalism.