With every local team now in league season, each game matters.
The Bee’s sports reporter Julian A. Lopez and football writer Jim Silva highlight their games to watch this week along with predictions: (Note: They do not predict games they will be covering):
|Julian A. Lopez||3-1||19-11|
No. 8 Turlock (3-2) at Downey (3-2), 7 p.m. at Chuck Hughes Stadium
A Central California Athletic League game between two of the top teams in the league has the Knights hosting The Bee’s No. 8 Large School team.
Led by senior running back Anthony Frias, the Bulldogs were a run-heavy team during their non-league season. Downey senior quarterback Bryce Gouker has 1,314 passing yards and 18 touchdowns. His favorite target is senior wide receiver Lawrence Harris, who has 625 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns.
Jim Silva: Turlock 35, Downey 28. Love Downey’s offense, but can the Knights’ defense, allowing nearly 42 points a game, stop the Bulldogs’ power run game? No.
Julian A. Lopez: Covering game
Manteca (0-1, 3-2) at No. 14 Oakdale (2-0, 4-2), 7 p.m. at The Corral
Oakdale has lost three of the last four meetings between the schools. Oakdale junior running back Zeke Saffar has 662 rushing yards and six touchdowns.
After a loss to Central Catholic on Sept. 20, Manteca had a bye last week. Buffaloes senior quarterback Ryan Ward has 18 touchdowns and senior running back Trabron Russell is averaging seven yards per carry and has six touchdowns.
JS: Covering game
JL: Oakdale 31, Manteca 28: Oakdale has lost twice at the Corral this season. I don’t see that happening a third time.
No. 7 Ripon Christian (2-0, 4-1) at Orestimba (1-1, 3-2), 7:30 p.m. at Orestimba High School
In their win over the Warriors last year, the Knights snapped Orestimba’s 23-game Southern League winning streak.
Since a 20-19 loss to Davis in the first game of the season, Ripon Christian has allowed 23 points during its four-game winning streak. Senior defensive lineman Wyatt Van Vliet has 61 tackles and 16 tackles for a loss.
Orestimba sophomore wide receiver Jayden Vargas has 17 receptions for 423 yards and four touchdowns. He is averaging nearly 25 yards per reception.
JS: Ripon Christian 24, Orestimba 7. The Knights’ defense is the real deal, having allowed only 43 points in five games. RC on its way to another Southern League title.
JL: Ripon Christian 28, Orestimba 17: Senior Sean McGovern does it all for the Knights. He will have at least two touchdowns in the win.
Davis (1-1, 4-1) at Pacheco (1-1, 2-3) 7 p.m. at Pacheco High School
Davis hopes to rebound after a tough loss to Los Banos last week. Senior quarterback Elijah Diaz has nearly 1,500 total yards and 19 touchdowns.
Pacheco beat Lathrop 32-18 and senior running back Steven Verduzco has 577 rushing yards and six touchdowns. He has over 100 rushing yards in his last three games.
JS: Davis 28, Pacheco 21. Spartans’ run defense was exposed by Los Banos last week. But I’m confident Davis will respond with a big effort.
JL: Davis 35, Pacheco 21: The Spartans are better than last week’s showing.
Big Valley Christian (2-3) at Stone Ridge Christian (3-3), 7 p.m. at Castle Air Force Base
The top two teams in the Central California Athletic Alliance face off in Atwater. They have split the last four meetings.
Big Valley Christian beat Delta 47-9 last week and the Lions are averaging over 300 rushing yards per game. Senior linebacker Caleb Van Donselaar leads the Lions with 34 tackles and four tackles for a loss.
JS: Big Valley Christian 17, Stone Ridge Christian 14. Lions are playing without their best player, RB Javyn Drobnick (injured knee), but they have enough to win league opener.
JL: Big Valley Christian 28, Stone Ridge Christian 24: The two top teams in the CCAA play and I give the edge to the Lions.
Patterson (0-2, 3-3) at Atwater (2-0, 5-1), 7 p.m. at Atwater High School
Patterson has lost its first two Central California Conference games and has a tough task at Atwater.
Patterson senior running back Obadiah Godbolt and junior running back Jordan Imada have combined for 942 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns.
Atwater has scored at least 40 points during its three-game winning streak and senior wide receiver Nathan Knight has 464 receiving yards and six touchdowns.
JS: Atwater 42, Patterson 35. Other than a big loss at Lincoln of Lincoln, Falcons have been rolling. I’ll give them the edge in this battle for second place in the CCC.
JL: Atwater 48, Patterson 31: I picked the Tigers to win the CCC earlier this year. I’m not confident anymore.
Week 7 Schedule, Oct. 4
7 p.m.: Ceres at Johansen, Gregori at Modesto (GHS), Enochs at Pitman (THS), Turlock at Downey, Davis at Pacheco, Beyer at Lathrop, Central Catholic at East Union, Modesto Christian at Escalon, Big Valley Christian at Stone Ridge Christian (Castle AFB), Golden Valley at Central Valley, Patterson at Atwater, Manteca at Oakdale, Livingston at Ripon, Sonora at Argonaut
7:15 p.m.: Gustine at Denair, Waterford at Le Grand
7:30 p.m.: Ripon Christian at Orestimba, Hughson at Riverbank