With only four weeks remaining of high school football, every game matters with the playoffs looming.
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||3-2||22-13|
Johansen (3-0, 5-1) at Los Banos (2-1, 2-4), 7 p.m. at Loftin Stadium
The Vikings have a tough test when they travel to face the Tigers, who have won two of their last three games after starting the season 0-4. Led by senior running back Jesse Arreola (seven touchdowns), the Vikings are averaging nearly 250 rushing yards per game. Johansen’s five wins are its most since 2011.
Los Banos beat Mountain House 28-7 last week and senior linebacker Adrian Atangan has 73 tackles and four tackles for a loss this year. He has at least eight tackles in every game.
Jim Silva: Covering game.
Julian A. Lopez: Johansen 27, Los Banos 24: The year of the Vikings continue as they score the game-winning touchdown with under a minute left.
Downey (0-1, 3-3) at Enochs (1-0, 4-2), 7 p.m. at Johansen High School
After a 44-27 loss to Turlock, Downey has another tough Central California Athletic League test against Enochs. The Knights have lost three in a row.
Enochs’ defense forced seven turnovers in its 26-13 win over Pitman last week. The Eagles haven’t beaten the Knights since 2010, when they went 9-3 and won the Modesto Metro League title.
JS: Downey 42, Enochs 21. The Knights come off a tough loss to Turlock but have an explosive offense that the Eagles will not be able to slow down.
JL: Covering game.
Sierra (1-1, 5-1) at Oakdale (2-1, 4-3), 7 p.m. at The Corral
Oakdale lost its third home game of the season last week in a 55-37 loss to Manteca.
The Mustangs still have a chance at a Valley Oak League title but will need to win every game the rest of the year.
Sierra suffered its only loss of the season two weeks ago to Central Catholic and junior running back Kimoni Stanley has at least 100 rushing yards in all six games.
JS: Oakdale 17, Sierra 14. Mistakes and turnovers plagued the Mustangs in last week’s loss to Manteca. They won’t be that sloppy again.
JL: Oakdale 38, Sierra 24: The Mustangs get back in the win column as they rush for over 300 yards.
Hilmar (1-1, 5-1) at Hughson (2-1, 4-3), 7 p.m. at Hughson High School
Hughson hasn’t beaten Hilmar since 2014.
The Yellowjackets had a bye last week and lost to Escalon on Sept. 27 while Hughson beat Riverbank 46-23.
Hughson junior quarterback Aiden Meyer has 1,570 total yards and 20 touchdowns while four Yellowjackets have at least 200 rushing yards.
JS: Hilmar 49, Hughson 10. The Yellowjackets are mad after losing to Escalon and will take out their frustration on the Huskies.
JL: Hilmar 35, Hughson 17: It’s a rare time where the Yellowjackets are coming off of a loss. That changes.
Millennium (1-1, 3-3) at Big Valley Christian (1-0, 3-3), 7:30 p.m. at Big Valley Christian
Big Valley Christian beat Stone Ridge Christian 22-21 in Week 7 as the Lions connected on a fake PAT with 12 seconds left to earn their Central California Athletic Alliance league win.
Friday’s game will be Big Valley Christian’s first home game since Sept. 6 and senior Ben Dugan has five fumble recoveries.
Millennium junior quarterback Caden Duke has 21 touchdowns and is averaging 284 yards per game.
The Lions have won the last two matchups.
JS: Big Valley Christian 21, Millennium 20. The Lions come off a one-point win over Stone Ridge Christian and will get a similar result this week.
JL: Big Valley Christian 17, Millennium 14: It’s going to be a close game and the Lions are happy to be back home.
Week 8 Schedule, Oct. 11
7 p.m.: Johansen at Los Banos, Modesto at Turlock, Pitman at Gregori, Downey at Enochs (Johansen), Davis at Lathrop, Mountain House at Beyer (Downey), Central Catholic at Weston Ranch, Modesto Christian at Livingston, Pacheco at Ceres, Central Valley at Patterson, Sierra at Oakdale, Hilmar at Hughson, Bret Harte at Sonora
7:15 p.m.: Orestimba at Denair, Mariposa County at Waterford
7:30 p.m.: Millennium at Big Valley Christian, Gustine at Ripon Christian, Riverbank at Escalon