Bay Area high school football roundup 2023: Best of Week 2 action

Amador Valley shuts out No. 11 Campolindo. Pittsburg heats up late to turn back Granite Bay. Valley Christian wins tight road game over Salinas. Christopher holds off Piedmont Hills.

Welcome back to the high school football roundup from the Bay Area News Group.

You’ll find all the details from the weekend’s action in this news organization’s coverage area, which includes teams from Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties.

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Now for the roundup…

Ranked teams

No. 3 Pittsburg 41, Granite Bay 21

The visiting Pirates broke a 14-14 tie by scoring four touchdowns in a 9:23 span of mostly fourth quarter play. The barrage of six-pointers began with QB Marley Alcantara’s 42-yard touchdown pass to Makari Kenion with 15 seconds remaining in the third quarter. With 7:58 remaining in the game, Alcantara flipped a 6-yard pass to Tristan Berena, putting the Pirates (2-0) up 28-14. On the ensuing possession, Granite Bay drove deep into Pittsburg territory, but Samu Iosia’s interception ended that threat. Alcantara then scored on an 8-yard scramble with 5:02 remaining and a 25-yard dash with 2:52 remaining, putting Granite Bay out of reach at 41-14. Carter Jackson’s 9-yard run early in the second quarter gave the Grizzlies (1-2) a 7-0 lead. The Pirates tied the game at 7-7 with a 70-yard pass play from Alcantara to Noah Quesada. Pittsburg took its first lead at 14-7 after Elijah Bow scored on a 3-yard run. Granite Bay tied it up shortly before halftime, but the Pirates scored the next 27 points to pull away. The Pirates will play Monterey Trail-Elk Grove and California at home over the next two weeks. – Michael Lefkow

Higley-Gilbert, Az. 37, No. 4 Clayton Valley Charter 27

With two touchdowns late in the second quarter, the Arizona Knights erased a 14-8 Clayton Valley lead and improved to 2-0. After an impressive road win at Salinas last week, the Ugly Eagles fell to 1-1. Higley, which finished 12-2 last year and is currently ranked No. 12 in Arizona by, never trailed after taking a 23-14 lead at halftime. The Uglies cut the lead to 23-21 in the third quarter on a 65-yard touchdown pass from QB Mason Lovett to junior TE Logan Knapp, but the visitors scored the next 14 points to take a 37-21 lead. With three minutes remaining, Jahson Jones scored on a 10-yard run to cut the deficit to 37-27, but the 2-point conversion failed, and the Eagles were unable to capitalize on a Dion Lew-Beverly fumble recovery on Higley’s next possession. The Uglies’ schedule doesn’t get any easier next week, as they travel to Oak Ridge-El Dorado Hills. The Trojans (3-0) are ranked third in the Sac-Joaquin Section, trailing only Folsom and St. Mary’s-Stockton. – Michael Lefkow

No. 5 San Ramon Valley 44, No. 17 Acalanes 21

San Ramon Valley didn’t have the most visually appealing game. However, senior quarterback Luke Baker’s efficient first half gave the Wolves all they needed against Acalanes, accounting for four touchdowns (two passing, two rushing). Shayna Rubin has all the information.

No. 6 Los Gatos 35, No. 14 Liberty 34

With his team trailing by 20 points early in the second half, senior running back Boxer Kopcsak-Yeung scored three unanswered touchdowns, including one on a 2-yard run with 3:38 remaining in the fourth quarter, to help lead the visiting Wildcats to an unlikely non-league victory over the stunned Lions. Kopcsak-Yeung rushed for 120 yards, the majority of which came in the second half on second attempts, and also returned a kickoff for a touchdown in the first half to help Los Gatos (2-0) overcome four first-half turnovers. Curtis Pashelka has a comprehensive recap here.

No. 7 Valley Christian 16, Salinas 8

Valley Christian improved to 2-0 with a road victory over Salinas, thanks to two rushing touchdowns by sophomore Ekiah McLemore and a field goal by Aaron VanderVeen. To lead the defense, Jordan Vargas had two interceptions, Jay Foster had one, and Lovante Metcalfe and Rayne Mayo Jr. each had a sack as Valley surpassed its win total from last season. The Warriors, who defeated Wilcox 16-15 in Week 1, will try to make it three in a row against Hollister next Friday at home. Darren Sabedra’s

Riordan No. 8, Moreau Catholic No. 29

The Crusaders improved their record to 2-0. Jalen Arnold’s long kickoff return gave Moreau Catholic (0-2) a 7-6 lead, but Riordan scored the game’s next four touchdowns to put the game away by halftime. “They called the dogs off in the second half,” Moreau Catholic coach Keith Minor explained. Arnold scored all four Mariners touchdowns, the last three on passes from QB Carlos Sanchez. Arnold is a 5-11 junior with college potential, according to Minor. Minor was impressed by Riordan. “I’m amazed at Riordan’s size,” he said, referring to the offensive line. “It appears to be Cal’s. Big and powerful. Their quarterback (sophomore Michael Mitchell Jr.) is a one-of-a-kind individual. And all three receivers are really good.” Many of Riordan’s top players are transfers who haven’t had much experience playing together. Next week, St. Bonaventure-Ventura will visit from Southern California for a Saturday afternoon game. Next Friday, Moreau Catholic will host a strong San Marin team. Minor admits that a difficult non-league schedule didn’t help his team, but he believes his team will be ready for the MVAL/WACC Foothill Division when league play begins in October. – Michael Lefkow

No. 9 McClymonds 40, No. 23 Bellarmine 0

Ta’Jir Golden ripped the Bells apart behind a punishing and veteran line that longtime coach Michael Peters said would be crucial moving forward.Golden, who played wide receiver last season, ran for 186 yards and three touchdowns in 22 carries to lead Mack to a season-opening victory. Sharky Tamale added 62 yards and a touchdown. Bellarmine has a 1-0 record. The game story is provided by Darren Sabedra.

No. 10 Wilcox 19, Hollister 9

Wilcox rebounded from a one-point loss at Valley Christian in Week 1 by taking the lead early against Hollister on the road Thursday and holding off the Haybalers in the second half. Dillon Faga scored on a scoop-and-score after teammate Brayden Rosa forced a fumble, and Tyson Bonilla and Elijah Walker each ran for touchdowns. “We got there really early because we didn’t want to sit in traffic,” said Brayden’s father, Wilcox coach Paul Rosa. “Even before we started warming up, we’d been there for about 3 1/2 hours.” I was concerned about how we would start, but we got off to a fast start.” Wilcox led 19-3 after the first quarter and improved to 1-1. Hollister dropped to 1-1. Wilcox will open its season at home against Sacred Heart Cathedral on Friday. Darren Sabedra’s

Amador Valley 6, No. 11 Campolindo 0

As the visiting Dons stunned Campolindo in Moraga, sophomore quarterback Aidan Foley scored on a second-quarter sneak and the Amador Valley defense held firm. Amador Valley coach Danny Jones said his defensive line set the tone, with Sean Cervantes and Nate Jetter all over the field. He described the trench players as “unreal” and “big and good.” Campo stopped trying to run in the second half due to how well the defensive line played, according to Jones. Campo had won in double overtime against Vanden-Fairfield in Week 1. Amador Valley fell to El Cerrito 14-7 in its home opener. Tristan Tia, a junior quarterback transfer from Granada, will be eligible for AV after three more games. The Dons will travel to Acalanes on Friday, while Campo will host Windsor. Darren Sabedra’s

No. 12 El Cerrito 63, Freedom 14

Three-star recruit Kamani Jackson led the Gauchos (2-0) with touchdowns on a 50-yard run, a 60-yard pick-6, a 75-yard kickoff return, and a 21-yard pass reception. According to 247sports, Jackson, who is being recruited as a defensive back and athlete, will be at Washington State next Saturday for an official visit. On Friday, the Gauchos will face Fremont-Oakland. Jackson scored three touchdowns in the first half to help El Cerrito build a 47-6 lead over Freedom (0-2). Quarterback Michael Vanhook scored twice, once on a pass to Jackson and once on a 1-yard run. Micah Avery, who transferred from Clayton Valley during the offseason, scored on runs of 31 and 55 yards. – Michael Lefkow

No. 13 St. Francis 28, Monterey Trail 21

Kingston Keanaaina scored three rushing touchdowns as St. Francis (1-1) jumped out to a 28-7 lead and held on for the win. After scooping up a fumble and returning it 65 yards, Asher Kolodziej scored the team’s other touchdown. Jackson and Chase Cahoon, linebacking brothers, stood out defensively. The Lancers return to action on Friday, hosting De La Salle. Glenn Reeves’

No. 15 St. Ignatius 28, Jesuit-Carmichael 27

Late in the road game, St. Ignatius’ defense came up with the game-winning stop on a Jesuit two-point conversion attempt, giving coach Lenny Vandermade his first victory as head coach. The Wildcats made good use of the two-quarterback formation, with junior Soren Hummel and sophomore Brandon Mann both taking snaps. St. Ignatius took a 17-0 lead thanks to rushing touchdowns by seniors Cameron Jones and Jarious Hogan. Following a Jesuit rally in the fourth quarter, Hogan’s second touchdown and Hummel’s run on the successful two-point conversion gave SI a lead it would not relinquish. On Friday, St. Ignatius (1-1) will face Cathedral Catholic-San Diego. – Dycus, Joseph

No. 16 Monte Vista 50, San Leandro 8

The Mustangs dominated the first half, with Julian McMahan scoring four touchdowns and rushing for 120 yards. The score was 34-0 at halftime, but Carson Miks returned the second-half kickoff for a touchdown to put the game out of reach for the home team. Monte Vista is 2-0, while San Leandro is 0-2. Since 2015, the Pirates have not started a season with two straight losses. Dakota Dickson had two sacks and narrowly missed a third, according to MV coach Johnny Millard. Next Friday, Monte Vista will host Bellarmine, while San Leandro will travel to Dougherty Valley. – Michael Lefkow

No. 18 Archbishop Mitty 41, Aptos 28

Don’t be fooled by the game’s final score. The battle was much closer than the results suggest. Aptos wiped out two of Mitty’s 14-point leads, including one early in the fourth quarter when it tied the score at 28. Mitty star running back AJ Cenizal, on the other hand, repeatedly pierced Aptos’ defense, rushing for 248 yards and two touchdowns. Check out Madeline Kenney’s story by clicking here.

No. 19 Christopher 30, Piedmont Hills 24

Christopher improved to 2-0 with a road win in San Jose behind two touchdown runs from William Rizqallah and one each from Josiah Garcia and quarterback Jaxen Robinson. With about five minutes remaining, Piedmont Hills scored to cut the deficit to six, but Christopher held on. “Crazy game,” said Christopher coach Darren Yafai. Rylan Antipuesto added a 37-yard field goal for the visitors. Christopher will host San Mateo on Friday, while Piedmont Hills will travel to Oak Grove. Darren Sabedra’s

No. 20 Live Oak 20, Mountain View 14

Mountain View, playing with heavy hearts, gave No. 20 Live Oak everything they could handle in the program’s first game since the death of Lucinda Daniels, the mother of two players on the team. Senior MV quarterback Kevin Conway threw for 165 yards and a touchdown, which was caught by senior WR Lex Silver in the first quarter. Josh Gagni, a Live Oak running back, scored three touchdowns, the last of which gave Live Oak a 20-7 lead midway through the third quarter. Arturo Hernandez, a senior MV running back, cut the lead to six points with a fourth-quarter touchdown on fourth and goal. Joseph Dycus has the story on the emotional night.

California 34, No. 22 James Logan 7

The Grizzlies (1-1) snapped a six-game losing streak that had lasted since last season. Before James Logan (0-2) scored its only touchdown, the visitors led 20-0. California’s Devan Love rushed for 182 yards and two touchdowns, and Chace McGill caught a touchdown pass. Jayden Macedo completed 10 of 18 passes for 134 yards. He gained another 72 yards on the ground. For the Grizzlies, Stavi Booras had a fourth-quarter interception. California’s home opener is next Friday against Escalon, who is 3-0. Next Friday, James Logan will go for its first victory at Antioch. – Michael Lefkow

Palo Alto 38, No. 24 Leland 20

Jason Auzenne caught five passes for 174 yards and one touchdown and returned a kickoff 86 yards for another. Palo Alto improved to 2-0 after Declan Packer completed 9 of 14 passes for 273 yards and two touchdowns. Diego Vasquez (106 yards) and Chayse Swenson (105 yards) combined for 211 yards rushing for Leland (1-1), which plays Overfelt on Thursday. Palo Alto’s next game is a home game against Sacred Heart Prep on Saturday, September 8. Glenn Reeves has written about the game here.

Menlo-Atherton 20, Elk Grove 14

While the offense was turnover-free, M-A’s defense forced four turnovers, three fumble recoveries, and an interception by James Gray. QB Xander Eschelman scored twice, once to Aaron Becker and once to TE Owen Van Lobensels. Mordecai Langi scored on the ground. DE Devin Hyde both recovered and caused fumbles. Defensively, LB Colin Kuriger stood out as well. “It was a big win for momentum and morale,” M-A coach Chris Saunders said of the victory. On Saturday, the Bears will host Patterson. Glenn Reeves’

East Bay

Berkeley 6 and Casa Grande 42

The talented Yellowjackets offense sputtered for the second week in a row, this time on the road and failing to score until the third quarter. The visiting team’s only highlight was Drew Henderson’s 80-yard touchdown pass to Cahlil Snead, who gave up 28 points in the second quarter. Berkeley (0-2) will try to win its first game at home against De Anza on Friday. – Dycus, Joseph

Kennedy-Fremont 35, Washington-Fremont 13

For the second week in a row, the Titans won convincingly, jumping out to a 14-0 lead at halftime on Thursday and never looking back against their old Misson Valley Athletic League rival. Because the teams are still in the same league but play in different divisions, it counts as a non-league game. Junaid Khan, a senior tight end/MLB, contributed on both sides of the ball, scoring a touchdown and making numerous tackles. Jason Nomura rushed for over 100 yards and two touchdowns. JFK is 2-0 for the first time since a 2-2 tie in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. The Titans haven’t finished above.500 since going 10-1 in 2016. They’ll try to make it 3-0 when they visit Deer Valley next Saturday. Washington is now 0-2. Next Friday night, the Huskies will host Novato. – Michael Lefkow

Granada 35, Heritage 21

In a minor upset, the visiting Matadors (1-1) raced to a 21-0 lead midway through the second quarter and never trailed. Quinn Boyd of Granada, one of the Bay Area’s top quarterbacks, threw touchdown passes to Mikey Boyd, Hayden Hobbs, and 6-3, 190-pound junior Peyton Richards to help the Mats build an insurmountable lead. Heritage (1-1) cut the deficit to 21-14 at halftime but couldn’t get any closer. Boyd completed 18 of 26 passes for 271 yards, while Richards caught four balls for 110 yards. Estevan Duarte had 114 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Granada totaled 488 yards of offense. “We were moving the ball well on offense for the entire game,” said Matador coach Marc Moses. – Michael Lefkow

Livermore 28, Castro Valley 7

Although Livermore won by three touchdowns, Castro Valley coach Danny Molzen stated that the game was much closer than the final score indicated. Castro Valley had the ball inside the five-yard line twice but scored no points on both occasions. Junior running back Kamarri Robinson carried the ball 30 times for 317 yards and a touchdown. On Friday, Livermore (1-1) visits Gregori-Modesto, while Castro Valley (1-1) visits Granada. – Dycus, Joseph

Miramonte 48, Piedmont 6

Carson Blair and Myles Bastani combined for 358 yards and six touchdowns to help the Matadors improve to 2-0. Both quarterbacks threw three touchdown passes. Miramonte totaled 463 yards of offense against a Piedmont team that went 0-6 last year, including two forfeits due to low player turnout. Finn McManus had four catches for 106 yards, while sophomore Andrew Bjornson caught three passes for 130 yards. – Michael Lefkow

Mt. Diablo 40, Mission-San Francisco 14

Herschel Turner, the Red Devils’ senior running back and Athlete of the Week, rushed for 260 yards on 12 carries and scored four touchdowns a week after running for 377 yards and six touchdowns against Deer Valley. Mt. Diablo led 20-14 after the first quarter, but Mt. Diablo pulled away and scored the next 20 points in a row. Quarterback Jeremiah Powell completed a 50-yard pass to WR Taishaun Glover for 130 yards and a touchdown. Tatum Laxa, the wide receiver, had 50 yards on four receptions. Mt. Diablo (2-0) travels to Oakland Tech on Friday. – Dycus, Joseph

Oakland 16, Highlands-North Highlands 8

Oakland won its first game under new coach Terry Hendrix after going winless for three seasons. Travis Williams did it all for the Wildcats, catching Oakland’s lone completed pass for 17 yards, returning a punt 47 yards, and recovering a fumble, all while recording seven tackles. The rushing attack set the tone for the offense, with Ahmiollion Brown gaining 65 yards and scoring twice. Rah’Shaan Buffin led the team in rushing yards with 117, and senior speedster Josh Oludayo ran for 55 yards on eight carries. On Friday, Oakland (1-0) will host Galileo-San Francisco, which has won just one game in each of the last three seasons. — Dycus, Joseph

South Bay/Peninsula

Capuchino 21, South San Francisco 0

The Mustangs won their second game of the season on Thursday, defeating host South San Francisco. Capuchino running back Charles Barfield scored on a nine-yard run, and South San Francisco got an interception in the second half from junior linebacker Elijah Fields. On Friday, Capuchino (2-0) visits Los Altos, while South San Francisco (1-1) visits Mills. — Dycus, Joseph

Fremont-Sunnyvale 35, Westmont 0

Fremont forced four turnovers, three of which resulted in touchdowns. Jaydon Smith, a junior cornerback, had two interceptions, one of which he returned for a 22-yard touchdown. Alex Shabahzi, a defensive end, had two sacks and an interception. On offense, Henry Buenrostro scored twice. On 12 carries, FB Jonathan Delos Santos gained 84 yards. Alex Solaris’ 76-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter sealed the victory. Westmont will try to rebound against Prospect at home on Friday. On Saturday, Fremont will play Monta Vista. Glenn Reeves’

Hillsdale 49, El Camino 7

Hillsdale set the tone early in the game by tackling El Camino’s punter at the 8-yard line and scoring two plays later. Hillsdale led 42-0 at the half. Erick Waugh completed all nine of his passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns. Bennett Young gained 61 yards and scored a touchdown on nine carries. Elliott Regan and Dante Allendorf also scored touchdowns on the ground. Drew Rollolazo and Jack Haywood both had receiving scores. Tripp McCann scored after recovering a fumble and returning it. On Friday, Hillsdale (2-0) travels to Woodside (2-0). On Friday, El Camino (0-2) will host Lincoln-San Francisco. Glenn Reeves’

Leigh 21, Pioneer 7

T.J. Donaldson scored on two quarterback keepers and Shayan Shariat ran for a short touchdown as Leigh improved to 2-0 with a hard-fought victory over Pioneer at home. Pioneer scored its only touchdown near the end of the third quarter, cutting Leigh’s lead to 13-0. Donaldson rushed for 67 yards and threw for 131. Shariat finished with 69 yards on 16 carries and a 44-yard pass. Late in the fourth quarter, Reese Schuyler’s interception ended the game. Ben Varnell had five catches for 66 yards and M.J. had four receptions for 59 yards for Leigh. Valenti. Carter Williams had two receptions for 42 yards to help lead the way. Next Friday, Leigh will travel to Mountain View, while Pioneer (1-1) will host Willow Glen. Darren Sabedra’s

Menlo 21, Carlmont 7

Mikey McGrath, the Knights’ quarterback, scored twice on the ground and once through the air. The game was scoreless until the final two minutes of the first half, when both teams scored within 18 seconds of each other. Carlmont (0-2) took a 7-0 lead with 1:30 remaining before intermission on a 99-yard pass-and-run from QB Carlo Campobello to TE Elliott Weinman. Menlo (2-0) responded quickly, with senior Nicholas Scacco scoring on a 34-yard pass from McGrath. The rest of the scoring came from Menlo senior runs of 14 and 2 yards in the second half. The Knights will try to go 3-0 when they host Watsonville next Saturday. On Thursday night, Carlmont will face struggling Half Moon Bay. – Michael Lefkow

Milpitas 34, Independence 13

After host Independence took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, the Trojans scored 34 unanswered points in the second and third quarters on Thursday. Milpitas is 2-0 for the first time since 2017, when it started 12-0 and finished 14-1. Adrian Chavez scored three touchdowns, one on a 2-yard run and the others on 10- and 35-yard passes to Malachi Jackson and Venkat Nakka. Chavez should find Jackson, a 6-3, 180-pound senior, to be an appealing target. Jacob Souza and Jacob Alvarado both scored on the ground. Independence was making its debut under former Oak Grove coach Jay Braun, who had most recently worked at Bellarmine. – Michael Lefkow

Rancho San Juan 27, Los Altos 13

With less than 30 seconds remaining in Salinas, Los Altos drove to within 10 yards of a potential game-tying touchdown. On fourth-and-5 from the 8-yard line, Rancho San Juan senior Fabian Ceja intercepted a pass in the end zone and returned it 100 yards for a pick-six with 10 seconds remaining. RSJ (1-1) hopes to make the CCS playoffs after missing out last year despite an 8-2 record. Los Altos (0-2) returns home to face Capuchino from the PAL Ocean next Friday after losing in overtime to Monte Vista Christian in its season opener. — Alexander Simon

San Mateo 34, Half Moon Bay 8

Emmanuel Fitzgerald, a 6-foot-1, 205-pound junior, carried 15 times for 177 yards and four touchdowns on Thursday. Fitzgerald has rushed for 357 yards and five touchdowns in two games this season. “He’s a big, strong guy,” said San Mateo head coach Jeff Scheller. “He’s not going to try to run around you.” Matthew Radulovich also scored for San Mateo, which rushed for 285 yards and built a 34-0 lead before Half Moon Bay broke up the shutout. San Mateo (2-0) was led defensively by lineman Fone Fakava (6-0, 280), who will play at Christopher next Friday. On Thursday, Half Moon Bay (0-2) travels to Carlmont. Glenn Reeves’

Silver Creek 23, Homestead 14

The Raiders beat Homestead on the road thanks to senior running back Gabriel Lim. Lim rushed for 173 yards and two touchdowns, while sophomore Alijah Guzman also scored on the ground. Trajan Sinatra, the senior quarterback, passed for 134 yards and kicked a 32-yard field goal. Austin Price caught two passes for 71 yards, while senior Alonzo Hernandez caught four passes for 47 yards. Dominic Lim had a sack and an interception, and senior Keith Truong had an interception as well. Next Friday, Silver Creek (2-0) hosts San Jose, while Homestead travels to Gunderson. – Dycus, Joseph

Sobrato 52, Del Mar 12

Sobrato returned to.500 with a commanding home victory over Del Mar on Thursday. Sobrato’s running back Noah Taylor was unstoppable, rushing for 296 yards and four touchdowns on 13 carries. Luke Anderson and Parker Orr, both juniors, also scored touchdowns. Ray Perez, aided by linemen such as Gustavo Ureta, threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to fellow junior Ryan Hankins. Andre Latimore of Del Mar rushed for 70 yards on 20 carries. Sobrato (1-1) travels to North Monterey County on Thursday, while Del Mar (0-2) looks for its first win against Santa Clara at home on Friday.

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