Monday Morning Lights: De La Salle-SRV rewind, early look at Serra vs. Riordan

Will San Ramon Valley get No. 2 seed in NCS playoffs over Pittsburg? Can Riordan’s high-powered offense keep pace with Serra? Plus, much more

Welcome back to Monday Morning Lights, our weekly feature that delves deeper into the high school football weekend and looks ahead to the upcoming week. Please subscribe if you haven’t already done so. Your contributions enable us to continue operating.


A lot has to happen for a big game to live up to the hype.

A lot happened on Friday.

De La Salle won 33-27 on the road in Danville, overcoming San Ramon Valley’s incredible late-game rally from 15 points down.

in the course of time.

The Spartans’ 32-year unbeaten streak against opponents from the North Coast Section ended. Barely.

Since losing to Pittsburg in 1991, they have gone 265-0-1 against teams in their section, with Clayton Valley (tie, 2004) and San Ramon Valley (28-27 in 2016, OT on Friday) being the closest calls.

Here are our main points:

Playoff scenario: When DLS running back Derrick Blanche scored on a 6-yard run in overtime to win the game, it was impossible not to think about a rematch in the NCS playoffs next month.

But will that ever happen?

The top two seeds in the NCS Open/Division I bracket are expected to meet in the second week of the playoffs for the Open Division championship, with the winner advancing to a regional and the loser competing for the Division I title (and a second regional berth) in the third week.

Despite the loss on Friday, SRV has a strong case for the No. 2 seed over Pittsburg, which is undefeated but is still ranked behind SRV in the conference standings.

according to the most recent state computer rankings (Pitt is 30, SRV is 21).

When the season is over, SRV and Pittsburg will have two opponents in common: California and Liberty.

Pittsburg won 38-35 over California. SRV defeated Liberty 66-12. On October 27, Pittsburg will pay a visit to Liberty. On Friday, SRV will depart for California.

DLS’s defensive line: SRV quarterback Luke Baker probably needed an ice bath as he exited the field, having taken the brunt of the blows delivered by DLS linemen Chris Biller and Matthew Johnson.

The Spartans’ pressure forced Baker to either run (which he did frequently) or take a big hit (which he also did frequently).

“Seems like I was running every play,” Baker said. “Body is not feeling great right now.”

Biller had three sacks and three tackles for loss on the season. Johnson had 3.5 sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss. Colton Seastrand contributed 11 points.

tackles (seven solo), a half sack and recovered a fumble.

“I thought our defense did a great job until about halfway through the fourth quarter,” DLS coach Justin Alumbaugh said before mentioning Baker. “He was able to break through some barriers and scramble through the

to the middle and keep his team alive. That took a lot of courage. There is no doubt about it.”

This four-star performer delivers: It was easy to see why SRV junior linebacker/receiver Marco Jones has offers from many of college football’s top programs, including Alabama, Michigan, and Notre Dame.

On Friday, he was everywhere.

As De La Salle threatened to score inside the SRV, he had 11 tackles (six solo), four tackles for loss, one sack, and forced a fumble.

He also caught six passes for 57 yards, including a 21-yard touchdown reception in the back corner of the end zone that put the Wolves up 12-7 heading into the fourth quarter.

“We definitely want to see them again in the playoffs,” he said. “I believe it will be another good game. We’re hoping for the best.

That’s what we want, and we’ll be able to compete for another state championship this year. This does not sum up the entire season. It’s only one loss. We just have to forget about it and get on with the next week.”

Please remain seated: When DLS quarterback Toa Faavae scored to extend the Spartans’ lead to 27-12 with 5:08 remaining, spectators in the SRV side’s jam-packed stands, including a large portion of the pink-clad student section, began to leave.

All they missed was the thrilling conclusion.

“I don’t know what happened,” Baker confessed. “I was expecting them to stay till the end.”

“We kept our spirits high,” Jones added. We’re not too concerned about the stands. We’re not going to play in the stands. We’re taking part in a football game.

game. We just got in there and kept competing until the final whistle blew.”

A breakdown of the numbers: The turnover battle was won by DLS 4-2. The Spartans fumbled twice. SRV had three interceptions (one of which was a touchdown).

deflected a pick-six and one inside the 10, but fumbled… DLS was penalized 12 times for 122 yards. SRV was flagged nine times for a total of 58 yards.

SRV gained 385 yards on 75 plays. In 56 plays, DLS gained 316 yards.

Darren Sabedra *


For the past two years, Serra has dominated the West Catholic Athletic League, winning 14 consecutive games against league opponents — 13 by double digits, 11 during the regular season and three during the playoffs.

This season, the Padres have outscored their four WCAL opponents 202-33. Previously, they outscored their three non-league opponents 87-21 (Folsom, De La Salle, and Central Catholic-Modesto).

However, if there is a team in the WCAL that has a chance this season to keep up with the San Mateo powerhouse, it is the talent-laden Sacramento Kings.

Riordan, Archbishop of Dublin.

Both teams are undefeated in league play and will meet at Serra on Saturday.

“We’re going to prepare for it like any other week, and work our butts off in practice,” Riordan quarterback Mike Mitchell said. “They

Run an excellent program. They have a lot of ballers on their team, and we’re looking forward to playing them.”

Riordan has a massive offensive line, thanks to high-profile transfers in the offseason. Transfer from Sheldon to Sacramento

Tommy Tofi stands 6-foot-7 and weighs 330 pounds, while Mater Dei-Santa Ana transfer Peter Langi is even bigger (350 pounds) and has thrived since becoming eligible in the middle of the season.

The wide receiver corps at the San Francisco school is an embarrassment of riches. Chris Lawson, a Foothill transfer, is a four-star prospect.

Tyrone Jackson, Cynai Thomas, and Judge Nash would be starters on almost any other Bay Area team.

However, the chances of the new kids on the block leading Riordan to its first victory over Serra since a 66-45 victory eight years ago appear slim.


Riordan’s high-level talent hasn’t translated into Serra’s level of dominance.

Riordan has won its four WCAL games by an average of 15 points despite lacking the depth that the Padres use to grind down opponents.

After defeating Archbishop Mitty 56-42 on Saturday, an opponent Serra defeated 42-0 the week before, Riordan coach Adhir

Ravipati acknowledged that depth could be a problem.

“We’re pretty banged up, so we’ll see who we’ve got and we’ll give it our best swing,” Ravipati went on to say. “I know the kids will do the work they need to do this week to get ready for that.”

Computer projects from Serra wins 49-21.

Joseph Dycus*


Beginning Friday and continuing through the rest of the regular season, the four Acalanes Unified District high schools –

Acalanes, Campolindo, Las Lomas, and Miramonte will only compete against each other.

The fact that all four teams are 3-0 in the Diablo Athletic League Foothill Division adds to the allure of this arrangement.

That’s correct! They are all tied for first place!

Have fun with it. If the rumors are true, it will not happen again, at least not in the near future. Clayton Valley Charter School’s

The football program is returning to the DAL from the East Bay Athletic League, where the rest of the school’s athletic programs compete. The

In 2019, Ugly Eagles were relocated from the DAL Foothill to the EBAL Mountain.

According to sources, the DAL will then be divided into three divisions, one more than it currently has. The four Acalanes schools are unlikely to be kept together.

Whatever happens in 2024, if you follow the Lamorinda schools, the next three weeks should be entertaining. The four teams have a combined record of 22-4-1. Nobody could have predicted that before the season started.

Acalanes appeared to be the best team on paper, with two veteran players.

quarterbacks and a loaded receiver room. Campo, Las Lomas, and Miramonte were all in their early twenties.

All four schools should qualify for the NCS playoffs, albeit in different divisions. That’s a different story. It’s also possible that a couple of teams will still be tied for first at the end of this three-week trip. It doesn’t matter. Given that all four schools are in the same district, it should be a blast.

— Michael Lefkow


Another fantastic weekend of high school football has come to an end. However, not every detail could be taken in. So, while you’re sipping your Monday morning coffee, here are some highlights:

Palo Alto: ** The Vikings had gone 13 quarters without scoring. Los Gatos, Menlo-Atherton, and Menlo School had all blanked the Vikings in a row. They had had enough and took it out on Half Moon Bay on Friday, scoring nine touchdowns in a 61-23 rout. Only RB Jeremiah Madrigal had multiple touchdowns. He

In the second quarter, he caught a 25-yard screen from quarterback Declan Packer, then ran 85 yards for another six yards in the third quarter. Packer completed four touchdown passes.

Heritage: The Patriots, who had lost four of their previous five games,

Deer Valley was thrashed 50-14. Mekhi Adanandus had 204 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Phillip Babbitt completed four passes, three of which were for six points. Chiemezie Nomeh’s 47-yard field goal set a new school record.

goal. The Patriots (3-4, 1-1 BVAL) may still require assistance to make the NCS D-II playoffs. Two of their last three games are at home against Pittsburg and


Oak Grove: The Eagles (3-4, 1-1 BVAL Mt. Hamilton) are in third place.

Aidan Cisneros rushed for 196 yards and two touchdowns in a 22-7 victory over Lincoln-San Jose. Akino McGee contributed 65 yards on three carries, 30 yards on two receptions, and a touchdown. He and Shamar Mathews both had interceptions, while Isaac Achica had five tackles for loss.

Tennyson: In a 22-18 victory over San Leandro, the Lancers (2-5, 1-1 MVAL/WACC Foothill) rushed for nearly 300 yards. Montell

Rice had 110 yards and a touchdown, and Lamont McDonald had 103 yards on the ground. He also scored the game-winning touchdown and added the two-point conversion. With five sacks and eight tackles for loss in the second half, Tennyson’s defense was unmovable.

Gunderson: In a 56-14 thrashing of Lick, QB Andrew Fernandez threw six touchdown passes. Four of those touchdowns were scored by Marquise Hall, who had five catches for 151 yards. Since starting the season 0-3, the Grizzlies have gone 3-1. In the BVAL West Valley standings, they are a game behind Prospect and Del Mar. Gunderson has already been defeated by Prospect but has yet to face Del Mar. As a result of the West Valley Division

Because there is only one automatic berth in the CCS playoffs, Gunderson will almost certainly need to win its division to advance.

Concord: Improved with a 32-6 victory over Ygnacio Valley.

DAL Valley leads the game 3-5, 1-1. RB Monte Beam scored twice on the ground, and Isaiah Singleton caught two touchdown passes. The once-dominant Wolves (0-8) have now lost 32 consecutive games dating back to 2019.

Los Altos: The Eagles (3-4, 2-1 PAL El Camino) are in action tonight.

won 21-18 over Santa Clara, with the winning touchdown coming with 1:35 remaining on a 21-yard pass from Noah Beedon to Drew Raffety. The Eagles’ Fernando Oceguera scored on a pair of 6-yard runs.

Glenn Reeves and Mike Lefkow*



San Ramon Valley (6-1) vs. California (5-2), 7 p.m.: SRV cannot afford a slip-up against the Grizzlies.

Menlo School (7-0) at The King’s Academy (4-2), 7 p.m.: First place in the PAL De Anza Division is on the line.

Amador Valley (5-2) at Granada (6-2), 7 p.m.: AV quarterback Tristan Tia squares off against his former school, with first place in the EBAL Valley on the line.

Campolindo (5-1) vs. Las Lomas (7-0), 7 p.m.: Campolindo (5-1) vs. Las Lomas (7-0). Campo has won the last 11 meetings in this series, including a 41-21 victory last season.

7 p.m., Acalanes (4-3) vs. Miramonte (6-0): Acalanes has won four straight and five of its last six meetings with Miramonte.

Valley Christian (5-2) vs. St. Francis (4-3), 7 p.m. Games between these two teams are usually close. This one should be no exception.

7 p.m., Overfelt (4-3) vs. Leigh (5-2): Overfelt must win this game in order to remain in the BVAL Santa Teresa-Valley race.


1:30 p.m., Archbishop Riordan (6-1) vs. Serra (7-0): This season, Serra has averaged 8.3 points per game against WCAL opponents, while Riordan has averaged 33.5.

Sacred Heart Prep (4-3) at Wilcox (5-2), 2 p.m.: Wilcox would be foolish to look ahead to its Oct. 27 game against Los Gatos.

Hayward (5-2) at Berkeley (4-3), 2 p.m.: MVAL/WACC Mission Division teams with no league losses.

Darren Sabedra *

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply