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WEEK 2 FOOTBALL OUTLOOK

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POSTED September 17, 2009 12:07 a.m.
EAST UNION (0-1) at BEAR CREEK (0-1)


Kickoff: Friday, 7:15 p.m.

Last year: 30-28, Bear Creek.

Key matchup: East Union OL vs. Bear Creek DL/LBs. The Lancers were outstanding in the trenches vs. Beyer last week and were able to establish a balanced attack. Dominating the line of scrimmage would further develop confidence for the rest of the season.

Closer look: In last year’s meeting, EU yielded three scores over the final three minutes and went on to finish the season 0-9. Both programs have struggled mightily over the past few years, but EU appears to be on the rise behind an explosive passing game led by QB Dennis Johnson and improved line play. If EU can prevent big plays on defense, it should notch its first victory since November of 2007.

MANTECA (1-0) at TRACY (1-0)


Kickoff: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Last year: 27-22, Manteca.

Key matchup: Manteca front seven vs. Tracy RBs. Fullback Jordan Strong and Depray Celestine combined for over 250 rushing yards in last week’s dramatic victory in Los Banos. The Buffaloes stood their ground against Soquel’s tough backfield trio on the road in Week 1.

Closer look: Manteca is 2-0 since the traditional rivalry was renewed, and Round 3 could be a doozy as both squads combine two talent-laden classes this season. Both teams boast effective ground games, which could set up an all-out slugfest at the line of scrimmage. The key for Manteca will be limiting costly mistakes. The Buffs committed eight penalties and three turnovers in the fourth quarter alone last week.

SIERRA (1-0) at GRANADA (1-0)

 

Kickoff: Friday, 7 p.m.

Last year: Did not play

Key matchup: Sierra LBs vs. Granada RB George Atkinson III. The son of former Raider great George Atkinson took third in the 100-meter dash as a sophomore at last year’s state track and field meet. He had six rushes go for 143 yards and four TDs and also took a pass 40 yards to paydirt vs. Antioch last week.

How they match up: After trouncing first-year varsity Lathrop last week, the Timberwolves expect a big test from Granada. Granada hails from the wildly competitive East Bay Athletic League, which features juggernaut De La Salle. Two standout RBs will be on display, with Jarrod Daniels, who had 138 yards and four TDs in one quarter vs. Lathrop, featured on Sierra’s offense.

SUMMERVILLE (1-0) at RIPON (1-0)

Kickoff: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Last year: 28-14, Ripon.

Key matchup: Ripon secondary vs. Summerville QB Zach Roberson. Roberson shined as a sophomore last year. He led the Bears’ 42-21 romp over defending Sac-Joaquin Section Division VII champion Bradshaw Christian last Friday with 206 yards, two TDs to no picks on 8-of-10 passing.

How they match up: The youth-laden Indians survived first-half mistakes and Linden’s balanced offense last week. Ripon had more experience last season and was able to keep Roberson from catching fire with a dominant run game. Summerville is expected to contend for the Mother Lode League crown, so a victory here would be huge for Ripon’s growing confidence.

LATHROP (0-1) at WESTON RANCH (0-1)

Kickoff: Friday, 7:15 p.m.

Last year: Did not play

Key matchup: Lathrop OL/DL vs. Weston Ranch OL/DL. Both teams struggled in taking control of the line of scrimmage in their losses last week.

How they match up: Seniorless Lathrop had a tough draw in its first-ever varsity contest last week when it had to face 2008 playoff qualifier Sierra. Weston Ranch didn’t have it any easier going up against traditional Mother Lode League contender Calaveras on the road. Weston Ranch’s lack of size and roster depth was a problem last week, but its stable of skill athletes should overcome Lathrop’s varsity inexperience.

RIPON CHRISTIAN (1-0) at BRADSHAW CHRISTIAN (0-1)

Kickoff: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Last year: 9-7, Ripon Christian.

Key matchup: Ripon Christian front seven vs. Bradshaw Christian RBs. Stout fullback and three-year varsity senior Tyler Takahashi returns with Brady Dragmire and E.J. Eddinburg to form a dangerous backfield trio. They combined for over 300 yards last week.

How they match up: Ripon Christian’s biggest victory last year came against the section’s eventual D-IV champion. If the Knights want to repeat, they’ll have to do it again on the defensive end while the offense keeps QB Daniel Lewis and the rest of the Pride’s scoring threats off the field. Bradshaw has more depth than last year, certainly more than RC, and has nine starters returning on both sides of scrimmage.

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