Jeff Smith noon, March 8
Game of the Week
#7 Cathedral Catholic (3-1) at #1 Eastlake (4-0) Friday 7 p.m.
One of the most intriguing matchups of the entire regular season features two programs that have a combined .841 winning percentage since 2007 but haven’t met during that time. Eastlake earned the section’s top billing with its season-opening win over Helix and hasn’t let up since, allowing a touchdown or less in three victories. Cathedral Catholic has stumbled once in its difficult preseason slate, and bounced back from a blowout loss at Helix by blanking Olympian 31-0 last week. Both teams feature talented running backs (Jude Isbell/Tony Johnson), experienced quarterbacks (Josh Palet/Garrett Bogart), and solid defenses, and in this even matchup Eastlake’s team speed could make the difference. Both teams share Helix as a common opponent, but not with a common result – Eastlake beat the Highlanders 21-14 and Cathedral Catholic lost to them 48-14.
Best of the Rest
Grossmont (2-0-1) at Mar Vista (3-0) Friday 7 p.m.
The week’s only matchup of undefeated teams features unlikely unbeatens that have gone about success in different ways. Mar Vista has won its first three games by an average of 30.7 points and shut out its last two opponents, while Grossmont’s two wins have come by a slim average of 5.5 points. On offense, the Mariners almost exclusively keep it on the ground while the Foothillers have a balanced attack. Which team will keep its unbeaten start going?
Westview (4-0) at El Camino (1-2) Friday 7 p.m.
Westview has been nothing short of dominant so far this season, outscoring its first four opponents by a combined score of 130-6 and pitching three shutouts. The undefeated Wolverines are starting a difficult back half of the schedule against an El Camino team is better than its record suggests. Can the Wildcats slow down Westview? No one has so far.
Olympian (1-2) at #10 Madison (3-0) Friday 6:30 p.m.
Olympian and Madison met twice last season and split, with the Warhawks winning in the Division IV semifinals on the way to a section title and State Bowl berth. Though an enrollment bump moved Olympian up to Division III, recent history between these two teams should add a little something extra to this game. Olympian’s two losses have come to quality opponents, and to avoid a third the Eagles will need to slow down a Madison team averaging 41 points per game.
Vista (0-3) at #2 Oceanside (2-1) Friday 7 p.m.
The only regular season matchup between defending section champions features two rivals that have started the season in opposite directions. Defending Division II champ Oceanside has won two in a row after losing its opener to Servite, relying on its defense early. On the other side, defending Division I champ Vista was hit hard by graduation and hasn’t yet picked up a victory. This North County rivalry game should play closer than the records, with defense taking center stage.