Mike Madriaga 9:30 a.m., Nov. 23
Week 8 High Five
Game of the Week
No. 9 Grossmont (6-0, 1-0 Grossmont Hills) at No. 2 Helix (6-0, 1-0) Friday 7 p.m.
The last regular season matchup of unbeatens takes the Red Zone to East County on Friday night. Helix has made a strong case to be the section’s best team this season behind a defense allowing less than a touchdown per game and an offense full of weapons. The Highlanders last encounter with an unbeaten came two weeks ago, when they dropped Mount Miguel 37-7. Helix’s perfection will be tested throughout Grossmont Hills play, starting when they host Grossmont. The Foothillers are the most unlikely of the remaining unbeatens, getting there with quarterback Desean Waters leading a spread attack and a defense holding opponents to seven points per game. A win at Helix would deliver a huge statement for the Foothillers and a win by the hosts would solidify them as one of the section’s best. Helix won the last meeting between these new league mates, a 54-10 decision in 2008.
Best of the Rest
Francis Parker (4-2, 1-0 Coastal) vs Bishop’s (6-0, 1-0) Friday 7 p.m. at La Jolla High
Bishop’s has passed every test this season on their way to becoming the lone unbeaten in Division V, including a 31-10 win at Santa Fe Christian last week in their Coastal League opener. Until they relinquish the crown, however, Division V still belongs to Francis Parker, who has won back-to-back section titles. The Lancers and Knights have met four times in the past two seasons, with Francis Parker prevailing each time, including each of the past two section championship games. Bishop’s will look to reverse their recent fortunes against Francis Parker with a ground game led by brothers Alec and Austin Fisher. The Lancers counter with running back Rochon Taylor, who had 121 yards and two touchdowns against Christian last week.
Rancho Bernardo (5-1, 0-0 Palomar) at No. 5 Torrey Pines (6-0, 1-0) Friday 7 p.m.
Torrey Pines’ defense has come back down to Earth since holding opponents scoreless for the first 14 quarters of the season – but not by much. The Falcons won their Palomar League opener at neighbor Westview 41-7 last week after allowing 20 points per game in their previous two. Rancho Bernardo shut out rival Mt. Carmel last week and will be looking for their first win of the season over an elite team in their league debut. Though early, this one could decide who takes home the Palomar League crown.
No. 6 Oceanside (4-2) at Ramona (4-2) Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Oceanside has won state titles each of the past two seasons and it might have been three straight had they not tied at Ramona in 2008. These former Valley League mates kept each other on the schedule in a game that has become a little rivalry over the past few seasons. The Pirates have won two in a row since losing to Vista, with their offense rolling up 104 points in wins over Mission Hills and Rancho Buena Vista. Ramona swung and missed against Poway in their Palomar League debut and the Bulldogs will look to get off the mat behind the running of Tyler Jackson, who had 244 yards and three scores on 37 carries against Poway.
Scripps Ranch (3-2-1, 0-1 Eastern) vs No. 10 St. Augustine (5-1, 1-0) Friday 7 p.m. at Southwestern College
After losing to Carlsbad in the opening week St. Augustine has rolled to five straight wins, but still haven’t yet beaten a strong opponent. The Saints have a balanced attack that has averaged almost 400 yards per game behind the arm of quarterback Evan Crower (1,201 yards, 18 TDs) and the legs of running back D’andre Crowder. Scripps Ranch started the season with two wins, but couldn’t find consistency in the rest of their preseason slate. Running back Austin Dennis will look to spark a Falcons unit that was shutout by Cathedral Catholic last week. St. Augustine won last year’s meeting 38-10.
In the Red Zone
University City (3-3, 2-0 Central) at San Diego (3-2-1, 0-2) Friday 3 p.m.