Justin O'Connell 4:30 p.m., Jan. 24
Week 5 High Five
Week 5 High Five
Game of the Week
No. 3 Oceanside (2-1) at No. 1 Vista (3-0) Friday 7 p.m.
Meeting for the first time since 2007, North County rivals Vista and Oceanside will renew their rivalry as two of the best teams in the section. After beating Mira Mesa to open the season, the Panthers have rolled to wins over University City and Great Oak with a balanced attack averaging more than 450 yards per game. Oceanside didn’t panic after their season-opening loss to Servite, beating Temecula Chaparral and Mira Mesa to squash any ideas of 2010 being a rebuilding season for the Pirates. Quarterback Tofi Pao Pao and the Oceanside offense will look to air it out against Vista’s Blackshirt defense, which has size and speed at every position, including senior Division I prospect Stefan McClure. The winner of this game will lay claim to the top spot in the section.
Best of the Rest
No. 5 Valley Center (4-0) at No. 9 Ramona (4-0) Friday 7 p.m.
Coming off their biggest win of the season, Valley Center heads east on Highway 78 to take on fellow unbeaten Ramona. Recent history suggests this one will be close, with the Jaguars winning 17-16 last season and 16-13 in 2008. Typically later in the season, this showdown comes early as a result of league realignment, with Ramona playing in the Palomar League this year. None of Valley Center’s opponents have been able to contain Travis Bernard so far, who has rushed for 820 yards and 10 touchdowns. On the other side of the ball, Ramona averages 246 rushing yards per game and back Tyler Jackson already has 13 scores.
Carlsbad (2-1) at No. 6 Torrey Pines (3-0) Friday 7 p.m.
Perhaps the most impressive part of Torrey Pines’ run of three straight shutouts to begin the season is that they have all come on the road. Off a bye week, the Falcons play their first home game of the season against Carlsbad. Will the shutout streak continue? The Lancers come in averaging 23 points per game and fresh off their first loss of the season. Carlsbad won the last meeting between these two, 24-17 in the first round of 2008 Division I playoffs.
Rancho Bernardo (4-0) at Mission Hills (2-1) Friday 7 p.m.
Rancho Bernardo has quietly been dominant in September, with victories over Del Norte, Fallbrook and Escondido coming by an average of 29 points. The Broncos like to keep the ball on the ground with the tandem of David Jones (378 yards, 4 TDs) and Tyler Gomogda (316, 6). After losing their opener, Mission Hills has won two straight. The Grizzlies have kept the scoreboard operators busy so far, averaging 36 points scored and allowed in their first three. Points should fly in this one.
Madison (3-0) at Olympian (2-1) Friday 7 p.m.
Madison is one of three Division IV unbeatens and the Warhawks haven’t come close to losing yet, winning their first three by an average of 22 points. The Warhawks are led on offense by senior back Desaan Hardwick, who rushed for 126 yards against Bonita Vista on Sept. 17. Olympian bounced back with a 23-21 win over neighbor Bonita Vista last week and will look to keep rolling at home. This game could be a Division IV playoff preview.
In the Red Zone
No. 8 Steele Canyon (3-1) at Point Loma (3-1) Friday 3 p.m.