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Brae Canlen 8:30 a.m., April 20
Game of the Week
No. 1 Vista (7-0, 2-0 Avocado East) at Mission Hills (5-2, 2-0) Friday 7 p.m.
Since taking over the section’s No. 1 after the first week of the season Vista has not given it up, beating section power Oceanside along the way. The Panthers have playmakers on both sides of the ball, one of the biggest and most athletic teams in the section. Vista can spread the ball around on offense and the Blackshirt defense is allowing 14 points per game. Mission Hills presents the toughest road test on Vista’s regular season slate, coming in averaging 30 points per game behind a Hunter Moore-led offense. The Grizzlies are also coming off their best defensive performance of the season – allowing nine points in a win over Fallbrook last week. Mission Hills coach Chris Hauser is facing Vista for the first time since taking the reins of the Grizzlies’ program; Hauser coached at his alma mater in the early 2000s, guiding the Panthers to a CIF title in 2001.
Best of the Rest
No. 6 Oceanside (5-2, 1-0 Avocado West) at No. 7 La Costa Canyon (5-2, 2-0) Friday 7 p.m.
The last time these two teams met was a 2007 Division II semifinal that Oceanside 14-10 won on their way to a state title. Since that game, these teams have defined success within the section – the Pirates have gone 33-2-1 and the Mavericks have posted a 27-5 record. Now league rivals, both teams will be looking to get a leg up in the Avocado West. With both teams averaging close to 30 points per game, expect a high-scoring shootout that comes down to the wire.
No. 5 Torrey Pines (7-0, 2-0 Palomar) at Ramona (4-3, 0-1) Friday 7:30 p.m.
Torrey Pines is in the midst of a four-game stretch that will put their perfect record to the test. After beating Rancho Bernardo by seven, it doesn’t get any easier for the Falcons when they head east to face Ramona. It starts with defense for Torrey Pines – a staunch unit led by middle linebacker Kevin Cuff – and the offense led by quarterback John Cabot makes enough plays to win. After winning their first four, Ramona has lost three straight. The Bulldogs have yet to pick up a win over a marquee opponent this season and will get another chance hosting Torrey Pines. Expect a physical game that will be won between the trenches.
Madison (6-1, 2-0 Western) at Point Loma (5-2, 2-0) Friday 6:30 p.m.
Point Loma will roll out the portable lights at Bennie Edens Stadium for Homecoming in a game that doubles as a battle for the top spot in the Western League. The Pointers have playmakers on both side of the ball, led on defense by big senior defensive tackle Christian Heyward. Moving over from the Central League, Madison has rolled up 89 points in their first two league games and the Warhawks have their fair share of talent, too.
Cathedral Catholic (3-4, 2-0 Eastern) at Mira Mesa (4-3, 2-0) Friday 6:30 p.m.
After losing four of their first five, Cathedral Catholic has won two straight to start Eastern League play. The Dons’ monster preseason schedule – that included losses to four teams currently ranked in the top eight – has paid off so far. Mira Mesa also came into the Eastern League with a losing record, with losses to Vista, Oceanside and undefeated Los Angeles Dorsey. Which of these battle-tested teams will prevail? Cathedral Catholic has won the last three meetings.
In the Red Zone
Mission Bay (0-7, 0-2 Western) at Hoover (3-3-1, 0-2) Friday 3 p.m.