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Week 9: Picking the top games

10/24/2013, 8:20pm PDT
By John Maffei, Craig Malveaux

John Maffei and Craig Malveaux make their predictions.


Imperial running back Royce Freeman needs 52 yards to break the San Diego Section career rushing record held by Escondido's Ricky Seale.

JOHN MAFFEI'S PICKS

SAN MARCOS at DEL NORTE

San Marcos has won two in a row behind QB James Harwell, who stepped in for the injured Will Freed. Del Norte also has won two in a row. This game is for control of the Valley League. Prediction: Del Norte 24, San Marcos 21

OCEANSIDE at RAMONA

Oceanside faces a tough nonleague test. The Pirates are unbeaten in their last 21 games against Ramona with the teams tying 33-33 in 2008. Since that game, Oceanside has outscored Ramona 188-76 in four games. The Bulldogs have allowed just 75 points this season. Prediction: Oceanside 24, Ramona 21

TORREY PINES at RANCHO BERNARDO

After losing to San Pasqual and Cathedral Catholic, Torrey Pines has won five in a row, allowing just 49 points in those five games. Rancho Bernardo has lost three in a row. Prediction: Torrey Pines 24, Rancho Bernardo 14

RANCHO BUENA VISTA at SAN PASQUAL

Rancho Buena Vista has won two in a row, beating archrival Vista and Escondido. Top-ranked San Pasqual defeated then-No. 1 Mission Hills 13-10 in two overtimes last week. The Eagles have allowed just 88 points in seven games. Prediction: San Pasqual 27, Rancho Buena Vista 14

OTAY RANCH at ESCONDIDO

Otay Ranch has lost five in a row and has scored just 100 points in seven games. Escondido has allowed 242 points in seven games while scoring just 126. Prediction: Escondido 21, Otay Ranch 14

GROSSMONT at VALHALLA

Grossmont averages 416.1 yards a game total offense, and the Foothillers have won four in a row since a loss to Ramona. Valhalla has played El Capitan, Mount Miguel, Helix and West Hills tough in consecutive losses. Prediction: Grossmont 49, Valhalla 28

STEELE CANYON at GRANITE HILLS

Granite Hills has lost three in a row, allowing 163 points. Steele Canyon also has lost three in a row. Prediction: Granite Hills 21, Steele Canyon 20

Season record: 45-11

CRAIG MALVEAUX'S PICKS

ST. AUGUSTINE at CATHEDRAL CATHOLIC

The annual Holy Bowl features the Dons, who have knocked off two Top 50 nationally ranked teams, and the Saints, who have fallen against two San Diego Section Top 10 opponents. Prediction: Cathedral Catholic 28, St. Augustine 24

MORSE at MIRA MESA

Morse halted a three-game losing skid with a 48-0 rout of San Diego last week. Two of the Marauders’ three losses have come against section Top 10 opponents. Prediction: Mira Mesa 21, Morse 10

CHULA VISTA at OLYMPIAN

The Eagles’ running game has been instrumental in their two-game win streak, compiling 470 yards and nine touchdowns. Chula Vista’s road woes continued last week as the Spartans dropped their third away game. Prediction: Olympian 31, Chula Vista 14

HILLTOP at SAN YSIDRO

The last time San Ysidro failed to eclipse 300 rushing yards was in Week 1 against Escondido Charter. In four of Hilltop’s seven games, the Lancers have limited opponents to single-digit points. Prediction: Hilltop 23, San Ysidro 10

WEST HILLS at HELIX

The Highlanders have found their offensive stride, scoring 40 points or more in three of their last four games. Following their lone defeat, the Wolf Pack have responded with a two-game win streak. Prediction: Helix 16, West Hills 13

CALEXICO at IMPERIAL

Imperial running back Royce Freeman needs 52 yards to break the San Diego Section career rushing record held by Escondido’s Ricky Seale. Freeman might get that on his first carry. Otherwise, expect the Tigers to remain undefeated. Prediction: Imperial 45, Calexico 10

EL CAJON VALLEY at MOUNT MIGUEL

During their four-game win streak, the Matadors have amassed 1,264 yards and 17 touchdowns on the ground. El Cajon Valley hasn’t scored in two league games. Prediction: Mount Miguel 28, El Cajon Valley 9

Season record: 43-13

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