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John Maffei's prep football picks

10/05/2017, 7:45pm PDT
By John Maffei

Mount Miguel running back Shemar Greene carries the ball in the first quarter.

UNIVERSITY CITY vs. CRAWFORD

University City (4-1) is averaging 487 total yards behind QB Gunnar Gray, who has thrown for 1,351 yards and 15 TDs, and RBs Marcel Patterson and E’Lonie Rico. Crawford (5-0) is trying to open a season 6-0 for the first time since starting 8-0 in 2013. QB Shawn Balala has 12 TD passes for the Colts.

Prediction: University City 37, Crawford 24

CATHEDRAL CATHOLIC at MADISON

Having already played state-ranked No. 8 Orange Lutheran, No. 17 Helix and No. 49 Loomis Del Oro, Cathedral Catholic (2-3, 0-0) opens Western League play against Madison (5-0, 0-0), ranked No. 2 in San Diego and No. 23 in the state. The Dons are struggling on offense, averaging just 17.6 points, but the defense is allowing only 21.4. Madison is led by QB Mario Alves, RBs Kenan Christon and Ke’ontae Springs, and WR Daniel Stokes.

Prediction: Madison 35, Cathedral Catholic 31

POINT LOMA vs. ST. AUGUSTINE

QB Kyle Grady, a threat to run or pass, leads Point Loma (3-2, 0-0) into Western League play. RB DeAndre Daniels, who has 612 yards rushing, receiving and on returns, is key for St. Augustine (2-3, 0-0). Saints QB Ryan Thomas and WR JR Justice have hooked up for five TDs.

Prediction: Point Loma 28, St. Augustine 21

CORONADO at KEARNY

Coronado (2-3, 0-0) opens Central League play on a three-game losing streak, having been outscored 111-10 in those games. Kearny (5-0, 0-0) is trying to go 6-0 for the first time since 1991, when it opened 7-0. QB Kenyon Williams has thrown for 804 yards and 10 TDs. RB Brenton Bell has 1,047 yards rushing and 12 TDs. WR Devon Jones is averaging 18.2 yards on 25 catches.

Prediction: Kearny 32, Coronado 12

EASTLAKE at OTAY RANCH

Eastlake (5-1, 0-0) opens Metro Mesa League play on a three-game winning streak, outscoring opponents 105-26. The Titans attack on the ground behind Ramon Coe and Parker Merrifield. WR Micah Pietila-Wiggs has 522 yards rushing, receiving and on returns. Otay Ranch (3-3, 0-0) uses two QBs — Alfredo Garcia, who has 765 total yards, and Jonte Stewart, who has 523 yards. RB Gus Espiritu has 458 rushing yards.

Prediction: Eastlake 34, Otay Ranch 27

GROSSMONT at EL CAPITAN

QB Jamie Odom, who has thrown for 1,041 yards, leads Grossmont (3-2, 0-0) as Grossmont Hills League play opens. WRs Josh Moala, Desmond Carter and Thomas Mangum all have more than 200 yards receiving. LB Daisean Crawford has 64 tackles. El Capitan (2-3,0-0) is led by the combo of QB Wick Hauser and WR Yaphet Yokley.

Prediction: Grossmont 34, El Capitan 21

EL CENTRO SOUTHWEST at CENTRAL

For the second year in a row, Southwest (5-0, 0-0) is off to a 5-0 start as Imperial Valley League play begins. The Eagles, who have outscored opponents 213-24 with three shutouts, are led by QB Cameron Jungers and RBs Tyler Saikhon and Derek Guzman. Central (5-0, 0-0) is unbeaten at this point in the season for the first time since at least 2000. QB Deniro Osuna has thrown for 1,036 yards, RB Jonathan Medina has 391 yards and 11 TDs, and WR Thadeo Campbell has 19 catches for 371 yards.

Prediction: Southwest 37, Central 21

MOUNT MIGUEL at MONTE VISTA

QB Mugabe Miller, who has thrown for 1,196 yards and run for 764, leads Mount Miguel (2-4, 0-0) into the Grossmont Valley League opener. RB Shemar Greene has 921 total yards. Santino Pacheco has 600 yards receiving and on returns. Plus, he has 53 tackles. Monte Vista (2-3, 0-0) is coming off two losses and a bye.

Prediction: Monte Vista 24, Mount Miguel 21

TORREY PINES at SAN MARCOS

Torrey Pines (3-2, 0-1) favors the ground game behind RBs Mac Bingham and Sully O’Brien as Avocado League play heats up. San Marcos (5-0, 2-0) has weapons in QB Miles Hastings, WR Kyle Philips and RB Josh Bornes, who has 359 rushing yards and 44 tackles. The Knights last opened a season 6-0 in 2014, when they won their first nine games.

Prediction: San Marcos 31, Torrey Pines 24

LA COSTA CANYON at EL CAMINO

This is another Avocado League heater. No. 5-ranked La Costa Canyon (5-0, 1-0) is led by speedy RB/DB Karson Lippert. The last time the Mavericks opened a season 6-0 was 2009, when they started 11-0 before losing to Vista in the playoff semis. No. 9-ranked El Camino (3-2, 1-1) can match LCC’s speed with WRs Malachi Russell and Wayne Steward. Plus, Fresno-area transfer Demarcus Griffin is eligible to play this week. QB Jaden Casey has thrown for 1,240 yards. Bruising RB Chris Brown has 406 yards.

Prediction: El Camino 24, La Costa Canyon 21

Last week: 8-2

Season: 44-16

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