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John Maffei's prep football picks

10/12/2017, 6:35pm PDT
By John Maffei

San Diego quarterback Quinn O'connor loads up a pass intended for wide receiver Thomas Marcus.

MISSION HILLS at LA COSTA CANYON

Top-ranked Mission Hills (6-0, 2-0) travels for a key Avocado League game. Ranked No. 14 in the state, the Grizzlies are led by QB Jack Tuttle and big-play WR Chris Olave. But Mission Hills also plays stout defense, outscoring opponents 257-38. No. 4 La Costa Canyon (6-0, 2-0) is led by QB Jake Neufeld and speedy RBs Karson Lippert and Jaquan Carroll. The Mavericks have outscored opponents 231-69.

Prediction: Mission Hills 34, La Costa Canyon 31

SAN MARCOS at CARLSBAD

San Marcos (5-1, 2-1), ranked No. 8 in the section, fell from the ranks of the unbeaten last week, losing 38-21 to Torrey Pines. No. 10 Carlsbad (4-2, 1-2) got back in the Avocado League race with a 31-20 win over Oceanside.

Prediction: Carlsbad 27, San Marcos 21

ST. AUGUSTINE at MADISON

Both teams attack on the ground in this key Western League contest. St. Augustine (3-3, 1-0) uses RBs Deandre Daniels, who has 481 yards, and Brendan Silvia, who has 310. LB David Ambagtsheer has 61 tackles. Madison (6-0, 1-0), ranked No. 3 in San Diego and No. 19 in the state, counts on RBs Kenan Christon, who has 698 yards, and Ke’ontae Springs, who has 629.

Prediction: Madison 35, St. Augustine 31

MIRA MESA at POINT LOMA

Mira Mesa (5-1, 0-0) is led by QB Noah Tumblin, who has 1,170 yards passing and 476 rushing. He has accounted for 17 TDs. WR Artyom Harr has 29 catches for 552 yards and seven TDs. QB Kyle Grady, a threat with both his arm and legs, leads Point Loma (3-3, 0-1). Both teams need a win to keep pace in the Western League.

Prediction: Point Loma 35, Mira Mesa 28

OLYMPIAN at OTAY RANCH

The Metro Mesa League lead is on the line here. Olympian (4-3, 1-0) counts on the passing combo of QB Nico Mendoza to Isaiah Williams. Mendoza has 1,140 passing yards. Otay Ranch (4-3, 1-0) is coming off a 31-28 win over Eastlake last week. RB Gus Espiritu, who has 520 rushing yards, is the offensive catalyst.

Prediction: Otay Ranch 24, Olympian 21

CRAWFORD at CLAIREMONT

Crawford (5-1, 0-0) needs a Central League win this week and next week against Coronado to make later games against San Diego and Kearny meaningful. QB Shawn Balala, who has 13 TDs, is the leader. Clairemont (3-3, 0-1) is coming off a 28-7 loss to San Diego last week after shutting out Montgomery.

Prediction: Crawford 23, Clairemont 14

SAN DIEGO at KEARNY

This is a throwback Central League game to an era when San Diego and Kearny were county powers. San Diego (6-0, 1-0) is led by QB Quinn O’Connor, who has 13 TDs and only one interception. RB Raiden Hunter has 493 yards and eight TDs. The Cavers, who are trying to go 7-0 for the first time since 1958 (when they were 10-0 before a loss to Long Beach Poly), have allowed just 42 points. Kearny (6-0, 1-0) is trying to go 7-0 for the first time since 1991. QB Kenyon Williams has thrown for 982 yards and 12 TDs with only three interceptions. RB Brenton Bell has 1,192 yards and 14 TDs.

Prediction: Kearny 31, San Diego 27

STEELE CANYON at WEST HILLS

Steele Canyon (3-3, 0-1) has had an up-and-down season — beating Mira Mesa, but losing to Helix — and now faces a must-win Grossmont Hills League game. West Hills (5-1, 1-0) opened league play with a 24-21 win over Valhalla. QB Jordin Young has accounted for 802 yards passing and running and 14 TDs.

Prediction: Steele Canyon 31, West Hills 21

MORSE vs. CHRISTIAN

QB Brad Jeremiah leads Christian (5-1, 1-0) into this Eastern League game. The senior has 153 completions, 2,153 yards and 30 TDs. Jeremiah has four big-time targets in Jesse Matthews (36 catches for 570 yards), Alonzo Richardson (27-509), Alexander Gonzalez (34-433) and Nashom Carter (27-382). Morse (3-3, 0-0) is coming off a 28-20 loss to Mira Mesa last week.

Prediction: Christian 34, Morse 24

VALLEY CENTER at SAN PASQUAL

This one is for first place in the Valley League. Valley Center (5-1, 1-0) is led by QB Rikki Mazzetti, who has thrown for more than 1,600 yards, RB Mateo Sinohui and WR Zach Mahrenholz. San Pasqual (4-2, 1-0) has outscored opponents 203-62, with three straight shutouts. This is San Pasqual’s Hall of Fame Game, at which the Eagles will honor field hockey player Kelli Gannon, football player Todd Sheppard and coach and administrator Art Warren. The ceremony is at 5:30 p.m. in the school’s multipurpose room.

Prediction: Valley Center 23, San Pasqual 21

Last week: 6-4

Season: 50-20

john.maffei@sduniontribune.com

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