|Vance Sams of Edison will look to slow down the state champion Drillers (photo by Lorenzo J. Reyna).|
One contest in Fresno has two Central Section heavyweights battling in what could be the Division I title game preview. Another contest in Kern County has two preseason Division III and IV favorites. On the Central Coast, one Ventura County air attack will look to drop bombs on a San Luis Obispo County powerhouse who just poured 48 points on a proud Clovis High team.
Here's Cali Gold Mine's notable games to watch:
BAKERSFIELD (1-0) AT EDISON-FRESNO (1-0)
Location: Ratcliffe Stadium (Fresno City College).
Time: 7:30 p.m.
The Drillers enter this contest as the reigning state DI champs. The Tigers will stampede inside Ratcliffe looking to knock off BHS and prove they're worthy of the DI title.
Prospect watch for BHS: Running back Marcus Bruce punished Oaks Christian-Westlake Village with 205 yards and two touchdowns (66 and 16 yards) in the Drillers' 34-21 victory on Aug. 29. Bruce is a 5-foot-10, 195-pound back who combines speed with power. Nose tackle Nigel Brooks will go against a young Edison offensive line who had trouble with Buchanan's front seven in last week's 13-7 win. The 6-foot-1, 285-pound Brooks has generated some Mountain West interest.
Prospect watch for EHS: Ten Tigers have received some NCAA Division I interest. The biggest sleepers, however, are seniors Khai Williams (running back) and Kam'ron Lewis (wide receiver). The 5-foot-10, 185-pound Williams showed his north-south ability in the victory over the Bears. Williams is more known for his cutback ability and track speed. Lewis is a hard assignment for cornerbacks because of his size (6-foot-3) and vertical jump. Lewis had 70 yards on six catches last week. The Tigers' strength against Buchanan was the defense, as linebackers Vance Sams, Anthony Shepard, and defensive backs Tyler Horton and A.J. Greeley were flying to the football. Horton holds six offers and just recently heard from the University of Texas. Greeley - a 6-foot, 175-pound lock down corner and safety- is already committed to Fresno State.
CENTRAL VALLEY CHRISTIAN-VISALIA (1-0) AT BAKERSFIELD CHRISTIAN (1-0)
Time: 7:30 p.m.
These two Christian schools won't just battle for the Milk Bowl. Both are entering the game with some under-the-radar prospects and having high hopes of a section championship run.
Prospect watch for CVC: Linebacker/tight end Tate Nelson is one of the most wanted Cavaliers on the recruiting trail. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Nelson is one of the best pass rushing linebackers in the section. The senior currently holds a University of Idaho offer and has told CGM that Wyoming of the Mountain West is picking up interest. Nelson also has heard from Penn, Princeton, Fresno State and Sacramento State. Safety Bradley Taylor is emerging as a Class of 2016 prospect to watch. Taylor is a tall defender at 6-foot-2, 190-pounds. He can snatch the ball from mid air or attack quarterbacks and running backs on blitzes. He's the Kam Chancellor of the CVC defense. Offensively, running back MacIntyre Garbani overcomes his lack of size (5-foot-8) with stamina and heart. Garbani led CVC with 134 yards on 13 carries and scored three times in the Cavs' 60-7 rout over Woodlake on Aug. 28. The Cavs are considered one of the favorites to win the Central Section DIV title.
Prospect watch for BCHS: It all starts with the running game. Senior running back Matt Smith is one of many talented backs in the Central Section. The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Smith can run over and around defenders. He holds four offers (Air Force, Colorado State, Utah State and UC Davis). Quarterback Brandon Jones has generated interest from the PAC-12 and Big 12 after throwing for 4,365 yards and 54 touchdown passes last year. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound signal caller is considered a pro style quarterback in the 661.
SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY
CAMARILLO (1-0) AT PASO ROBLES (1-0)
Location: Flamson Middle School.
Time: 7 p.m.
Two high-powered offenses should bring plenty of fireworks in this non-league contest in the Southern Section.
Prospect watch for Camarillo: The Scorpions have emerged as one of the better spread offensive teams in the 805. When their passing game gets going, it's hard to stop. Junior quarterback Jake Constantine threw five touchdown passes in Camarillo's 38-13 romp of Rio Mesa last week. Fellow junior Frankie Tostado is one of his top targets. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound Tostado is dangerous on deep routes and with hauling down the jump ball.
Prospect watch for Paso Robles: Jonathan Baldwin brings versatility and explosive plays for the Bearcats. At outside linebacker, Baldwin had two interceptions returned for touchdowns. As a tight end, Baldwin uses his 6-foot-3, 220-pound frame to out-muscle defenders for the ball. Senior Bailey Gaither had a breakout night against Clovis with four catches, 148 yards and two touchdowns. Gaither holds four offers from New Hampshire, Cal Poly, Montana State and Wyoming. Sophomore Christian Erickson provided balance for the Bearcats with 30 carries, 152 yards and one touchdown in the 48-30 victory. Erickson is a power back at 5-foot-10, 205-pounds.