Weekend football: 4 Games To Watch

Windsor QB Christian McAlvin (Kent Porter / PD)


Valley Christian (1-0) at Cardinal Newman (1-0)
7 p.m.
Last week: Valley Christian beat Bullard, 49-0. Cardinal Newman did not play.
Notable: Cardinal Newman has a tradition of playing top-flight talent in preseason, and this is one of its toughest matchups ever. Valley Christian of San Jose is currently No. 2 in several Northern Cal Division I polls, behind only De La Salle … Byron Marshall rushed for more than 1,100 yards and 25 touchdowns as a sophomore last season, and paced the Warriors with 142 yards against Fresno Bullard a week ago … Speedy VC receiver Bryan Fobbs reportedly is attracting interest from Boise State and Oregon, among other colleges … Cardinal Newman outlasted Central Catholic of Modesto, 24-21, in double overtime in its season opener two weeks ago at Loomis … The Cardinals’ Matt Sullivan completed 14 of 21 passes for 117 yards and two touchdowns in that game.
Number to note: 105 — Estimated field temperature at Loomis in Newman’s first game.
The pick: Valley Christian 35, Cardinal Newman 21

Casa Grande (1-0) at Maria Carrillo (1-0)
7:30 p.m.
Last week: Casa Grande beat Ukiah, 26-17. Maria Carrillo beat Petaluma, 33-13.
Notable: Casa Grande is currently the highest-ranked team in Sonoma County — No.13 in Northern California by Cal-Hi Sports, and No. 5 in the Division II Nor Cal state poll … The Gauchos have dominated this series recently, winning eight straight in the regular season and claiming a thrilling 18-17 victory in the first round of last year’s North Coast Section Division II playoffs … Both teams had to come from behind to win their season openers last week. Casa Grande was down 10-0 to Ukiah, while Maria Carrillo trailed 6-0 at Petaluma following the game’s first possession … The Gauchos’ Javonie Oden had 155 rushing yards on just nine carries, helped by a 73-yard scoring scamper … The Pumas’ multipronged rushing attack was paced by Emilio Pollack (six carries, 123 yards) … Carrillo’s Sam Atoe ran for two touchdowns and passed for another.
Number to note: 4 — Number of Maria Carrillo players who rushed for at least 50 yards against Petaluma last week.
The pick: Maria Carrillo 17, Casa Grande 16

Windsor (2-0) at Santa Rosa (1-0)
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Last week: Windsor beat Redwood, 38-0. Santa Rosa did not play.
Notable: One of five NBL vs. SCL tilts this weekend, with four coming Friday night … Windsor has won five of the past six in this series … Since falling behind Montgomery 7-0 in the season opener, Jaguars have outscored their opponents 66-8 … Windsor DE/TE Joe Winkler broke his leg vs. Redwood last week and could miss the rest of the season … QB Christian McAlvain ran for two touchdowns and passed for a third in that game, while Brady Stibi intercepted two passes for the Jaguars … Santa Rosa has had two weeks to prepare since downing Petaluma 13-0 in first game of 2010; the Panthers made two goal-line stands in that one … Santa Rosa is looking to go 2-0 after finishing 2-8 in 2009.
Number to note: 2006 — The last time Windsor began the season 3-0.
The pick: Windsor 24, Santa Rosa 7


Middletown (0-1) at Upper Lake (1-0)
Time: 2 p.m.
Last week: Middletown lost to Salesian, 57-52. Upper Lake beat Calistoga, 27-0.
Notable: Don’t be fooled by Middletown’s record. The Mustangs’ tough loss in the opener was to Salesian, which went 10-2 last year and entered the NCS Division IV playoffs as the No.3 seed … Middletown was the No. 4 seed in that bracket, and was upset in overtime in the second round. Salesian lost to Fort Bragg in the semifinals … The hard-charging Mustangs have now scored 40 or more points in seven of their past eight games, and have topped 50 three times in that span … Upper Lake got off on the right foot after slogging through a 1-9 season and getting outscored 294-0 in its last five games of 2009 … The shutout was the Cougars’ first since beating Potter Valley by the same score in the 2007 opener … Junior Travis Floyd keyed Upper Lake’s victory, catching two touchdown passes and returning an interception for another score.
Number to note: 0 — Number of Upper Lake QB Michael Diconza’s two completions that didn’t go for touchdowns against Calistoga last week.
The pick: Middletown 41, Upper Lake 20

— Phil Barber, The Press Democrat