Football: Previews of Saturday's local games

DE ANZA (5-2, 1-1) at
SANTA ROSA JC (3-4, 1-1)
Kickoff: 1 p.m.

Last week: De Anza beat Butte, 35-25. SRJC handled Foothill, 37-10.

Notable: The NorCal Conference’s top quarterback, Josh McCain, leads De Anza. He averages 262 passing yards and has thrown for 18 TDs. In the win over Butte, he threw for 346 and four scores … “He’ll be the best quarterback we have faced this season to date,” coach Keith Simons said. “He can hurt you running and throwing.” … Against Foothill, Santa Rosa led 27-0 at halftime. It was one of the few times this season the Bear Cubs hadn’t fallen behind early … “For the past month, that (getting a quick start) has been the focus of our post-practice speeches to the team,” Simons said. “We’re a pretty good team when we come out focused, intense and energized on both sides of the ball.” … Bear Cubs QB David Sowards had a big game against Foothill, completing 26-of-47 for 371 yards … Garrett Guanella (Cardinal Newman) is third in the conference with an average of 8.6 tackles per game … Mike Tuaua (Rancho Cotate) is third in sacks with seven … While De Anza beat Butte playing at home, the visiting Bear Cubs lost to that foe, 21-6.

The pick: Santa Rosa JC 28, De Anza 24

ST. VINCENT (6-2, 4-1) at
UPPER LAKE (5-3, 4-1)
Kickoff: 2 p.m.

Last week: St. Vincent defeated Tomales, 34-0. Upper Lake lost at Calistoga, 10-6.

Notable: The winner of this game moves into a tie with California School for the Deaf atop the North Central League II standings … St. Vincent will bring a three-game winning streak to town … A big reason for that is the work of the offensive line. Against Tomales, that unit was opening big holes for running backs Derek Murphy (163 yards and three TDs) and George Sammon (130) … Quarterback Mitch Sheppard has thrown at least one scoring pass in 19 straight games dating back to 2010. His favorite targets are Arman Yektaparast (five TDs) and Zach Smith (four) … The Mustangs’ defense has also played well during the winning streak and last Saturday held Tomales’ Anthony Feliciano to his lowest rushing total (122) of the year … Upper Lake also has a stingy defense, allowing 17 points per game … Ward Beecher and Travis Coleman are the nucleus of the Cougars’ run-oriented offense.

The pick: St. Vincent 21, Upper Lake 12

POINT ARENA (3-4, 2-3) at
Kickoff: 1 p.m.

Last week: Point Arena lost to Laytonville, 46-6. RVC lost to Potter Valley, 58-24

Notable: A lot of points will be scored in this one. In its two previous games, the Point Arena defense has surrendered an average of 47. The Eagles defense has allowed an average of 60 in its last three contests … “Our chances of winning are pretty good,” RVC coach Brad Rickard said. “I scouted them when they played Potter Valley and it’s a good match-up for us.” … The Eagles have had trouble fielding a team on occasion and will have 11 players in uniform today for the eight-man game … This is the season finale for RVC and Rickard praised running back Brandon Douglas (597) for having a “fantastic” year. The coach also said sophomore QB Daniel Maples transformed into a leader as the season progressed. Maples has completed 54-of-108 passes, 12 of those for TDs … Last year, Point Arena beat RVC, 62-0.

The pick: RV Christian 55, Point Arena 47

ROUND VALLEY (0-5, 0-5) at
MENDOCINO (6-0, 4-0)
Kickoff: 2:30 p.m.

Last week: Round Valley forfeited to Anderson Valley. Mendocino had a bye.

Notable: Mendocino’s defense yields 16 points per game, excellent for eight-man football … The Cardinals’ offense puts up an average of 53 … Mendocino concludes its season next Friday against Laytonville in a game that likely will decide the NCL III league champion.

The pick: Mendocino 62, Round Valley 6

— Howard Senzell, for The Press Democrat