No. 6 Bellarmine Bells (7-1, 4-1) at No. 16 Archbishop Mitty Monarchs (4-3-1, 3-1-1)
This game likely won't decide the fate of the West Catholic League, as Valley Christian likely has that sewn up. But a victory here would put either team ahead of the other and would earn a higher seeding in the CCS playoffs. The Bells have played well all season, having only lost to the Warriors, but Mitty has really turned things on after a slow start. Quarterback Kyle Boehm is playing well, as is running back Rocky Meszaros. Both players ran for 100 yards in a 40-40 tie with Serra last week. If both players do it again, the Bells could be in for a long night. Expect Bellarmine to come in with a solid game plan on defense predicated on slowing done the Monarchs' powerful running game, forcing Mitty into third and long situations all night.
Prediction: Bellarmine 20, Archbishop Mitty 14
Coastal Southern California GOTW No. 6 St. Bonaventure Seraphs (7-1, 6-1) at No. 1 Westlake Warriors (8-0, 7-0)
The Warriors burst on the scene last year by winning each and every one of the 14 games they played. The team was an anomaly, as nobody really saw that coming. The CIF State bowl committee didn't see it coming either, and left Westlake out of a bowl game. This year, everyone knows who the Warriors are, and if they want to make it to that elusive bowl game, they'll need to take care of business at home against a very good St. Bonaventure team. The Seraphs have allowed just over 10 points per game on defense but will need to contend with Westlake's high-powered offense, led by quarterback Nick Isham and running back Tavior Mowry. St. Bonaventure has weapons of its own, as quarterback Marc Evans has had back-to-back big games in blowout wins over Thousand Oaks and Calabasas. The Seraphs will keep this game close, but it will be too much to ask to upset a top-notch Warriors team on the road.
Prediction: Westlake 31, St. Bonaventure 23
Inland Southern California GOTW No. 11 La Quinta Blackhawks (7-1, 3-0) at Palm Springs Indians (7-1, 3-0)
For Dylan Boggs' full preview of the Desert Duel, click here.
Friday night's showdown between La Quinta and Palm Springs will determine the Desert Valley League title. La Quinta won the league title last season but Palm Springs went on to win the Eastern Division championship. With the move to the Central Division, taking the league title is vital to gaining a high seed in the tough bracket.The Blackhawks have won seven consecutive games since opening the season with a loss to San Diego Section power Valley Center. Palm Springs is also 7-1, including a pair of wins over Palm Desert. La Quinta has rolled to easy victories against the bottom half of the league in the past three weeks, crushing Indio, Cathedral City and Coachella Valley by a combined score of 160-29. While the Blackhawks have not been tested in weeks, head coach Dan Armstrong is hoping that the challenges of a tough non-league slate will have the Blackhawks in shape.
Prediction: La Quinta 27, Palm Springs 24
San Diego GOTW No. 5 Torrey Pines Falcons (8-0, 3-0) at Poway Titans (6-2, 2-0)
The fate of the newly realigned Palomar League will be on the line on Friday night when the Torrey Pines Falcons visit the Poway Titans. Coach Ashby's Falcons are off to a perfect start thanks to a very good running game and a stout defense that didn't surrender a point until Torrey Pines' fourth game of the season. Running back John Wilson leads the way for the Falcons, having scored 15 touchdowns on the season. But Torrey Pines was off a big last week against Ramona early, spotting the Bulldogs a 14-0 lead before recovering in the second half. The team can't make a habit of doing that, as the Titans are a very good team that is capable of pulling off the upset. Running backs Chris Verne and Evan Gray each pounded the Carlsbad defense last week in Poway's victory, and the offense as a whole has put up at least 36 points in five straight games. Expect that streak to end, as Torrey Pines is the better team.
Prediction: Torrey Pines 34, Poway 24
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