Hilmar (5-0) v. Escalon (4-0), 7 p.m.
Last week: Hilmar defeated Ripon, 38-27
Preview: This is the “Blitz” game of the week and a contest that is sure to bring excitement. This is the battle of the undefeated and could possibly be the Trans Valley League title game when all is said and done. Considering the tradition and history between these two teams, the games never disappoint. The last time both faced off was in the playoffs last year in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-VI semifinal game. Hilmar won that contest, 28-18. Hilmar is coming off their fifth straight win of the year and have won 12 straight dating back to last season. Escalon has outscored opponents so far this year, 166-40. The Escalon Cougars are also coming off an upset over Division-I Downey High. The Yellowjacket are currently ranked No. 115 in California and are fresh off a 38-27 win over Ripon High last Friday. In that game, quarterback Seth Miguel tossed for 135 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Miguel also finished with a team-high 89 yards rushing. Steven Silva had 88 yards and as a team, they combined for 272.
Pitman (1-3) v. Marin Catholic (4-1), 7:30 p.m.
Last week: Pitman defeated Monterey, 36-33
Preview: The Pitman Pride are coming off their first win of the season last week when they traveled to Monterey High and won by three points, possibly gaining some momentum in the process as well. It was also the most points scored in a game after a four-game stretch that saw them lose their first three contests for the first time in program history. Pitman will be taking on Marin Catholic, a team currently ranked No. 59 in California heading into Friday’s contest. Last week MC defeated Antioch, 34-7, and are looking to capture their fourth straight victory of the year. Pitman is currently ranked No. 367 in California following their first win of the year. And first win since last season when they defeated Davis on Nov. 1, after a 40-21 playoff victory in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-I playoffs.
Denair (3-1) @ Ripon Christian (3-1), 7:15 p.m.
Last week: Denair defeated Le Grand, 20-12
Preview: This game could very well decide the Southern League champion as it was basically the deciding factor just a year ago. Last year, it was RC who came out on top after a 35-7 final. It would be the only loss that Denair saw as they ended up going 12-1 for the year and earning a Sac-Joaquin Section and CIF title in the process. Their hope for similar success from the start of the season is a goal — but repeating as state champs is difficult. A league title was also another goal for the Coyotes heading into the year and cementing a victory over the RC Knights would put them in a good position. So far this season, Denair has outscored its opponents 125-59, while RC has outscored opponents 147-36. The Coyotes are coming off a close eight-point win over a Le Grand High. In that game, Denair managed to outgain Le Grand in the first half with 218 total yards to Le Grand’s 74. Dylan De Silva finished the game with 178 rushing yards on 23 carries and had 42 receiving yards after snagging three grabs and a pair of touchdowns. If you are a Southern League enthusiast or supporter, this is a game to check out without a doubt as they will be taking on the defending Southern League champions.
Hughson (2-3) @ Modesto Christian (1-4), 7 p.m.
Last week: Hughson lost to Livingston, 35-27
Preview: Last week was a tough loss for Hughson High who came out on the losing end of an eight-point game against Livingston to kick off league play in the Trans Valley League. Hughson also snapped a two-game winning streak in the process and are now facing last year’s Division-VI Sac-Joaquin Section semifinalists in Modesto Christian. Hughson needs a win more than ever to keep their playoff hopes alive, so look for the Huskies to come out ready to play. MC has been battling with multiple question marks from the get-go — from a coaching staff that quit before the season even started to the limited numbers that almost saw the Crusaders not able to field a team. Regardless, they are 1-4 this year so far and are fresh off a 34-22 win over Riverbank to start league play 1-0.
Bye week: Turlock