Video: National Top 10 Games of the Week
Three of the 10 feature California squads.
High school football isn't like the college football.
The elite teams aren't warming up against cream puffs. On the contrary, those squads love to mix it up with the big boys.
"We love to see just where we stand," De La Salle coach Justin Alumbaugh, whose 19th-ranked Spartans host perennial national power and 10th-ranked St. Thomas Aquinas on Friday. "That's the fun part."
The opening of the 2019 season in California features monumental games between state and even national powers.
One game without a national recruit — Williams
— may be a contest that garners most of the national spotlight. The 6 p.m. Friday game is the first for Paradise since its town was ravaged by the Camp Fire last November, claiming 86 lives and destroying more than 80 percent of its homes. Paradise was 8-2 last season and the day before the playoffs, the firestorm struck, ending its season.
The school and football field was miraculously saved and now the Bobcats — win, lose or draw — figure to bring joy and hope to a city that desperately needs it.
The numerals stand for California state rankings.
Friday, 7:30 p.m., at the Santa Ana Bowl (Santa Ana)
This Southern California haymaker often doesn't take place until the Southern Section playoff semifinals or finals. The Huskies, ranked 12th nationally, normally draws attention with their high-powered offense, but many of their blue chip recruits play on defense. That will help against a high-powered Mater Dei squad led by the third-ranked quarterback in the country in USC-bound Young. The Monarchs, ranked No. 1 nationally, are the two-time defending CIF Open Division champions. Besides two power house teams with great talent, each is led by legendary coaches, Mater Dei's Bruce Rollinson and Centennial's Matt Logan.
Saturday, 6 p.m.
Uiagalelei is rated the No. 1 quarterback in the country for the nation's No. 3 team and he'll need to put plenty of points on the board with the high-powered attack of DeMatha, ranked 21st nationally. Lloyd, a South Carolina commit, is ranked the eighth best senior running back in the country. With Achumba and White paving the way, look for the visitor's to control the clock against Bosco, which has athletes all over the field.
St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) at No. 4 De La Salle (Concord)
Friday, 6:30 p.m. (All time local)
Saturday, 7 p.m. at BuchananGame preview
of the most prestigious high school football programs lock horns at Owen Owens Field before what's sure to be a packed crowd and an ESPNU audience. The juggernauts have faced off once prior, a 30-6 St. Thomas Aquinas win in Florida. Aquinas will dwarf the Spartans on the lines, but DLS hopes to use its big-play offense led by Hale, who started all last season as a sophomore. Both teams have won state titles seven times since
No. 6 Narbonne (Harbor City) at No. 24 Buchanan (Clovis)
and follow liveTop PlayersNarbonne:
DB Darion Green-Warren
(6-0, 185), DB Macen Williams
(5-11, 175), WR Traeshon Holden
(6-3, 190), ATH Anthony Beavers Jr.
(6-2, 175), QB Jake Garcia
One of the most intriguing cross-sectional contests of the season. Great matchup of offensive stars, in Georgia-bound running back Milton and one of the nation's top junior quarterbacks in Garcia. Narbonne may be one of the five most talented teams in the nation, with more than a dozen players with scholarship offers. But a coaching change early in the summer might have an effect.
Thursday, 7 p.m.Game preview
and follow liveTop Players
A great way to start the season on Thursday with one of the nation's top individual matchups, in Justin Flowe, the No. 1 rated senior player at any position in the country, against 5-star athlete Phillips. The game will no doubt come down to numerous other players. Both teams return talented quarterbacks which should also be a big plus.