• Monte Vista Christian at Del Mar of San Jose (7:30 p.m. Friday): If you take last year’s game into account then this year’s game should be a complete romp, but this year’s Monte Vista Christian team is a completely new beast.
Last season the Mustangs throttled Del Mar 64-0 with Nick Matiasevich throwing for more than 200 yards and three touchdowns, and Cody Washington running for 125 yards and a score.
But both of those guys are gone.
This season they’ll have the combo of Quentin MacLeod and D’Shawn Hopkins in the backfield.
MacLeod will quarterback the Mustangs, and Hopkins is slated to be the work horse this season.
Hopkins, just a sophomore ran well against Santa Cruz Coastal Athletic League powers Soquel and Scotts Valley in the jamboree just a week ago, and he’ll look to make this game his coming out party.
Last season he played on the varsity team as a freshman at outside linebacker.
MacLeod is now the leader, after biding his time behind MBL-Pacific MVP Matiasevich, and the converted receiver can hurt you with his legs and arm.
It will be just the second year in a row that they Mustangs play the Del Mar.
Last season the Dons went 0-10 after winning their league just the year before.
The Mustangs will hope they can get off on the right foot in their debut year of the MBL Gabilan.
• Pajaro Valley at Santa Cruz (7:30 p.m. Friday): After being at the bottom of the league in the past few years, the Grizzlies look to change that with a strong senior class.
Their first test will be a speedy Santa Cruz team.
The last time these two teams met the Cardinals beat the Grizzlies 42-21 in the 2011 season.
This year, however, the Grizz have senior running back Anthony Cantrell.
Expect the 5-foot-10-inch 210 pounder to carry the ball many, many times against the Cardinals Friday.
Also expect to see a lot of sweeps in this contest.
Both the Cards and Grizz run the fly offense, and both have quick shifty players to hand the ball to.
• Watsonville at Pacific Grove (7:30 p.m. Friday): Watsonville has gone away from their usual route of scheduling all teams from the SCCAL in the preseason, and they’ll take on a tough Pacific Grove team.
They Breakers have finished over .500 in the last two years and they return many seniors to this year’s team.
It will be the first time we get to see Alex Carillo fling the ball around in the Catz spread offense, so expect some early running and quick passes to get his confidence up.
The sophomore won the starting quarterback job during the summer.
Still, coach John Montante will ask the young signal caller to run the option at least once in this game, and that should be interesting.
The Catz’s defense is also looking to answer some of the questions it had from a season ago, and it should have it’s work cut out for it facing Breakers QB Luke Lowell who threw for 10 scores as a junior last season.
• St. Francis Central Coast Catholic at Greenfield (7:30 p.m. Friday): The Sharks are definitely going into 2013 with a lot of obstacles to hurdle.
After being let go from the SCCAL they were able to fill their schedule back up and will be playing 10 games this season.
This will be the Sharks second year playing the Bruins, and last year they were beaten 35-19.
This season junior quarterback Nick Ciandro will hope he and the rest of his youthful team can stay healthy.
Look for Ciandro to spin the pigskin a lot in this one, and also for senior running back Jonathan Carmona to get carries.
• Aptos vs Encinal (7:30 p.m. Friday): Another year, another SCCAL title run for the Mariners.
The Mariners begin their journey to another title against the Encinal Jets of Alameda at home, and it will be the second year that they will play.
Last season Aptos had a shot of winning away from home, but it was erased by a late touchdown drive from the Jets, as they scored with 1:55 left in the game to take the lead and the eventual win.
The Mariners weren’t deterred from that loss in the least bit. They went unbeaten in league play and made it to the Central Coast Section Division III Championship where they went down to Valley Christian 51-20.
Look for Aptos to run the ball, a lot.
They ran the ball 53 times, and threw it just 17 times last season against the Jets.
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