FB: This Week’s Upset Alerts

In a shortened version of this post, we only have two this week instead of four. We’re going for Valencia to knock off No. 7 Hart of Newhall and for San Ramon Valley to beat higher-ranked Foothill of Pleasanton.

For this feature, the concept is to choose highly ranked teams we think have a high probability of getting upset. Every team we are pointing at has to be at least on the bubble in the various CIF state bowl game divisions.

Here are this week’s Cal-Hi Sports Upset Alerts:

San Ramon Valley (Danville) over Foothill (Pleasanton)
In a matchup that will likely determine which team finishes in second-place in the East Bay Athletic League behind California of San Ramon, we are going with the Wolves to pick up the win at home this week and improve to 5-4 on the year while handing the Falcons their second loss of the season. Both teams have lost in league to California of San Ramon and by nearly identical margins as the Wolves suffered a 35-21 loss last week while the Falcons suffered a 24-7 loss three weeks ago. While the Falcons enter with the better record and higher ranking, the Wolves’ losses can be a bit misleading. There were three in a row, for example, to Logan of Union City, Folsom and De La Salle of Concord. Throw in the home field advantage and we will take SRV led by quarterback Matt Winaker and running back Marcus de la Pena this Friday night to get the win.

Valencia over Hart (Newhall)
During the season we have had people send tweets to us @CalHiSports on twitter about how Hart of Newhall has the best offense in the state and this prediction for their undefeated season to come to an end will surely rile those people. Still, it looks like a good upset alert in a contest that should have the stadium rocking at College of the Canyons just off I-5. Averaging 46.5 points per game, led by junior quarterback Brady White, Hart has won its last six games by double digits but early in the season the Indians had a pair of one-score wins as they defeated Santiago of Corona 56-49 and Chaminade of West Hills 54-53. Both teams are 3-0 in the Foothill League and have four common opponents with each side having the better margin on two of the four games. Obviously, Valencia hasn’t beaten anyone as good as Chaminade, which is why Hart has climbed so high in the rankings. Before the season began, though, many in the Santa Clarita Valley viewed it as a tossup in the league between these two. Led by quarterback Jake Wallace, Valencia also has the extra confidence in knowing it knocked off the Indians last season 31-20.

Last week’s top upsets
1. Rancho Buena Vista (Vista) 38, San Pasqual (Escondido) 36
2. Santa Margarita (Rancho SM) 16. Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 7
3. Franklin (Elk Grove) 28, Elk Grove 21

Upset Alerts So Far This Season: 6-10
Note: Pick your own upset alerts in the comments section below. Anybody Mater Dei to knock off St. John Bosco? An upset alert contest also may be coming soon.

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  1. monte300
    Posted October 31, 2013 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    SRV/Foothill outcome will depend on how well Foothill deals with SRV’s trench play. Also, losing Holland to a broken foot will likely hurt Foothill on defense more than offense. Should be a great game no matter who wins.

    • Posted November 1, 2013 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      I agree with you: domination of the LOS is critical (of course it is in most FB games).
      One would think SR’s 280 + lb. average O-line (and they’re all big, pretty solid looking guys; not “tubbies”) would easily control the much smaller Foothill D-front, but against Logan and last week against Cal, RB De La Pena often was running into a solid wall. Cal’s defensive front was good size, but still smaller than the SR O-line. The Logan front was noticibly smaller than the Wolves’ O-line. If the even smaller Foothill front is able to do the same thing to the Wolves, than SR is not going to have much of a running game. However, both the Logan and Cal defenses left a lot of open real estate in the middle ground of the secondary. It seemed QB Winaker could have tossed a lot of completions there, but he didn’t: the SR receiving corps went elsewhere.
      For Foothill, Cal coach Eric Bileci and his D-guy developed such a brilliant secondary defense against the Falcons, that there was confusion between QB Kyle Kearns and his receivers all night and Foothill could get no offensive drives going until the end of the 4th qtr and Kearns was benched in favor of Jamir Holland being switched to QB, and Foothill scored. With Cal’s ground n’ pound offense, the Foothill D was out of gas by the mid 2nd qtr.
      Although the Falcons will miss Holland, they still have the speed advantage over the Wolves. Kyle Kearns can and often is a very effective, dangerous passer and SR is not known for its pass defenses. And, Coach Sweeney seldom gets outcoached in the passing game (the Cal game was an exception).
      Offhand, I have to give the edge to Foothill. However, besides the LOS control, the teams’ game plans should play a huge role(and, the officiating, too) in this game’s outcome. It’s really a very close one to call!

      • monte300
        Posted November 1, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

        The Foothill defense is very scrappy and that helps them overcome some of the size disadvantage. You are right on regarding the linebacker area of the defense as Cal’s biggest area of concern. Another thing that should carry a lot of weight tonight is SRV’s ability or inability to pressure Kearns. If you don’t pressure him and disrupt his timing he will kill you.

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