NorCal/SoCal Players of the Week

Two of this week’s SoCal/NorCal Players of the Week both put up great rushing-passing totals in same games — Robby Rowell from Acalanes of Lafayette and Nick Nash from Woodbridge of Irvine. Photos: &

It’s a week where we’ve gone with dual-threat quarterbacks for each of our offensive honorees as Robby Rowell of Lafayette Acalanes and Nick Nash of Irvine Woodbridge led teams to significant wins. Our other choices have gone to Rancho Cordova, San Mateo, San Diego and Torrance.

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Note: For these honors, we consider CIF Central Section players for Northern California. To nominate someone by 12 noon on most Mondays, email

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Offensive Player of the Week

Robbie Rowell
(Acalanes, Lafayette) Sr.

This is not the first time Rowell has had his name on the board for NorCal offensive honors. In week one he showed he was going to be a force to be reckoned with when he opened the season with seven TD passes in a rout of Martinez Alhambra.

Three weeks ago, in a blowout of Concord, he passed for 311 yards and five TDs. Two weeks ago he single-handedly kept Acalanes in the game against 2016 North Coast Section Open Division participant Clayton Valley after passing for 299 yards and three TDs in a game that was the closest anyone has come to beating Clayton Valley in league since the Ugly Eagles joined the Diablo Valley League – Foothill Division last season.

This past week the 6-foot-2, 200-pound dual-threat quarterback didn’t have his highest yardage passing this season but he did have his highest rushing numbers in a 35-28 victory over defending CIF Division 4-AA Bowl Game state champion Campolindo.

Rowell was 17 of 24 passing for 215 yards with three TDs and he rushed for 181 yards on 16 carries with two more scores to lead the Dons to their first victory over Campolindo since 2010. On the season and in limited action in four games that have gone to a running clock Rowell, who is still without any major college offers, has passed for 1,913 yards and 31 TDs with only three interceptions, and he’s rushed for 388 yards and three more scores.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Defensive Player of the Week

Alvin Banks
(Cordova, Rancho Cordova) Jr.

By the time the Banks hit the field last Friday night the banks were closed, but that didn’t stop the 6-foot, 175-pound junior from making multiple withdrawals on defense and even making some deposits on offense in a 47-28 victory over visiting Liberty Ranch of Galt.

For this feature he’s being honored for his defense but in the Liberty Ranch game and all season Banks’ contributions have been on sides of the line of scrimmage.

Against Liberty Ranch, his three interceptions to give him eight on the season with four tackles from the defensive back position garnered him the NorCal defensive honor.

On offense, Banks had four pass receptions for 75 yards giving him 50 catches for 1,103 yards with 13 TDs this season. He also had 66 yards rushing and a TD plus he caught a 2-point conversion against Liberty Ranch. Banks kicks and punts and he booted two PATs and had a 42-yard punt that went out of bounds inside the 20-yard line.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Special Teams Player of the Week

Juan Guzman
(San Mateo) Jr.

He may only be 5-foot-8 and 135 pounds but in a 30-21 victory over Mills of Millbrae Guzman was a big man indeed. As a result he is receiving the NorCal Special Teams Player of the Week after rather uniquely scoring in two and some might argue three different ways.

The Bearcats’ cornerback, kicker and punter scored his first TD of the season after returning a kickoff 88yards to paydirt. Besides putting his foot on the ball three times as a punter, Guzman also booted a 30-yard field goal and was good on all three PATs he attempted.

What’s unique about Guzman’s feats is not many teams have their kicker and punter returning kickoffs. On this night, he did both very well and for that we’re impressed.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Offensive Player of the Week

Nick Nash
(Woodbridge, Irvine) Sr.

The trip across town for Nash was mighty fine as the one man wrecking crew dashed all over the field to end up with a hand in all the scores of a 56-28 victory over University. The win gets the Warriors to 7-2 and keeps them tied at 4-0 in the Pacific Coast League with the Corona del Mar team they meet this week in the league finale.

Against University, the 6-foot-2, 175-pound dual-threat quarterback rushed for a whopping 324 yards on 31 carries with six touchdowns. As a passer he was a pinpoint 12 of 14 for 185 yards and two touchdowns.

The performance was not his best of the year passing-wise but it was by far his top outing rushing, surpassing a 125 yard effort in a win over Laguna Hills by almost 200 yards. The most TDs he had rushed for previously this season was two.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Defensive Player of the Week

Matthew Fa’alele
(Point Loma, San Diego) Sr.

The past two weeks the Pointers have knocked off two defending CIF state Bowl Game champions in Madison and Cathedral Catholic.

Now, with Fa’alele leading the way with superlative defense in a 10-7 victory in a battle of defenses against Cathedral Catholic, Point Loma has sewn up at least second place at 3-1 in the Western League behind the St. Augustine team that handed them the league loss.

In the Cathedral Catholic win, the 6-foot, 240-pound middle linebacker, who also is a pretty good rugby player and reportedly the heart and soul of the Pointers, had three sacks, a total of six tackles with three more going for losses, and he forced a fumble. Add up the numbers and it means every time he tackled someone it was behind the line of scrimmage.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Special Teams Player of the Week

Dutch Silverlake
(West Torrance, Torrance) Jr.

To say the 6-foot, 175-pound multi-purpose junior was all over the field in a 42-41 razor thin win over Lawndale Leuzinger would be an understatement – and the bottom line is the Warriors needed every single point he accounted for to pull out the come from behind victory to go to 3-1 and stay in second place in the Pioneer League behind North Torrance.

His performance not only earned him the Daily Breeze SoCal Prep Legends Boys Athlete of the Week, but Silverlake is now on the map as the clutch performance of Dutch gets him the SoCal Special Teams Player of the Week, although Silverlake did more than just perform on special teams.

As a kicker he was a perfect 6-for-6 on PATs and in a close game like the Leuzinger win making all the points after was crucial. He also returned a kickoff for a 95-yard TD. Playing defensive back, Silverlake had 15 tackles and a pass interception. And on offense as a wide receiver he had six catches for 85 yards and two touchdowns.

Harold Abend is the associate editor of and the vice president of the California Prep Sportswriters Association. He can be reached at Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @HaroldAbend

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