SoCal/NorCal Players of the Week

Two of this week’s SoCal/NorCal Players of the Week honorees are quarterback Nathan Temple from Santana of Santee and option QB Akil Edwards from St. Patrick-St. Vincent (Vallejo). Photos: Melissa Honick / &

Even though these weekly honors are specific for offense, defense and special teams, it’s often hard not to consider what players have done in all facets of the game. You can say at least four of our six this week fall into that category. We also have a QB who was part of the highest scoring game (two teams) in CIF San Diego Section history. The other five are from Vallejo, Elk Grove, Livermore, Solana Beach and Palm Desert.

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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 Southern California
Offensive Player of the Week

Nathan Temple
(Santana, Santee) Jr.

Temple broke his collarbone, and thankfully not his temple, in a win over Serra (San Diego) in the second game of the season, but was able to come back two weeks ago after missing seven games to guide the Sultans to a win over El Cajon Valley (El Cajon) that ended a four-game losing streak.

Then, last week, Temple had the Sultans and their faithful bowing at his temple as the 6-foot, 180-pound junior quarterback was on the winning end of the wildest football game in the history of the CIF San Diego Section.

To say Nathan was the man is a real understatement after Temple threw for a school record 532 yards and seven touchdowns in a 76-55 victory that is a CIFSDS record for combined points by two teams, and broke the old record set in 1999 by 12 points.

The seven touchdowns falls one TD short of making the Cal-Hi Sports Record Book but the 532 yards passing qualifies for a spot on the Most Yards (Game) list.

Overall, Santana had 764 total yards and Country Day had 623 for an astronomical 1,387 yards which is believed to be a section record. The 76 points is also the most post ever in a game by a team from the Grossmont Conference.

On a final note, a shout out goes to Temple’s favorite target. On any other week the 13 receptions for 335 yards and five TDs would be by far enough to earn the SoCal offensive honor, but junior wide receiver Randy Smith will have to settle for spots in the list for receiving categories of the record book for Most Yards (Game) and Most Touchdowns (Game).

Michael Linguadoca is completing his third year as the starting quarterback in Santa Fe Christian’s option offense, but will always remember what he did on defense in a San Diego Section playoff game. Photo:

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Defensive Player of the Week

Michael Linguadoca
(Santa Fe Christian, Solana Beach) Sr.

Games can flip in the blink of an eye and that’s what happened during Santa Fe Christian’s 49-27 victory against Rancho Buena Vista last Friday in the CIF San Diego Section D3 playoffs. Linguadoca was the one who flipped it when he came up from his free safety position and scooped up a fumble that he returned for a 95-yard touchdown.

That wasn’t all that Michael did in that playoff game. He also came up with two interceptions and had five tackles. He’s being honored for defense, but in that game he also passed for 126 yards and two TDs and ran the Eagles’ option offense as a three-year starting quarterback.

Linguadoca inspired his teammates before the season began by coming back from a broken ankle injury he suffered early in the summer at a camp. He didn’t miss a start. The senior also is a favorite among teachers on campus with a 4.40 GPA and 33 ACT test score.

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

Jacob McIlroy
(Palm Desert) Sr.

The Coachella Valley and the resort city of Palm Desert is our destination where we find our SoCal Special Teams honoree whose foot has had a lot to do with the Aztecs being 11-0 and the top seed in the CIF Southern Section Division 9 playoffs.

Last week, in a 52-28 victory over Monrovia, the Aztecs kicker who also plays some solid defense was a perfect 7 of 7 on points after touchdowns, and he booted a 21-yard field goal as well for his sixth of the season. Jacob’s longest field goal was when he split the upright from 51 yards out against Shadow Hills of neighboring Indio in Desert Empire League play. Kicking off, McIlroy has 11 touchbacks.

On defense, also against Monrovia, Jacob had two interceptions and now has eight picks on the season. He’s also scored a touchdown on defense on a fumble recovery.

McIlroy has a little brother on the team, sophomore Joshua McIlroy, and besides being a wide receiver guess who’s going to be the Aztecs’ full time kicker next year after seeing some spot duty this season? We’ll keep you guessing.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Offensive Player of the Week

Akil Edwards
(St. Patrick-St. Vincent, Vallejo) Sr.

This week’s nomination for NorCal Offensive Player of the Week comes from Prep2Prep senior editor and Heritage (Brentwood) Athletic Director Nate Smith, who’s been covering Edwards the past three seasons as the quarterback of the Bruins.

Akil is the epitome of the dual-threat quarterback, but while he passed for more yards than he ran for last season, it’s been exactly the opposite this year, and it was really inflated in last week’s 55-34 CIF North Coast Section Division IV victory over Tri-County – Rock League rival St. Mary’s of Berkeley.

As a runner, Edwards rushed for 358 yards and six touchdowns with three of the TD runs going 40, 45 and 68 yards. As a passer, Akil showed his arm’s skill after passing for 77 yards and one 25-yard touchdown with no interceptions. His total offense of 430 yards and seven touchdowns is pretty impressive.

Despite missing games with a knee injury against Benicia and El Cerrito in which his team got clobbered, it looks like he’s gaining the kind of momentum head coach Lane Hawkins hopes he can sustain, particularly heading into this week’s showdown with top-seeded Moreau Catholic of Hayward.

In nine games for the No. 8 seed and 6-5 Bruins, the 6-foot, 165-pound senior has rushed for 1,279 yards and 20 touchdowns and passed for 845 yards and eight more scores.

Edwards is also a guard on the Bruins’ basketball team and was third on the team in scoring last season at 11.0 ppg and led the team in assists and steals with 4.8 and 1.9 per game, respectively. As a sophomore, he was a role player on the St. Patrick-St. Vincent team that won a CIF Division IV state championship.

Khalani Riddick of Elk Grove makes a tackle during game earlier this season vs. Franklin of Elk Grove. Photo:

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Defensive Player of the Week

Khalani Riddick
(Oaks Christian, Westlake Village) Sr.

There certainly were no critics of Riddick on the visiting side of the field and stands at Vacaville after Khalani earned his NorCal defensive honor by coming up huge for the Thundering Herd.

Last week, in a 28-21 upset of the No. 7 seeded Vacaville by 10th-seeded Elk Grove in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D2 playoffs, Riddick had some belated Halloween tricks but no treats for the host Bulldogs.

Not only did the 5-foot-10, 165-pound promising junior defensive back record an impressive nine tackles as a DB, but Riddick had three picks that helped break the backs of the Bulldogs.

With the interceptions against Vacaville. the total picks for Riddick also went up to seven this season and put him among the reported state leaders.

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

Zack MacIntire
(Granada, Livermore) Sr.

The top player this season for the CIF North Coast Section Division II second-seeded Matadors came up big in the opening game of a journey towards the possibility of a second NCS title and first since their one and only banner in 1995 in the old 2A East Bay Division, and for it MacIntire also becomes the second winner from the NCS this week as the NorCal special teams honoree.

Last week, in a 48-21 victory over a cross-town arch rival Livermore team the Matadors beat two weeks ago 41-21 to go 4-0 and win the new East Bay Athletic League – Valley Division after the EBAL was split into two divisions, Zack ran a kickoff back 90 yards for a touchdown.

MacIntire also had two touchdown receptions in the game as the Matadors improved to 9-2 heading into a showdown with No. 5 seed Marin Catholic of Kentfield.

On a side note according to sources we contacted, despite meeting in league over the years, this was the first-ever match-up in the playoffs between Granada and Livermore.

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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