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Oak Ridge wins shootout, Casey Taylor's 200th win — NorCal Top 10 high school Game of Week roundup (10-6-2023)

Jasen Womack's late 53-yard TD run breaks a 35-35 tie to give Oak Ridge, Taylor the win; Check out other big winners

We're beyond the halfway point of the season, so believe it or not, teams are ramping up for the playoffs. That makes for some intriguing matchups. 

Here are the 10 best we see for Oct. 6-7 in Northern California. Here's the 10-game roundup: 

10. Rio Americano 31, Christian Brothers 13

The Raider train continues as they improved to 7-0 for the first time in more than 30 years with a convincing with over a good Christian Brothers team, that dropped to 5-3. According to West Coast Preps, Toby Black led the defensive effort with three sacks and The Raiders scored the game's final 21 points started with a 40-yard touchdown pass from Ryder Trantham to Isaiah Langham, followed by a 45-yard strike from Tranham to Antonio Saucedo, making it 24-13. The latter two connected again, this time for a 30-yard, making it 31-13 with 3:20 to go. Trantham threw for 248 yards and three scores.  

Pregame: The visiting Raiders are off to their best start in almost 30 years but face the defending Capital Athletic League champions. Rio Americano has outscored opponents 204-54 with three shutouts, including a 42-0 win over El Camino in its last outing on Sept. 22. Christian Brothers has won the last eight in the series by a wide margin, including 55-6 last season.

9. Tamalpais (5-1) at Marin Catholic (5-0), 2 p.m. Saturday

It’s been another dominating season for the host Wildcats, who have outscored foes 215-21, but they should get more of a game from the Red Tailed Hawks, who have won three straight since a 27-26 loss at Las Lomas. Tam’s high-powered offense averages 529 yards and 43 points per game. It scored a season high last week in a 63-30 win at Archie Williams-San Anselmo. Tam has a fighting chance with prolific quarterback Braden Young who is second in the state with 2,040 passing yards and No. 1 in passing TDs with 26. 

8. San Marin 35, Redwood 7

The two-time defending state champions will not let up. Dominic Ingrassia, one of the state's top passers, threw for 366 yards and top target xx Timmel had 11 catches for 209 yards and three touchdowns as the Mustangs rolled to 6-0 overall, 3-0 in Marin County Athletic League play. Redwood dropped to 5-1 and 2-1.  

Pregame: In nine seasons, Redwood coach Allen Talley has had winning seasons all but two years. This might be his best, having outscored opponents 162-70. The Giants won three nail-biters over San Leandro (17-15), Rancho Cotate-Rohnert Park (35-34) and Enterprise (24-21) with blowouts over Encinal (51-0) and Terra Linda (35-0). Two-time defending state champion San Marin has won 12 of the last 13 meetings vs. Redwood, including three straight which includes a 24-21 win last season. The Mustangs are led by senior QB Dominic Ingrassia has thrown for 1,407 yards, 18 touchdowns and just two interceptions.

7. Serra 42, Mitty 0  at Foothill College

The Padres (6-0, 3-0) continue to dominate the West Catholic Athletic League with their third shutout of the year. They've allowed just 38 points all season. Joseph Latu opened the scoring with a 1-yard run, followed by a Jaden Green 4-yard TD run after a 55-yard punt return from Kyon Loud, who scored on a 5-yard end around, making it 21-0 at halftime. 

Pregame: A rematch of last season’s Central Coast Section Division 1 championship, the visiting Padres let QB Maealiuaki Smith loose last week in a 45-17 win over St. Francis as the 4-star senior completed 19 of 28 for 320 yards while accounting for four touchdowns. Serra has won 10 straight in the series, the last Mitty victory was 27-14 in 2014. The Padres won twice last season, 35-7 and 41-14.

6. Saint Francis 21, St. Ignatius 6 

A special teams score proved key for the host Lancers, who improved to 3-3 overall and 2-1 in WCAL play. An 84-yard punt return for touchdown by Kingston Keanaaina proved to be a backbreaker for St. Francis in the rugged win. That actually gave the Lancers a 7-3 lead it would never relinquish. Aaron Knapp added two touchdown passes of 30 yards and 18 yards, both to Perrion Williams giving St. Francis more than enough points. St. Ignatius dropped to 3-3, 1-2.  

Pregame: Another lopsided series between WCAL powers as the host Lancers have won 13 of the last 15 with St. Ignatius winning in 2019 (35-26) and 2012 (22-7). The Wildcats pulled out a wild 31-30 win last week over Bellarmine despite giving up 421 total yards, including two 80-yard touchdown runs to QB Parker Threatt. The Wildcats were helped by two touchdown passes from Soren Hummel (13 of 19, 155 yards) to Pierce St. Geme (10 catches, 117 yards).

5. San Ramon Valley 35, Clayton Valley Charter 7

The Wolves seem ready. After Luke Baker completed 20 of 24 for 334 yards and four touchdowns and Marco Jones, a 3-star linebacker and tight end, caught two TD passes, San Ramon Valley (6-0) appears ready for their biggest challenge, a home date next week with De La Salle, which hasn't lost to a North Coast Section team since 1991. The visiting Wolves, ranked 25th in the state by SBLive, certainly seem ready to at least give the Spartans a competitive game. Clayton Valley (2-4) has really struggled on offense. The Ugly Eagles have now scored just 72 points in six games. 

Luke Baker (2) had another big game Friday night for the Wolves. File photo.

Luke Baker (2) had another big game Friday night for the Wolves. File photo.

The visiting Wolves had a week off before this big East Bay Athletic League Mount Division battle. They average 442 yards and 46 points per game orchestrated by Luke Baker (89 of 138, 1,506 yards, 18 TDs). Junior receiver Owen Scott (31 catches, 557 yards, 5 TDs) having big season. Clayton Valley has managed just 65 points and been shut out twice. The Ugly Eagles have won the last three in the series, 42-28, 28-21 and 17-14 after the Wolves won 46-6 and 23-16.

4. Oak Ridge 42, Del Oro 35

They'll be talking about this one for years because former Del Oro coach Casey Taylor, who won 149 game, six section titles and a state crown with the Golden Eagles, won his 200th game overall. Tied at 35, Jasen Womack broke loose for a 53-yard touchdown run with 3:10 to play for the winning score. Del Oro turned the ball over on downs before Oak Ridge ran out the clock to improve to 6-1. Del Oro dropped to 5-2. Joaquin Graves-Mercado completed a 57-yard TD pass to Womack to take a 14-0 lead. Caden Pinnick, Del Oro's do-everything quarterback threw three TD passes to tie the game at 21-21 earliy in the third quarter. Graves-Mercado put Oak Ridge up 28-21 with a 78-yard TD to Jadon Anderson. Pinnick threw another TD pass to tie it at 28-28. Erick Orme rushed for a 7-yard TD to put Oak Ridge up 35-28. Yet another TD pass from Pinnick tied it up before Womack's heroics. 

Pregame: It's always a big deal when Casey Taylor goes back to his old stomping grounds to coach a game. He won six section crowns at Del Oro in 15 seasons, reached the CIF State finals four times and won it in 2015. Today he goes for win No. 200 in his illustrious career. That's a big deal. The Trojans will have to deal with a potent and balanced offense, led by QB Caden Pinnick (94 of 126 (75 percent) for 1,486 yards, 15 touchdowns and one interception), He's also rushed for six touchdowns. 

3. Clovis East 42, Clovis West 22

The visiting Timberwolves (6-1) took control with two touchdowns each in the second and third quarters to responded positively to a tough 31-21 loss last week to Clovis North. Down 15-7, Tyus Miller set up a Caleb Slocum 1-yard TD run with a long completion to Aidan Wilson. The Timberwolves took their first lead 21-15 on a 19-yard TD run by Miller, followed by a 25-yard TD pass from Miller to Landon Nesbitt. That made it 28-15. Another Miller TD pass, this one 76 yard to Donyell Booker put Clovis East in command, up 35-15 midway through the third quarter. A 65-yard TD pass from Tyler Patrick to Dominic Decanio, cut the lead to 35-22, but Tyrone Bishop put it away with a 4-yard TD run midway through the fourth quarter. Clovis East improved to 6-1, while Clovis West, winners of five straight, dropped to 5-2. 

Pregame: Just another week in Central Section's rugged Tri-River Athletic Conference, featuring a Clovis East team stinging from a 31-21 loss to Clovis North against a Clovis West squad that has won five straight since a stinging opening loss at St. Mary's-Stockton. Talented Clovis East QB Ty Miller will try to get his team on track against a Golden Eagle attack blessed with a lot of Division I college talent, including Washington State-bound Landon Wright, who caught three TD passes last week in a 33-7 win over Buchanan. 

2. Folsom 34, Rocklin 21

Flurries in the first and third quarters put the Sac-Joaquin Section's top-ranked Bulldogs in control en route to a hard-earned Sierra Foothill League victory. As usual, sophomore quarterback Ryder Lyons led the way, accounting for all five of his team's touchdowns, including a 40-yard TD pass to Jameson Powell to give Folsom a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter, a lead it would never relinquish. A Lyons' 2-yard TD pass to Brian Ray III made it 14-0 midway through the first. After Rocklin closed to 14-7 by halftime, Lyons took off an 11-yard TD run and added a 17-yard TD pass to Ray making it 28-7 and the Bulldogs (5-2) were on their way. Host Rocklin dropped to 6-1. 

Pregame: Another Sierra Foothill League Titanic features the heavily favored and visiting Bulldogs, who won 48 straight league games before Rocklin lowered the boom with a 40-7 win over Folsom in 2021. A few weeks later, however, Folsom returned the favor and won the more important game, 20-3, in the Sac-Joaquin Section D1 finals. Last year, Folsom eeked out a 14-7 win over the Thunder. This is a great matchup of quarterbacks, Reeve Slone of Rocklin and sophomore Ryder Lyons, of Folsom. 

1. Clovis North 24, Clovis 7 

Down 7-0, the state's No. 14 team and No. 1 in the Central Section showed why, utilizing a strong run game with stifling defense to wear down the host Cougars. Quarterback Mario Cosma tied the game 7-7 with a 6-yard rushing touchdown early in the second quarter. The Broncos took their first lead, 14-7 on an 5-yard TD run by Andrew Chavez, which was followed up with a 35-yard field goal from Ryan Kobzeff. Chavez scored his second TD, a 17-yard run with less than a minute to go to make this more lopsided than the game actually was. Clovis North improved to 7-0 and Clovis dropped its second straight to fall to 5-2. 

Pregame: For a second straight week, the Central Section takes center state with the week's top game. Clovis North handled its business last week, 31-21, over then undefeated Clovis East. But the Broncos are up against an upstart Clovis team that pulled out a 38-37 win over Central-Fresno behind a big game from sophomore quarterback Deagon Rose, who accounted for four touchdowns. Clovis North didn't have its normally dominating running game last week against Clovis East, but it had enough with Andrew Chavez (two rushing touchdowns) and Vincent Cordoba, who rushed for a score and added a 59-yard catch and sprint for TD. Clovis' only defeated was 33-21 to Sanger on Aug. 25.