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San Francisco high school football roundup: Week 3

Washington quarterback James Mertz, seen here in a Sept. 3 loss to Irvington, threw for two touchdowns in a 41-0 win over Denair. | Chris Victorio for The Standard

San Francisco’s high school football teams fared better in Week 3 than they did in Week 2, with three of the eight that played achieving victories.

All three wins came in convincing fashion, while Balboa and St. Ignatius fell to top opponents.

Lincoln’s loss to El Camino was the surprise of the weekend.

As usual, The Standard has all the action covered for you.

El Camino Colts 33, Lincoln Mustangs 26

Jamelle Newman, seen here receiving a kickoff during an Aug. 26 win over Jefferson, ran for two touchdowns in a 33-26 loss to El Camino. | Benjamin Fanjoy for The Standard

An uncharacteristically poor defensive first half sent the Mustangs to their second loss in a row and snapped their six-game head-to-head winning streak against El Camino (1-2).

The Colts scored five times in the first half to take a 33-14 lead into the break and held off a late charge by Lincoln (1-2). Latu Manumua and Jamelle Newman each ran for a pair of touchdowns in defeat, but the Mustangs were held to just 37 passing yards, with 22 coming on a trick play where Newman connected with Xavier Solares.

Gabe Rocha and Antonio Arenas, who transferred from Riordan after his sophomore year, each ran for touchdowns to get El Camino going, and the Colts scored three times in the second quarter to close the first half on a 20-0 run. Giovanni Carrara threw two touchdowns to James Stam and Jeff Gamboa’s pick-six opened up a three-score lead.

The EC victory capped off a great weekend of football for South San Francisco’s two high schools. South San Francisco snapped a 26-game losing streak with a 20-18 win over Jefferson on Friday night, stopping a potential game-tying two-point conversion with two seconds remaining after referees deliberated if the Grizzlies’ rusher had crossed the goal line. It marks the first time both South City schools have won in the same week since Oct. 27, 2017. 

Kennedy-Richmond Eagles 36, Galileo Lions 0

The Lions suffered their second shutout loss in a row, but they took much better care of the ball than they did in their season-opening loss to Terra Linda. They fumbled just twice and lost only one fumble, but struggled to defend against the big play. Kennedy (3-0) scored on a 70-yard Emiliano Rodriguez pass to Deondre Prim, an 80-yard Khayri Parker touchdown run, a 58-yard Prim run and a 27-yard Rodriguez pass to David Patton. Majeed Balwi led Galileo (0-2) with eight tackles, stepping into the starting middle linebacker position on a day’s notice.

Novato Hornets 32, Mission Bears 14

Though the Bears lost for the second Saturday in a row, they played a far better game than the prior week, in which they were shut out by Oakland Tech. Zaden Cato was a standout performer for Mission (0-2), running 21 times for 87 yards and catching four passes for another 75, but Novato took a two-score lead into halftime as quarterback Connor Mulvaney threw for a touchdown and sprinted 72 yards for another. Ramirez’s touchdown to Singleton cut the Hornet lead to five, but the hosts finished strong as Hunter Smith ran for a touchdown and Mulvaney found Angel Flores in the end zone with 4:06 left. Diego Ramirez and Cato each took snaps at quarterback for Mission in place of the injured Adrian Chavarria, with Cato throwing a 19-yard touchdown to freshman Iziah Singleton.

“They fought all game,” head coach Terrill Vinson said of his team’s effort. “Nobody quit on us.”

Oakdale Mustangs 55, Balboa Buccaneers 0

Facing their toughest test of the year, Balboa (0-2) trailed 21-0 after a quarter and 41-0 at halftime. The second half was played with a running clock. The Buccaneers will round out their grueling nonleague schedule with a pair of North Coast Section (NCS) opponents, hosting Deer Valley (0-3) this coming Saturday and visiting Livermore (3-0) on Sept. 23.

“Every San Francisco team should go out to a small town and play under the lights,” Balboa head coach Fred Velasquez said of the experience in Oakdale. “The town shuts down, the marching band’s playing and the student section’s packed.”

Riordan Crusaders 48, Tamalpais Red-Tailed Hawks 26

King-Njhsanni Wilhite (1) carries the ball during the third quarter of Riordan's 48-26 win over Tamalpais in Mill Valley, Calif. on Sept. 10, 2022. | Ethan Kassel/The Standard

King-Njhsanni Wilhite ran for three touchdowns and the Crusaders overcame 16 penalties to emerge from their bye week with a win. Freshman quarterback Michael Mitchell Jr. threw for another three touchdowns, including a 58-yard strike to Zion Wells. Wells was one of three Riordan defenders to record an interception, joining Tyrone Jackson and Javius Redding. Braden Young did throw for four touchdowns for Tamalpais (0-2), but the Crusader defense largely held up despite missing Isiah Chala, Xavier Hisatake and Davion Smith to injuries. Wilhite led Riordan (2-0) with 170 rushing yards on 11 carries.

Sacred Heart Cathedral Fightin’ Irish 35, Burlingame Panthers 7

Sacred Heart Cathedral running back Jerry Mixon Jr. (6) performs the "Griddy" dance after scoring a touchdown against Burlingame at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco, Calif. on Sept. 9, 2022. | Ethan Kassel/The Standard

SHC’s rushing attack finally came to life after two-and-a-half games, with Jerry Mixon Jr. and Kendric Sanders leading the charge to pull away from the Panthers at Kezar Stadium. Mixon, Sanders and backup quarterback Mykel Patton each ran for touchdowns in the second half. The Fightin’ Irish led 14-0 at halftime behind a special teams score and a defensive touchdown. Jay Murphy blocked a punt that Zaheer Young ran across the goal line for the game’s opening touchdown and RL Miller intercepted a tipped pass on the first play of the second quarter, returning it for a 34-yard score. Miller left the game with an ankle injury late in the second quarter, but expects to return in time for SHC’s West Catholic Athletic League (WCAL) opener against Mitty on Sept. 23.

St. Mary’s-Stockton Rams 49, St. Ignatius Wildcats 20

St. Ignatius running back Cameron Jones (37), seen here in a Sept. 2 loss to Jesuit, ran for a 61-yard touchdown in a loss to St. Mary's-Stockton. | Chris Victorio for The Standard

The Wildcats were the latest team to fall victim to a St. Mary’s side that has obliterated teams in three straight games to open the season. The Rams have outscored opponents 154-27 so far in 2022, including a 47-7 win over a Central Catholic team that was competitive in tight losses to both St. Francis and Serra. St. Mary’s led 28-0 at halftime before St. Ignatius (1-2) chipped away at the lead with two Mac McAndrews touchdown passes to Gus Parker and a 61-yard run by Cameron Jones.

Washington Eagles 41, Denair Coyotes 0

Just three weeks into the 2022 season, the Eagles have already matched their win total from the prior three years combined. Washington (2-1) rolled past the Coyotes behind a stellar defensive performance, with Kismot Rakkat both recording an interception and returning a fumble for a 70-yard touchdown. Myles Crawford also registered a scoop-and-score after Elyjah Qasevakatini popped a ball out from a Denair runner. Rakkat also ran for a touchdown and quarterback James Mertz threw TDs to Jefferson Bonilla and Ayan Razzak.

Other noteworthy Bay Area scores

Serra quarterback Maealiuaki Smith, seen here in a Sept. 2 win over De La Salle, threw for five touchdowns in a 42-30 win over Central Catholic. | Ethan Kassel/The Standard

De La Salle avenged last year’s historic loss to St. Francis, beating the Lancers 35-3. Bellarmine won for the first time this season, winning 25-6 at San Leandro. Valley Christian also tasted victory for the first time this season, beating Hollister 12-6 on Thursday night as tight end Tyler Bourland hauled in a 60-yard touchdown pass with 25 seconds remaining. A week after a landmark win over De La Salle, Serra got off to a slow start but beat Central Catholic-Modesto 42-30 behind five passing touchdowns from Maealiuaki Smith.

On the local volleyball scene, anticipation is building for Wednesday night’s Bruce-Mahoney Game between Sacred Heart Cathedral and St. Ignatius, set to get underway at USF’s War Memorial Gym at 7:30 p.m., but the top team in the city may be University. The Red Devils beat the Wildcats in straight sets last Thursday and sit at an overall record of 8-2. Their two losses are to Amador Valley and Tamalpais, who have a combined 18-2 record. This looks to be the start of a golden age for University volleyball, as the Devils have nine juniors and just three seniors on their roster.