Qu’ran Gossett, a 5-foot-11 and 205-pound running back who rushed for 1,004 yards and 20 touchdowns last year, will lead Bishop Diego into next season’s Aug. 19 opener against CIF State 5A finalist Righetti. (Gary Kim / Noozhawk File Photo)

Bishop Diego High School has released an ambitious football schedule for next fall which includes one CIF-Central Section champion, two Southern Section finalists, and two new league rivals whose CalPreps ranking was high enough to place them in the Division 2 playoffs.

The Cardinals are expected to return eight players who received All-Camino League honors last year, including Offensive Back of the Year Qu’ran Gossett. They were ranked No. 50 in the final CalPreps State poll and were pitted against top-ranked Alemany in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 2 playoffs.

Bishop will open its season on Aug. 19 at SBCC’s La Playa Stadium against CIF-CC champion Righetti, which won five postseason games to advance to the CIF State 5A final.

The Cardinals will then travel to Sacramento the following week to face San Joaquin Section power Capital Christian on Aug. 26.

They will return to La Playa on Sept. 2 to play host to Garces Memorial, a team they beat 30-14 in Bakersfield last year. They will also play a home game on Sept. 9 against Fresno Central, which was ranked 32nd in last season’s final CalPreps poll.

Bishop will conclude its nonconference season by traveling to Downey on Sept. 16 to play St. Pius X-St. Matthias Academy, which advanced to last year’s CIF-SS Division 7 final.

The Cardinals have scheduled their bye week for Sept. 23 to gear up for their Marmonte League debut on Sept. 30 at Ventura College against St. Bonaventure. The Seraphs, their old Tri-Valley League rivals, handed them one of their two losses last year, 21-14, and were ranked No. 31 in the state by CalPreps.

Bishop will also face a stern conference test on Oct. 7 when it plays host to Oaks Christian, another former TVL opponent which advanced to last year’s CIF-SS Division 5 final.

The Cardinals will continue Marmonte League play on Oct. 14 at Calabasas, play host to Westlake on Oct. 21, and conclude their regular season at CIF-SS Division 2 power Simi Valley on Oct. 28.

Mark Patton

Mark Patton, Noozhawk Sports Columnist

Noozhawk sports columnist Mark Patton is a longtime local sports writer. Contact him at sports@noozhawk.com. The opinions expressed are his own.