A crosstown rivalry matchup between Dos Pueblos and San Marcos headlines Week 8 local prep football action as the playoff race enters its final laps.
The Chargers and the Royals will face off on Friday in a game where San Marcos legend Alex Mack will have his jersey number retired at halftime.
Santa Barbara High will be on the road and look to make it five wins in a row against Channel Islands.
Bishop Diego will take on Calabasas in a Saturday matchup in which both teams are winless in Marmonte League play so far.
In non-league action, Carpinteria will play host to winless Cabrillo as the Warriors look for their first win in over a month.
Here is a capsule look and prediction for each of this weekend’s games.
Dos Pueblos (3-4, 1-4) @ San Marcos (2-5, 0-5), Friday at 7 p.m.
The Chargers’ rough Channel League season continued last week with a 34-15 loss to Oxnard. Aside from a 55-0 victory over the winless Channel Islands Raiders, Dos Pueblos has been outscored by league opponents 183-34.
Some of these struggles are due to a lack of passing game production, an aspect of the offense that has yet to recover from the season-ending injury to senior quarterback Ryan Marsh.
The injury has forced the Chargers to lean heavily on the run game that is led by Kaleb Williams and Danny Vidaure, which has made it difficult for them to come from behind in games where they face a deficit early.
The Royals have had their fair share of struggles in Channel League play as well, as they have been outscored 171-38 and lost all five league games. Their offensive woes can also be attributed to the passing game, which hasn’t moved the ball effectively all season.
However, the San Marcos defense has shown throughout the year that it has the talent to compete in this league, as the Royals went into halftime in tightly contested battles with Ventura and Rio Mesa thanks in large part to the defense.
If the Royals’ defense can play up to its potential, they could control this game.
The Pick: San Marcos
Santa Barbara (5-2, 4-1) @ Channel Islands (0-7, 0-6), Friday at 7 p.m.
The Dons were on a bye last week after their best stretch of play all season. During that stretch, Santa Barbara went 4-0 and outscored their Channel League opponents 114-25.
Quarterback Abel Renteria and running back Koa Herrera have maintained their solid play in the backfield to lead the offense while Kai Mault and Winston Bartley have provided big-play production.
However, the Dons have gotten arguably better production from the defensive side of the ball. After struggling a bit to begin the season, Santa Barbara has not allowed more than 10 points in a game since Sept. 1 against Pacifica.
Channel Islands, meanwhile, is heading in the opposite direction. The Raiders have yet to win a game this season, now 0-7 overall and 0-5 in league play. On top of this, they have not scored a point against a Channel League opponent and that trend could very well continue this week.
This game has all the makings of another dominant performance by the Dons.
The Pick: Santa Barbara
Calabasas (2-5, 0-2) @ Bishop Diego (1-6, 0-2), Saturday at 7 p.m.
Calabasas will make the trip north in search of its first Marmonte League win after back-to-back blowout losses to Oaks Christian (56-8) and Simi Valley (44-7). After averaging 37 points in non-league play, the Coyotes couldn’t score more than one time in either of their first two league games.
The key for the Calabasas offense will be the passing game, led by quarterback Alonzo Contreras and his No. 1 receiver Aaron Butler. If they can regain their offensive production, the Coyotes could take advantage of the Bishop Diego secondary.
The Cardinals are also winless in league and have lost four straight games by a margin of 173-61. Unlike the Coyotes, Bishop Diego has not found much offensive success all season long.
Quarterback Tua Rojas has not been healthy for over a month and the rest of the Cardinals roster has struggled with injuries as well, forcing many players to play on both sides of the ball.
This is a winnable game for both teams, but the Calabasas offense has shown more ability to produce than Bishop Diego’s has.
The Pick: Calabasas
Cabrillo (0-7, 0-4) @ Carpinteria (2-5, 0-2), Friday at 7 p.m.
The Cabrillo Conquistadores have had a tough season up to this point, now sitting at 0-7 overall and 0-4 in Ocean League play. Most of these losses have been in blowout fashion as well, with only one final score being within a three-possession game.
The Conquistadores have found some success in the passing game, as quarterback Gage Mattis has thrown for 234.3 yards per game and 16 touchdowns this season. However, the defense allowing 50 points per game to opposing offenses has held the team back in a major way.
Carpinteria will welcome this break in league play, as the Warriors have dropped their two Citrus Coast League games by a combined score of 77-27 to Hueneme and Santa Paula.
While the Warriors have not looked like the same team that started 2-0 as of late, there remains plenty of talent that plays on both sides of the ball that can power Carpinteria to its first win since Sept. 1 this week.
The Pick: Carpinteria