John Maffei’s High School football picks

No. 5 Mission Hills at No. 6 Torrey Pines

When: 7 p.m., today

Preview: Both teams need a win to stay close to Carlsbad in the Avocado League. Mission Hills (5-2, 2-1), which lost 13-7 to Carlsbad, has lost 2 QBs to injury. Gunnar Hensley suffered a broken ankle against Carlsbad. Jack Madsen, who replaced Henlsey, broke his hand. The Grizzlies got some good news when RB Canaan Riddell returned from an injury. The offense will rely on Riddell and Jaiden Letua. The defense has given up just 86 points and is led by Letua and Peter Eyabi. Torrey Pines (4-2, 2-1) lost to Carlsbad 34-33 on a last-second TD. The Falcons, who have scored 192 points, are led by QB Remi Baere and RBs Dylan Friedland, Wyatt Gardner and Alex Taylor. Torrey Pines averages 5.5 yards on 243 rushes.

Prediction: Torrey Pines 13, Mission Hills 12

Rancho Bernardo at No. 8 Mt. Carmel

When: 7 p.m., today

Preview: The Palomar League lead is at stake here. Rancho Bernardo (4-2, 2-0) is led by RB Frankie Franchina, who averages 6.7 yards on 140 rushes. Mt. Carmel (7-0, 2-0) has a multi-pronged attack, led by QB Cayden Gent, who has 1,630 yards total offense and Hunter Ledesma, who has 577. TE/LB Jayden Virgin has 16 receptions and 43 tackles, including 15 sacks.

Prediction: Mt. Carmel 27, Rancho Bernardo 24

No. 10 Santa Fe Christian at La Jolla Country Day

When: 7 p.m., today

Preview: QB Thomas Greupner leads Santa Fe Christian (7-0, 3-1) into the Coastal League game. He has 1,169 yards total offense. SFC has a stable or RBs and averages 6.6 on 267 rushes, but Cooper Whitton didn’t play last week. La Jolla Country Day (5-2, 2-1) QB Garrett Bass-Sulpizio is among the best in the county with 1,996 passing yards and 25 TDs with only 3 interceptions. He has a stable of WRs, led by Charlie Gooding and Alex Glynn.

Prediction: Santa Fe Christian 37, La Jolla Country Day 21

St. Augustine at No. 2 Cathedral Catholic

When: 7 p.m., today

Preview: Normally a key Western League game, St. Augustine (1-7, 0-2) comes into the Holy Bowl on its worst start since 1986. Still, the Saints have some weapons in RB Isaiah Pressley and defenders Justin Stearns and Gracen Halton. Cathedral Catholic (5-2, 1-0) has losses to Corona Centennial, ranked No. 4 in the state, and Concord De La Salle, ranked No. 12. The Dons are led by QB Charlie Mirer, RB Lucky Sutton and DE Jaxon Moi.

Prediction: Cathedral Catholic 38, St. Augustine 14

Chula Vista at Sweetwater

When: 6:30 p.m., today

Preview: The Metro South Bay League title is on the line in this rivalry game. Chula Vista (4-2, 3-0) and Sweetwater (3-3, 2-0) are about 3 miles apart and play for the 74th consecutive year. Led by QB Jacob Pedroza and RB Anthony Venegas, Chula Vista has won four in a row. Sweetwater has thrown just 12 passes all season and averages 7.2 yards on 228 rushes. The Red Devils have won three in a row.

Prediction: Sweetwater 31, Chula Vista 21

San Pasqual at Ramona

When: 7 p.m., today

Preview: San Pasqual (4-3, 1-1) needs a win to keep Ramona (5-2, 3-0) from running away with the Valley League title. San Pasqual has lost two in a row, giving up 69 points, Ramona has won three in a row, but will be without RB Cash Jones.

Prediction: Ramona 31, San Pasqual 21

No. 7 Scripps Ranch vs. Christian

When: 7 p.m., today, at Granite Hills HS

Prediction: Scripps Ranch (6-0, 1-0) can take control of the Eastern League with a win. The Falcons are led by QB Jax Leatherwood and WRs Nijah Richard, Connor Lawlor and Dylan Wenger. Christian (4-2, 0-0) has lost two in a row and didn’t play last week because of COVID. QB Jake Davila is a threat throwing to Joey Merritt.

Prediction: Scripps Ranch 37, Granite Hills 24

Granite Hills at Grossmont

When: 7 p.m., today

Preview: This game marks the start of Grossmont Hills League play. Granite Hills (4-3, 0-0) is coming off a loss to La Cañada St. Francis. Grossmont (2-5, 0-0) has lost five in a row.

Prediction: Granite Hills 28, Grossmont 24

Point Loma at Mira Mesa

When: 7 p.m., today

Preview: Point Loma (3-4, 1-1) is out to derail Mira Mesa (4-2, 1-0) on a run to the Eastern League title.

Prediction: Mira Mesa 25, Point Loma 17

Eastlake at No. 4 Mater Dei Catholic

When: 6:30 p.m., today

Preview: Metro Mesa League title is on the line. Eastlake (5-2, 2-0) has allowed just 56 points and has back-to-back shutouts, led by Jayden Kendricks, Christian Aguilar, Kaipo Mauga, Jayden Cortell and Marcos Gonzales. Mater Dei Catholic (6-0, 2-0) has allowed just 34 points, three shutouts and has allowed 13 points since a 53-21 Week 1 win over Brawley. Tre Edwards and Jason Harden lead the defense.

Prediction: Mater Dei Catholic 31, Eastlake 20

Last week: 10-0

Season: 62-18

Thursday’s results

Imperial Valley League

Calexico at Brawley, late


Coastal League

Coastal Academy at San Diego Jewish Academy, late

Friday’s games

Avocado League

No. 1 Carlsbad at Oceanside, 7 p.m.

No. 5 Mission Hills at No. 6 Torrey Pines, 7:15 p.m.

San Marcos at El Camino, 7:15 p.m.

Central League

Crawford at Hoover, 7 p.m.

Kearny at Mission Bay, 7 p.m.

City League

Morse at University City, 7 p.m.

Coronado at Patrick Henry, 7 p.m.

Coastal League

Bishop’s at Tri City Christian, 7 p.m.

No. 10 Santa Fe Christian at La Jolla Country Day, 7 p.m.

Classical Academy at Orange Glen, 7:30 p.m.

Desert League

Calipatria at Mountain Empire, 7 p.m.

Vincent Memorial at Holtville, 7 p.m.

Eastern League

Point Loma at Mira Mesa, 7 p.m.

No. 7 Scripps Ranch vs. Christian at Granite Hills HS, 7 p.m.

Grossmont Hills League

Granite Hills at Grossmont, 7 p.m.

Steele Canyon at No. 9 Helix, 7 p.m.

Grossmont Valley League

El Cajon Valley at Mount Miguel, 7 p.m.

West Hills at Monte Vista, 7 p.m.

Valhalla at El Capitan, 7 p.m.

Imperial Valley League

Imperial at Central Union, 7 p.m.

Metro Mesa League

Otay Ranch vs. Bonita Vista at Southwestern College, 6:30 p.m.

Eastlake at No. 4 Mater Dei Catholic, 6:30 p.m.

Olympian at Hilltop, 6:30 p.m.

Metro South Bay League

Chula Vista at Sweetwater, 6:30 p.m.

Mar Vista at Montgomery, 6:30 p.m.

Pacific League

Army-Navy at Maranatha Christian, 4:30 p.m.

Palomar League

Del Norte at Vista, 7 p.m.

Westview at Poway, 7 p.m.

Rancho Bernardo at No. 8 Mt. Carmel, 7 p.m.

Valley League

Fallbrook at Escondido, 7 p.m.

San Pasqual at Ramona, 7 p.m.

Western League

Madison at La Jolla, 7 p.m.

St. Augustine at No. 2 Cathedral Catholic, 7 p.m.

Nonleague games

Escondido Charter at Francis Parker, 7 p.m.

San Ysidro vs. Foothills Christian at Seau Field in La Mesa, 7 p.m.

Southwest-El Centro at Palo Verde Valley, 7 p.m.

Valley Center at La Costa Canyon, 7 p.m.

8-man games

Ocean League

Horizon Prep at Calvin Christian, 6:30 p.m.

Rock Academy at Ocean View Christian, 3:30 p.m.

Citrus League

Victory Christian at San Pasqual Academy, 3:30 p.m.

Julian at Warner, 7 p.m.

St. Joseph Academy at Borrego Springs, 7 p.m.

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