# – denotes current San Antonio South Side Sports area ranking
#11 Edison (2-5, 2-3) vs. #8 Burbank (4-3, 3-2) at SAISD Stadium, 7:30 p.m.
Burbank wants to avoid a flashback to 2013, when the Bulldogs were riding high going into their game against the Golden Bears and saw their offense get shut down.
Burbank has not claimed an on-field win in the series since 2006, and must feel a little snakebit. Edison has a seven-game winning streak.
Of course, the Bulldogs were without their quarterback and leader Daniel Tello at that point.
Tello is back and having a remarkable senior year, something Edison will have to contend with if it’s to pull off another upset. The mobile and crafty quarterback has run for 967 yards and passed for 649 this year.
The emergence of running threats Rubyn Salazar and Devin Gusme has made Tello more dangerous. Tru Bradford, who splits time in the secondary, has stepped forward as a solid receiver to complement Jordan Santos.
It’s an encouraging sign for Edison that Highlands was able to put up 34 points against the Bulldogs defense in a six-point loss last Friday.
This could very well become a battle of tempos, with Burbank aiming to control the ball and Edison wanting to speed things up.
The Golden Bears mustered 341 total yards last Friday in a 21-13 loss to District 28-5A leader Sam Houston.
Edison quarterback Jonathan Hernandez is similar to Tello as a run-pass threat. He threw for 118 and ran for 100 yards against the Hurricanes. The Golden Bears, though, have been their best when he doesn’t have to carry such a large share of the offense.
Getting more production out of back Livan Hernandez and receiver David Sanchez could be a key for Edison.
. Series leader (record): Edison (30-11). 2013 score: Edison 14, Burbank 6. 2014 favorite: Burbank.
#9 Harlandale (4-3, 3-2) vs. #3 Sam Houston (6-2, 6-0) at Alamo Stadium, 7:30 p.m.
Harlandale re-asserted its defensive ability last Friday in a 28-17 win over Lanier, while Sam Houston seemed to struggle to a 21-13 win over Edison.
In reality, though, the Hurricanes more likely relied on their defense during a ball-control second half.
Harlandale’s defensive front kept a lot of pressure on Lanier quarterback Jeremiah Esquivel and that’s going to have to be a part of the formula if the Indians are to upset Sam Houston.
Hurricanes junior quarterback Raymonte Prime has shown a lot of poise and his line hasn’t been vulnerable so far. It won’t be easy to accomplish.
Conversely, Sam Houston’s quickness and physicality defensively has consistently kept the heat on its opponents. If Harlandale’s improving junior quarterback Jacob Delgado is to give his team a shot, he’ll have to avoid interceptions.
The other side of the coin is that John Aguirre will need to crank out another 100-yard rushing game. He’s getting some help, though, from Vincent Hernandez.
Sam Houston has a balanced offense, meaning that the opposition never knows whether it will run or pass on first down. The Edison game was back Devin Harris’ time to shine, with 116 rushing yards and 78 reception yards. But Prime will take whatever the defense gives him.
Harlandale notched a third-place tie in District 28-5A last week and wants to stay ahead of the chase pack. The Hurricanes already are in the playoffs. Their challenge now is to keep playing at a high level this week and next, as they have a bye in Week 11.
Series leader (record): unknown. 2013 score: did not play. 2014 favorite: Harlandale.
#14 Highlands (0-7, 0-5) vs. #15 McCollum (1-6, 1-4) at Harlandale Memorial Stadium, 7:30 p.m.
The challenge for both teams is to put together four good quarters, or at least make the best showing in the fourth quarter.
Both teams have pulled up short of the finish line a few too many times this year. Highlands has an eight-game losing streak that dates to . McCollum has lost its last four games.
On the other hand, each has shown signs of improvement in recent weeks.
Highlands opened up its offense against Burbank and was able to stay with the Bulldogs until the end in a 40-34 loss last Friday. Quarterback John Cervantes threw for a career-best 172 yards.
The Owls produced several big plays, including a pair of long touchdown receptions from senior receiver Bruce Moody. Moody caught four passes for 134 yards.
Highlands’ Armando Ferguson took two kickoff returns back for touchdowns, so McCollum’s mission will be to prevent him from seeing the ball.
McCollum also had a healthy offense in its last game. The Cowboys also threw deep more than usual, with senior quarterback Ralph Vidal netting a career-best 268 passing yards.
Mike Ramirez also had a career day catching the football, with 210 yards. Look for Ramirez to have another triple-digit rushing day against Highlands after mustering 31 against Brack.
The Cowboys defense forced three turnovers against the Eagles. It will face a Highlands team that, for the most part, has been pretty stingy about giving the ball away. Nonetheless, turnover margin could be a key factor.
Highlands has won the last two games. McCollum’s last win was in 2011.
This game rates as a toss-up.
Series leader (record): Highlands (23-10-1). 2013 score: Highlands 21, McCollum 7. 2014 favorite: Highlands.
Medina Valley (2-5, 2-2) at #2 Southside (6-1, 3-1), 7:30 p.m.
Two fourth-quarter turnovers came back to haunt Southside last Friday in a 28-21 loss to Laredo Martin. Now the Cardinals are chasing undefeated Uvalde in their quest for the District 29-5A championship, but still remain solidly in playoff contention.
This game takes on added importance as a chance for Southside to re-establish forward momentum. It’ll also be a chance for revenge after the young Cardinals were whipped by the Panthers last season.
Medina Valley is tied for fourth, so this will be a very important game for the Panthers’ playoff hopes as well.
Southside back Matt Collier had another outstanding game against Martin, rushing for 148 yards. However, the Cardinals picked up the majority of their passing yards on a trick play. They’ll need to pass more effectively against Medina Valley, as Brandon Herrera gains on-the-job experience.
Medina Valley wasn’t as successful as Southside at keeping Somerset’s passing game under control. The Bulldogs thumped the Panthers 52-22 last Friday, after Medina Valley had won its previous two district games.
Back Kristian Williams is the only Medina Valley rusher over 100 yards, with 430. Somerset limited him to 16 rushing yards.
Panthers quarterback Bradley Griggs threw for 254 yards against Somerset, but was intercepted twice. Cody Moos is a possession receiver and Joshua Sepulveda is the deep-route guy, with 52- and 75-yard touchdown receptions against Somerset.
Look for Southside’s outstanding defense to keep pressure on Griggs.
Series leader (record): unknown. 2013 score: Medina Valley 48, Southside 0. 2014 favorite: Southside.
San Antonio Christian (4-3, 1-1) at #7 Central Catholic (4-3, 1-1), 7:30 p.m.
Central Catholic has matched its 2013 win total, but the Buttons find themselves facing a potential crossroads game TAPPS 2-I newcomer San Antonio Christian.
The Lions are part of a four-way tie for second place with Central Catholic, behind Antonian, which defeated the Buttons 49-21 last Friday. Central Catholic doesn’t want to below .500 in a balanced district, and the Lions are a dangerous foe.
San Antonio Christian is led by senior quarterback Andrew Hawkins, who threw for 255 yards with two interceptions in a 22-17 loss to Austin St. Michael’s last Friday. Sam Lorillard had seven catches for 197 yards and Mason Laurence had six for 62.
As the season has developed, the Lions’ Chris Cantu (97 yards vs. St. Michaels) has become a solid running threat. After surrendering 367 rushing yards to Antonian back Ben Rosenfeld, the Buttons defense needs to fortify this area.
Central Catholic quarterback Joseph Nava also had problems against Antonian, with an uncharacteristic three interceptions against the Apaches’ outstanding defense. The senior still managed to throw for 160 yards and run for 132.
Jimin Suh and Jacob Rodriguez will need to give Nava more help in the ground game to keep the Lions’ defense honest.
Series leader (record): unknown. 2013 score: did not play. 2014 favorite: Central Catholic.
#10 South San (2-5, 0-2) at #4 Southwest (3-4, 1-1), 7:30 p.m.
Southwest made a statement win last week, defeating East Central . South San needs to make one now, in a short District 28-6A season.
The Bobcats’ losing streak has reached five games, with three remaining. South San has scored 20 points in its first two district games, while giving up 65. The remaining games won’t get any easier, but the Bobcats can lighten their burden if they can move the ball consistently.
South San’s best chance for a win over Southwest is to control the ball on the ground and pick up first downs through the air when it needs to. This will be quarterback Isaiah Gutierrez’s third game back from an injury, so a better offensive performance can be expected.
Defense unquestionably was South San’s strength at the beginning of the season and it still is. The Bobcats will need to keep Southwest’s runners between the tackles and watch out for quarterback Bowen Crisp making plays off the running theat.
Southwest probably won’t be stopped on the ground, as it did to East Central last week. With its three-headed running back combination of Jon Cruz, Tyrone Middleton and Reilly Riggs, the Dragons accounted for 426 rushing yards last week.
Southwest has won the last eight games in the series.
Series leader (record): Southwest (11-3). 2013 score: Southwest 36, South San 20. 2014 favorite: Southwest.