One week before The Big Game, the Valley Oak League gives us a big game.
Third-ranked Oakdale travels to Kimball in a meeting of two 4-0 teams armed with marquee quarterbacks. Kimball is braced by senior Nicholas Coronado, a three-year varsity starter and one of the top players in the program's young history. Coronado has passed for nearly 6,000 yards and 63 touchdowns. Through four games, Coronado has already matched his productivity in the spring. He has thrown for 1,565 yards and 18 touchdowns, and he’s averaging nearly 400 yards per game.
Oakdale counters with Jackson Holt, a 6-foot-5 signal caller. Despite playing in a run-heavy offense, Holt is starting to generate interest at the next level. He has one offer from Yale. More importantly, for a rabid Mustang fanbase, Holt has Oakdale positioned favorably in the VOL title race. The Mustangs routed East Union in their league opener, 59-13, and will host No. 2 Central Catholic next week at The Corral.
In the first installment of “Bold or Just Bald?” in 18 months, Joe Cortez and I are in lock-step with this pick: Like it did in last week’s win over the Lancers and quarterback Luke Weaver, Oakdale will solve the Coronado conundrum and set up a showdown with the rival Raiders.
Now, our other picks ...
CENTRAL CALIFORNIA CONFERENCE
Atwater at El Capitan (Merced College), 7 p.m. Burns: Atwater Cortez: Atwater
Central Valley at Buhach Colony, 7 p.m. Burns: Central Valley Cortez: Central Valley
Merced at Patterson, 7 p.m. Burns: Merced Cortez: Merced
VALLEY OAK LEAGUE
Weston Ranch at Central Catholic, 7 p.m. Burns: Central Catholic Cortez: Central Catholic
Sierra at East Union, 7 p.m. Burns: East Union Cortez: East Union
Oakdale at Kimball, 7 p.m. Burns: Oakdale Cortez: Oakdale
WESTERN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE
Beyer at Ceres, 7 p.m. Burns: Ceres Cortez: Ceres
Davis at Los Banos, 7 p.m. Burns: Davis Cortez: Davis
Mountain House at Johansen, 7 p.m. Burns: Johansen Cortez: Johansen
Pacheco at Lathrop, 7 p.m. Burns: Lathrop Cortez: Lathrop
Hilmar at Ripon , 7 p.m. Burns: Hilmar Cortez: Hilmar
Hughson at Livingston, 7 p.m. Burns: Hughson Cortez: Livingston
Modesto Christian at Riverbank, 7 p.m. Burns: Modesto Christian Cortez: Modesto Christian
Denair at Gustine, 7:15 p.m. Burns: Gustine Cortez: Gustine
Mariposa County at Delhi, 7:15 p.m. Burns: Mariposa Cortez: Mariposa
Orestimba at Ripon Christian, 7:15 p.m. Burns: Ripon Christian Cortez: Ripon Christian
Le Grand at Waterford, 7:15 p.m. Burns: Waterford Cortez: Waterford
Pitman at Golden Valley, 7 p.m. Burns: Golden Valley Cortez: Golden Valley
Lincoln at Downey, 7 p.m. Burns: Downey Cortez: Lincoln
Lodi at Gregori, 7 p.m. Burns: Lodi Cortez: Lodi
Galt at Amador, 7 p.m. Burns: Galt Cortez: Galt
Mendota at Argonaut, 7 p.m. Burns: Mendota Cortez: Mendota
Stellar Prep at Sonora, 7 p.m. Burns: Sonora Cortez: Sonora
Summerville at Stone Ridge Christian, 7 p.m. Burns: Summerville Cortez: Summerville
Woodland Christian at Big Valley Christian, 7 p.m. Burns: Woodland Christian Cortez: Woodland Christian