Here are the top games to watch for Week 5 of the high school football schedule (Sept. 14):
Bishop Gorman at De La Salle (California), 7 p.m.
The Gaels’ entered their home game against De La Salle on a two-game losing streak, but rallied for their first of 12 straight wins on the way to a state title. Amod Cianelli had 8- rushing yards and a touchdown for Gorman, and Micah Bowens threw an 11-yard touchdown passes, but mostly it will be new faces in the return game.
De La Salle was ranked No. 6 in the nation entering last year’s game, and finished the season with a loss to Mater Dei in the state title game, its only other loss of 2017. Like last year, it is the final national game Gorman plays before heading home to begin Southwest League play.
Faith Lutheran at JSerra Catholic (California), 7 p.m.
Another talented private school heads to California this week, the Crusaders only out-of-state road game of the year. Such games have been a mixed bag Faith Lutheran under coach Vernon Fox: a close loss in Colorado last year, a blowout win in Hawaii in 2016 and a shutout loss in Idaho in 2014.
JSerra Catholic went 7-4 last season and graduated its quarterback and running back. But they return two receivers who each caught eight touchdowns and for more than 700 yards. It is the Crusaders’ final nonconference game before turning their attention to the Northwest League.
Desert Pines at Sierra Vista, 7 p.m.
Perhaps no team comes into the season with more intrigue than Desert Pines, which will play its first Class 4A season after winning the last two 3A titles. It’s the end of a three-game road trip to begin the season and it will be against a team who has quietly been excellent for two years now.
If Sierra Vista didn’t play in Gorman’s division, perhaps the Mountain Lions would get more love. They have gone 14-3 in the regular season over the last two years, finishing second in the Southwest League and losing to Legacy in the playoffs both years. This is a game that will show what the Jaguars are made of in 4A, and what Sierra Vista can do against team stacked with Division I talent.