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PITTSBURG: PLAYERS WANTED SAN RAMON VALLEY
Pittsburg is the defending North Coast Section Division I champions. But thanks to the section’s playoff seeding, its players feel as if they have something to prove Friday night when they play San Ramon Valley for the D-I title at Dublin High.
The Pirates were unbeaten during the regular season but were slotted as the No. 3 seed behind No. 1 De La Salle and No. 2 SRV in the Open/Division I bracket.
“It’s personal. That should’ve been our No. 2 seed,” Pittsburg quarterback Marley Alcantara said. “We went 10-0 in the regular season, and they just got put up in Division I this season. We’ve got to prove what we already know. We’re 12-0 and are about to be 13-0.”
SRV lost to De La Salle 17-7 on Friday in the Open Division final, dropping the Wolves into the Division I title game, a playoff format that Pittsburg took advantage of the past two seasons as the Open/Division I bracket’s No. 2 seed.
Pittsburg lost to DLS in the Open final in 2021 and 2022, then beat Clayton Valley Charter for the Division I championship in both years.
Friday, Pittsburg played a physical brand of football in a 35-14 victory over California, rushing for more than 350 yards and attempting just 12 passes.
“All of the championship games are won up front,” Pittsburg coach Charlie Ramirez said. “In every big game we haven’t been able to come through, we were losing the battle on the line of scrimmage.”
Pittsburg has a big offensive line and highly productive running backs Elijah Bow and Jamar Searcy, whom Ramirez compared to USC’s legendary duo of Reggie Bush and LenDale White.
SRV’s only two losses were to DLS, one in overtime, the other tight from start to finish.
“They’re a hell of a good team,” Bow said about SRV, “but we’re even more of a hell of a team.”
– Joseph Dycus
SAN RAMON VALLEY: THE JONES FACTOR
The last San Ramon Valley player to leave the Dublin High field on Friday night after the Open title game was the most dominant player on the field, middle linebacker Marco Jones.
Jones always meets with his family after each game, on the track.
The Bay Area News Group interviewed the 6-foot-4, 225-pound junior on the walk back to the locker room. The Wolves fell short of ending De La Salle’s 32-year unbeaten streak against NCS opponents, losing 33-27 in overtime last month and 17-7 on Friday.
But Jones was even better in the rematch than he had been in the first game against DLS. He finished with 22 tackles (11 solo) and made an incredible interception in which he covered half the field to reel in the ball.
“We knew what we did the first time and we knew we had to change a little bit up because they’re …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment