Kickoff In The Golden State

The 2007 season kicks off this week in California, albeit in limited action. The Northern and Central Sections have the most games, while a City Section and Southern Section school each debut this weekend, as more schools will start next week in "Week Zero" around the Golden State...

Last year was a monumental one for high school football in the state of California. The 2006 season saw the succesful debut of the state championship bowl games in December.

This fall, schools around the Golden State have their sights set on Carson, for a trip to the Home Depot Center.

Several schools begin their quest for Carson this weekend, with the majority of the action this weekend coming from the Northern and Central Section.

The game of the night involves the loaded Fresno Edison Tigers against Madera, which takes place tonight at 7:30 p.m, a contest that features a pair of Top 10 teams in the area.

Edison boasts arguably the nation's top secondary, led by the top cornerback in the West, Robert Golden, and three-star safety Brandon Leslie. Juniors Cliff Harris and Tim McDonald Jr., the son of the Edison coach, also round out the Tigers secondary.

Leading the offensive charge for the Tigers is quarterback Jerry Davis, who can hand off to John Tate or pick his weapons at receiver, which include elite junior Rolando Jefferson, and two other good pass-catchers in Rashaun Schafer and Jermiah Carter.

Madera, though, won't be intimidated by the Tigers. Last fall, in a 6-0 start, they crushed eventual Nevada 4A State Champion Las Vegas in the season opener, knocked of Sac-Joaquin finalist Merced in Week Two, and beat Oakland powerhouse McClymonds in Oakland. They also beat Clovis West, before falling to Bakersfield Liberty in the first round of the section playoffs.

Clovis East is still smarting from being left out of the Division I state championship game, being passed over by Canyon Country Canyon, who would go on to win.

They face Hug of Reno, Nevada tonight, their opener in one of the tougher schedules in the section.

Avenal, led by running back Ily Lopez, visits San Luis Obispo Mission Prep in their opener.

Bakersfield, with Phillip Thomas gone to Fresno State and Justin Cheadle at Cal, will be looking to reload, and will utilize receiver Emmanuel Ojeriakhi and weakside linebacker to overcome Dione Tomlin and rival West HS.

On Thursday, Maui High of Hawaii hosted South Gate (Calif.) SouthEast, the Jaguars the first City Section school to play this year.

Another interstate game involves Campbell Hall of North Hollywood visiting Faith Lutheran of Las Vegas.

The top game involving Northern Section schools involves Redding Enterprise, who travels to Virgin Valley in Mesquite, Nevada on Saturday.

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