JUCO Games To Watch - California (Week 2)

There are several very interesting matchups on this week's schedule and JCFootball.com takes a look at five of them and gives some names to keep an eye on as well...

Canyons at #8 Saddleback - Canyons lost a close one to Golden West last week and the strength of the Cougars' team is along the defensive front seven. Antonio Guy, A.J. Thompson and Loni Fonua all are massing players with athleticism and DE Nathan Mitogo, an athletic pass-rusher, has already committed to a school. Behind those four are top tacklers Cash Barden and Joey Cicoria at the linebacker spot. Saddleback's best receiver, Tennessee-bound Eric Lauderdale, didn't play last week so this will be his first chance to play ball this fall. The Gauchos also have one of the top sophomore signal-callers in the country in Tim Belman, a solid tackle prospect in Naaman Butsko and in their secondary, Laq Middleton will match up all day with Kurtz while Duran Workman handles center field.

Prediction: Saddleback 35 - College of the Canyons 14


Hartnell at Modesto - Modesto's explosive attack is led by TeeJay Gordon who has three very good receivers to target in Chris Souza, Ricky Fuentes and Jake McCreath. On defense, the Pirates boast Stephen Thayer who is a tackling machine. Hartnell boasts one of the top runners in the state in DeAndre Mann who is a threat to take it the distance anytime he touches the ball while Hartnell's quarterback has two very good recievers in Da'Quan Smith and Josh Wade. DE Kapil Fletcher leads the charge up front for the Panthers while Marquis Webster is a playmaker in the secondary.

Prediction: Hartnell 27 - Modesto 17


#5 Butte at College of the Siskiyous - Butte has two very good tailbacks that will either run over you or around you in Robert Frazier and Kendall Williams. They had over 280 yards rushing and three touchdowns combined last week. TE Bo Brummel is an athletic redzone target with soft hands and Wesley McCoy and Jonathan Parks are two deep targets with plenty of playmaking abilities. Siskiyous has a huge line, led by bookend tackles Jerrett Olson and Brendan Sleight. They pave the way for a running attack that features the hard-charging Aaron Williams. On defense, Cameron Clay gets consistent pressure from his defensive end spot while Alex Henderson is the quarterback of the defense and one of the top returning tacklers from 2012.

Prediction - Butte 30 - Siskiyous 20


#13 Mt. San Antonio at Bakersfield Bakersfield has a very good defense that is led by DE Clinton Carter up front, Grant Campbell from his middle linebacker spot and hard-hitting safety Chris Hannible. On offense, they boast several playmakers including tailbacks Preston Hodges and Curtis McGregor as well as wideouts Marquise Johnson and Brock Martin. Mt. San Atonio is hoping to bounce back from their lackluster performance last week as they fell from the #2 spot in our rankings to #13 with a 44-20 loss to Saddleback. Along the line, the Mounties need to bulldoze a smallish Renegade defensive line with Eden Mahina, Jonathan Nava and Shaquille Davis and pave the way for Jamal Overton, a talented tailback with outstanding quickness and vision. TE Ryan Carden isn't used that much in the offense, but when called upon, he shows some very nice ability. On defense, Spencer Wiley and Elisha Henley are emerging stars, but both need to be much more sound in coverage than they were last week.

Prediction: Mt. San Antonio 27 - Bakersfield 21


#5 Riverside at #23 Palomar - The Comets blew past El Camino last week, using a very solid rushing attack, led by Justin Harris and a solid, if unspectacular passing game on the arm of Ryan Lamb. Doug Saeks is a big, physical lineman who is getting a lot of attention from four year programs and TE Ryan Ena is an athletic pass-catcher who returned after a very good freshman season in 2012. On defense, Stephen Parks leads the team in tackles from his safety spot while Fiaalii Togiaso stuffs the run and allows others to make plays around him. For Riverside, they used to be all about the passing game before, but with two tailbacks like Anthony Knight and Sir-Darius Yarbrough (combined 333 yards rushing and three touchdowns last week), they will ride them until they can run no more. Up front, Dominique Robertson gets all the headlines and has a lot of schools interested in what he can do. Defensively Daniel Halverson is the leader for the Tigers and he always seems to be around the ball.

Prediction: Riverside 42 - Palomar 17


Other games to watch: Laney at City College of San Francisco; Contra Costa at DeAnza; Allan Hancock at El Camino; Grossmont at San Diego Mesa; Mt. San Jacinto at L.A. Pierce.


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