Shadow Hills (3-1) at Cathedral City (1-3)
The Knights quietly have the second-best record in the valley so far, but the Lions are riding high on their first win of the season. If the Lions manage to have starting QB Cameron Lee back after missing the first four games, this could be a very tough matchup for Shadow Hills’ introduction into the Desert Valley League, but Lee is still questionable at best, according to Coach Richard Lee, and the Knights’ secondary has stiffened up with seven interceptions this season.
Coachella Valley (4-0) at Rubidoux (3-0)
The Arabs came away from last Friday’s close victory over Indio with a bit of a reality check – getting to their dream of 10-0, though a realistic possibility, won’t be easy, and Friday’s road game at Rubidoux will be their toughest test yet. The Falcons love to run the ball, and the Arabs nearly lost to an Indio squad who’s not as strong as Rubidoux, yet ran almost the entire game. This is a pivotal game heading into a bye week before Rancho Mirage.
Beaumont (1-3) at Desert Hot Springs (0-4)
These two teams could easily have much brighter records with multiple tight losses on both sides. The Cougars, though, are coming off the momentum of their first win of the season over a ranked Banning team. Expect this to be a gritty battle once again for both teams, as the Golden Eagles continue to fight for their first win of the season.
Desert Mirage (0-4) at Calexico (2-0)
A year ago, the Rams ran away with a win against visiting Calexico 42-14, but this Desert Mirage team has proven over the first four weeks that they’re a ways away from their 2015 form. Still, they managed to put up 24 points in last week’s loss, which shows some improvement. Expect this to be much closer than last year’s.
Palm Springs (2-2) at Indio (1-3)
The Rajahs nearly upset their biggest rival Coachella Valley on the road a week ago, while the Indians are coming off their first win of the season and finding out they were given a second due to forfeit. Palm Springs is in a fierce fight for a playoff spot and can’t afford many losses the rest of the season, while Indio has endured plenty of rough losses over the years.
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La Quinta (1-2) at Roosevelt (2-1)
Two of their first three weeks, the Blackhawks have taken on opponents in a different class and most of the time held their own, despite the two losses, but this week La Quinta has a chance to see what it will be up against come Division 5 playoff time with a divisional opponent. After a rough first half against St. Bonaventure a week ago, the Blackhawks fought back and proved they have what it takes to stand with almost anyone.
Palm Desert (1-3) at Xavier Prep (2-2)
These two teams seem to be heading in opposite directions. After a rough road defeat to a tough Notre Dame team in Week 1, Xavier Prep won twice-in-a-row and held its own against Aquinas. On the other hand, Palm Desert hasn’t scored a point since blowing its lead against Coachella Valley back on Sept. 2. For both teams, this game is crucial. The Aztecs, who were once ranked in Division 9, need to find some way to right the ship, while Xavier Prep could use a win over an opponent in a higher division to bolster its playoff case.
Foothills Christian (3-1) at Desert Chapel (1-2)
The Eagles have had an up-and-down start to the season with the loss of senior leadership and production from a year ago when they made it to the Division 2 championship. On paper, Desert Chapel is an underdog against foe Foothills Christian on Friday, but the Eagles could certainly use an unexpected victory to jumpstart the program before league play begins in a week.
Desert Christian Academy (1-2) at Mojave (3-0)
The Conquerors fell to two tough opponents early in the season, but Friday’s game stands to be even tougher against the No. 2 team in Division 1 eight-man football in the Southern Section. Mojave is also ranked the No. 2 eight-man team in California by MaxPreps. A win will be a steep task, but if coach Scott Gilbert’s squad that was supposed to be improved over a year ago is going to step up, putting up a fight Friday would be a good showing.