Cathedral City (2-4, 1-1) at Palm Springs (3-3, 1-1)
It’s no secret the Lions love to run the ball with two-headed monster James Green and Jordan Wallace, who put up more than 250 yards a week ago against Xavier Prep, normally one of the top defenses in the DVL. Against La Quinta last week, the Indians gave up 279 yards on the ground. With the new division system for the playoffs, it feels as if every game is a must-win, but the Lions could certainly use this to try and make a case in Division 12, while the Indians can’t afford many – if any – more losses to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Coachella Valley (4-1) at Rancho Mirage (3-2)
The Rattlers are coming off a difficult offensive performance where they were shut out on the road at San Jacinto 14-0. Four second-half turnovers plagued Rancho Mirage after their bye week. On the other hand, Coachella Valley is hoping a bye can offer a chance to refocus and heal up after a 55-20 road loss to Rubidoux two weeks ago without offensive stars Romeo Martinez and Jacob Salazar, who were injured but have healed up. The Arabs’ defense has been suspect all season, allowing three of five opposing offenses to score their most points all season. Coachella Valley has the more electric offense, but the Rattlers can put up points, too. Against their only common opponent, the Rattlers beat Palm Desert 52-0, while the Arabs narrowly won 48-47.
Desert Hot Springs (0-5) at Twentynine Palms (3-2)
Despite still looking for their first win of the season, the Golden Eagles haven’t been all bad. Their defense has given up more than three touchdowns just twice in five games, but the offense just hasn’t been there, averaging just over 10 points again with two shutouts. For winless DHS, every game may be seen as a must-win, but for a team like Twentynine Palms with legitimate playoff hopes, it rings even more true. The Wildcats face three ranked opponents in their final four games of the regular season and can’t afford to be the Golden Eagles’ first win of the season. How they come off their bye week after a narrow loss to Big Bear will determine how close this may be.
Yucca Valley (5-0) at Desert Mirage (0-5)
The Rams have been shut out of four of the team’s five losses this season, and their opponent this week, Yucca Valley, boasts a strong defense, having given up just 26 points in the five wins of their undefeated season. Desert Mirage fell to Indio 31-0 in the first week of the season, before the Rajahs were dominated 45-6 in Week 3 by Yucca Valley. If that common opponent is any indication, this could be another long 48 minutes on the field for the Rams.
Xavier Prep (3-3, 1-1) at La Quinta (2-3, 1-0)
Before giving up a large second half comeback to Cathedral City last week, the Saints were making a case as the second-best DVL team with a stingy defense and gritty offense. Still, Xavier Prep likely won’t be an easy out for La Quinta, who struggled mightily in the passing game in a 14-10 win over Palm Springs. The Blackhawks pounded the ball up the middle with Benji Cordova in the second half, something that may not be as easy against Xavier Prep’s solid front seven. A year ago, though, the Saints held tough with La Quinta, falling just 23-14, but gave up 230 yards to Cordova. The Saints need to do some work to climb back up the rankings, while the Blackhawks can’t afford to lose anymore winnable games as they sit at No. 10 in Division 5.
READ MORE: Movement in the latest CIF polls
Desert Christian Academy (2-3, 0-0) at Desert Chapel (1-4, 0-1)
This season’s annual rivalry contest between the valley’s two perennially successful eight-man football teams finds both with losing records, but going in opposite directions. The Conquerors dismantled Orcutt Academy, who was the No. 5 Division 1 eight-man team last week, 48-20 on the road last Saturday to hop into the top 10 of the Division 2 poll. Their three losses have come to Mojave (No. 3, Division 1), Lancaster Baptist (No. 6, Division 2) and Noli Indian (No. 5, Division 2). On the other hand, the Eagles have lost by at least 40 points the last three weeks and could certainly use a signature win to boost their momentum heading into a tough league season.
Palm Valley (0-2, 0-1) at Bloomington Christian (5-1, 1-0)
Another week, another ranked Victory League foe for the short-handed Firebirds. Scoring any points this week after getting shut out 58-0 against top-ranked Joshua Springs would be an improvement, but it may be tough. Desert Chapel scored just 18 points and lost by 50 to the Ravens a week ago. With everyone playing every down on offense and defense, the Firebirds better hope they can strike quickly before George Thomas’s team gets too worn down.