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Week 5 Previews: Unbeaten CV faces toughest test in U-Prep in GOTW

Previewing the Game of the Week & other Week 5 games

Graphic by Aaron Williams / Shasta County Sports

The Shasta County Sports Game of the Week, presented by Tri Counties Bank, features unbeaten Central Valley traveling south to Redding to face U-Prep in a Northern Athletic League contest.

Here’s a look at each of the this week’s matchups.

SPECTATORS: Each school has specific instructions on who they are allowing in at the gate due to COVID protocols. The Shasta Union High School District is allowing immediate family members residing in the same household to be placed on a list to get into the game. Administration will be checking ID to allow entry. The school will turn you away if you are not on the list. PLEASE check with the school on their policy before going to the stadium.

Tri Counties Bank Game of the Week

Central Valley (3-0) at U-Prep (3-1) | 7:30 p.m.


Central Valley is 3-0 for the first time in a decade and looking to start 4-0 for the first time since 2009, when the 8-4 Falcons won their first six games. Aaron Richards’ Falcons had scored enough each week to get out with the win … aided by a bend but don’t break defense that is the strength of the team. Last week against Lassen, the CV defense held the Grizzlies to less than 150 yards of total offense. The CV offense runs through QB Willie Mowry with support from Kade Crowell, Charlie Stevens, Jaden Elliott and Jonny Mack. Defensively, Mowry and Elliott are ball hawks on the back end for the Falcons. Stopping the run will be key for CV as U-Prep has speed and size in Carter Abel and Jake Reuss.

The first start under center for junior Chris Jimenez was successful as the converted wide receiver fill-in for injured starter Payton Henderson threw four touchdowns on five completions to earn Shasta County Sports Player of the Week honors. Jimenez didn’t display his scramble ability and athleticism that CV will have to watch out for since the Falcons haven’t seen anyone with quite his quickness, though, their own QB in Mowry is a good comparison. U-Prep has a handful of weapons on offense with Abel, Reuss and Caden Adams between the tackles while Kevin Cox can stretch it on sweeps. Connor Gilbreath can be a big weapon if he lines up at tight end.

CV and U-Prep are both guaranteed winning seasons, only the second time that has happened in the same season (2008).

Shasta (3-1) at Enterprise (1-3) | 6 p.m. — River Bowl XXIX


The second regular-season River Bowl in history (well, at least since the rivalry was named River Bowl in 1993) features two teams on different trajectories. Shasta, after losing its opener, is riding a three-game win streak and the momentum that comes with it. The Wolves not only own a 57-7 blasting of Enterprise in River Bowl XXVIII, but enter the game at Enterprise on the heels of a dominating 42-14 win over Foothill that gave the Wolves the District Cup trophy for the second straight season. Shasta looks for its seventh straight River Bowl victory, still short of the 11 straight by Enterprise at the onset of the River Bowl name.

The Hornets, meanwhile, won their opener against Anderson and have since dropped three straight, including the game to Shasta. Enterprise rebounded from that beating to be competitive against Foothill and Red Bluff, but failed to grab the W. The Wolves’ offense is firing on all cylinders and its defense is dominating, but North State football fans know that nothing would make the Black and Gold happier than to see the River Bowl trophy head back to the east side.

Foothill (3-1) at West Valley (3-0) | 7:30 p.m.


West Valley was originally scheduled to play Yreka but the Miners canceled. The Eagles had a midseason bye due to Anderson being forced to cancel last week’s game because of COVID and but was able to pick up Foothill — also a on bye this week. Holden Gilbert (385 yds, 3 TDs) has rushed for more than 100 yards in all three contests this season and the Eagles are coming off back-to-back Northern Athletic League shutouts. QB Noah Mason has thrown for 265 yards and five touchdowns on the year but the Eagles are getting it done on the ground, averaging 6.7 yards per rush.

Foothill lost to Shasta 42-14 last week in a battle for the No. 2 spot behind the top-ranked West Valley squad. Cooper Laloli rushed for over 100 yards and quarterback Davis Smith ripped off a long touchdown run in the fourth quarter for his third two-score game of the year. But the Cougar offense never capitalized on opportunities, similar to how they couldn’t pull away from Enterprise the week before. Foothill brings the size to match up with West Valley, especially in the trenches with Caleb Tuggle and Eric Roberts on the line. The Cougars have two days to prepare for the best team in the area and a road win in a last-minute schedule game could be the redemption it needs to get back in the conversation as the top team in Shasta County.

Lassen (1-3) at Anderson (0-2) | 6 p.m.


Anderson is back on the field after skipping the past two games due to COVID, a tough task to handle in a shortened season. The Cubs, who have lost to Enterprise and U-Prep and haven’t suited up since March 26, get a favorable game against a struggling Lassen squad that has shown its defense is susceptible against the run. That plays into Anderson’s strength where it can deploy Kaeson Saelee and Makaree Newman behind a stout line led by Marcus Trotter. Devin Armstrong had a bounce-back performance against U-Prep and could be in for a big night if he hooks up Mason Smith and Garrett Knott on the perimeter.

Maxwell (0-2) at Redding Christian (1-2) | 7 p.m.


Redding Christian had one game on the schedule to start the spring but picked up its fourth contest and appears to be its last game — seriously this time. The Lions beat Los Molinos in its 11-man football opener but has since lost to Central Valley and Portola, which are a combined 8-0 on the season. Redding Christian lost to Portola 35-0 last week, which marked the fifth time in school history the Lions were shut out in a game and the first since a 14-0 loss to Chester in 2019.

Maxwell has been outscored 91-18 in its two games this year.

Other NSCIF Games:

Pleasant Valley (1-1) at Red Bluff (2-2), 6 p.m.
Chico (1-1) at Paradise (3-0), 7:30 p.m.
Hamilton (1-3) at Williams (1-2), 7 p.m.
Quincy (2-1) at Portola (5-0), 7 p.m.
Wheatland (0-3) at East Nicolaus (0-2), 7 p.m.
Las Plumas (1-2) at Sutter (2-0), 7:30 p.m.
Oroville (1-1) at Corning (1-2), 7:30 p.m.
Durham (3-1) at Pierce (2-1), 7:30 p.m.
Live Oak (0-2) at Biggs (5-0), 7:30 p.m.
Gridley (2-1) Orland (1-1), 7:30 p.m.
Pioneer (3-0) at Winters (2-1), 7:30 p.m.

Staff Reports is content produced by the Shasta County Sports team.

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