PLEASANTON -- Monte Vista High football coach Craig Bergman expects a stern test from host Foothill on Friday night to kick off the East Bay Athletic League season.
In one of the region's marquee matchups, the Mustangs (3-0), ranked fifth in the Bay Area News Group East Bay poll, will challenge the No. 9 Falcons (2-1).
"First and foremost Matt Sweeney, he's a great coach," Bergman said. "I look at the weapons he has on offense, and I don't think we'll play a team with more offensive weapons the entire year, De La Salle included.
"They've got a couple of great receivers, a couple good running backs, a great tight end, and a quarterback (sophomore Kyle Kearns) that I know is young, but he's really doing a nice job throwing the football around."
Monte Vista is coming off a 44-14 rout of Pittsburg on Sept. 7, before a bye week for EBAL teams. Foothill beat Las Lomas 35-21 two weeks ago after having its pride dented in a 41-28 loss to high-flying Freedom on Aug. 31.
Sweeney said his team has been inconsistent on special teams, had breakdowns on defense and turned the ball over too much. The Falcons' senior leaders will need to avoid mistakes against the Mustangs, he believes.
"Monte Vista is playing really well," Sweeney said. "They played a phenomenal game against Pittsburg. They have a great defense, and you know they're going to be great on offense. It's going to be a great challenge for us."
Monte Vista features running back Zack Chang, who's averaging 142.3 yards a game, tight end/linebacker Mason Melin (14 receptions, 10 tackles), and wideout/defensive back Marco Zamora (10 receptions).
Unsung stars for Mustangs include two-way lineman Richard Martinez, wideout Jalen Avery, and 6-foot-5 junior tight end Erik Mensendiek.
Mustangs quarterback Nikita Zamora, who passed for 244 yards and two touchdowns against Pittsburg, and Kearns will be making their EBAL varsity debuts.
"It's about making plays at crunch time, that's really what it is," Sweeney said. "Hopefully we can make plays."