After three outages for the MCAL season opening last week, there’s a little more intrigue and promise for some closer games this weekend.

The competition kicks off on Friday night with a clash of undefeated teams as Archie Williams travels to play San Marin under the lights. This is arguably the biggest game for Archie Williams / Drake in years and the Peregrine Falcons will undoubtedly tackle their toughest Mustangs task to date this season.

Redwood and Tam have played perhaps more close games in recent years than any combination in the MCAL. The two teams will renew their rivalry in Mill Valley on Saturday afternoon.

San Rafael travels to the other league game against Novato this week. Last year the two teams played a game with a score, with the Hornets coming out on top.

Terra Linda heads out for a non-league competition against Santa Rosa on Friday night. Tomales plays Anderson Valley on Saturday afternoon. Marin Catholic and Branson have farewell weeks.

Friday

Archie Williams (4-0, 0-0) in San Marin (4-0, 1-0): 7pm, Novato

It’s been eight years since Archie Williams (then Drake) entered the league with wins in all preseason games. In 2013, the Pirates opened the MCAL game with a 35-7 loss to Justin-Siena. This year’s Peregrine Falcon team faces a similarly tough challenge in the game against San Marin. The matchup between San Marin’s strong offense and Archie Williams’ strong defense is likely to determine the course of this game. The Mustangs score 49.5 points per game, while the Peregrine Falcon defense has literally not been rated. In the first three games of the season, San Marin’s offense had achieved the kind of balance coach Dom DiMare had hoped for. San Marin passed for 617 yards and stormed for 686 yards before taking on San Rafael last week. San Marin RB Justin Guin averages more than 10 yards per carry and has scored 11 touchdowns in four games. Archie Williams QB Zach Atkinson has thrown 13 touchdowns so far this season.

Terra Linda (1-3) in Santa Rosa (2-3): 7 p.m., Santa Rosa

The Trojans set out to face the Panthers, who already have a 34-7 win over San Rafael in their luggage. Santa Rosa lost a 35:34 heartbreaker in the opener against their mutual opponent West County, who then defeated TL 34-0 two weeks ago. RB Carlitos Pardo has been the top option for the Panthers so far, amassing 791 yards and nine touchdowns. Nolan Frost was the team’s best receiver, catching 10 balls for 177 yards and two scores. TL has struggled at times this season, but RB Josiah Hernandez and QB Garrett Pardo were among the bright spots.

Saturday

Redwood (3-1, 1-0) in Tam (2-2, 1-0): 2pm, Mill Valley

As of 2017, the redwood-tam rivalry – now known as the Mt. Tam Game – has produced some of the most dramatic results of recent times. Last season, Redwood scored a 21:20 win in the last two minutes behind then-quarterback Brady Weingart, who played the second half to relieve injured starter Clayton Grace. In 2018, the first year the two teams competed for a trophy, the lead changed hands four times in the fourth quarter alone, with Redwood scoring a late touchdown to score a 38-31 win. The Giants also won a close game in 2017 with 21:20. Tam’s last win in the series came in 2013, beating Redwood 15-12 on the last day of the season. Weingart has thrown 731 yards and 13 touchdowns against an interception this season. Tam QB Nick Schottenfeld has thrown 442 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions in the last three games.

Novato (1-3, 0-1) vs. San Rafael (2-2, 0-1): 2 p.m., Novato

Both teams are licking their wounds after losing to Redwood and San Marin, respectively, but both will likely go into this game feeling like they can win. “We played the Pass League with the Hornets in the summer and they have improved significantly compared to last year,” said San Rafael coach Mark Lubamersky. The Hornets emerged victorious last season with an 18:12 win. San Rafael won the 2019 meeting with 55-29 points. Novato’s win this season came against Kennedy (Richmond), while the Bulldogs have wins against Healdsburg and Albany on their ledger books. Both teams relied heavily on the game in progress during their victories, so it might depend on which team is better at slowing the other’s ground play. Samaje Featherstone has led the Hornets this season while Jacob Ferreri has been the top rusher for San Rafael.

Tomales (1-2) in Anderson Valley (0-2): 2 p.m., Boonville

The Braves enter this competition with only three games, but the Panthers have only played once – a 38-14 loss to the California School For The Deaf. Anderson Valley’s other loss was a loss to Cornerstone Christian. Tomales hung out with Branson into the second quarter last week before losing his top lineman and quarterback to injuries later in the game.

Goodbye weeks: Marin Catholic, Branson