After having some lackluster games the first few weeks of the season, things are really starting to heat up now. 

Last week we had some close games with St. Joseph narrowly falling to top-ranked Bishop Diego at home. Righetti and Santa Maria were neck-and-neck until the Warriors pulled away late. Heck, even Santa Ynez and Nipomo were close at halftime before the Pirates put their foot down in the second half. 

Tonight, there figures to be some tight games as well.

St. Joseph heads to Arroyo Grande. Both teams are 2-2 and have been playing some good football as of late. St. Joseph lost to Bishop 24-23 last week. The Cardinals are ranked No. 1 in Division 6. 

Arroyo Grande, loser of its first two games, has won two straight and is coming off its 38-7 win at Pioneer Valley. 

I'm thinking that'll be a very close game. The Eagles are typically bigger and stronger and have better depth than St. Joseph. The Knights are going to have to work for a win up there at AGHS. 

The Panthers, on the other hand, are 2-1 and host the 2-2 Saints, coming off that 35-13 home loss to Righetti. The Saints trailed 21-13 early in the fourth quarter before the Warriors struck for two game-deciding touchdowns, including Jalen Davis' 97-yard pick-six.

Now the Saints and Panthers meet tonight. I think Santa Maria would be the favorite if the Saints weren't so banged up. They've lost their best two-way player in Isiah Garcia to a torn ACL. Robert Ruiz injured his ankle on the first play of the game against Righetti.

Ruiz is expected to play tonight but I don't know how effective he'll be. 

The Panthers seem to be pretty healthy. So they may have the edge tonight. 

Lompoc hosts Righetti this week. The Warriors have some serious momentum coming off that win at Santa Maria. But the Braves are just too good. Don't expect them to have much trouble with Righetti, though I'd expect the first half of the first quarter to be pretty close before Lompoc begins to pull away.

Alright. Let's get into the picks. 

Joe Bailey, Sports Editor LCCN (36-10)

Pioneer Valley 24, Santa Maria 20

Arroyo Grande 30, St. Joseph 27

Lompoc 56, Righetti 13

Nipomo 30, Cabrillo 19

Santa Ynez 55, Templeton 22

Madera 30, Atascadero 27

Dos Pueblos 56, SLO 6

Clovis North 38, Paso Robles 20

McFarland 44, Morro Bay 29

Orcutt Academy 60, Faith Baptist 30

Kenny Cress, Sports Reporter LCCN (33-13)

Santa Maria 20, Pioneer Valley 17

St. Joseph 28, Arroyo Grande 24

Lompoc 49, Righetti 10

Nipomo 14, Cabrillo 12

Santa Ynez 42, Templeton 21

Madera 42, Atascadero 24

Dos Pueblos 48, SLO 15

Clovis North 21, Paso Robles 17

McFarland 38, Morro Bay 35

Orcutt Academy 58, Faith Baptist 48 

Brian Stanley, Freelance journalist (31-15)

Pioneer Valley 35, Santa Maria 24

St. Joseph 28, Arroyo Grande 21

Lompoc 56, Righetti 14

Nipomo 21, Cabrillo 14

Santa Ynez 42, Templeton 21

Atascadero 14, Madera 10

Dos Pueblos 35, San Luis Obispo 7

Paso Robles 28, Clovis North 20

McFarland 35, Morro Bay 7

Orcutt Academy 49, Faith Baptist 28

Lorenzo J. Reyna, Sports Reporter LCCN (30-16)

Santa Maria 24, Pioneer Valley 20

St. Joseph 28, Arroyo Grande 23

Lompoc 56, Righetti 7

Nipomo 21, Cabrillo 20

Santa Ynez 42, Templeton 14

Madera 35, Atascadero 21

Dos Pueblos 52, San Luis Obispo 0

Clovis North 20, Paso Robles 14

McFarland 31, Morro Bay 14

Orcutt Academy 49, Faith Baptist 24

Elliott Stern, Senior Sports Reporter LCCN (29-17)

Pioneer Valley 21, Santa Maria 14

St. Joseph 24, Arroyo Grande 21

Lompoc 56, Righetti 7

Nipomo 35, Cabrillo 14

Santa Ynez 49, Templeton 14

Madera 28, Atascadero 21

Dos Pueblos 49, San Luis Obispo 14

Clovis North 21, Paso Robles 14

McFarland 28, Morro Bay 7

Orcutt Academy 48, Faith Baptist 30

Joe Bailey is the sports editor at Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Contact him with tips and story ideas at jbailey@leecentralcoastnews.com or (805) 739-2239. Follow him on Twitter at @jbaileysmsports

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