The 2002 local high school football campaign enters Week 2 tonight, bringing meaningful games for Tokay, Lodi and Galt.
Things have changed for the Flames and Tigers under the realigned San Joaquin Athletic Association. With the addition of Tracy and West under the Sac-Joaquin realignment process, both teams were faced with scheduling nine league games, meaning last week's preseason victories for both teams were the only exhibition action either will see in 2002.
Tokay, a 44-7 winner over Downey last week, travels to face two-time defending SJAA champion Lincoln (0-1 overall) tonight at 7:15. It's a tough game for a wounded team.
Starting running back, free safety and team captain Drew Weaver was lost for the season on the final play of the first half against the Knights.
Backmate Kenny Trevillion, who rushed five times for 81 yards, hasn't run a play since the first series last Friday and backup C.J. Lynch, whose 16 rushes for 137 yards led to the Tigers racking up 454 yards on the ground, hurt his knee in practice on Tuesday. Trevillion and Lynch are both game-time decisions.
Fresh off a 44-27 victory over Sheldon last week, Lodi (1-0 overall) travels to face Bear Creek (1-0 overall) at 7:15 p.m. For Lodi, it is a chance to make up for last year's second-half collapse that saw the Flames squander a 41-27 halftime lead in a 48-47 loss.
For Lodi, it was the beginning of a seven-game losing skid to end the season.
Galt, on the other hand, is making changes of its own in an attempt to end a 24-game winless streak that dates back to 1998. Based on last's weeks tough 29-22 loss against the Bruins, the Warriors (0-1 overall) are a vastly improved team from a year ago, which saw the offense manage 26 points all season.
Galt travels to face East Union (0-1 overall) tonight at 7:15.
Jeff Tracy, in his 17th season at the helm of the Tigers, says the team would like to make up for a 29-10 loss at home to the Trojans last season that also included three fumbles. And he says two things will determine if that is to happen.
First, the defense must contain Lincoln running back Louis Rankin, who ran all over Granite Bay with 221 yards and four touchdowns. He also caught a 16-yard scoring strike from quarterback Brian Korinek, who finished with 90 yards on the ground and 88 in the air. The Trojans failed on a two-point conversion with 10 seconds left, giving Granite Bay a 42-41 win.
"Lincoln is a very good football team and can score a lot of points," Tracy said.
Tracy says that starting defensive ends Matt Loechler and Richard Brandon will be key to stopping the quarterback on the option and that the secondary will be responsible for the pitch.
Secondly, Tracy says that the offense has to be more pass orientated this game after quarterback Spencer Tracy only at-
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tempted four passes.
"We have to throw the ball more against a quick defense," Tracy explained. "Our passing game will be tested, though."
Rudy Hernandez, who ran for 61 yards and scored two touchdowns against Downey, will start in place of Weaver and Julian Carney will start at free safety. Robert Wimberly and Dravon Adams, who had a 26-yard TD last week, will also see action at running back.
"It'd be nice to knock off the two-time defending champs at their own place," Tracy said.
Fifth-year head coach Todd Dillon leads his Flames into Bear Creek with vengeance on their mind. And after last week's game, the defense and special teams appear primed to make sure that happens.
The secondary, which picked four passes a week ago, will be tested against the Bruins veer-option.
Kenny Hearne, who had an interception and punt return for TDs last week, and sophomore sensation Brett Swearengin, who had two picks and ran one back for a 69-yard score, shore up the defensive backfield.
However, the Flames will have to do better than last week, which saw them surrender 207 yards on the ground and 106 in the air, against the Bruins, who boast three explosive offensive forces.
Quarterback Thomas Bush, who had 103 yards and three scores against Galt, fullback Dwayne Lilly (18 rushes for 83 yards) and running back Jordan Stark (6 rushes for 28 yards, TD) are a dangerous trio and keeping containment is priority No. 1 for the Flame defense.
On offense, quarterback Nick Lott (5-for-9 for 106 yards, TD) leads an offense that features running backs Rudy Sauseda (10 rushes, 84 yards) and Justin Valdez (11 rushes, 82 yards, TD). Hearne and Mike Fernandes provide the deep threats.
Lee Majewski, in his first year as Galt's head coach, says that last week's loss is ancient news and that his team is ready to get that elusive 'W.'
Majewski says his team did a real good job of sustaining drives in Week 1 and that the Warriors will look to continue that tonight. A quick look back concurs: A seven-minute, 64-yard scoring drive to open the game and another 81-yard touchdown drive.
"We made adjustments to shore up the protection in the passing game and we are also going to drop our backs back in protection," Majewski said.
Quarterback Wade Majewski (9-of-25 for 125 yards, TD) leads a balanced offense that features a power running game and solid aerial one.
At running back, Ryan Van Connett (16 rushes for 73 yards), Jerred Penny (five rushes for 45 yards, TD) and Calen Green (six rushes for 45 yards, TD) provide three solid options.
Tight end James Amos (three catches for 52 yards, TD) offers a big target for Wade Majewski.
"We're looking to control the ball on offense, establish the running game and complement it with the passing game," Lee Majewski said.
East Union, which fell to Beyer 27-24 a week ago, has a solid quarterback in Kevin Rank (two passing TDs) but the Patriots missed all four extra points, costing them the game.
"We'll have to bring more pressure on the quarterback, including blitzes and lining more players up on the line," said coach Majewski, who added that last week the Warriors stopped the run for the first half but didn't sustain it in the final 24 minutes. "We have to stop the run game for four quarters."
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