Who: Lodi Flames (0-3) vs. Tokay Tigers
When: 7:30 p.m.
Where: Grape Bowl
Series: Lodi has won four straight.
Lodi at a glance
Todd Dillon’s club is still searching for an elusive first
victory to start off 2011. Though the Flames are coming off a 42-7
beatdown at the hands of Buhach Colony, they were in position to
pull out a victory in each of their first two games.
Lodi lost control of close fourth-quarter battles against both
Sheldon (36-13) and McNair (27-15), allowing a number of big
scoring plays. The Flames were outscored by a total of 34-0 in the
final period of those contests.
Tokay at a glance
Though Louis Franklin’s team heads into tonight’s contest with a
.500 record, they could just as easily be strolling into the Grape
Bowl undefeated. Like their crosstown rival, the Tigers have
suffered a pair of heartbreaking defeats this fall.
In Tokay’s season opener at Modesto Christian, a gutsy
performance from receiver Ryan Rogero brought the team back from an
early 14-0 hole. Then in the final minute, a blown coverage allowed
Crusaders to score the game-winning touchdown. Against Weston
Ranch, the Tigers committed three fourth-quarter turnovers and gave
up a 25-20 lead.
Players to watch
Daniel Frazier, DT/FB, Lodi: On top of being
the reigning SJAA defensive player of the year, Frazier is now a
battering ram up the middle in Lodi’s ground game. He is the
Flames’ second leading rusher.
Clark Hunter, QB, Tokay: The junior option
quarterback carved up Galt’s defense for 235 yards on the ground
last week. Can he turn in a big performance against a Lodi defense
that has surrendered its fair share of big rushing plays this
1. Balance on offense: Tokay’s ground game has
been anemic during defeats, while Lodi’s passing attack has often
struggled this season. Which club can avoid becoming
one-dimensional in its attack?
2. Fourth quarter’s ... whose?: Both clubs have
faltered in the final period — most recently, the Tigers nearly
coughed up a 28-6 lead at Galt. Which team can find away to avoid
critical fourth-quarter miscues?
3. Young arms: Tokay and Lodi both trot out
sophomore quarterbacks tonight. Kelse DePauli-Wiltse boasts gaudy
passing stats, but Todd Dillon has praised David Simon’s steady
play. Who shows more poise in this cross-town rivalry?