Ayala looking out for number one

Ayala, the only undefeated team in the Sierra League, is playing for an outright league title Thursday night, but the Bulldogs could conceivably end up with the third seed in their league depending on what happens in the final week of the regular season. Here is a categorical breakdown of their matchup with Glendora…

If Ayala (8-1, 4-0) claims the league championship, it would be the school’s first since 2002 and first outright title since 2001. A win for CIF-SS Central Division No. 9 Glendora (6-3, 3-1) means No. 4 Ayala will share the title with at least Glendora and possibly Chino Hills.

Outright confusion:
With just one week left in the regular season, there are three possible scenarios for the Sierra League championship:

  • Ayala locked up a share of the league title with a dramatic 18-17 win last week at Chino Hills. With a win the Bulldogs will go 5-0 in the Sierra League for the first time in seven years.
  • Defending league champion Glendora can still claim not only a share of the league title but the league’s No. 1 playoff seed with a win tonight and loss on by Chino Hills, whom it defeated 31-29 Oct 31.
  • Ayala, Glendora and Chino Hills can all share the league title if Glendora and Chino Hills both win, leaving the playoff seeding up to a coin flip.

Running the offense:
Ayala running back Courtney Samuel not only played last week after missing the previous game with a knee injury, the senior carried the Ayala offense with 125 rushing yards on 19 carries; Ayala totalled 182 yards of offense.

But Samuel, who has rushed for 1,073 yards this year, limped off the field after the game-winning touchdown play last week and his availability is uncertain this week due to the same latreral collateral ligament that held him out two weeks ago.

“He wants to play. He thinks he can play and so does the trainer,” Ayala coach Tom Inglima said. “(If he can’t play) we’ll just have to do it by committee. We’ve played without him before and we’ll just have to find a way to do it without him in a lot of different ways.”

Wings n’ things:
Ayala named the aerial version of the wing-T offense it installed last season, wings ‘n things. Glendora’s 2007 version of the wing-T, not surprisingly, didn’t involve 2,400 passing yards like Ayala’s. With Matt Baca throwing passes for Northern Colorado instead of Ayala this season, the team’s offenses have switched roles. Ayala’s offense has taken to the ground while Glendora’s has evolved into an aerial attack.

Glendora quarterback Drew Kaluzny has thrown for 1,773 yards with 13 TDs and six interceptions. At this point last season he had 1,009 passing yards. The Tartans are a paragon of balance in 2008, averaging 210 yards on the ground and 210 through the air. Ayala, however, is averaging 212 rushing and 71 passing yards per game.

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