For the past several days, the La Mirada High School football team has heard all about its lopsided 76-8 defeat to St. John Bosco in Week 0.
The Matadores can sway public opinion back in their favor on Friday night when they visit Charter Oak in an important nonleague battle. Kickoff is 7 p.m.
“It was a straight-up butt kicking,” La Mirada head coach Mike Moschetti said of last week’s game. “I always look at the good and bad, and it was a very humbling experience for the coaches and players.
“When you get your butts kicked like that it’s humbling, but I liked the way we came back to practice on Monday.”
La Mirada has scheduled up this season. In addition to St. John Bosco, the Matadores will also play Mater Dei and San Clemente in nonleague games. Charter Oak, although a quality opponent, looks like the most doable task on the schedule.
The Matadores beat Charter Oak last season, 48-28. Several key players from that team have graduated, though. But La Mirada has replaced many of them with some impact transfers.
Things started well enough for La Mirada against St. John Bosco. The Matadores scored first, went for a two-point conversion and got it, and led 8-0. From there, it was a 76-0 run out by the nationally ranked Braves.
Moschetti has come under heavy second guessing by area fans who think La Mirada isn’t being realistic by scheduling Pac-5 Division powerhouses in nonleague play.
“We’re going to challenge ourselves and I’m just a big believer that we got a lot out of that game,” Moschetti said. “I think you get more out of that game than you do playing somebody and beating them 65-0.
“I remember La Serna getting beat 84 to something in a championship game and they seemed to be OK. It’s life. You’re going to get smacked in the mouth and we’ve got to deal with it.”
It’s been back to basics for the Matadores this week, according to Moschetti. Getting lined up properly, especially on defense, has been a key point in practices thus far.
Although Charter Oak is considerably smaller than St. John Bosco, the Chargers do have the skill players to make things hard on La Mirada’s defense if it’s confused.
“Their quarterback is a great player, their running back is big-time and they have great players at the skill positions,” Moschetti said of Charter Oak. “They do a lot of different things defensively where they try to confuse you. We’ve got our hands full.”
After four quarters’ worth of results, it’s hard to tell just how good the Bonita High School football team is. And for that matter, how good Monrovia isn’t.
Lots more will be made clear when the two Central Division contenders meet on Friday night in a game that should go a long way in telling area fans the quality of both teams. Kickoff is 7 p.m. at Monrovia High.
Bonita started off the season with a resounding 49-2 win over Schurr last Friday night. Meanwhile, across town, Monrovia was beaten by a Burbank team that not many picked to win that game.
“They had a rough first game and that happens,” Bonita head coach Adrian Medrano said. of Monrovia. “To think that they’re going to be down or anything like that is foolish. They’re going to come out hungry after a loss like that.”
Bonita knows first hand just how good Monrovia can be when all cylinders are cranking. The Wildcats handed the Bearcats arguably their worst loss last season with a 35-3 thrashing. It’s game that Medrano is certain his team hasn’t forgotten about.
“We turned the ball over a lot in the red zone that game and gave up a lot of big plays,” Medrano said. “And once they get rolling, Monrovia’s tough to stop. They’re not a team you can give an edge to.”
Bonita went on to have an interesting season following last year’s Monrovia loss. The Bearcats needed an at-large berth to get in the playoffs, but once in, they advanced to the semifinals. Monrovia, despite a high seeding, was out in the second round.
Quarterback Tanner East is a big reason why Bonita fans are thinking an even bigger season is in store. East threw for two touchdowns in the win over Schurr. Monrovia will counter with veteran quarterback Asaph Zamora.
1. Bishop Amat (0-1) — Coaches have LOTS to figure out for Servite.
2. Charter Oak (1-0) — Rolled in Vegas, but true test comes Friday.
3. Glendora (0-0) — First up is Alta Loma.
4. St. Francis (0-0) — Nice test in opener vs. West Covina
5. La Habra (1-0) — Defense, say what??, defense looked good.
6. La Mirada (0-1) — Can get some mojo back vs. Charter Oak
7. West Covina (0-1) — Doesn’t get any easier with St. Francis next.
8. La Serna (1-0) — Margarito-less Lancers got narrow win.
9. San Marino (1-0) — Offense picked up where it left off.
10. Northview (1-0) — Took care of business against Rosemead.
11. Los Altos (1-0) — Didn’t miss a beat vs. Baldwin Park.
12. Bonita (1-0) — Think Medrano wants revenge vs. M-Town?
13. Damien (0-0) — Bit of a guessing game right now.
14. South Hills (1-0) — Defense delivered win vs. D-Ranch.
15. San Dimas (0-0) — The Post-Z Era begins Friday.
16. Monrovia (0-1) — Can ‘Cats bounce back vs. Bonita?
17. La Salle (1-0) — Up next: Blair. Blair? Yes, Blair.
18. St. Paul (1-0) — Hearing good things about Swordsmen.
19. Muir (0-1) — Doesn’t get any easier this week vs. Cathedral.
20. Montebello (1-0) — Third shot at Northview in a year’s time.
21. Diamond Ranch (0-1) — Offense was nowhere to be found.
22. El Rancho (0-1) — Offense appears to be way down.
23. La Canada (1-0) — Sparty wins Coach Zerbel’s debut.
24. Diamond Bar (1-0) — Nice win over Duarte.
25. El Monte (0-1) — Talent is there, but Lions hurt themselves.