As players from the Bishop Amat High School football team made their way from the locker room to the field before Friday’s showdown against Charter Oak, there were several chants warning anyone within earshot that the Lancers were about to show the Valley and the waiting Chargers all about PAC-5 football.
A couple of hours later, their point had been made loud and clear. The final score read 30-14 in favor of Amat, but who knows if it could have been more or less given the terrible officiating.
Even after getting through the clutter of yellow flags, there was no doubt which team was better. Amat went on a 30-0 run in the first half after falling behind 7-0 after Charter Oak’s first offensive play.
It was the kind of performance Amat fans, players and coaches expect when facing inferior Valley programs. It’s the kind of performance they’ve gotten for the past 10 years any time a Valley team steps on the field with them.
But here’s what most Amat fans didn’t know going into Friday’s game. Or maybe they did, but didn’t care to admit it. Their program and this team needed that win in a big, bad way.
You see, each time another local program wins a CIF championship (Charter Oak has won four since Amat’s last), a little bit of doubt seeps into the minds of every Valley football fan about who’s king in these parts.
Every time Amat goes out in the first round of the playoffs or doesn’t qualify at all, the postseason accomplishments of other programs in the area get magnified.
Outside of going on a postseason run in its own division, the only thing Amat can do to quell that is take any local program that dares sign up for a game out to the woodshed.
That’s what happened on Friday night. Charter Oak has won 13 playoff games and two CIF championships since 2005. During that same period, Amat has just postseason win.
But where would you rather play if you’re a 13-year-old kid in the eighth grade waking up this morning reading about the game?
The underlying point is even when Amat is mediocre in its own division, it’s still considerably and consistently better than anyone else in this area code. That’s a lesson some of us (right here) need to be reminded of from time to time.
There was plenty on the line for the Lancers on Friday night, and they proved plenty by going out and living up to the expectations and extending their streak of dominance over the area.
And now that everyone here has been put back in place, it’s time for the Lancers to do the same in their own neck of the woods. This just might be the team to do it, but we won’t know until November.
The win over Servite gave hope that this might be the season. The wins over Charter Oak and La Mirada figure to look better and better as each week passes.
Amat once again has shown it is the class of the Valley. Now it’s time to show the rest of the Southland just what exactly that means.