Overview … Between Ayala, Damien and South Hills, there’s some sorting out to do in the Sierra League and this game will go a long way in doing just that. You don’t want to be the loser of this game with tilts still ahead against Charter Oak and Chino Hills. It’s not an impossible task, but it’s a horrible position to be in. The winner stays alive for the Sierra League title and takes a big step toward securing a playoff berth.
Ayala will win if … Standout Jordan Robinson is back in the lineup AND effective after missing last week’s loss to Kaiser while nursing a sore shoulder. Robinson is the type of player who can change a game at any moment and he’s got the type of outside speed that can give the Damien defense fits. It will also help if the Ayala is as good as the numbers say they are.
Damien will win if … Its offense wakes up. Expect Damien coach Greg Gano to throw everything he’s got at the Bulldogs. There’s no doubt that Gano knows Ayala has not yet faced a quarterback capable of shredding them. Monrovia’s Blake Heyworth had his moments, so Sparty’s Gage Pucci better make the most of his.
What will happen … Eventually, the light is going to go on for the Damien offense, which thus far has lacked an identity beside taking a deep shot to start games. When it does, the Spartans are going to be a force. Does anybody know for sure when that moment will come? No. But given the fact that it HAS TO COME on Friday, maybe it’s a good bet to do so. Robinson is going to make the Damien defense look stupid at times, but Damien’s offensive barrage can match him and then some. Ayala’s defense has made a quantum leap from last season (32 ppg season, 45 ppg in league). Damien won’t shred them like it did in last year’s 42-15 rout, but it will be the difference. … Damien 34, Ayala 21