Despite Loyola’s uninspiring 0-2 start in the Serra League, Bishop Amat coach Steve Hagerty is expecting the Cubs’ best shot on Friday night at L.A. Valley College in a crucial game for both teams.
Amat (6-1-1 overall, 1-1 in league) must win to set up a Week 10 showdown with Notre Dame for the Serra’s second and final PAC-5 playoff spot. Meanwhile, Loyola (6-2 overall), still has faint playoff hopes, but can have the door closed on the postseason with a loss to Amat.
“They’ve been beaten by Crespi and Notre Dame and those are both good teams,” Hagerty said. “I’m sure they feel like they’re still capable and I expect we’re going to somebody who is ready to play on Friday night.
“You know, they fumbled like five times at Crespi. I’m sure their best football might be ahead of them and that’s what we’re preparing for; that team we know they’re capable of being.”
Amat bounced back from its league-opening loss to Alemany by beating Crespi last Friday night. The Lancers’ special teams were a big reason why. Adrian Ortega blocked a Crespi punt and Jorge Cortez recovered it for Amat’s only score of the second half.
Hagerty knows there’s little margin for error in the next two weeks and big plays, no matter whether they’re from the offensive, defense or special teams will be needed to get his team into the postseason.
“We know it doesn’t matter how you win, it just matters that you win,” Hagerty said. “I think this year the difference is there’s only two playoff spots instead of three. So that’s probably turned up the heat on all of us.”