“They’re 9-1. They do a lot of fun stuff on offense. They’re tough on defense. They have 2,200 students, we have 1,300. It’s going to be an uphill battle for the Saints. We’ll rise to the challenge, I hope.” — San Dimas coach Bill Zernickow on facing Arroyo.
“At some point we’re going to have to get through tough teams. You get who you get. It would be nice to be rewarded for being 9-1 instead of having to prove we deserve to be 9-1.” — Arroyo coach Jim Singiser
By Aram Tolegian
San Dimas football coach Bill Zernickow has heard the talk all week about how his Saints caught a break in drawing Arroyo in Friday’s first round of the CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley Division playoffs, and he’s not buying it. (To continue reading, click thread).
“They’re 9-1,” Zernickow said. “They do a lot of fun stuff on offense. They’re tough on defense.
“They have 2,200 students, we have 1,300. It’s going to be an uphill battle for the Saints. We’ll rise to the challenge, I hope.”
Arroyo got the No. 3 seed after a strong league performance in which the Knights won every Mission Valley League game in double figures. Trouble is, not many people who saw the brackets Sunday morning thought the Knights were rewarded in having to play the division’s defending champion in the first round.
“At some point we’re going to have to get through tough teams,” Knights coach Jim Singiser said Sunday after seeing his team’s draw.
“You get who you get. It would be nice to be rewarded for being 9-1 instead of having to prove we deserve to be 9-1.”
Stopping the Arroyo duo of quarterback Steven Rivera and running back Mikey Vasquez is the big chore for the Saints defense Friday night, but it’s not just individual talent that has Zernickow concerned.
“They line up in a lot of great, exotic formations,” Zernickow said.
“We have to make sure we don’t get misaligned and that we line up properly.”
The last time San Dimas played a Mission Valley League team on the road in the postseason it ended in disaster for the Saints. San Dimas fell behind 28-0 in the first quarter against Rosemead in 2008, and was sent packing with a 59-22 loss.
“We failed to get the snap from the center to the quarterback four times in that game,” Zernickow said.
“We’ve fixed our center-quarterback issues over the last two years.
“We had one of our better practices on Monday. The kids are excited and ready to go. It’s too bad we have to wait until Friday.”
Draw works for Covina
Last week, it appeared that Covina was headed for a difficult first-round game if its position in the polls didn’t improve. Turns out Covina stayed in the same spot in the polls but avoided playing the Olympic League’s at-large team and gets La Ca ada on Friday instead.
“We got a third-place team, so we’re happy,” Colts coach Darryl Thomas said.
“You have to play somebody, so if it was Maranatha, then it would be Maranatha. We got La Ca ada and they’re big. We’re not overlooking anybody. We haven’t had a playoff victory since 2006.”
The Colts will need to shake off the rust this week after having their bye in Week 10. So with two full weeks off, the team is healthy but possibly rusty.
“We’re just eager to play,” Thomas said.
“It was nice to have a week off, but we’re ready to get back after it.”