By Aram Tolegian
Last year’s Damien-Bishop Amat game was over in a flash. The Lancers put away their parochial rival to the northeast early and coasted to a 42-7 win. On Friday, the teams meet again and Damien coach Greg Gano is hopeful his team gives a much better showing. “If last year was a fist fight, we didn’t do very much of the punching,” Gano said. “We’re going to play them better than we did last year. Hopefully, we can play a little bit harder. I expect to. I hope there’s not a fear factor. There was a fear factor last year, but we got rid of that. There’s a respect factor. Those guys are a good football team.” Damien enters the game 2-0, but the Spartans hardly were impressive in getting past Diamond Ranch in Week 1 and routing a hapless Chaffey team last Thursday.
Amat is 2-1, with the loss coming to powerful Servite.
For Gano, the key for his team’s success is stopping Amat’s ground game, which saw standout tailback Jalen Moore rumble for 299 yards and five touchdowns last week against La Mirada.
“If that guy (Moore) runs wild, we could be in for another serious problem,” Gano said. “And beside him, Rio Ruiz is an excellent quarterback who can run around. They have two weapons. We need to really tackle and be aggressive in space this year. I think we’re better in space this year and hopefully we show it on Friday night.”
Damien will start sophomore Gage Pucci at quarterback for the second week in a row. Pucci was 4 of 11 for 83 yards and two touchdowns last week against Chaffey.