“We feel that we can compete with this team. They’re big and we haven’t seen a line this big all season. They played Maranatha and beat them because they were able to run the ball right over Maranatha. We feel we have a good scheme in for them and that we’ll be able to matchup.” – Azusa coach Joe Scherf on their first-round chances against Valley Christian.
By Aram Tolegian, Staff Writer
Despite taking a different path, Azusa High School feels like it arrived at the same destination as last year as it pertains to the Aztecs’ draw in the CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley Division football playoffs. Azusa, which finished 7-3 and won the Montview League, will host an Olympic League team in the first round for the second consecutive season. The Aztecs play Cerritos Valley Christian (4-6) on Friday at Citrus College. Azusa played Village Christian of Sun Valley and lost in last year’s first round.
“We kind of figured we would get Valley Christian because record-wise, they’re the worst second-place team,” Azusa coach Joe Scherf said. “And for us, we felt that out of all the No. 1 teams (league champions), we thought we were the fifth or fourth No. 1 team.
“They’re (Olympic League) definitely good teams. They have size and speed. It’s one of those things where we stepped our schedule, we played better and our record got a little bit worse and we’re still in the same position that we were in last year anyways. It’s a little disappointing.”
Don’t be fooled by Valley Christian’s mediocre record. The Crusaders played a tough nonleague schedule and once in league were good enough to hand Maranatha one of its two losses this season. They also knocked off Village Christian.
What has Scherf concerned the most is the Crusaders’ size. Not helping matters is the Aztecs lost arguably their best defensive player in Luis Nunez for the season last week because of a knee injury. Key offensive lineman Oscar Ramos also was injured against La Puente but is expected to play.
“We feel that we can compete with this team,” Scherf said. “They’re big and we haven’t seen a line this big all season. They played Maranatha and beat them because they were able to run the ball right over Maranatha. We feel we have a good scheme in for them and that we’ll be able to matchup.
“We’re playing with a confidence. We had a great practice on Monday, the kids were so pumped. They could care less who they’re playing.”