South El Monte, Arroyo game preview: Much more about the Arroyo and South El Monte high school football teams will be known after Friday night’s Mission Valley League showdown.
Everybody already knows the Knights are quality, but who exactly is still on the roster in terms of star players remains a mystery. And undefeated South El Monte still has plenty of doubters it can shut up by posting one of the biggest wins in school history. Kickoff is 7 p.m. at South El Monte High.
“We’re not thinking of it that way,” South El Monte head coach Frank Gallardo said. “We’re thinking of it as it’s just one game. It’s the next game. It’s funny, you would think these kids would be fired (up) and it’s the big game, but all week they haven’t been. They’re not down. We’re just even keel.”
Friday’s featured game previews by Aram Toleigan
Rowland (3-1) at Nogales (4-0), 7 p.m.: This is one of the biggest games in years at Nogales, although nothing but bragging rights over a longtime rival are on the line. Both teams will begin league play next week and have built up ample confidence with productive nonleague seasons. The one time Rowland stepped up this season, it was shellacked by Arroyo. But the Raiders are Nogales’ toughest opponent to date. Walnut gave Nogales much more of a game than it did Rowland. Kudos to both programs for getting back on track in a major way. This game looks like it will come down to the wire.
Rosemead (0-5, 0-1) at Mountain View (2-3, 0-1), 7 p.m.: Rosemead showed signs of life in last week’s loss 16-0 loss to Arroyo. You just know the Panthers are looking to take their frustrations out on someone after such a shaky start. It’s doable for Rosemead to win out and possibly make the playoffs. But you also wonder what’s left in the tank. Mountain View started Mission Valley League play with a loss last week and also has a sense of desperation if it wants to stay in the hunt for anything.
Duarte (3-1) at Maranatha (1-2-1), 7 p.m.: The Falcons got a big dose of reality against Whittier Christian last week. Maranatha certainly took notice since the Minutemen will see Whittier Christian in Olympic League play. Not sure Duarte is quite ready to go on the road and beat a team like Maranatha yet, but if the Falcons do, or keep it interesting, it’s a sign of how far they’ve come under first-year coach James Heggins. Maranatha could use more confidence heading into its bye next week.
Workman (2-2) at La Puente (3-2), 7 p.m.: Good to see both teams enter this longtime rivalry with solid records. The Lobos are a strange study in scoreboard watching. They’ve either been shut out this season, or have shut out their opponents. Interesting. La Puente has quietly rattled off three straight wins after starting the season 0-2. Even in their losses, the Warriors never played too badly on defense. This one looks about as even as a game could be and that should make for a interesting fourth quarter.
Friday’s games and predictions
Bishop Amat at Notre Dame — Robledo (Notre Dame); Aram (Amat)
Mission Valley League
Arroyo at South El Monte — Robledo (South El Monte); Aram (Arr)
Rosemead at Mountain View — Robledo (Rosemead); Aram (Rosemead)
Azusa at Pomona — Robledo (Azusa); Aram (Pom)
Duarte at Maranatha — Robledo (Maranatha); Aram (Mnatha)
Rowland at Nogales — Robledo (Nogales); Aram (Nogales)
Sierra Vista at Garey — Robledo (Sierra Vista); Aram (SV)
Victor Valley at Bassett — Robledo (Victor Valley); Aram (VV)
Workman at La Puente — Robledo (La Puente); Aram (LP)