Football: The game of the year has arrived in the Alpha League
If Lancaster Paraclete football players are as fired up as their coach, Norm Dahlia, Friday night's Alpha League showdown against Chatsworth Sierra Canyon at Antelope Valley is going to be quite a setting.
"I've been waiting 11 months for this," Dahlia said. "The opportunity for redemption."
Last season, Paraclete lost to Sierra Canyon, 36-26, in the Alpha League title decider, then lost to Sierra Canyon again, 47-14, in the East Valley Division championship game.
Now they're back playing for a league title. Paraclete is 8-1 and 5-0. Sierra Canyon is 9-0 and 5-0.
Paraclete will rely on quarterback Tyler Carvalho, who runs the option play, and running back Antoyne Hutcherson. "He just has to make some right decisions," Dahlia said.
Sierra Canyon has Northwestern-bound tailback Xavier Menifield, who's averaging 12.4 yards a carry.
Dahlia watched film all day Sunday and was up watching film at 5 a.m. on Monday.
"I have to figure out how to stop Menifield," he said. "The kid is spectacular. We've faced him for three years. He's the real deal."
The teams are ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the Mid-Valley Division. The winner figures to earn the top seed for the playoffs when seedings are announced on Sunday.
-- Eric Sondheimer