FAIRFIELD — Somebody has to win Friday’s Armijo-Fairfield high school football game. It’s in the Sac-Joaquin Section bylaws.
The Indians and Falcons head into the clash off monstrous losses, 49-7 to Antelope for the former, 67-0 to Stagg of Stockton for the latter.
Kickoff at Schaefer Stadium is set for 6 p.m., following the 4 p.m. junior varsity game.
Neither coach puts much weight in last week’s losses, instead choosing to focus on their crosstown rivals.
“The thing is, a game like that you put it behind you, put it out of your mind,” said Armijo coach Karl Finley, whose team scored its first points last week after being shut out in its first three games. “We don’t talk about scores, we move on. This is a rivalry that goes back I don’t know how far. That takes precedent over everything. no matter how good, or tough a season you’re having.”
“We’re going to be fine,” said Falcons coach David Fishleigh, whose team suffered its biggest margin of defeat and biggest shutout loss ever. “We ran into a team that played a phenomenal game. We played the worst possible game.”
Fishleigh also looks where the game falls on the schedule, in Week 5, right before the start of league play next week.
“I think it puts a little sense of urgency. It’s the last tuneup before league,” Fishleigh said. “We’ve got to get some things straightened out to go into league on a high note.”
Armijo (0-4) won last year’s meeting 48-34 for its only win of the season. The Indians fell behind early, but with a much larger roster (40-24) and punishing ground attack gradually wore down the Falcons.
Look for the Indians to use a similar plan of attack this time around.
“I think we have to establish (the run), we’ve got to move the chains on offense,” Finley said. “We can’t go three and out, we need first downs, we need to move the ball. Time of possession has to be a lot better than we’ve been doing.
“We need some long drives and to execute when we get into the red zone.”
Fairfield (2-2) already has wins over teams that dominated it a year ago, Pioneer of Woodland and Rodriguez. Fishleigh knows it will take a balanced effort to get that third victory.
“On offense, we have to start putting some points on the board, we have to take care of the football,” said Fishleigh, whose team scored just 32 points in its two victories. “Defensively, we’ve got to tackle better compared to what happened last week.”
Finley sang a similar tune about facing the Falcons, who have vastly improved their offensive balance in 2013.
“They’ve got some pretty good team speed,” Finley said. “That’s the one thing you have to do, contain that speed, play fundamental football. Hopefully, we’ll have a little bit more ball control.”
Whoever does it best will likely win the game. Historically, Fairfield’s done it better, holding a 30-15-2 edge in the series. But as last year showed, history has nothing to do with what goes on that night.
Reach Paul Farmer at 425-4646, ext. 264, or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pfarmerdr.