In the last two seasons, the PAC-5 title has come down to a three-team race featuring Arroyo Grande, Paso Robles and Atascadero.
Now, the two unbeatens left in PAC-5 play – Arroyo Grande and Atascadero – will meet at Memorial Stadium on Friday, Oct. 30 with league title implications in tow.
This game also will likely involve high playoff seedings in the CIF Southern Section Northern Division III bracket.
Here’s a breakdown:
ABOUT THE EAGLES: After falling 27-13 at home against Camarillo on Sept. 12, Arroyo Grande (7-1, 2-0 in the PAC-5) has been on a defensive stampede, with three consecutive shutouts and just a combined 17 points allowed in the last 20 quarters.
Seniors Benny Wilkhomm and Brad Mickey are among the best 1-2 combos in any 805 secondary. Both have combined for seven of Arroyo Grande’s 11 interceptions. At cornerback, 6-foot-1, 180-pound Landon Carter has held his side down with two interceptions and a team-high five pass breakups. Alex Cecchi completes the Eagle secondary with two picks and one forced fumble.
Mickey leads the AG offense with 1,000 all-purpose yards and 10 touchdowns. Cecchi is another Eagle who goes both ways and does the same amount of damage on offense, proven by his 739 total yards and eight touchdowns.
Junior quarterback Sawyer May has led an efficient air attack with 1,417 yards, 14 touchdowns, one interception and a quarterback rating of 133.6. May's strength has been the deep ball.
ABOUT THE GREYHOUNDS: Since taking over a program in 2004 that was previously up-and-down on the football field, head coach Vic Cooper has turned Atascadero into one of the models of consistency in San Luis Obispo County with a 54-27 mark in eight seasons.
This year’s Greyhounds (7-1, 2-0 PAC-5) has an aggressive backfield duo in seniors Marc Martin and R.J. Reusche, who both have over 800 yards rushing in eight games. Martin is the thunder back with his 6-foot-1, 221-pound frame and inside running prowess. Reusche is the outside threat at 6-foot-1, 195-pounds.
Defensively, senior nose guard Tannen Soojian is the 6-foot, 220-pound road block who clogs up running lanes and leads the team with nine tackles for a loss. He’s also the ‘Hounds lead blocking back.
Junior Lucas Sprouse is Atascadero’s top ball hawk with three interceptions and four pass break ups.
GAME INFORMATION: Kickoff is 7 p.m. at Atascadero High.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Cali Gold Mine founder Lorenzo Reyna will be talking about this game and the 805 football scene on KEYT Channel 3 in Santa Barbara this weekend. The entire segment should air on Sunday during the 6 p.m. news. Check local listings or also look for the online link on Lorenzo’s Twitter page @LJ_Reyna.