Although the lopsided statistics would lead one to think otherwise, there is still a heated football rivalry between Franklin (7-0, 5-0 in league play), ranked No. 1 in the City Section 3-A Division, and lowly Eagle Rock (1-6, 0-5).
Granted, after Franklin's 56-0 drubbing of the Eagles last Thursday there was little doubt about who had the better team. But Eagle Rock coach Dennis Arnett says the game was a lot closer than the score indicated.
"We could drive on them between the 35-yard lines," Arnett said. "It's just that our mistakes on third downs killed us."
Panther Coach Armondo Gonzalez disagreed.
"I think they crossed the 50-yard-line twice," he said. "They're just bitter and jealous because their season didn't turn out."
Another postgame point of contention concerned whether the Eagles stymied tailback Lamont Lovett, the top back in the state according to Cal-Hi Sports. Arnett says his team caused 2 Lovett fumbles--his first fumbles of the season--and Lovett gained a lot of his 209 yards against Eagle Rock's third-string defense.
Again, Gonzalez differs.
"They're liars because I have the film and they didn't stop Lamont," he said. "He tells me at the end of the game that he has his third string in but he's lying because they don't have that many kids."
The coaches do agree on one issue--Franklin ran up the score.
"We've been receiving a lot of negative press that we're not scoring like a No. 1 team should," Gonzalez said. "The press has been on our backs for a few weeks."
As for the Panthers' No. 1 ranking:
"It's a farce," Arnett said. "Put them against a Dorsey or a Banning and they're not going to win."
Eagles Plucked: A few days before Eagle Rock's opening game, the football locker room was broken into and most of the team's helmets, jerseys and pads were taken. As a result, the Eagles' first 3 games were pretty colorful.
"About half the kids had white helmets. Some were green and we even had some that were maroon," Arnett said. "We had a lot of guys on the sidelines with no uniforms.
"We couldn't even have a full practice--we could only suit 20 guys up."
Scalped: Crescenta Valley Coach Jim Beckenhauer says his team was not prepared to face a player the caliber of Muir quarterback Darick Holmes.
"He was scrambling all over like a deer running through the trees," said Beckenhauer of Holmes, who ran for 190 yards and threw for 103 in Muir's 41-3 win over the Falcons last Friday.
"(Muir) had more team speed than these guys ever imagined," he said.
Dan DeMonbrun, the Falcons' defensive line coach agreed, saying the game's mismatches were gruesome.
"It was like Custer's last stand, but Custer didn't have to watch the film the next day," DeMonbrun said.
Dynamiters Defused: Coach Don Shoemaker says the emotional makeup of his Glendale team is unpredictable.
"It's weird. Certain teams are fire plugs and some, like our team last year, never get fired up," he said. "This team changes week to week."
Glendale (3-5, 0-3) will have to be on the upswing if it's to beat Pasadena (6-2, 3-0) tonight.