Tim Salter looks in a mirror and sees . . . Loyola.
Salter's Bishop Amat team runs the football and plays strong defense. Loyola, the team Bishop Amat plays in the CIF Southern Section Division I finals at 7:30 tonight at the Coliseum, runs the football and plays strong defense.
Bishop Amat has come from behind to win playoff games. Coach Steve Grady's Loyola has also won that way.
Bishop Amat has a running back to build its offense around, Ralph Brown II, who has rushed for 2,098 yards, a 7.2 yards-per-carry average, and has 26 offensive touchdowns. Loyola has Mike Vanis and his 1,672 yards, seven-yard average and 19 touchdowns.
Bishop Amat (11-1-1) has improved throughout the season. So has Loyola (11-2).
Unlike Salter, who is in his second season as Bishop Amat coach, Grady can look back on a 1992 meeting between the teams for the division championship and see a 7-3 loss.
The teams played again this season on Oct. 27, with Bishop Amat winning the Del Rey League game, 24-17.
"The score said the game was close, but they pretty well handled us offensively," Grady said.
Then he warned: "We're playing better offensively than the first time we played."
Loyola trailed, 20-6, against Los Alamitos in the semifinals a week ago, then rallied to win, 37-34, on Mike Giampaolo's 35-yard field goal.
In its loss to Bishop Amat earlier in the season, Loyola rallied from a 14-0 deficit to take the lead twice by switching to a run-oriented Delaware wing-T and pounding the ball between the tackles.