Two football playoff games. Two running clocks.
So what does Narbonne coach Manuel Douglas say this week to his heavily favored team preparing to face Garfield on Friday night for the City Section Open Division championship at El Camino College?
“We never, ever say that it’s a given we’re going to win the next game, but I don’t lie,” Douglas said. “I expect us to win and are the better team, but we’re talking about trying to win a state championship always.”
Narbonne is seeking its fifth consecutive City championship, but the Gauchos aren’t close to their truly elite team of 2012, when they went 14-1 and beat Santa Ana Mater Dei. The defense gave up 330 yards passing last week to Birmingham, so there’s plenty to work on.
“We treat this as a quarterfinal,” Douglas said. “We either win or turn our stuff in.”
Win or lose, the Gauchos will be going to a regional bowl game next week. A win then would send them to a state championship bowl game on either Dec. 14 or 15.
“This is where we expect to be,” Douglas said. “This is the culture we’ve been fortunate to develop here.”
Sophomore quarterback Jake Garcia has been throwing the ball accurately. The Gauchos have several productive running backs, led by sophomore Marceese Yetts. The defense has been led by lineman Jordan Barry.
It will be a 7 p.m. kickoff on Friday. The Division II game between Locke and Roosevelt is set for 3 p.m.