It’s a weekend of rivalry games for local high school teams.
The Game of the Week is in Carpinteria, where the undefeated Bishop Diego Cardinals travel to Carpinteria Valley Memorial Stadium for a Tri-Valley League football opener against the rival Warriors.
Bishop Diego is 5-0 and ranked No. 2 in the CIF-SS Northwest Division. The Cardinals are coming off a thrilling come-from-behind 13-8 win over San Diego Section small schools power Santa Fe Christian. In that intense, hard-hitting game, they drove 80 yards in the last 3 1/2 minutes and scored the winning touchdown with 41 seconds left.
Carpinteria shut down Fillmore’s deceptive wing-T offense and posted 27-0 shutout for its fourth win in a row after starting the season 0-2.
“It’s going to be another intense dogfight-type of game,” Bishop coach Tom Crawford said of playing Carpinteria.
“It’s certainly an intense rivalry,” said Carpinteria coach Ben Hallock, who also coached at Bishop Diego several years ago.
This will be the first league meeting between the two schools since 2009. Bishop Diego played in the Frontier League the last two seasons and was promoted to the TVL this year after winning the Frontier title and reaching the CIF East Valley semifinals in 2011.
Bishop Diego got a big boost last Friday with the return of senior running back and team leader Jack Gregson from a knee injury. He ran hard on the last drive and scored the winning touchdown on a 16-yard run.
The Cardinals run a multifaceted offense operated by the two-headed quarterback of Anthony Carter and Gabe Molina. Carter is a slick ballhander and an elusive runner. Molina can move around, too, and is a good passer.
Carpinteria also has a fine quarterback in junior Ian Craddock. He’s thrown for 638 yards and seven touchdowns and has rushed for 74 yards in running the Warriors’ option attack.
Carpinteria has a trio of small, quick running backs that give defenses fits: senior Paul Cortez, junior Jonathan Esqueda and junior Paul Ramos.
Both teams have solid offensive lines and defenses. Carpinteria held a good Fillmore team to 200 yards on the ground and picked off three passes in its shut out. Bishop Diego stymied a high-scoring Santa Fe Christian team.
“We know we’re in for a challenge on Friday night,” Crawford said. “It’s the first league game and everybody likes to get off to a good start in league.”
Other notable games in town this weekend:
Girls volleyball: Dos Pueblos at Santa Barbara, 6 p.m.: These rivals have been battling each other for the Channel League title the last few years. This year, however, there is more parity in the league. Each team already has suffered a league loss, so this is a crucial match.
Football: Dos Pueblos at San Marcos, 7 p.m.: This will be the first Goleta Valley football showdown for DP coach Nate Mendoza and Anthony Linebaugh of San Marcos.
“This is our second season and we need to get better in a hurry,” Linebaugh said of playing the 4-2 Chargers. San Marcos went 1-5 in the non-league season.
Mendoza’s team is coming off a 27-14 loss on the road at undefeated San Juan Hills in San Juan Capistrano. It’s other loss was against two-time defending champion Lompoc.
“We’re looking forward to league,” Mendoza said. “We’re ready to come back hungry after a tough loss.”
Girls Tennis: Peninsula at Santa Barbara, 3 p.m.: This is a matchup of top-five teams in Division 1 of the CIF-Southern Section. Peninsula is ranked No. 4 and Santa Barbara is No. 5 in the latest poll.
College Soccer: UC Irvine at UCSB, 7 p.m.: In their last four meetings against the Anteaters, the Gauchos have lost three and tied one. At 7-0-3, UCSB is one of only eight unbeaten teams in the country. UC Irvine (3-7-0) comes into Harder Stadium after losing to UC Davis and Sacramento State at home in Big West play last weekend.
Women’s Volleyball: Hawaii at UCSB, 7 p.m.: The Gauchos take on the No. 8-ranked team in the country in a Big West match at the Thunderdome.