PHS-MHS. That's all that needs to be said.
The 52nd edition of the Granite Bowl between the Monache and Porterville High football teams will be played on Friday at Rankin Stadium. Those attending the game should note the earlier time for kickoff as the contest will begin at 6:30 p.m. Monache leads the all-time series 31-19-1.
The action in the Orange Belt begins tonight when Granite Hills concludes its regular season, hosting Woodlake at Rankin Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:15 p.m.
MONACHE (4-5) AT PORTERVILLE (3-5). 6:30 P.M. FRIDAY
This will definitely be a game in which who has the “most try hard” as Monache coach Shane Focke puts it will determine the outcome.
“There's going to be so many ups and downs in this game,” Focke said, adding which team best handles the ups and downs should come out on top. “Who has the most try hard. That's going to be the key.”
Both Focke and Porterville coach Keith Thompson said there shouldn't be too many surprises on Friday.
“These kids have grown up with each other,” Focke said, “They know everything about who they're going up against on both sides. They've known each other since kindergarten.”
Both teams obviously like to run the football although Focke said PHS may like to pass a little more.
“I feel like it's going to be a pretty even matchup,” Thompson said. “They're very physical up front. They like to play the game the way we like to play also.”
So both coaches said the key to the game is the key to all games, the line of scrimmage. “The key to this game for us is winning the line of scrimmage,” Thompson said.
But it won't be easy as Thompson added, “They have a very physical offensive line.”
Both coaches also said obviously which team makes the least mistakes – or as Focke put it — the team that reacts the best to the first mistake made in the game — will be a major factor in determining the outcome.
Or as Thompson put it, “just keep our heads and play smart football.”
Thompson said his team has cut down on its mistakes late in the season. “I feel like in the last couple of weeks we've really improved in that area.”
Both Focke and Thompson have plenty of experience in the rivalry as a player and coach, Focke with Monache and Thompson with both Monache and PHS.
But this will be Thompson's first experience in the rivalry as a head coach. “It's going to be pretty exciting to experience from my angle,” he said.
PHS has momentum coming into the game as it's coming off a 36-3 win over Delano. Monache also beat Delano this season 34-10.
Against Delano Jaret Garcia scored on a 19-yard, 10-yard and 4-yard runs, Kayden Boosalis hit Joseph Noriega on a 44-yard scoring strike and Boosalis also hit Marcos Loya on a 32-yard TD pass.
Boosalis went 8-for-12 for 201 yards against Delano. Among his other top targets is tight end Jacob Espinoza.
Monache has a balanced attack with quarterback Brysn Hornsby and running backs David Leyva,
WOODLAKE (3-6) AT GRANITE HILLS (2-7), 7:15 P.M. TODAY
Woodlake quarterback Jr. Cervantes has completed 59 percent of his passes (110-of-188) for 1,302 yards and 10 touchdowns, but also 15 interceptions. His top target is Shane Rodriguez, who has 39 receptions for 541 yards and six scores.
Granite is led offensively by quarterback Gage Snider, running backs Manny Aguilar and Daniel Ramirez and tight end Adam Sandoval.
Based on MaxPrep's rankings heading into Friday's game, Monache would be the No. 9 seed in Division IV and would travel to Exeter for a first round game. Porterville would be the No. 16 seed in Division IV and would travel to face No. 1 seed Madera in a first round game.