LOS BANOS — The Pacheco football coaching staff took a short trip on its bye week to catch Los Banos play Livingston last Friday.
The two teams will meet tonight in the second installment of the Crosstown Clash.
Several things caught their attention -- most notably the Livingston defense shutting down LB quarterback Chris Corpuz, who finished with one completion and three interceptions in LB's 28-18 win.
"I always kind of thought if you get pressure on them ... they'll crumble a bit," Pacheco coach David Snapp said. "I'm amazed more teams don't pressure them."
The Los Banos coaching staff isn't worried about its passing game -- Corpuz's three interceptions came off of tipped passes, and brought his season total to four.
"Livingston did a good job of bringing pressure in Chris's face," Los Banos coach Dustin Caropreso said. "When you bring pressure on a quarterback, he's going to make bad decisions. Kid's been pretty darn good all year."
One thing Pacheco didn't get a look at was Los Banos running back James Sams, who was shut down with lingering ankle issues before the game. Instead, LB's Delvonte Moore took carried the ball 20 times for 196 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Sams (163 carries for 1,280 yards) returns to the field tonight.
"(Moore) showed we have a two-headed monster. They're two different types of runners," Caropreso said. "Sams has been in our offense the last two years. He sees holes most people don't see."
Pacheco will have its own injury problems in its final regular-season game.
Running back Kalama Kamoku (106 carries, 816 yards) is doubtful, defensive tackle Luis Zendejas (35 tackles) is ready to go, and quarterback Jacob Parks (737 passing yards, 348 rushing yards), who twisted his ankle near the end of Pacheco's loss to Patterson a couple of weeks ago, is somewhere in between.
The game has a much different look than the first edition, when first-year Pacheco limped into its home stadium without a league win and lost 35-6. This year's Panthers are good bets to snag a Division 3 playoff spot even with a 5-5 record.
"They've had a year under Coach Snapp, and they've got a good coach over there heading the program in the right direction," Caropreso said.
"A year under his offense and his defense, that makes it a lot more interesting."
Los Banos, on the other hand, looks to be headed for a top-four seed in the Division 4 bracket -- unless Pacheco has something to say about it.
"Like I said last week, (we feel) we need to win to get in," Snapp said. "I would like to get the victory so we get a higher seed and work away from Placer and Oakdale. But those are great experiences, and we have to start somewhere."