Central Catholic football team seeking to avenge last year's loss to Downey

jcortez@modbee.comSeptember 19, 2013 

— In what was arguably the game of the regular-season in 2012, Downey High defeated Central Catholic 45-42, handing the Raiders their first loss to a city school in 23 years.

But that was last year, when the Knights were led by senior quarterback Aaron Zwahlen, an NCAA Division I talent who will play at the University of Hawaii when he's completed his Mormon mission.

Downey (2-1) is coming off a 64-21 win over Ceres, while Central Catholic (2-1) turned in a 38-24 win over McClymonds (Oakland) in a rematch of last year's Northern California bowl game. The Raiders advanced to beat Santa Fe Christian (Solana Beach) for the state Division 4 title.

Central Catholic's only other loss last season was a 48-30 setback to Placer. They Raiders have already avenged that loss, beating the Hillmen 49-13 — at Placer — in the season opener Aug. 30.

In other matchups tonight:

• Merced (2-1) at Enochs (0-3), at Johansen — The Eagles face one of the top teams in the Stanislaus District and are in jeopardy of slipping to 0-4. However, Enochs' losses this year have come to Pitman (ranked No. 1 in The Bee's large-school poll), Buhach Colony (the class of the Central California Conference the past three years) and Turlock (ranked No. 2 by The Bee among large schools). Merced will be the fourth CCC team the Eagles have faced this year.

• Paraclete (2-1) at Oakdale (0-2) — The Mustangs have played a rugged preseason schedule and suffered one-point losses to Turlock and Enterprise, the reigning section champion from the North section. Now they face Paraclete (Lancaster), which lost in the South Section's Division 3 final last year to Monrovia.

• Escalon (2-1) at Patterson (3-0) — The Cougars and Tigers have had some real battles recently. Escalon has won the last two meetings after Patterson won in 2010 — the Cougars' only loss en route to their state title. Expect a physical, hard-hitting affair.

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