Beyer has its destiny in its own hands, faces Gregori in MMC matchup

jcortez@modbee.comOctober 24, 2013 

— Gregori head coach Jason McCoy and Beyer head coach Bill Flesher are old friends, having worked on the same staff at Johansen High a few years back.

Heck, after they square off tonight at Don Lanphear Stadium — kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. — they might even go see a flick at the local cineplex.

"We might try to catch the 9 o'clock movie," McCoy joked. "This game could be over pretty fast."

McCoy doesn't mean that one team will jump out to an insurmountable lead on the other. He just figures that since both teams utilize the ground-heavy Wing-T offense, the game clock rarely should stop ticking.

"It's on my shoulders," said Flesher, who actually coached McCoy at Johansen High. "Gregori throws the ball less than we do, so if I decided not to tap into my quarterback and receivers, we should have a pretty quick game."

The gameplans will be basic — "They're a run-first team and they offer no apologies for that ... same goes for us," Flesher said — and neither team will surprise the other — "I was his assistant when he was head freshman coach at Johansen and he was my offensive coordinator when I coached the varsity there," McCoy said.

Beyer is led by running back Jay Green (756 yards) and Paul Fagbamila, who both average 6.5 yards per carry. Gregori is led by Alex Labanon (686 yards), Andrew Nash (617), and Tyler Janitz (9.2 yards per carry).

Basically, expect some old fashioned, smash-mouth football, with a shot at the Modesto Metro Conference title on the line, for good measure.

"We pretty much look at it like's it a one-game season," said McCoy, whose Jaguars (5-3, 2-2) need to win their remaining two games and get a ton of help from others to claim the conference's No. 1 playoff seed. "We just need to control what we can control."

The path to the title for Beyer (5-2, 3-0) is simple: Win out and the Patriots are MMC champs. However, after Gregori, they still have showdowns with Modesto (4-3, 2-1) and Downey (4-3, 2-1).

But first things first.

"We're a young football team and our guys aren't in a position to get overconfident," Flesher said. "We're just focusing on one game at a time, literally one practice at a time; trying to finish by playing our best football."

In other words, football first, popcorn later.

CENTRAL CATHOLIC AT CENTRAL VALLEY, 7 p.m. — The Raiders continue their march to the Western Athletic League title when they travel to Ceres to take on the Hawks. Meanwhile, Central Valley's Ja'Quan Gardner will be looking to inch closer to the Stanislaus District's all-time rushing record (5,140) set by Central Catholic's Louis Bland (2004-07). Bland's brothers, Reggie and Montell, both play linebacker for this year's CC team. They'll do their part to help keep the record in the family.

PITMAN AT MERCED, 7 p.m. — After sputtering early on this season, Kris Turner-Jackson and teammate Jabar Byrd have the Bears ground attack running smoothly in their two Central California Conference wins over Turlock and Buhach Colony.

Merced (5-2, 2-0) will try to improve to 3-0 in conference when it hosts Pitman (5-2, 1-1) tonight in a key conference showdown at Veterans Stadium in Merced.C

Today's schedule

Modesto Metro Conference

Beyer at Gregori

Modesto at Davis (at Johansen)

Enochs at Downey

Central California Conference

Atwater at Turlock

Golden Valley at Buhach Colony

Pitman at Merced

Valley Oak League

Sierra at East Union

Oakdale at Kimball

Manteca at Weston Ranch

Sonora at Lathrop

Western Athletic Conference

Central Cath. at Central Valley

Livingston at Los Banos

Pacheco at Patterson

Trans-Valley League

Escalon at Hilmar

Hughson at Modesto Christian

Ripon at Riverbank

Southern League

Delhi at Mariposa

Turlock Christian at Denair

Gustine at Le Grand

Waterford at Ripon Christian

Mother Lode League

Argonaut at Calaveras

Linden at Bret Harte

Summerville at Amador

Cen. Calif. Athletic Alliance

Brookside Chr. at Big Valley Chr.

Sierra Ridge at Stone Ridge Chr.

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