MODESTO — 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
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
Escalon at Hilmar
Hughson at Modesto Christian
Ripon at Riverbank
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.