There may be three title-deciding football games on tap tonight, but for some teams there's something even more important on the line.
It's Week 10, otherwise known as Rivalry Week. And some of the Stanislaus District's fiercest and oldest rivals meet tonight.
Three games on tonight's slate Downey at Beyer (Gregori High's Don Lanphear Stadium) in the Modesto Metro Conference; Patterson at Central Catholic in the Western Athletic Conference; and Le Grand at Ripon Christian in the Southern League will decide league championships.
Rivalry games, whether they decide first place or last, are always important. Here's a look at the rivals that square off tonight.
Oakdale at Sonora, 7 p.m. These guys have been going at it since the Harding Administration 1922. The Mustangs lead the series 59-31-5. With Sonora leaving the Valley Oak League for the Mother Lode League next season, this is the last time these teams meet as conference foes. Next year, this game will be played Week 1.
Pitman at Turlock, 7 p.m. The Pride and Bulldogs have only been playing since 2004 and its rare when the new kid on the block dominates. But Pitman has done just that, winning seven of the nine Harvest Bowls.
Merced at Golden Valley, 7 p.m. The Bears and Cougars first played in 1994, making this the 20th Mayor's Cup Game. The Bears hold a slim 11-8 advantage in this series.
Buhach Colony at Atwater, 7 p.m. Yet another Central California Conference rivalry series where the upstart has an advantage on the established school. The Thunder have won the Bloss Bowl five out seven times since the first meeting in 2006.
East Union at Manteca, 7 p.m. Sierra High has become more of a rival to Manteca lately, but the Sierra-Manteca clash can't match the history of East Union-Manteca, first played in 1967. This one's been one-sided, as the Buffaloes lead 30-13-1.
Central Valley at Ceres, 7 p.m. The Hawks have dominated the Crosstown Showdown, winning six out of seven since the first matchup in 2006. Senior running back Ja'Quan Gardner, the new all-time rushing king in the Stanislaus District with 5,316 yards, has never lost to the Bulldogs.
Los Banos at Pacheco, 7 p.m. These teams have only met twice and the Tigers have won them both. Los Banos needs to keep that streak to get to six wins, which should get them in the postseason dance.
Hilmar at Hughson, 7:30 p.m. This rivalry used to be a lot bigger, and it was never as big as it was in 1990, when the Yellowjackets were a win away from tying what was then a state record (47) for most consecutive victories. The Huskies, led by the late Larry Shimel, upset Hilmar 9-6 that night. Now, they'll be hoping history repeats itself a bit as they attempt to ruin the Yellowjackets' perfect season.
For this week's edition of Stanislaus Football Weekly, go to www.modbee.com/sports-video