On one side of town, the Modesto and Downey football teams will command the spotlight, engaging in a potential Modesto Metro Conference championship game.
On the other: Two perfectly bad Modesto City Schools programs will look to crawl out from beneath a dark cloud.
Enochs (0-7, 0-3 MMC) and Johansen (0-8, 0-4) are keepers of the Stanislaus District’s two longest losing streaks, and their 2016 seasons have been marred by injuries and lack of size, futile offenses and porous defenses.
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They’ve been outnumbered, outgunned and eventually outscored at every stop on the calendar.
Until now. Enochs will host Johansen on Friday at Chuck Hughes Stadium. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
Someone has to win … right?
“One of these two teams will come away with a win,” Enochs coach James Stacy told a capacity crowd at Monday’s Modesto Community Quarterback Club. “And that’s a great thing to look forward to.”
Enochs has lost a district-worst 11 consecutive games dating to last season. The Eagles finally solved their red-zone issues in last week’s 34-20 loss to Gregori, but two costly interceptions foiled their bid at an upset.
“All in all, the kids did a good job,” Stacy said. “They stayed in the game.”
Johansen fell behind early in a 45-12 loss to Downey on Friday. The Vikings have lost 46 of 48 games, including all eight under first-year coach Scott Sacuskie.
After opening MMC play against the top four teams – Modesto, Beyer, Gregori and Downey, in that order – Sacuskie is looking forward to these final two weeks.
The Vikings close the season Oct. 28 with a home game against Davis (2-5, 0-3), also winless in league play.
“No disrespect to Davis and Enochs, but this is, for us, the favorable part of our schedule,” Sacuskie said. “Hopefully, we can be semi competitive. We went through the gauntlet and took our licks. I’m looking forward to a great football game.”
Downey-Modesto moved to larger site – At long last, the most riveting rivalry in the MMC is here: Downey vs. Modesto at ...
Friday night’s game has been moved to Dan Gonsalves Stadium at Johansen High School because Modesto coach and athletic director Donnie Wallace felt the original venue – Don Lanphear Stadium – was too small.
Wallace made the announcement at the Quarterback Club luncheon. He expects a standing-room-only crowd for a game that has title implications.
With a win, Downey can clinch a share of its fifth straight league title. If Modesto prevails, it will be the last unbeaten team in league with two games left.
“I’ve been hearing Modesto High whispers all year long. It’s our turn to win this year,” said Downey coach Jeremy Plaa, whose team started slowly in a 42-34 loss to the Panthers last fall. “The last four years have been incredible.”
Modesto was the featured team at the Quarterback Club, and along with his staff, Wallace introduced five players: seniors Justin Farkas, Markus Brady, Paxton Sweeney and Roman Figueroa; and junior Annika Blom.
Farkas is the Panthers’ elder statesman. The offensive lineman is in his third varsity season.
By contrast, Blom is the new kid on the block. A prominent player on the girls soccer team, Blom has connected on 39 of 44 extra-point attempts in her first season in shoulder pads.
‘Natural rivals’ Davis, Gregori meet – Davis will look to snap a five-game losing streak when it hosts Gregori on Friday night at Modesto Junior College.
Davis coach Tim Garcia said the Jaguars are a natural rival.
“Half of those kids would have went to Davis,” he said.
Gregori hasn’t let all that talent go to waste. With a roster of 70 players, the Jaguars can clinch a postseason berth with their next victory.
Comparatively, Davis has a roster of 33, according to MaxPreps. That lack of depth has led to erratic play.
“We’re still lacking the ability to make plays when we need to make plays,” Garcia said.