On Friday night the Arroyo Grande Eagles will look to avenge their 20-13 early in the season loss to the Lompoc Braves. The odd thing about the rematch is where the game is being played. Usually the lower seeded team (better team) earns the home game. The Braves will travel to AG for a 7:00 kickoff. The Braves did not drop a single game this fall while the Eagles fell to Paso Robles and Lompoc. Maxpreps.com lists AG at 63 and Lompoc at 52. Oh well. Let's look at the match up.
LompocThe Braves won the Los Padres league at 4 wins and no losses along with an overall 7-0 record. They tallied 430 points while giving up 198.
The Eagles finished the Pac-5 league in a three-way tie. Their league record was 3-1 and overall at 8-2. AG is 6-0 at home and have scored 364 points while giving up 175.
Both teams won their first round playoff contests. AG did it with defense defeating Nordoff 7-0, while the Braves did it with offense as they won 38-28 over Camarillo (6-5). Both of their first round teams hovered around .500. Round two will pit two very strong teams who played this fall but this time the Eagles will have the home field advantage. In their first meeting the Braves won the game by playing very good defense which produced two turnovers that resulted in a 20-3 lead after three quarters.
The real difference this time around will be two fold. AG's quarterback is only a sophomore who now has 12 games under his shoulder pads. While the first time he had none. The other factor is the Eagles have not dropped a game at home all season. Lompoc's QB is a junior who is a run first option player.
Arroyo Grande has not beat Lompoc since 2010 and over that time the Braves have scored 124 points while the Eagles have posted 70.
If defense wins championships then AG should win the contest as they have given up 23 fewer points. But Lompoc deploys 3 running backs who are nearing 1,000 yards rushing. This is a team that will run the ball down your throat. In the earlier meeting AG held Lompoc to their lowest rushing game of the season at 204. While AG was also held to their lowest rushing totals of the season during the match up at 52 yards.
Bottom line - Lompoc finishes +6
Home field AG + 6
Defense AG + 6
Head to head LO +6
Senior Leadership LO +6
Running game LO +6
This could be a classic smash mouth contest between two teams that know each other well. The team to make the least mistakes will win. A low scoring game will go to AG but if Lompoc scores more than 20, they are a lock.