By Will James
Hometown Sports Game of the Week
Perhaps the most intriguing of all upcoming high school football playoff games is set to unfold this week, as the long-standing icon of prep football supremacy is on course to collide with one of the newest and most prominent programs in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section.
The Grant High School Pacers, in the midst of its ongoing record-setting 26th consecutive playoff run, visits the Antelope High School Titans Fri. Nov. 18 to tangle with the area’s only upper division undefeated team, in what figures to be a classic match-up of superpowers. This duel of D-2 heavyweights is the focal point of Access Sacramento‘s Hometown Sports Game of the Week.
Announcers Will James and Jim Dimino call this live telecast on 7:00 p.m. on Comcast or Consolidated Communications channel 17, and AT&T U-Verse channel 14 and exclusively on-line on the NFHS Network. Replays can be seen Sat. Nov. 19 at 11:00 a.m., Tues. Nov. 22 at 7:00 p.m. and Wed. Nov. 23 at 11:00 a.m. on the same channels when the game will also be streamed on accesssacramento.org. The game will be available as video-on-demand anytime from the NFHS Network.
Coach Mike Alberghini’s 8-3 Pacers of the power-packed Delta League are as tough and entertaining as ever, boasting huge size advantages in line play and another corps of speedy, big-play backs and receivers.
Senior QB Cam Davis calls signals for the Pacers’ traditional run-dominated offense. Senior RB Tyree Marcelle leads the rushing attack with 1569 yards, 15 TD and better than eight yards per carry. Davis compliments the run game nicely, having thrown for better than 1300 yards and 10 TD, but has also been intercepted eight times. Davis also serves as Grant’s kicker and punter.
Perhaps the most dynamic of all the Pacers’ big-play performers is Lawrence Hardy. The senior WR/DB/KR is the area’s premiere kickoff and punt returner and poses a legitimate threat to go the distance on any return. Despite running pass routes against frequent double coverage, Hardy has gathered 10 touchdown receptions and averages 27 yards per grab.
Hardy is a force on defense as well, having collected 67 tackles, four interceptions and three fumble recoveries. Moreover, he has registered four additional touchdowns on a fumble return, an interception return, a punt return, and a kickoff return.
Coach Matt Ray’s 11-0 Antelope Titans of the equally rugged Capital Valley Conference are paced on offense by excellent yet underrated QB Nick Spagnola, whose glittering 135.6 quarterback rating is among the best in the entire CIF Sac-. Spagnola has completed 63% of his passes while tossing 12 TD passes without an interception.
Rivaling Hardy as one of the area’s premiere and most dynamic players is RB/DB/KR specialist, Elijah Dotson. The senior sensation has accounted for 2613 all-purpose yards and a breathtaking 29 TD. Wide receivers Garrett Chapman and Logan Paulson are excellent primary receivers.
Something’s got to give when these two powerhouses crash head-on, and football fans throughout the area are advised be glued to this bout.