by Will James

Home Town Sports

Several prime points of interest are swirling around the most provocative high school football game in the entire CIF Sac-Joaquin Section this week; the uniquely majestic clash between #9 Grant and #10 Capital Christian.

So attractive is this marquee match-up, that Access Sacramento is launching its 20th year of Hometown Sports Game-of-the-Week football coverage with this spicy contest, Friday evening, Sept. 8 at 7:00 p.m.

This live telecast may be seen on Comcast channel 17, Consolidated Communications channel 17, and AT&T U-Verse channel 14.  The game will also be streamed on the NFHS Network and at AccessSacramento.org.

This game is an intriguing eye-catcher because of the elite stature and the amazing careers of the opposing head coaches.  Grant’s, Mike Alberghini, begins his 27th year at the Pacers’ helm, having headed the D-1 and D-2 fields with dynasty-like domination.

Grant High School Head Football Coach Mike Alberghini [Courtesy: News10.net]

Alberghini is in quest of a remarkable 27th consecutive year guiding Grant to the post-season.   The Pacers have compiled seven CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Titles, and are the first SJS team to capture a CIF State Championship (2008), but enter play at 1-1, having lost a season’s opener (24-14 to Rocklin) for the first time in ten years and just twice in more than 25 years.

New Capital Chrisitan Head Football Coach Casey Taylor

On the flip side, Casey Taylor takes over as Head Coach at Capital Christian after a brilliant 15-year stint at Del Oro that produced 6 SJS Championships, 3 NorCal Regional Championships, 3 appearances as a State Finalist, and a CIF State Championship on the D-1 and D-2 levels.

Now guiding the D-4 Cougars, Taylor’s Cougars have bolted to a 2-0 start including an impressive overtime road win last week against formidable Modesto Christian.

Grant’s presence and style as not changed in the Alberghini era.  The Pacers have consistently fielded offensive and defensive lines that average better then 300 pounds to clear the way for a brigade of flashy speed backs.  Defensively, the Pacers deploy fast, hard-hitters in the linebacker corps and secondary.  None of this has changed, but it remains to be seen whether the vaunted Pacers have slipped more than a wee bit.

Casey Taylor brought winning tradition to Capital Christian, and expectations are high.  Even so, to what degree, if any, are Taylor’s Cougars actually expected to defeat Grant?  A daunting monumental challenge.  We shall see.  Former standout Whitney QB Jake Cruz takes the tiller for the Cougars’ maiden voyage with Casey Taylor plotting the course.

A capacity crowd of standing room magnitude is anticipated to fuel the fire beneath a classic coaches confrontation in a first-ever team match-up that features extra portions of answers to key questions.

Repeat broadcasts of the Grant at Capital Christian may be seen Sat. Sept. 9 at 11 a.m., Tues. Sept. 12 at 7 p.m., and Wed. Sept. 13 at 11 a.m. Video on Demand is available from the NFHS Network at Access Sacramento.org.