The most anticipated non-league matchup in Santa Barbara County this season is upon us, as Lompoc will make the trek to La Playa Stadium to take on Bishop Diego on Friday night.
Both teams are coming off of surprising road losses that evened their records at 1-1. Bishop Diego surrendered its all private school contest at St. Bonaventure 27-3 and Lompoc dropped its matchup with a tough St. Paul team in Santa Fe Springs 31-13 snapping a 30-game regular season winning streak.
The Cardinals were without star running back Adrian Sorracco, who was out due to injury as well as quarterback Jake Engel, who is suspended for disciplinary reasons. It is unclear if Sorracco will be able to play on Friday.
Lompoc has struggled to replace some of its outstanding talent from last season, but still has a stockpile of standout playmakers including, WR Ryan Morgan, LB/RB Leondre Coleman and OL Jacob Nunes all three of whom are juniors.
The Braves are perhaps a year away from putting it all together, but are still plenty dangerous.
After their loss last week Bishop Diego’s state championship run is now firmly in the rearview mirror. The Cardinals are very young and have several sophomores in their starting lineup, including WR Luke Knightley and OL Toby Pouso’o.
The key for Bishop Deigo against Lompoc is finding a way to manufacture the threat of the pass so that Lompoc can’t commit so many bodies to the line of scrimmage.
In addition to the heavyweight matchup on the field, Bishop Diego athletics director Dan Peeters announced the game will feature “Team Cheek Night,” to encourage bone marrow donations (potential matches are determined by cheek swabs) to aid children with cancer. Peeters’ 6-year-old son was diagnosed with leukemia last year.
There will be a cheek swab station, and local kids battling cancer will be on the field prior to the game as honorary captains. Donors must be between the ages of 18 and 44. Adults in that age group can also register through BeTheMatch.org.