Jeff Smith noon, March 8
Quick Hits: a quartet of North County rivalry games
A quick handicap of each of the four early-season rivalry matchups in North County:
Oceanside (1-0) at El Camino (0-1) Friday 7 p.m.
The Pirates have won three of the last four matchups, including a 49-28 win at home against the Wildcats in 2007. But the last two years have been a split, with the home team winning both times. Can El Camino use home-field advantage to knock off the defending state champs or will Oceanside buck the trend of the last two seasons?
Carlsbad (1-0) at La Costa Canyon (1-0) Friday 7 p.m.
In this game, the Lancers travel a little bit south to where they will call home during Palomar League play. It is a safe bet that the Lancers will not be so appreciative of the Mavericks’ hospitality once the game starts. The past two seasons Carlsbad has had the upper hand, but before that it was La Costa Canyon that had won two straight, including a stunning 28-20 playoff win at Carlsbad. No matter who wins, the game will probably be close; the average margin of victory in the last five games has been only five points. Last season the Lancers beat the Mavericks 8-7 at home.
Mission Hills (1-0) at San Marcos (1-0) Friday 7 p.m.
This fresh rivalry (Mission Hills opened in 2004) has no doubt already created some resentment. The Knights won the first ever meeting between the two teams 20-14 in 2004, but since then it has been all Grizzlies. Mission Hills has won the last three games in this rivalry by a combined score of 147-9. Think San Marcos won’t be motivated when last year’s CIF Division II runner-up comes to Excalibur Field?
Escondido (1-0) at Orange Glen (1-0) 7 p.m.
Both teams are coming off shutout victories to open the season; the Patriots beat Sweetwater 7-0 and the Cougars crushed Calexico 70-0. Escondido has dominated this series for the last decade, winning the last 10 matchups between the two schools, including a 55-20 win last season.