John Brandi 9 p.m., Sept. 17
CIF Finals Preview: Division V
Friday 7 p.m. at Mesa College
(1) Bishop’s (12-0) vs (3) Francis Parker (6-6)
For the third straight year Coastal League rivals Bishop’s and Francis Parker meet in the section finals. The Lancers have won the last two championships, but enter this year as the underdog against the undefeated Knights.
Bishop’s has rolled in their last five games, beating opponents by an average of 30 points. On offense, the Knights like to pound the ball with twin running backs Austin and Alec Fisher, and 6’6” receiver Adam Malkiewicz has emerged as a deep threat for quarterback Joey Moreno. Defensively, Alec Fisher and linebacker Micah Seau make the plays for the physical unit. The Knights have taken on all comers this season, including bigger schools El Capitan and Mar Vista, and a win could see them into the Division IV State Bowl if things shake up the right way.
A host of injuries threatened to derail Francis Parker’s chances at a Division V three-peat but the Lancers made full use of a first round bye, crushing La Jolla Country Day and Horizon on the way to the finals. Quarterback Warren Brody and running back Kenny Brookins pace the Lancers’ spread option attack and also star on defense. Francis Parker is solid in the trenches and Rochon Taylor and Roland Jackson add speed on both sides of the ball.
Bishop’s won the first meeting between these two teams 28-14 in La Jolla on Oct. 22. With both teams fully healthy this one will be closer and keep the scoreboard operator busy.