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St. Joseph quarterback Dino Maldonado is brought to the turf during last year's Battle for the Shield. Maldonado and the Knights host rival Righetti tonight in this year's edition.

Len Wood, Staff

Week Zero was a lot of fun. And we also learned a lot.

Now the real fun begins. It's common to hear coaches say that teams typically improve the most between their first game and their second.

And we'll see how that plays out tonight.

Of course, everyone will have their eyes on St. Joseph for the Battle for the Shield. 

If Righetti improves a lot tonight things could get interesting. The Warriors were nearly perfect against Morro Bay, which admittedly is an inferior opponent. But, like I've been saying all week, it's so darn hard to win football games at this level. To prepare your team to not only win a game, but to outright dominant is something to take pride in.

Ed Herrmann and his coordinators, Shawn Ramirez and Derek Beebe, should take pride in their performance.

Now, St. Joseph didn't beat Sherman Oaks Notre Dame on the road last week, but they didn't get dominated by that Division 2 opponent either. So, there's something to take pride in there for the Knights as well.

St. Joseph has won the last two meetings by a combined score of 85-13, but I'm hearing that this is the year that things could be a lot closer. St. Joseph is working in a new head coach, though it doesn't look like Jim Chvala has skipped a beat after moving from defensive coordinator to head coach over the summer. 

I've really been having some trouble with this pick. My initial instinct was to go with St. Joe, but I think we may be in for a good game tonight. The Warriors are experienced and confident. Sure Morro Bay isn't a playoff team or what have you, but Righetti put it on them last week. I'm leaning toward a narrow St. Joseph win, or an upset by Righetti.

You know what, since I see everyone's picks, and they're all going for St. Joseph, I think I'll be a contrarian and go for Righetti in a close one.

Another interesting game that is out of our area is Santa Maria playing at Santa Barbara. Another HUGE game for the Saints, against an improved Dons squad. A convincing Santa Maria win tonight will surely raise some eyebrows and put other Northern League and Division 12 teams on notice.

Then we have Lompoc playing at Huyck Stadium against Nipomo. The Titans are coming off a loss at home to PV, but have always played the Braves tonight. Are we in for a close one there at Huyck? No. I don't think so. Braves all the way.

Santa Ynez is at Carp after smashing San Marcos 65-22 last week and actually dropping three spots in the Division 10 poll. Strangely enough, they jumped up to No. 2 in our Central Coast Top 10. I don't think the Pirates have any trouble tonight.

Cabrillo will try to get on track at Dos Pueblos. The Conqs got lit up by a good Bakersfield Frontier team in AJ Pateras' debut last week and it's going to be tough going against Nate Mendoza's improved Chargers. I'm think the Conqs fall to 0-2, though they do show some improvement and win a few LPL games when everything is said and done. 

Alright, enough of that. Let's get into the picks.

No. 10 Righetti (1-0) at No. T4 St. Joseph (0-1)

Joe Bailey: Righetti 21, St. Joseph 19

Brian Stanley: St. Joseph 28, Righetti 21

Kenny Cress: St. Joseph 34, Righetti 31

Lorenzo Reyna: St. Joseph 27, Righetti 20

Elliott Stern: St. Joseph 28, Righetti 21

No. 6 Santa Maria (1-0) at Santa Barbara (0-1)

JB: Santa Maria 34, Santa Barbara 19

BS: Santa Maria 24, Santa Barbara 21

KC: Santa Maria 31, Santa Barbara 24

LR: Santa Maria 28, Santa Barbara 24

ES: Santa Maria 35, Santa Barbara 21

San Luis Obispo (0-1) at No. 8 Pioneer Valley (1-0)

JB: Pioneer Valley 29, San Luis Obispo 7

BS: Pioneer Valley 35, San Luis Obispo 7

KC: Pioneer Valley 28, SLO 7

LR: Pioneer Valley 16, San Luis Obispo 13

ES: Pioneer Valley 13, San Luis Obispo 10

No. 9 Nipomo (0-1) at No. 1 Lompoc (1-0) 

JB: Lompoc 49, Nipomo 0

BS: Lompoc 56, Nipomo 10

KC: Lompoc 35, Nipomo 17

LR: Lompoc 42, Nipomo 10

ES: Lompoc 49, Nipomo 7

Cabrillo (0-1) at Dos Pueblos (1-0)

JB: Dos Pueblos 29, Cabrillo 13

BS: Cabrillo 28, Dos Pueblos 24

KC: Dos Pueblos 24, Cabrillo 14

LR: Dos Pueblos 35, Cabrillo 13

ES: Cabrillo 28, Dos Pueblos 21

No. 2 Santa Ynez (1-0) at Carpinteria (0-1)

JB: Santa Ynez 63, Carpinteria 12

BS: Santa Ynez 42, Carpinteria 7

KC: Santa Ynez 41, Carpinteria 14

LR: Santa Ynez 49, Carpinteria 7

ES: Santa Ynez 56, Carpinteria 14

Bishop Diego (1-0) at No. T4 Arroyo Grande (0-1)

JB: Arroyo Grande 33, Bishop Diego 22

BS: Bishop Diego 42, Arroyo Grande 35

KC: Bishop Diego 18, Arroyo Grande 16

LR: Arroyo Grande 17, Bishop Diego 16 

ES: Arroyo Grande 14, Bishop Diego 10 

Ventura (1-0) at No. 3 Atascadero (1-0)

JB: Ventura 44, Atascadero 27

BS: Atascadero 28, Ventura 27 

KC: Ventura 21, Atascadero 18

LR: Ventura 28, Atascadero 21

ES: Ventura 35, Atascadero 21

Morro Bay (0-1) at San Marcos (0-1)

JB: Morro Bay 22, San Marcos 10

BS: San Marcos 31, Morro Bay 14

KC: Morro Bay 48, San Marcos 41

LR: Morro Bay 28, San Marcos 22 

ES: San Marcos 35, Morro Bay 28 

Templeton (0-1) at Strathmore (1-0)

JB: Strathmore 44, Templeton 12

BS: Strathmore 63, Templeton 3

KC: Strathmore 35, Templeton 17

LR: Strathmore 38, Templeton 17 

ES: Strathmore 42, Templeton 7 

8-man

Flintridge Prep at Orcutt Academy (1-0)

JB: Orcutt Academy 56, Flintridge Prep 44

BS: Orcutt Academy 52, Flintridge Prep 49

KC: Flintridge Prep 42, Orcutt Acdemy 38

LR: Orcutt Academy 50, Flintridge Prep 44

ES: Orcutt Academy 40, Flintridge Prep 38

Laguna Blanca (0-0) at VCA (0-0)

JB: Laguna Blanca 49, VCA 33

BS: Laguna Blanca 35, VCA 21

KC: VCA 28, Laguna Blanca 24

 

Joe Bailey is the sports editor at Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Contact him with tips and story ideas at jbailey@leecentralcoastnews.com or (805) 739-2239. Follow him on Twitter at @jbaileysmsports

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