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DAILY NEWS GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 1 Chaminade (7-0) at Bishop Amat (5-2), 7 p.m.
The Chaminade football team has checked off every box on its proverbial list so far this season.
A win on opening night with a new coach …
Week 0 victory over Oaks Christian. Check.
Establish an identity …
Play defense and score different ways. Check.
Capture a marquee win …
Comeback victory over JSerra at home. Check.
Don’t play down to competition …
Smooth sailing wins over Birmingham, Crespi and Loyola. Check.
Get off to a good start in the Mission League …
Beat Alemany and Notre Dame to a 2-0 start. Check.
A bit further down that list is a box labeled: Win the Mission League …
It’s a box that every team in the league probably has on their list of goals, but it’s the unbeaten Eagles (7-0) that look like the favorite to actually check the box off so far. Friday night will be the season’s biggest indicator if that goal is achievable when Chaminade travels to La Puente to take on Bishop Amat.
Bishop Amat (5-2) came to the San Fernando Valley two weeks ago and beat Sierra Canyon in double overtime before falling to Gardena Serra last week, making the Lancers 1-1 in Mission League play. It creates an opportunity for Chaminade to separate itself from the pack. With a victory, the Eagles would continue to be the only unbeaten team in the league at 3-0.
Chaminade quarterback Javance Johnson has been stellar the last two games, throwing for a combined 402 yards and seven touchdowns with no interceptions. He’s also tallied 117 yards rushing and two scores.
Chaminade quarterback Javance Tupouata-Johnson scrambles against JSerra, Friday, Aug. 26, 2022 at Chaminade. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)
Running back Jaelon Barbarin, who received an offer from Michigan State this week, ran for 139 yards and three scores against Notre Dame is coming into his own. Expect the speedster to catch more touches out of the backfield the rest of the season. Wideouts Kwazi Gilmer and Logan Carpenter have been the 1-2 punch in the air attack.
The offense numbers are impressive, but Chaminade’s best weapon is its defense – and it’s not even close. Linebacker Isaiah Chisom, safety Marquis Gallegos, and 300-pound defensive lineman TJ Ford anchor the defense up the middle. It frees up Jackson Forte, Ryan Abughazaleh and Mitchell Bermant to fly around and make plays.
The defense is allowing just 13.8 points against them this season.
Chaminade finishes the season with the Mission League’s three toughest opponents in succession. A road game at Bishop Amat before back-to-back home games against Sierra Canyon and Gardena Serra, respectively.
Prediction: Chaminade. Disciplined defense and dynamic offense. It’s a killer combo.