Servite, the top-ranked team in the ESPNLA.com Top 25, proved to be a Goliath of high school football by beating Oceanside, 31-7, in a matchup of state champions on opening night.
Granada Hills Kennedy is quite the David of the San Fernando Valley, strong in the Mission Valley League, but a team coming off a 6-4 record. The Cougars finished 3-2 in the Valley Mission League, in second place, and did not qualify for playoffs last year.
The two teams meet Thursday night in what looks to be a potentially lopsided contest that heavily favors Servite. But Servite coach Troy Thomas said he expects a physical, aggressive game from Kennedy.
“They haven’t played a game yet, so we don’t know much about them,” Thomas said. However, Thomas is familiar with Dion Lambert’s style of coaching at Kennedy.
“I have a lot of respect for his athletes and his teams,” Thomas said. “I anticipate he’s going to have his guys ready to go.”
Servite’s players came ready to play against Oceanside. The Friars snapped Oceanside’s 39-game unbeaten streak and built a 31-0 lead after three quarters.
“It was a great win for our program,” Thomas said. “It’s always good to get off to a good start.”
While the offense had little trouble putting points on the scoreboard, the defense made contributions as well.
Defensive tackle Jody Thomas returned a fumble for a touchdown, had two interceptions and one sack. Jordan Jones and Cameron Farrell each had an interception for Servite against Oceanside.
Butch Pauu scored two second-half touchdowns for Servite, one on a 17-yard catch and the other off a direct snap out of the wildcat formation.