Narbonne doesn't want its game against high-powered Serra to turn into a shootout Friday night. No other team in the state would, either.
But if it does -- and the likelihood of that happening is high -- Narbonne's top gun, tailback Noel Rankins, might need a bit of help. With the way No. 5 Serra (4-0) has been slinging it this season, the Gauchos hope quarterback Troy Williams plays his best game.
And then they hope the defense steps up against the likes of George Farmer, Marqise Lee and Conner Preston.
Rankins carried the ball 14 times last week for a net of minus-5 yards. He had posted 200-plus against Long Beach Poly a week before. Give Mira Costa credit: The Mustangs sniffed out Narbonne's plan and loaded the box to win 7-6.
Expect Serra to do the same until Williams proves he can hurt them.
Four more to see:
* No. 8 Bishop Amat (4-0) at Cathedral (3-0), Friday -- Cathedral is one of four undefeated Mission League teams (Serra, Chaminade and St. Francis being the others).
* Culver City (3-0) at No. 14 Crenshaw (2-2), Friday -- Crenshaw faces stiffer competition for the first time since its loss at Norco.
* Diamond Bar (4-0) vs. Diamond Ranch (1-3) at Ganesha, Friday -- The Hacienda League opener carries great ramifications for these crosstown rivals.
* La Habra (2-2) at St. John Bosco (3-1), Friday -- The Braves' success hinges on Raymond Medina's consistency throwing the ball.