Friday night's attractive matchup between Servite and Bishop Amat has all the makings of a classic. It's the best team in Orange County against the best in the San Gabriel Valley, a possible Pac-5 Division playoffs preview and arguably the top game across the Southland.
And, sure, Lancers coach Steve Hagerty is quick to point out that it's just one of the six non-league games his team has to play. But, after saying that, Hagerty slightly drifts from the comforts of common coach spiel.
"Anytime you get a chance to play the Friars, the CIF Southern Section champions, and anytime we get a chance to play against a quality opponent like that, it's awesome," said Hagerty, who anticipates a special atmosphere at Cerritos College on Friday. "Our kids are going to be fired up to do it. I think Servite's whole mystique and the all-black uniforms -- that's great for high school football. We've got to get our kids to see through that."
Bishop Amat and Servite last met in 2005, a game the Friars won 37-5 behind the likes of Chris Galippo, D.J. Shoemate and Dan Klein. Servite (1-0), No. 1 in the ESPNLA.com prep football rankings, opened with a 20-0 victory at Oceanside on Thursday.
The Lancers (1-0) head into it on the other side of the spectrum, having dodged a disaster by beating Garfield, 14-0. But maybe Hagerty didn't want to show too much of his offense on film.
"You can't help but notice they're the most successful program," Hagerty said of Servite. "They're the program we're all trying to become. We relish the opportunity to play them and we're looking at that as great measuring stick for us."
Blair Angulo covers preps for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.