Oak Grove has led its league this football season from the start -- and its run hasn't been close.

The Eagles have beaten their six Blossom Valley Athletic League Mount Hamilton Division foes by an average of more than three touchdowns per game.

But with one game still to play, the race for the Mount Hamilton's automatic berth into the Central Coast Section Open Division playoffs isn't over just yet.

The Leland Chargers can claim the spot Friday night. All they have to do is march into Oak Grove's stadium and march out with a victory.

How do they do that?

"It's pretty simple," Leland coach Mike Carrozzo said. "Stop 33 and stop 7."

Of course, Carrozzo knows that stopping big-play threats Nick Bernardo (No. 33) and Chidobe Awuzie (No. 7) is much easier to talk about than to actually do on the field.

"Everybody who they've played this year has said the same thing, and no one's been able to do it successfully," Carrozzo said.

That's the challenge Leland (6-3, 5-1 league) faces as it aims to share the Mount Hamilton title with second-ranked Oak Grove (9-0, 6-0).

If the Chargers pull off the upset, they would get the league's Open spot by virtue of the head-to-head victory over Oak Grove, leaving Oak Grove in the mix for one of the Open's three at-large spots. The Eagles, who played a strong nonleague schedule, probably would have enough power points to qualify.


Advertisement

If Leland loses, it likely will slide into Division II. Regardless, Carrozzo likes what his young team has given this season.

"The bottom line is our season is a growth process, and you could either be stagnant in the program or grow and improve in the program," Carrozzo said. "I am thrilled with the growth that this team has had."

It helps to have an improving line and seniors such as Kenny Portera and Jack Pizzo running behind it. Portera and Pizzo have combined to rush for nearly 1,700 yards this season.

"They put their trust in that line and if the line grows and gets better, so does Kenny and so does Jack and so does our quarterback (Matt McLaughlin)," Carrozzo said.

  • The Santa Clara Valley Athletic League El Camino Division could end up with one football champion, co-champions or tri-champions. It's that tight.

    If Gunn wins at Fremont on Friday, Gunn wins the title. If Fremont wins and Cupertino beats Monta Vista, Gunn and Fremont share the title.

    If Fremont and Monta Vista win, the division ends in a three-way tie.

    For Fremont coach Ron DeMonner, he says he's just grateful that his team is still in the discussion.

    "It's nice to have a reason (to play) as opposed to playing out the string," DeMonner said. "We're going to be challenged defensively."

    Follow Darren Sabedra on Twitter at twitter.com/DarrenSabedra.