McClymonds High football coach Michael Peters knew exactly how he wanted to fill a vacancy on the Warriors' schedule.
The first-year head coach sought out a meeting with the defending Division IV state champions from Central Catholic-Modesto, the same team that handed McClymonds a humbling 42-12 loss in last year's Northern California regional final.
Central Catholic agreed to the game, and the rematch is set for Friday at 7 p.m. at the Raiders' stadium in Modesto.
"It's not like a payback, but we want to go out there and have a good showing," said Peters, a McClymonds graduate and longtime assistant with the program. "In order to get back to that level, we have to play teams like those. ... This, to us, is like a championship game."
McClymonds was feeling good about itself last December after a third consecutive Silver Bowl championship. But the Raiders were bigger, deeper and jumped on the Warriors early in the regional final.
Now, McClymonds has a better idea about what it takes to hang with one of NorCal's perennial small school powers.
"We've been looking forward to this game since last December," running back Lavance Warren said. "When the clock hit zero, we were ready to play again and get revenge."
After spending the past 20 years as an assistant at McClymonds, Peters has made some changes to the program in his first year as head coach. He began an in-season weight lifting program, asking players to report to campus at 7 a.m. several days a week for their workouts. The early mornings spent together has helped team bonding.
"It's more family oriented," Peters said. "They play as one."
He also installed a new offense, shifting from a pro-style to a spread that resembles the Oregon Ducks' offense. It has worked well so far, as the Warriors have dispatched their first two opponents, Highlands and Ferndale, by a combined 102-14. Last week, the Warriors piled up 521 yards of offense, led by Warren's 227 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
Practices are more intense, too, Warren says.
"It's more work, but it's going to pay off," lineman Randall Coleman said. "You have to do those things to be the best."
TV TIME FOR SPARTANS: De La Salle's game at St. Mary's-Stockton will be televised live on ESPNU on Friday as part of the network's High School Football Showcase. Kickoff is 7:15 p.m.
The matchup has the potential to be must-see TV.
De La Salle wasn't its usual dominant self against Serra-San Mateo last week, needing to score twice in the final 4:33 to escape with a 21-14 victory. Meanwhile, St. Mary's is also off to a 2-0 start and was the only team to finish within single digits of the Spartans last year, losing 21-13 on the road.
De La Salle also will be without two of its top players, running back/safety Dasmond Tautalatasi and wide receiver/defensive back Adam Mayer, who were injured in the first half of the Serra game.
A clip from the film "When the Game Stands Tall," based on Neil Hayes' book on former head coach Bob Ladouceur and the Spartans' program, will air during the broadcast.
NEW FIELD, DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE: San Lorenzo will be holding its first game at home in more than a year, and an undefeated Rebels team will charge onto its new field to play Newark Memorial on Friday at 3:30 p.m.
Last season, the Rebels were able to practice on their new field but were not able to host games because bleachers were in the process of being installed and the track had to be upgraded. Instead, San Lorenzo had to play its home games at rival Arroyo, including the Rebels' homecoming game against the Dons.
Everything's ready to go this season for the Rebels, who opened with road wins over Kennedy-Fremont and Mt. Diablo. It is San Lorenzo's best start since the 2010 season.
"I think there's a lot of excitement around the school," said new San Lorenzo coach John Trotman Jr. about Friday's game and the 2-0 start. "We put a lot of emphasis on conditioning (in the offseason). We ran a lot."
That stamina has been apparent this season, as the Rebels rallied in the second half to win each of their first two games. They scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter for an 18-13 win over Kennedy, and outscored Mt Diablo 20-0 in the second half for a 32-21 victory.
Rebels quarterback Kevin Mosi completed 11 of his 13 passes for 166 yards and two touchdowns against Mt. Diablo. In two games, he has completed 21 of 31 passes with four touchdowns and no interceptions.
Staff writer Phil Jensen contributed to this notebook. Follow Stephanie Hammon on Twitter at twitter.com/stephhammon.