Arroyo Grande had a rough start to the 2017 season while breaking in a pair of inexperienced quarterbacks and a retooled offensive line. The Eagles opened the season against Lompoc and Bishop Diego, two of the top teams on the Central Coast, and lost both games by 37 and 28 points, respectively.
But things are looking up for Arroyo Grande (2-2) after two consecutive wins.
Junior Kadin Byrne has emerged as the Eagles’ best option at quarterback. Through four games he’s 22 of 37 for 234 yards for two touchdowns. He is also the team’s leading rusher with 268 yards and two scores on 51 carries, a nice compliment to junior running back James Gilmet.
But Byrne and Gilmet will face another highly ranked opponent in St. Joseph on Friday (7 p.m.) in Arroyo Grande. And based on head-to-head matchups, Arroyo Grande will be the underdog. St. Joseph lost a close one to Bishop Diego last Friday, 24-23.
St. Joseph (2-2) has a potent offensive attack led by quarterback Dino Maldonado, who has 10 touchdowns this season and has already thrown for more than 1,100 yards. If Arroyo Grande wants to make it three in a row, the Eagles’ secondary led by Cade Cunningham, Dakota Ryken and Elijah Castro will need to slow down speedy Knights wideouts Joseph Miller and Nate Guzman.
Madera at Atascadero, 7:30 p.m.
Atascadero (1-3) has lost three in a row and will look to get back on track against Madera (3-1) behind senior running back Arik Machado, who leads the PAC 5 in rushing and had 169 yards and a touchdown in a loss last week against Frontier.
Dos Pueblos (Goleta) at SLO High, 7 p.m.
SLO High (1-3) beat Morro Bay last week to end a 16-game losing streak. Pierson Mosichuk and company will be back in action against Dos Pueblos (3-1), a team coming off a bye that shut out Righetti two weeks ago.
Santa Ynez at Templeton, 7 p.m.
Led by a five-touchdown performance from running back Shane Simonin, Templeton (2-2) hung 71 points on Cabrillo last week. But Santa Ynez (3-0) is no Cabrillo. The Pirates are averaging more than 54 points per game and beat Nipomo 35-3 last Friday.
Paso Robles at Clovis North, 7 p.m.
Paso Robles (0-3) is looking for its first win of the season against Clovis North (1-3).
McFarland at Morro Bay, 7 p.m.
Morro Bay (0-4) is in desperate need of a win, but it won’t be easy against McFarland (3-0) and running back Frankie Lopez, who has five touchdowns this season.
Cabrillo at Nipomo, 7 p.m.
Nipomo (0-4) will have a good chance for its first win, at home against Cabrillo (0-4), after battling a tough stretch of games to open the season.
Mission Prep at Joshua Springs (Yucca Valley), 7 p.m.
Mission Prep (2-0) will take its power running game and No. 7 ranking in Division 1 to Yucca Valley to take on Joshua Springs (0-3).
Kings Christian (Lemoore) at Coast Union, 7 p.m.
Coast Union (1-2) will look to move to .500 — led by running back Riley Kennedy, who has five rushing touchdowns this season — against Kings Christian (3-1).