High School Sports

Prep football preview: Atascadero aims to end losing streak against Pioneer Valley

Atascadero High senior running back Arik Machado looks to lead the Greyhounds to a win against Pioneer Valley.
Atascadero High senior running back Arik Machado looks to lead the Greyhounds to a win against Pioneer Valley. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Atascadero will look to end a four-game losing streak in its last matchup before the start of PAC 5 league play when it plays host to Pioneer Valley.

Despite the slide, Atascadero (1-4) has been receiving solid play from senior running back Arik Machado. He has four 100-yard games this season and five rushing touchdowns. But quarterback play and defense has been an issue — and a host of injuries hasn’t helped either. Three quarterbacks have seen the playing field this season and have yet to throw a touchdown, and the defense is giving up more than 32 points per game.

Pioneer Valley (3-1) is coming off a 32-28 rivalry win over Santa Maria last week. Pioneer Valley running back Emmanuel Alcantar rushed for 133 yards and two touchdowns in the win and should again get plenty of touches against Atascadero. Panthers quarterback Matt Garcia has also been a weapon this season and had 271 yards passing against Santa Maria.

Atascadero will need to slow down the Panthers offense at 7 p.m. Friday to pick up a win and build some momentum entering its PAC 5 opener against Righetti next Friday.

Arroyo Grande at Nipomo, 7 p.m.

Led by a huge performance by junior running back James Gilmet, Arroyo Grande (3-2) returned to form against St. Joseph last week to get its third win in a row. Nipomo (1-4) is coming off its first win of the season over Cabrillo behind running back Luis-Diego Riquelme’s three-touchdown 218-yard performance.

Morro Bay at Cabrillo, 7 p.m.

Morro Bay (1-4) got its first win of the season at home last Friday with a 28-12 win over McFarland and has a chance to make it two in a row against winless Cabrillo (0-5).

SLO High at St. Joseph, 7 p.m.

Coming off a 49-0 loss to Dos Pueblos, SLO High (1-3) will face another potent offense when it takes on a St. Joseph team led by Dino Maldonado, who has thrown for more than 1,400 yards and 12 touchdowns this season for the Knights (2-3).

Lompoc at Templeton, 7 p.m.

Lompoc running back Toa Taua continues to make headlines — he even earned a mention in the latest issue of Sports Illustrated — but the play of wide receiver Shemar Savage has been equally impressive. Savage, a 6-foot-4 195-pound wide out with speed and power, has six touchdowns this season and is averaging 18 yards per catch for Lompoc (5-0). Templeton will be led by junior running back Shane Simonin, who has been on a tear of late.

Saturday

Paso Robles at Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth), 7 p.m.

Coming off its first win of the season, Paso Robles (1-3) will go on the road Saturday to face Sierra Canyon (4-1). Paso Robles will be led by new sophomore starting quarterback Hunter Barnhart and senior running back Julian Madrigal, who had 174 yards and a touchdown last week in a win over Clovis North.

8-man

Coast Union at Maricopa, 7 p.m.

Coast Union (2-2) has won two in a row and is coming off a 72-22 win over Kings Christian last week. Riley Kennedy continues to play well for the Broncos. The senior quarterback has accounted for 12 touchdowns and 876 total yards this season.

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