Bernstein High football coach Darrell Divinity has no illusions about what his team is up against Friday night in its Southern League opener against Jefferson.
"The Jefferson Democrats are the premiere team in our league," Divinity said candidly. "We're 56-point underdogs to a team with track speed and tackle football experience since at least the fifth grade," he said candidly. "We'll fight to keep up, but it's going to be very tough."
The Dragons (1-2) are coming off a 12-6 loss to Roybal--a game Divinity believes his team could have won.
"We had two unfortunate goal line penalties with 20 seconds left that stopped us from having a chance to win," he said.
Jefferson (3-0) has beaten teams from three different leagues--Canoga Park of the Valley Mission League (30-10), Fremont of the Coliseum League (35-10) and Washington of the Marine League (25-19). The defending league champion Democrats beat Bernstein 40-20 last fall and made the City Section Division II playoffs.
Bernstein quarterback Brian Lopez has completed 11 of 31 passes for 211 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. Johnny Ortiz has carried 67 times for 490 yards and four touchdowns.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Bernstein High.
Also on Friday...
Hollywood (2-2) at Los Angeles (1-3), 3 p.m.
The Sheiks are riding a two-game winning streak and their offense finally came to life in last week's 33-7 rout of host Torres in which Ronald Clayton rushed for 186 yards and one touchdown in 16 carries and quarterback Jeremi Ross added 81 yards in 12 carries, connected on four of his nine passes for 91 yards, and scored two touchdowns.
Sam Morales made three catches for 75 yards while Anthony Darby scored on 18-yard run against Torres. Hollywood scored the only points on a safety to beat North Hollywood 2-0 the week before.
Los Angeles enters Friday's home game on the heels of a 50-0 road loss to South East.