Four teams sit tied in second place at the midway point of the Academic Athletic Association football season and when two of them meet tonight, one could potentially be in the driver's seat for one of the top two seeds in the playoffs.
Balboa and Lincoln come into the game with records of 2-1 and both have losses to potential playoff teams.
Lincoln's loss was a tough one to shallow. The Mustangs lost 34-33 to Galileo last week and had their chances to win the matchup.
The teams entered the fourth quarter tied at 27-27 after Lincoln came back from a touchdown deficit at halftime. The 34 points scored by Galileo were the fewest points they had scored all season.
The Lincoln offense matched Galileo touchdown for touchdown and it was all because of the running game. The Mustangs ran for 398 yards and were led by Davion Telfor, who ran for 233 yards and three touchdowns. Tyree Marzetta was nearly as impressive with 168 yards on 20 carries.
It will be up to Balboa's defense to slow down the Lincoln offense, something it was unable to do last season.
Lincoln ran for 410 yards in its 47-14 win over the Buccaneers last year. Marzetta accounted for 96 of those yards.
What the score does not indicate is how well Balboa's offense played.
The Buccaneers had 476 total yards, which was more than Lincoln, but fumbled the ball four times. Limiting turnovers will be critical for Balboa.
The Buccaneers have beaten two teams that have yet to win a AAA game and its one loss is to a Mission squad that met Lincoln in the championship game last season.
Balboa is looking for a statement win and one over the defending champions could be just that.
Balboa has not reached the playoffs since 2010 when it played in the Turkey Day game against Washington. That season is also the last time Balboa beat Lincoln.
Lowell and Mission are the other two teams with 2-1 league records and with Balboa's remaining schedule, it is crucial for it to pick up the win.
Balboa still has Lowell, Galileo and an always tough Washington team remaining on the schedule while Lincoln has Mission as the only team remaining with a winning record.
The playoffs begin on Nov. 21.