The Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division championship comes down to Friday’s showdown between Terra Nova and Menlo-Atherton.
With a win, Terra Nova (6-2, 4-0 PAL Bay) would clinch its third consecutive Bay Division title, while M-A (6-2, 4-0 PAL Bay) can claim its first Bay championship since 2008 with a victory.
Terra Nova coach Bill Gray said prior to the season that M-A was one of the more talented teams in the league and it has translated into their performance on the field.
Terra Nova has won the past two matchups by a combined 32 points, with M-A’s last win in the series coming during the 2008 season when the Bears swept the regular season.
The Tigers’ high-powered offense has not scored fewer than 27 points this season and has not lost since Sept. 16 against Pioneer.
Terra Nova senior quarterback Chris Forbes has continued to produce with 23 touchdowns and more than 2,400 yards passing and 500 yards running.
He threw for 349 yards and three touchdowns in Terra Nova’s 49-14 win over Kings’ Academy last week.
The Tigers have four wideouts, including seniors Jake Smith and Elias Vargas, with 400 or more yards receiving.
Terra Nova is in the midst of a three-game homestand with its last nonplayoff game against Half Moon Bay next week in the annual Skull Game.
M-A’s defense has been the team’s catalyst, having allowed only 130 points through its first eight games.
A big part of that attack has been the performance of Luke Pinkston.
The senior linebacker has anchored the Bears’ defense with 48 tackles and a team-leading five sacks.
The Bears are coming off a 27-14 win over third-place Sacred Heart Prep last week.
The Bears finished in fourth place in the Bay last season after coming in sixth in 2009.
M-A running back Taylor Mashack has run for more than 700 yards and 10 touchdowns, while Cameron Moody ran for 107 yards and three touchdowns last week.
The Bears and the Tigers are both on five-game winning streaks entering the showdown.
Terra Nova’s two losses are by a total of eight points, and one came in a 32-31 late-game thriller against West Catholic Athletic League member Sacred Heart Cathedral.
Both teams have already earned automatic bids into the Central Coast Section playoffs.
Terra Nova won the CCS Division III championship last year after losing Forbes to an injury in the semifinals, while M-A lost in the first round of the CCS Division I playoffs.
Terra Nova vs. Menlo-Atherton
WHEN: Friday, 7 p.m.
WHERE: Terra Nova High School
LAST YEAR: Terra Nova beat Menlo-Atherton 31-21
LAST WEEK: Terra Nova beat King’s Academy 49-14; M-A beat Sacred Heart Prep 27-14