Holiday feasting will have to wait for the Aragon and Menlo Atherton football teams, as their Central Coast Section semifinal matchup falls on the day after Thanksgiving, at Foothill College at 7 p.m. The usual day-before gameday diet for a football player is integral, so Aragon coach Steve Sell says his team will be staying away from the gravy this holiday.
It’s an all too important sacrifice, as the M-A defense defined a 21-14 regular season win over Aragon with its defensive speed. The play of the game stood to be a fumble induced by senior safety Shaka Pahulu, at the end of a 71-yard run by Dons halfback Seta Pohahau.
Pahulu’s heroics — and the team speed that started the Bears towards an undefeated season in Bay Division play — were the difference in a one-touchdown game.
And as it stands, was the difference in a division race that saw M-A edge Aragon by one game for the Bay title.
“We were really aggressive and that’s what we have to do again,” M-A coach Bob Sykes said. “We just have to be aggressive and flow to the ball.”
Meanwhile, the Aragon defense will have to combat one of the most balanced offenses in the CCS. “It’s tough,” Sell said. “We’re kind of the same way [on offense]. It’s tough to defend, but we’re tough to defend as well.”
Pohahau’s day will loom large, as the senior bound for Brigham Young University had a bittersweet day against the Bears earlier in the year, running for 145 yards, though nearly half were on the run that ended with the critical fumble.