Riordan (0-0) vs. Archbishop Murphy (Everett, Wash.) (0-0) at UNLV, 5:30 p.m. : Some schools with high expectations opt to schedule an overmatched opponent in their first game, hoping to glide through an easy opener.
Such is not the case for the Riordan football team, where the Crusaders this morning boarded a flight bound for Las Vegas in preparation for today’s 5:30 p.m. game against Washington power Archbishop Murphy of Everett on the UNLV campus. The game is part of the High School Football Tour, which features six West Coast teams.
Improving Riordan will face an immediate test against a Wildcats team that outscored opponents 424-127 and went 10-1 last year and is a combined 37-3 over the past three seasons.
“It’s show up with your A-game or go home,” Crusaders coach Mike Langridge said. “But our guys are super-excited to be in a high-profile game. For these guys, it’s their Super Bowl and they’re pumped up.”
Riordan was 4-6 in 2006, Langridge’s first season at the helm, and saw a number of positive developments for a program that had struggled in the past few years. The Crusaders held their first seven opponents to two touchdowns or less after allowing more than 300 points in each of the previous two years and found their footing on offense after a rocky start.
“I hope [we’re ready],” Langridge said. “I think we’re light years ahead of where we were at this point last year.”
Sacred Heart Cath. (0-0) at Santa Cruz (0-0), 7:30 p.m.
The Irish have won their season opener in each of coach John Lee’s three years at the helm and begin 2007 against a Cardinals team that went 3-6 in 2006. Sacred Heart will likely lean heavily on tailback Dasarte Yarnway, who ran for 1,274 yards and 16 touchdowns as a sophomore last season and figures to be one of The City’s best backs.
Verbum Dei (Los Angeles) (0-0) at St. Ignatius (0-0), 1 p.m.
It is time to start over for the Wildcats, who will take the field for the first time since beating Los Gatos 35-20 for the 2006 Central Coast Section Medium School title. They have scheduled a tough opener as the Eagles went 10-4 a season ago.
Gunn (Palo Alto) (0-0) at Lincoln (0-0), 2 p.m.
David Henderson ran for 279 yards and four touchdowns last year as the Mustangs went on the road to beat the Titans 41-21 in the first game for both teams. This year, Gunn (2-8 in 2006) will travel to The City to face last season’s Turkey Bowl champs.