CHICO, Calif. --
The Chico High Panthers sit at the top of the Eastern Athletic League at 3-0 and 7-1 overall. They're gearing up to play the defending D-II State Champions at Pleasant Valley in the Almond Bowl.
"The kids are working hard," said head coach Jason Alvistur. "They have a drive, they want to be good. We’re blessed with some athleticism on the edges and the running back positions. We just keep working every week to get better. Our defense is playing really well. We had two shutouts in a row. After coming off of last year’s games we have a little chip on our shoulder and we want to win some games.”
Coach Alvistur says he is anticipating a battle come Friday.
"The Vikings are a really big, physical team and I expect them to come out and play hard. They might be one game behind us, but they’re right there and I know they want to make a jump in the standings, so they’re going to come out fired up and we need to match that intensity.”
He believe the number one seed and the Championship are at stake.
Marvelous Owens, Abe Del Real and Jalen Johnson will be heavily relied on for offense. They've combined for 22 touchdowns in seven games. Quarterback Jake Hammen leads the pack with over 1,100 passing yards.
“I am feeling more excited then nervous and super ready for it," said Hamman. "Since we had a bye week last week we’ve just been trying to stay focused and stay locked in."
"It is a big game," said Alvistur. "There’s a lot of pageantry and excess that’s outside of the game so I am trying to keep my kids focused and hone in on the football part of it. I mean we’re the entertainment so we got to make sure we play well.
The Almond Bowl is set for 7:30 p.m. at Pleasant Valley High School.