CHICO, Calif. --
The defening D-II State Champions in Pleasant Valley are sitting at 5-4 overall and 3-1 in the Eastern Athletic League after a 35-28 win over Foothill High.
"I think the records are what they are," said head coach Mark Cooley. "We did have a really tough preseason, not saying that they didn't have a tough preseason, but they're definitely 7-1 and we're 5-4, that's a huge, gigantic difference. They were able to put wins together and we weren't able to do that early on."
The Viking are tied in the EAL at second place with Shasta High and will face Chico High, who sits at 7-1, first place.
"Nothing irregular," said Austin York. "They're just another team, we got to stop their run game, their pass game. "They're a really solid team, but it's just another night for us."
"Their offense is good, but I think our defense is a little better," said Nathan Paddock. "It'll be a battle through the whole thing, but I think if we play our game and play competitive, we should get it done."
According to MaxPreps, the Vikings have won 10 of their last 18 meetings against the Panthers. Coach Cooley thinks the key to an 11th win is mental.
"I think if you can just stay low key, calm and just go out there and do your job for both sides, for us and for them. You'll be alright."
The Almond Bowl is set for November 1 at 7:30 p.m.