Antioch, Deer Valley ready to rock

Deer Valley won this rivalry showdown 45-38 last season in what was described as a "shootout." This year's game could be just as exciting.

Rich Woods said the whole city of Antioch may be shutting down in anticipation of tonight's big game.


Woods' Deer Valley team and Antioch, coached by Frank Beede, meet at 7:30 p.m. at Deer Valley.


It is not only a rivalry showdown, but the Bay Valley League opener for both teams and, amazingly, a battle between unbeaten teams.


Amazing because last season Antioch (now 3-0) went 0-10. Deer Valley (also 3-0) went 4-6.


"This is the first time in history both schools are undefeated going into this game," second-year Wolverines coach Woods said.


Antioch had a 15-game losing streak entering the season, with last season viewed as a low point in school history by longtime Panther fans.


But the team is resurgent under second-year coach Beede,the former Seattle Seahawk and San Jose SaberCats player.


The Panthers snapped their losing streak in the opener, defeating Elk Grove Monterey Trail 34-16. Victories against Atwater Buhach (51-14) and Napa Vintage (42-19) followed.


Why the turnaround?


"Discipline and a respect for the game," Antioch receivers' coach Casey Lewis said. "The kids have a good work ethic and an expectation of success."


Lewis is one of five Panther coaches who played at Antioch, along with Beede, Jason Jeffrey, Chris Henry and John Lucido.


"We all played back in the early 1990s and now, 14-15 years later, we're trying to re-establish the old traditions and spirit and the kids are buying into it," Lewis said.


"Three-and-0 might not seem like very much to some people, but it means a lot to us."


The Panthers are led by quarterback Joey Gonzales, who threw touchdowns to three receivers in the victory against Monterey Trail and also scored on a 1-yard keeper.


Returning senior wide receiver Adam McAvoy and junior running back Tim Thomas also are threats for Antioch, while left offensive tackle Jason Homerin anchors the line.


Deer Valley won this rivalry showdown 45-38 last season in what Woods described as a "shootout." This year's game could be just as exciting.


The Wolverine offense is paced by running backs Tyjuan Jones (322 yards, four touchdowns) and Sonni Woods (179 yards, three scores).


Adam Masters quarterbacks Deer Valley and his favorite target is Josh Pica (five catches, 113 yards, three scores).


The Wolverine defense is led by Obumneke Chuba, L.J. Hughes, Kevin Horn, Adam Force, Ed Henry and Woods.


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