It could be a race to the end zone between the Alvarez and Carmel high football teams to see which will be the first Monterey County public school team to finish a season with a overall record of 13-0.
But that race includes a couple of major hurdles along the way.
Both Alvarez and Carmel are 11-0, and both face stiff opposition in their Central Coast Section semifinal contests this weekend.
Carmel plays rival Pacific Grove tonight at 7 at Monterey Peninsula College in a CCS D-IV game while Alvarez hosts Hollister High in a CCS D-I semifinal Saturday at 7 p.m.
Should Camel and Alvarez emerge victorious both would advance to championship games next weekend. Alvarez has never won a semifinal game in its 18-year history.
The Carmel-Pacific Grove survivor plays Saturday’s Monterey High-Sacred Heart Prep winner next Friday at a site and time to be determined.
Alvarez and Hollister will know who it plays before kickoff. The other D-I semifinal is tonight between Milpitas (9-2) and Piedmont Hills (8-3) at Milpitas High.
The D-I title game will be played Saturday, Dec. 7 at a time and place to be determined.
No public school team from Monterey County has ever gone 13-0. The only 13-0 county team was private-school Palma High in 1998.
In the 138 CCS championship games from 1972 through 2012 only 14 schools have finished 13-0.
In some cases county teams have gone unbeaten but played less than 13 games. Palma finished 12-0 in 1992 and Carmel went 12-0 in 2009.
In 1989 unbeaten Palma played unbeaten North County in a D-II South title game that ended in a 14-14 deadlock. Palma finished 11-0-1, North County 10-0-1.
Salinas High came close in 1979. It reached the CCS title game – there was just one division consisting of 12 league champions and four at-large teams – but lost in the final seconds to St. Francis to finish 11-1-1.
In 1982 Seaside High also came close, but couldn’t hold a 23-8 second-half lead against Salinas in the final game of the regular season and had to settle for a 23-23 tie when Jon Grim scored on a four-yard run with 33 seconds to play.
Seaside then lost the 1982 title game to end up 11-1-1.
Should Alvarez beat Hollister and run its record to 12-0 it will be the most overall wins in a season by any Salinas city public school team in history.
Hollister and Alvarez have played 15 times since Alvarez opened in 1996. The Balers have dominated the series by going 13-1-1 against the Eagles.
The only CCS crown in Alvarez history came when its girls’ wrestling team won a section title in 2012.