H-SPORTS

Sep 25, 2012 10:07 PM by Bill Halter

Arroyo Grande ready for Pac-7 title defense

Arroyo Grande was the one Pac-7 team that didn't open league play last week. The Eagles had a bye while the three Pac-7 games were all decided by six points or less. Arroyo Grande was the heavy favorite to win the Pac-7 last year and the Eagles went undefeated en route to a CIF Championship. This season the Pac-7 appears to be wide open.

Arroyo Grande opened the season with a 31-0 loss at Lompoc and it looked like the Eagles, who graduated 94% of their offense from last year might be in store for a rebuilding season. "It gave us a little bit of a measuring stick. A quality team, a team that is obviously highly ranked in California and where we need to be by the end of the year" said head coach Tom Goossen about the Lompoc game.

"It got us physically ready for our league and showed us that we're not always on top and we have to work hard" said senior running back/defensive back Elijah Holt. Since the lopsided loss to the Braves, Arroyo Grande has won three straight. A 50-7 win against Nipomo followed by a 34-14 win against Templeton and a 35-7 win at Cabrillo. "I feel good, I feel like our team has grown a lot since that first game. And I feel like we're more educated football wise" said quarterback Matt Willkomm who was a defensive back on last years team.

Willkomm is averaging 106 yards passing per game and has thrown five touchdowns with no interceptions. The senior is one of four players on the team with over a hundred yards rushing. The Eagles are averaging 206 yards rushing per game.

Arroyo Grande will play another bruising rushing attack on Friday. The Eagles will host Atascadero, the Greyhounds won 22-16 at Pioneer Valley last week. Goossen has a lot of respect for Vic Cooper's team. "The reason why they've been such a quality program for so many years is you know what they're going to do and they're going to do it better and better each and every week" said Goossen.

Atascadero is 3-2 overall this season. The game is set to kickoff at 7:00 in Arroyo Grande.

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