H-SPORTS

Sep 26, 2012 8:17 PM by Andrew Masuda

Battle for the Shield: Knights and Warriors ready to renew rivalry

Before lining up against each other in the Battle for the Shield, Righetti and St. Joseph High football players put their rivalry aside on Wednesday. Knights' and Warriors' players, coaches and administrators sat elbow to elbow at Rooney's Irish Pub in Orcutt in the third annual pregame luncheon.

"This is definitely a big deal for me. Both my brothers went through and are telling me how much they would've been able to play in this game so it's a big deal. You got the big rivalry, it's just right across the street," said senior running back Scotty Cusack, who has rushed for 330 yards and 3 touchdowns this season. Cusack also has 3 kickoff returns for touchdowns of at least 90 yards.

The two teams have been going in opposite directions. The Knights have won three in a row and are 3-1 overall. They won their league opener last week 35-30 over San Luis Obispo.

The Warriors have lost three-straight games, including a 27-21 decision last week at Paso Robles. Righetti enters with a 1-4 record overall.

"It's a huge week because we've lost a couple of games and we're also playing our friends and we see them like every week. We just want to always have the upperhand on them to show who's the better school," said Righetti star Luke Wilson. He has 3 TD catches, leads the team in tackles and has a team-high 4 interceptions.

Righetti beat St. Joseph 31-12 in 2011 and 15-7 in 2010.

"I think we've been working hard this year building to this point and we know we can win. It'd just be great to come with a victory," said St. Joseph wide receiver Zak Karsh, who has returned 2 punts for touchdowns and caught 2 TD passes this season.

Pre-sale tickets are available at both schools this week. Kick off on Friday at Righetti High is at 7 pm.

Players say they can't wait to get under the Friday night lights this week.

"Everyone in the town is going to be there. Everyone's going to be talking about it. It's one of those games you just don't forget about. You're going to remember it, hopefully if it goes well, for the rest of your life," said Righetti quarterback Troy Prober, who leads the Pac 7 League with 1,016 passing yards and 7 TD passes.

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