H-SPORTS

Sep 13, 2012 7:15 PM by Andrew Masuad

Best friends Jones and Mendoza face off Friday in battle of unbeatens between DP and Lompoc

Two undefeated football teams are set to clash on Friday when the Lompoc Braves hit the road to face the Dos Pueblos Chargers.

Behind first year head coach Nate Mendoza, Dos Pueblos is off to its first 3-0 start in recent memory. The Chargers had 3 wins all of last year.

"I think he's brought a lot of intensity in our defense and our offense. He pushes us a lot everyday," said DP senior linebacker/tight end Nicolai Bornand.

Forty-five miles away, third year head coach Andrew Jones and the Lompoc Braves, winners of a school-tying record 23 in a row, are focused on the task at hand.

"We just look at it like every other week, just fire up, try to keep it up and keep winning that's the main goal," said junior lineman/tight end Ainuu Taua.

This won't be your typical battle of unbeatens for the two head coach. You see, Jones and Mendoza grew up together in Lompoc. They played on the Braves' 2002 CIF championship team. In fact, they are best friends

"I was the best man in his wedding so that was a good time. And I support Andrew in everything he does and visa versa. He's been very supportive for me since I've been hired as the head coach here," said Mendoza.

"We've been friends since we were 10,11 years old. And we've had some heated battles I'd say whether it was video games or 1 on 1 basketball or playing wiffle ball in the back yard. But it'll definitely be a little bit different this Friday," added Jones, who led the Braves to back-to-back CIF titles in his first two seasons.

Mendoza's brother is Lompoc's linebackers coach. Mendoza was the defensive coordinator at DP in 2010 when the Chargers beat the Braves at DP 45-21.

Both Jones and Mendoza say Friday is all about the kids. But then again there is that personal rivalry.

"We always say we hope the both of us go 9-1 every year and hope the 1 loss they have is this one," joked Mendoza.

"There's only to be one game out of the year where I'm not going to like him or I'm not going to help him. Anything else I'll help him out and give him whatever he wants, except one week," said a smiling Jones.

For this one week it will be two life-long friends going head to head for four quarters of football.

Lompoc shutout the Chargers last year 23-0.

Kick off on Friday is at 7pm in Goleta.

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