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Mission Prep football 'taking souls' as they're tied for first in the Mountain league

Posted at 6:37 PM, Oct 09, 2023

Through seven games, Mission Prep football is 6-1 and undefeated in Mountain league play as they and Arroyo Grande are both tied for first place and even though they aren’t the flashiest team, they are without a doubt one of the most consistent.

“I think they're going to face a tough defense," senior captain Conner Lopez said of what teams should expect when they match-up against the Royals. "That's what we really pride ourselves on, the tough defense and any team we play to take their souls.”

So far this season, even in their one loss, the defense hasn’t allowed more than 15 points and in the last three games have held their opponents to only six.

“I don't think it stems from one person individually," senior lineman and captain Gabe Rodriguez explained. "I think we're all bought in to the idea that we're going to stop people in their tracks.”

“We have athletes everywhere and I think people are starting to realize how good we are on defense,” senior running back and captain Drew Harrigan said.

If it was a secret before the season anymore, it isn't now. It's also no secret the key to their offense; running the ball.

Coming into this season, they were without weapons like J.J. Howard at receiver and Colby White at quarterback so they switched up their strategy.

“We kind of knew we were losing some dudes, but then we got our whole line back and you got me at running back and a couple other studs at running back," Harrigan explained. "I think we all kind of knew we're going to pound the ball this year.”

Led by Harrigan, the offense produces, on average, 237 yards on the ground as their smash mouth approach is designed to wear teams down over time.

“The running game is special," Lopez stated. "We got pieces all around, the line always doing their thing, doing as best they can, just make holes for our running backs and it's working a lot this season.”

Their biggest test of the season comes for week 8 of high school football as they take on Arroyo Grande who also are undefeated in Mountain League play with the same overall record at 6-1.

“They're a great team. They have a great offense. I know Drake [Missamore], Ben Walz, Junior, Herlihy, Caleb Clark on offense and they're a great team," Lopez, an Arroyo Grande resident said. "They're a tough team, but so are we so it's going to be a it's going to be a great match-up.”

The Eagles are one of the more electric offenses in the area averaging 32 points per game. Come Friday, it’s a clash between a high scoring offense and a tough nose defense in what could be a potential rivalry of the future.

“Mission Prep gets a good amount of kids from AG so we're kind of playing each others friends," Lopez went on to describe. "But I think in the future, as both programs start to elevate it will really take off to that sort of rivalry that everyone thinks it can be.”