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Lancers looking to keep rolling through Lathrop
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• WHAT: Lathrop (2-1) at East Union (3-0)
• WHEN: Friday
• WHERE: Dino Cunial Field
• KICKOFF: 7:15 p.m.

For two programs that struggled mightily throughout the 2009 season, that is not the case thus far this campaign. Lathrop High is enjoying back-to-back victories for the first time in school history and the East Union Lancers have not been 3-0 since Bill Clinton was president.

The two programs will bring their winning streaks into Dino Cunial Field with only one team capable of opening Valley Oak League play with a win.

Lathrop (2-1) has already conquered great heights in this young season, bouncing back from an Escalon loss to post a pair of victories, including a come-from-behind win last Saturday against Highlands in North Sacramento.

The Spartans’ success has not gone unnoticed, but an impressive preseason start is hardly completing the task head coach Jesse Rodriguez set out for his program when he took the challenge a season ago.

East Union has shown glimpses of excitement in each of its three preseason victories, coming from behind in an impressive win over Beyer, fending off Bear Creek after posting a first-half double-digit lead and dominating the fourth quarter in a 21-7 win over Ceres.

Lathrop’s chances at victory lie in being able to stop East Union playmakers Teejay Gordon and Steven Gigli. Gigli was bottled up against the Ceres Bulldogs, suffocated to the tune of 24 yards rushing at 11 receiving, so a rebound performance in the league opener will be crucial.

Stopping East Union’s air-attack may prove challenging for a Spartans defense that surrendered over 300-yards passing in their win over Highlands. McClatchy quarterback Nick Modar was also successful through the air on Lathrop, tossing for 233 yards and three scores.

The Spartans’ success will revolve around their rushing attack, leaving the team’s hopes at success poised around their wishbone offense. Lathrop’s (2-1) most recent victory saw its ground-game in full-force, with Christian Pena being the workhorse with 152 yards on 23 carries. Teammate Andrew Aquino was also effective, bruising his way to 123 yards on 18 carries.

The Lancers have failed to allow a 100-yard rusher in their three wins, and if the Spartans have a shot it will come on the ground.