LANCASTER — Kicking off four hours earlier has raised the temperature for Antelope Valley College football.
It’s heated up the race in the American Mountain Division, too.
While the Marauders (2-1, 5-3) were pulling out a thrilling 21-20 victory over Mt. San Jacinto last Saturday afternoon, second-ranked and previously unbeaten Citrus (2-1, 7-1) was getting waxed 41-19 by San Bernardino Valley.
So today’s AVC-Citrus matinee at Brent Carder Marauder Stadium takes on huge playoff implications.
“We both lost to San Bernardino Valley, and so did Mt. San Jacinto,” AVC coach Perry Jehlicka said Friday. “So this game is for second place in the Mountain.
“And as competitive as the division is, if San Bernardino stumbles, there could be other possibilities.”
The Marauders played their best all-around game of the season in the sunshine last week.
They spotted Mt. San Jacinto a 14-0 lead, fell behind 20-14 and marched 60 yards on nine plays to the winning touchdown with just 19 seconds to play.
“That game did wonders for our guys’ confidence,” Jehlicka said. “Really, if you go back to the second half of the San Bernardino Valley game, we’ve played our 10 best quarters of football in a row this season.
“We kept it going last week and now we have to do it again for four quarters against a very good opponent.”
The Marauders have gotten hot right along with the sunshine here in the second half of the season.
“We have such beautiful days here in the Fall,” Jehlicka said. “Then the sun goes down and it’s 38 degrees, and its uncomfortable for the fans.
“Everyone I talked to last week, the officials, the players, and the fans, really enjoyed that afternoon of exciting football. Now we have to play another one.”