On a week shortened by the Veterans Day Holiday weekend, the Nighthawks will play their final regular season game at home tonight.
Both Murrieta Valley and Chaparral have qualified for the CIF playoffs, and this game has added implications. The winner will take second place in the league and earn home-field advantage for the first playoff game.
The Pumas are coming off a 17-0 pounding of Temecula Valley last week. Chaparral relied strictly on defense and the run against the Wolfpack rushing for 185 yards.
Justin Harris ran 85 yards, Matt Morin 68 and Skyler Sebold 32. Cameron Gamble sealed the Puma victory late in the fourth quarter with an 84-yard interception for a touchdown.
The Nighthawks are looking to avenge last year's 27-20 loss. Led by Noah Johnson and fortified with the return of Jordan Silva and Michael Payne to line, the defense is back to full strength. Terin Solomon, Andrew Hudson and Sam Allen make up the linebacking crew.
Defensive backs Charlie McKee, Davis Day, Cody Thornburg and Lafayette Waters have been effective all year in shutting down opponent’s air attacks. De Sean Bullock has played exceptionally well at his new position, strong safety.
On offense, Murrieta Valley is lead by quarterback Andrew Blake. His receiving crew includes Brandon Iacobellis, Jaleel Shabazz, Jalah Patten and Kale Novak. The kicking game has been solid all year long with Logan Mathews.
The Nighthawks are looking forward to unleashing their dynamic running attack duo of Jack Magpuaso and Jacob Augustine on the Pumas. The O-Line needs to step up and create holes and opportunities for the two. Led by senior captain Lloyd Wailai, the O-Line consists of Jerry Boggs, Kyle Underwood, Chris Vinsky, Nick Johnson and Grant Hatch.
Murrieta Valley is celebrating Senior Night tonight. And Murrieta Mesa travels cross town to battle Vista Murrieta. Game time is 7 p.m. Then at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Calvary Murrieta meets Ontario Christian. The game will be played at Temescal Canyon High School in Lake Elsinore. Come out and support your local teams.
--Contributed by Charles Mckee