Lakewood will have the services of Allie Long when it hosts No. 3-seeded Alemany in the second round of the Pac-5 Division playoffs on Friday night. The senior tailback left last week's 24-7 home win over San Clemente holding his left wrist and watched the final three quarters with a bag of ice on his hand.
Rashad Wadood picked up the slack, fighting through a sprained ankle that held him out of No. 11 Lakewood's final three Moore League games. He rushed for 201 yards after Long left the game. Lancers coach Thadd MacNeal said Wadood's ankle has improved, which should be a good sign for Lakewood (10-1) fans.
But will two good ankles -- plus Long's participation -- be enough to upset No. 5 Alemany (11-0)? Can Lakewood's stingy defense contain Warriors quarterback Vernon Adams?
"Adams is a dynamic guy," MacNeal said. "He throws the ball as well as he runs the ball, makes a lot of plays. When things break down he seems to have an answer."
Things seem to break down more often than not when Lakewood's Todd Barr has his way up front. The highly touted defensive tackle missed the second half of last week's game after receiving a crunching helmet-to-helmet hit while playing tight end. Barr sat out practice early this week, MacNeal said he has recovered fully. He has 17 1/2 sacks this season.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Follow the action at twitter.com/bangulo for periodic updates.
Three more to see:
City Section Div. I: Taft (8-3) vs. No. 4 Dorsey (10-1) at Rancho Cienega Park, Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Taft hopes its season doesn't end the way it began: with a loss at Dorsey. The Dons scored the game's first 20 points back on Sept. 9, getting three touchdown passes from quarterback Joseph Gray on their way to a 37-24 win. The 24 points were a season-low for the Toreadors, who have won six straight.
Western Division: Inglewood (9-2) vs. No. 4 Paso Robles (9-2) at Flamson Middle School, Friday 7 p.m.
Will Inglewood take Interstate 5 or the more scenic Route 101 to Paso Robles? Regardless, it will take more than four hours and 200 miles to get there. Barring a wild, multi-overtime thriller, Inglewood will spend more time on the bus than it will playing the game. Paso Robles, winners of eight straight, will welcome them with open arms.
Mid-Valley Division: No. 4 Covina (10-1) vs. Whittier Christian (10-1) at Whittier College, Friday, 7 p.m.
Valle Vista League champion Covina made easy work of La Canada last week, but faces stiffer competition this week. Whittier Christian has only once allowed 27 points this season -- and that came in a 35-28 loss at Montebello Cantwell-Sacred Heart. Reason for concern? Half of Covina's wins have come when scoring 27 or less.