It’s not really much of a rivalry game in the ordinary sense.
In a true rivalry, either one team or the other wins, making each game a toss-up, at any level, whether it’s pro, college or high school.
But in the Mammoth-Bishop series, there haven’t been a whole lot of Huskies victories over the decades.
Two years ago, when the Huskies last visited Bishop, the final was 59-6, but it wasn’t really that close.
Going into that game and asked about the “highlights” of the series, longtime Huskies Head Coach Tom Gault thought for about a tenth of a second and came up empty.
“We’ve beaten them (the Broncos) three or four times in 30 years, so those are the high points,” he said.
Current football coach Marty Thompson is nothing if not an optimist, however. He got a great game last week out of tailback Tyler Wormhoudt who ran the field as if he were skiing a giant slalom last in a 44-26 loss to visiting Kern Valley.
Tonight, Huskies co-captain Alex Hamilton (receiver, running back and outside linebacker) is back in the lineup after having separated his shoulder a week before the season began.
But the key is a team thing, not an individual deal.
“We just have to play hard the whole game,” he said after practice Tuesday afternoon. “Bishop plays hard all the time.”
“Last week (a 44-26 loss to Kern Valley), we started out so horribly, and at the end of the game we were running the ball well, but that kept the clock running too, and you can’t come from behind and win like that.”
Even with a good, fast start, the Huskies have their work cut out for them.
The Huskies are coming off two humbling losses and the Broncos are looking to stomp out the memory of their 36-0 loss to CIF powerhouse Sierra Canyon.
The Huskies’ loss was indescribably worse than Bishop’s, however.
Kern Valley is a tiny school with small players, (similar to Mammoth), but they put up 37 points in the first quarter before Mammoth finally picked up any points at all.
Were it not for the running prowess of Wormhoudt, the Huskies might have been blown right back into the White Mountains.
Wormhoudt, who sat out this week’s practices with a sore arm, picked up 269 yards on 31 carries in the game, adding 220 more yards on five kickoff returns.
That’s an impressive statistic, with one serious downside. To get five runbacks, a team has to give up touchdowns or field goals, and the Huskies can’t afford to do that.
They could not afford to do that last week, and they can’t afford to do it against Bishop, whose Broncos have owned the Huskies since time immemorial.