The Mammoth Huskies travel to Bishop tonight, and that’s almost enough to put a glaze over Head Coach Tom Gault’s eyes.
“I’m not sure what to expect,” Gault said earlier this week, “but I’ll tell you that somebody asked me the other day, ‘You look back on the Bishop-Mammoth rivalry, what are the some of the high points you can mention?’
“And I told him, ‘Well, we’ve beaten them (the Broncos) three or four times in 30 years, so those are the high points.’”
With that, the head coach of the Huskies (2-1) chortled, and said it might be better to take a larger view of the game, which will heavily favor the Broncos (3-0). Kickoff is at 7 o’clock and the junior varsity tees up at 4.
“I expect 4,000-5,000 people to show up to watch a football game in the middle of the Eastern Sierra at a high school football game, live, and I think it’s awesome that there’s that much interest,” Gault said.
“I’m very happy that the Mammoth Huskies and I can be a part of that.”
There is more at stake than the usual bragging rights for the Huskies, who last week eked out a 10-7 victory over Calvary Murrieta on Jorge “Coco” Galvan’s field goal in the last 45 seconds of the game.
All season they have been in search of an offense, and if they don’t find one tonight, it might be lights out early.
The Huskies have failed to score in any of their first, second and third quarters. For the season, the offense has scored just nine points total, and their passing game has been invisible.
The defense hasn’t been much of a trouble area and, in fact, has kept the Huskies competitive.
“The offense always, no matter at what level you play, takes much longer to develop,” Gault said. “The offense requires many more practice reps than the defense does. On the defensive side, if you’ve got some kids who can play, you line them up in their defensive positions and ask them to make a play, and if that happens, you’re probably going to be all right.
“Offensively, we’re still searching for what our style is. My own style is line ’em up and run the ball down their throats. But you have to have the kind of players who fit that kind of offense. I think with the kind of players we have, we need a different kind of style, and Coach (Marty) Thompson has been working hard to make a different style of offense.
“The kind of kids we have are more suited a little more to open offense that I would run. I’d probably run three yards and a cloud of dust, and that would be that.”
The Broncos, on the other hand, are in fine shape on both sides of the ball.
Working with quarterback Chance Callahan, the Broncos have put up an average 40 points a game on top of an average 353 yards of total offense. Mammoth, by contrast, has averaged three points a game to go with an average 166 yards a game in total offense.
But you never know in sports. Weird things happen, and the two teams still have to play the game. And if the Huskies run into a little bit of luck, Gault may pocket a rare “high point” in the series.