Cougars Clash with Spartans in Battle of I-5

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Namir Brown Sanger on his way to the end zone

Weston Ranch and Lathrop will match up tonight in the renewal of the “I-5 Rivalry”. For the first time since 2017, the Cougars and the Spartans will meet on the gridiron with bragging rights on the line and to claim The Trophy.

The series began back in 2009. Weston Ranch secured the first win by besting the Spartans 27-7. The Cougars would go on to win the next five. However, as Lathrop continued to grow and improve, the tide shifted to the Spartans. Lathrop reeled off four wins in a row before the series ended after the 2017 season. According to our research, Weston Ranch leads the series 6-4. While the Cougars have the edge in total victories, Lathrop has the current win streak and has blown out the Cougars, outscoring them 134-51 during that stretch of four wins.

The 2021 version of the game promises to be an exciting affair. The Cougars (1-1) are coming off its thrilling 26-24 victory over Mountain House when the Cougars had to knock down a potential game-tying 2-point try by the Mustangs. The Spartans (1-1) blew out Mt. Diablo High School 49-26 the week after dropping its season opener to Tokay High School 25-14. But rivalry games like this mean you probably can throw out the record books. Something about renewing an old acquaintance in football means there is more involved than just strategy.

“Tonight is going to be against a team that matches well with us,” Cougars head coach Ron Wayman said. “For us to win, we must stay disciplined and execute our offense and defense. Yes, the “I-5 Trophy” is on the line tonight. Lathrop has won the last couple of meetings and kept the trophy. We have one goal, win and bring the trophy back home, where this all started.”

Spartans head coach Ryan Teicheira said, “It’s hard for new coaches to come in and understand the rivalry, especially since it hasn’t happened in a few years. But, it was great hearing about it from the kids and how they have brothers or cousins who played in the “Battle of I-5″ game. I think it still has its special meaning to the families and players here at Lathrop. So, I am excited for our players to play in a game that means a little bit more than just a preseason game.”

Weston Ranch will rely on QB Namir Brown Sanger to lead the effort. Last week, Brown Sanger had a game for the ages, scoring three TDs and passing for another. So far, Brown Sanger has rushed for 202 yards with three TDs and passed for 129 yards with one TD and one interception. The Spartans will need to corral Brown Sanger to have a shot at victory.

The Cougars will also need to play solid defense, something they have done well enough the past two weeks, to bottle up Lathrop’s high-powered ground attack. Last week, the Spartans scored 42 first-half points and cruised to their victory. The Spartans rushed for 323 yards (MaxPreps.com), so the Cougars will have their hands full defending their goal.

The I-5 Game seems to have everyone on both campuses talking, and that’s why it’s great the game between these two schools is back.

“We are excited that the Battle of I-5 is back,” Lathrop AD/VP Chuck Selna told The Prowl. “Our team and our student body are looking forward to tonight’s game. I am sure that both teams will give a great effort from start to finish.

New Weston Ranch AD/VP Marcelo Zamarippa added, “It’s exciting to have the Battle of I-5 back on with Lathrop. I’m looking forward to seeing a good game tonight. Go Cougars!”

The JV will begin the night at 5 pm, and the varsity will follow at 7 pm.

 

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