With nonleague games behind them, Redondo Union football plays on the road at Compton Centennial in the Bay League opener Oct. 4 for both teams.
“In a sense, these past five weeks were preparation for competing in our league, which is very hard-hitting and stout,” said Redondo Union head coach Matt Ballard.
Redondo Union is coming off a victory that ended a two-game losing streak. Their confidence has returned and that is a good thing going into week one.
“We’re in a very competitive league where it’s going to take our best each week for our team to do well,” said Redondo Union starting quarterback Daniel Webb.
Centennial is 2-3 overall coming into the game.
“For us to win our first Bay League game would be big for our confidence moving into the rest of the season,” said Redondo Union senior Drew Wilson. “It is also important to start off league on the right foot.”
Centennial is coming in following a 41-9 loss to Arcadia at home, but had won their two previous games going into that game.
Redondo Union is playing its second road game in a row.
“I’m confident in our coaches to put us in good spots to succeed and I’m confident that our team will have success if we maintain this focus and momentum,” Webb said.
Last year Redondo Union finished fourth in the Bay League with a 2-3 record.
“Our goal is always to be peaking now and the weeks ahead, limiting the small errors, and flawlessly executing our basics,” Ballard said. “Of course, there will be more bumps in the road, but that is why we have to have learned from our early tests and setbacks. Our confidence in one another, focusing on our individual jobs, and remembering the “WIN” = “what’s important now,” will have to direct us going forward.”
Centennial finished in last at 0-5 a year ago.
Redondo Union winning 33-12 at West Torrance last week picked the team up at just the right time.
“It was definitely a great feeling to get back in the win column,” Webb said. “West Torrance always plays us hard and it was a good victory for our team on the road.”
West Torrance remains winless at 0-5.
“Against West our defense was lock down the whole game and our run game was very strong allowing us the opportunity to win the game,” Wilson said. “It felt nice to get back into the win column and to win the way we did was a big confidence boost for the rest of our season.”
Ballard liked what he saw.
“It felt very good to see our boys playing passionate and aggressive football again. We started off with some protection issues, and several drops, but the boys stayed the course, played great defense, and took the fight to West.”
He added, “Our defense was lights out, holding West to under 100 yards total offense. Our defensive-line controlled the line of scrimmage, and the entire defense was much better tacklers this week; priding ourselves on “Hawk Hustle” = all 11 to the ball every play.”
The ground game took over in the later stages.
“The second half our running game took over, and it was inspiring seeing our boys dominate the box and run the ball down the field,” said the coach.
Players of the Week for Redondo Union were: MVP-Kale Nilsen, junior, running back; Offensive Player of the Game-Daniel Webb, senior, quarterback; Defensive Players of the Game-the starting defensive line, Thor Reneau, senior; Jacob Nash, senior; Vaiola Tuviai, senior; Special Teams Player of the Game-Dylan Juarez, senior.