Keeping up with Cubs in College Football - preview of Friday’s tilt - Loyola frosh play for title Thursday

Loyola alum David Long '16 leads Power-5 Conference Cornerbacks in fewest yards allowed
The University of Michigan is ranked sixth in the latest Associated Press College Football poll, and the Wolverines defense is the second best overall in the FBS after seven games.

Playing a major role on Michigan's suffocating defensive platoon is junior cornerback DAVID LONG ' 16. An Army All-American, first team All-State, and All-CIF Southern Section Division I defensive back at Loyola in 2015, Long, according to Pro Football Focus, leads the Power-5 Conference football teams in fewest yards allowed per coverage snaps at 0.15.

Former Cub star Myles Bryant '16 having another stellar year for the University of Washington
MYLES BRYANT '16 was Loyola's MVP in 2015. He starred as a wide receiver, corner and special teams standout for the Cubs. In his junior year at the University of Washington, Bryant is currently the Huskies' third leading tackler with 40 stops, including 25 solos. A Stratton’s nickel corner, Bryant is second on the squad in both passes broken up and sacks, and is third in tackles for loss.

Loyola grad Stefan Flintoft '14 is currently sixth in nation in punting average
UCLA's starting punter STEFAN FLINTOFT '14, a Ray Guy Award Finalist, currently holds the sixth best punting average (46.67 yards per punt) in major college football. He was a special teams star for the Cubs in 2013. Loyola has five graduates on UCLA's current football roster 

Cub grads getting it done for USC
REUBEN PETERS '14 was an All-League linebacker for Loyola in  2013. He walked on at USC where he was converted to fullback and earned a scholarship. As a fifth year senior Peters is back at his old linebacker post. He had six tackles last Saturday in the Trojans’ win over then undefeated Colorado.

Former Cub All-League defensive end CHRISTIAN RECTOR '15 is starting on the defensive line for USC, while CHRIS BROWN '14, an All-CIF lineman for Loyola in 2013, starts at offensive guard for the Trojans. There are six former Loyola players on USC's football roster.

Former Cub center TY MAHAR starts for Colby College
As a freshman, former Loyola center TY MAHAR '18, is the starting center at Colby College of the New England Small Colleges Athletic Conference. Mahar is one of 37 former Cub grads who are currently playing college football. Mahar is the first Loyola grad to compete at Colby, which is one of the nation's top rated liberal arts colleges.

Tolbert twins lead University of San Diego secondary
Twins DANIEL and DAVID TOLBERT '16, who were members of Loyola's incredibly talented 2015 team, rank first and sixth, respectively, in tackles as starting defensive backs for the University of San Diego. Daniel has recorded 38 stops, including 26 solos. He has broken up four passes for the Tereros and has one interception. David has 29 total tackles to his credit, including 22 solo stops. He has also broken up eight passes.

Former Cub star Nico Evans '14 leads Wyoming in rushing
Former All-CIF Cub running back NICO EVANS '14 is the University of Wyoming's leading rusher, despite missing two contests because of injury. Evans has amassed 634 rushing yards in five games (134 yards per game). He has scored four TDs. Evans’ longest run covered 75 yards. The former Loyola star running back is averaging an impressive 7.0 yards per carry for the Cowboys.

This week's varsity game:
Bishop Amat Lancers (7-1)

Amat, state’s ninth-ranked team, is balanced on offense, tough on defense and deep

A look at the Lancers
Steve Hagerty is in his eleventh season as the head coach at his alma mater, Bishop Amat, and might have one of his best squads this season.

The Lancers were ranked ninth in the state heading into last weekend’s lightning-delayed game against Notre Dame in Sherman Oaks, which was completed on Saturday with a decisive 28-14 Lancer triumph. Bishop Amat’s lofty ranking is well deserved. The Lancers (6-1) lost by just a point,21-20, to JSerra of the Trinity League. JSerra is ranked sixth in California. Amat lost its opener to defending national champion Mater Dei, but because the Monarchs used an ineligible player, the defeat became a forfeit victory. It remains at the number nine spot in this week's rankings.

The Lancer offense is led by savvy, veteran field general Blake Archuleta (6-2, 190). The senior QB had completed 64% of his passes for 1,140 yards, threw for ten TDs and just one interception heading into last week’s contest. His top targets are senior wide receivers Jaden Allen (5-10, 165, 23 receptions, 375 yds., 16.3 ypc) and Daniel Garcia (6-0, 155, 19 catches, 176 yards).

Amat’s balanced offense has a strong rushing component led by senior tailback Kenny Collins (5-9, 170). The speedster scored eight touchdowns and gained 615 yards in seven games with a 5.1 yards per carry average. He also is dangerous as a receiver out of the backfield. The depth laden Lancer offense rolls behind a big, powerful offensive line.

On the defensive side of the ball, Amat has players who wreak havoc. The big stopper is senior middle linebacker Fidel Cabral (5-10, 190). Through seven games Cabral was second on the squad with 51 tackles, including 38 solos. Senior defensive back Deven Jarvis is the tackle leader with 59 and also has a team-leading two interceptions. Junior outside linebacker Elijah Ponder (6-4, 195) had five sacks in seven games and defensive end Ethan Rodriguez (6-4, 225) had recorded 6.5 sacks.

Outlook
The Lancers pay a physical brand of football on both sides of the ball. To have a chance for an upset win the Cubs will have to match the Lancers’ physicality and corral Archuleta.  If they can't slow down Amat's veteran field general, it could be a long night. Loyola will also have to score points, which has proved difficult since game one. The Cubs probably have an advantage in the punting and kicking games. CalPreps' computer picks Amat to win 35-0. The Cubs have different ideas.

The series
The one league team that has historically had Loyola’s number is Bishop Amat. The teams first played in 1968, with the Pat Haden and J.K. McKay pass-catch combo leading the Lancers to a 29-13 win. One of the most exciting games in the series was played at Amat in 1997, when All-CIF Southern Section DL Michael Long made a critical stop on fourth-and-short late in the game to preserve a 3-0 Cub win. Loyola finished the season 12-1.

Huge game at Smith Field on Thursday as Loyola freshmen play for Mission League title
If you can take an early break from your work schedule on Thursday, the place to be is Smith Field at 4:00 p.m. as Loyola's outstanding freshman football team will take on longtime nemesis Bishop Amat, whose level of physicality has been unmatched by any of the Cubs' other eight opponents. It promises to be an exciting battle for the 2018 Mission League crown. Both squads are undefeated in conference competition.