Two teams riding the crest of win streaks, the Douglas Black Tigers and the Vacaville (Calif.) Bengals, will collide in the Pop Warner junior pee wee Western Regional semifinals Saturday morning in Sparks.
The Tigers are 9-1 with seven straight victories, and the Bengals are 10-1 coming into the semifinal, which kicks off at 9 a.m. at Reed High School.
Douglas advanced by defeating the Sparks Seahawks in the Sagebrush Empire League's Snow Bowl championship game last Friday night at Don Mello Sports Complex in Sparks. By winning that game, the Tigers atoned for their only loss of the season, a 19-14 loss to the Seahawks in week two.
"It was a great shootout," Douglas coach Alonzo Hatchett said. "They (Seahawks) controlled the ball for the entire first quarter, but our guys came back and really stepped up. It was something to see."
The Douglas defense has allowed only 61 points in 10 games.
That unit will be challenged by the high-powered Bengals, who have scored 220 points and only allowed 30 in 11 games. The Bengals advanced to the semifinals with a 20-14 victory against San Francisco last weekend. Their only loss came earlier this season when Vallejo, Calif., scored two touchdowns in the final minute to pull out a come-from-behind victory.
Sixteen players are back from a Bengals team that went 11-1 last year, including a 38-20 regional playoff victory against the Sparks Patriots.
The winner of Saturday's game will advance to the regional finals in Santa Clara, Calif., to play the winner of the other regional semifinal between Palo Alto, Calif., and the Pacific Northwest.
Douglas will be involved in another regional semifinal when the White Tigers junior midget squad takes on the Windsor (Calif.) Knights in a 1 p.m. contest at Reed.
The Tigers will put their unblemished 9-0 season record on the line against the Redwood Empire League champion Knights from the Santa Rosa area. Tigers coach Rocky Walling said doesn't know what to expect from the Knights - other than they'll be a quality opponent.
"Any time you get to a game between conference champions, you know you're going to see a tough team," said Walling, who also coached a Carson Valley Little League baseball team to the Western Regionals in San Bernardino in 1997.
"To be in he position to play in a game like this is a good feeling. It means your kids have achieved a goal they've strived toward all season," he added.
The Tigers earned their semifinal berth with a 13-0 Snow Bowl victory against the Reno Vikings last Friday. The Tigers have only allowed 26 points this season.