CCS playoff mania

The Baler running game had its final tuneup Thursday for the CCS playoffs against Milpitas High.

The Haybalers are all set for tomorrow night’s Central Coast
Section matchup with the visiting Milpitas Trojans.
The weather forecast calls for a cold clear night, but it will
heat up quickly at Andy Hardin Field.
No. 4 San Benito will be taking on No. 5 Milpitas in the first
round of the CCS Division 2 playoffs. The Balers are pumped up and
anxious to play three more football games this season.
The Haybalers are all set for tomorrow night’s Central Coast Section matchup with the visiting Milpitas Trojans.

The weather forecast calls for a cold clear night, but it will heat up quickly at Andy Hardin Field.

No. 4 San Benito will be taking on No. 5 Milpitas in the first round of the CCS Division 2 playoffs. The Balers are pumped up and anxious to play three more football games this season.

“It’s like one of the coaches said this week – the teams that make it to the end of the year are the teams that want to keep practicing,” said Baler coach Chris Cameron.

The last time the two teams met was four years ago in the first round of the Division 1 playoffs. The Balers pulled out a 31-30 win over the visiting Trojans and then went on to the championship, where they lost 28-20 to Oak Grove.

Both San Benito (7-2-1) and Milpitas (6-3-1) come into the game with almost identical records. But the Balers have a little more experience on their side with a 16-8 playoff record. Milpitas (3-12) has just three wins in the playoffs.

Neither team knows much about the other team because of the distance between the two leagues. The only thing they have to go from are the game films the two teams exchanged at the CCS seeding meeting.

“You pretty much have what you have on them,” Cameron said. “We haven’t seen them play a ton of times, and they haven’t seen us play.”

Milpitas coach Kelly King came down to see the preseason scrimmage against the Acorns.

“They got a real good football team – well coached,” King said. “Hopefully, we will come down there and play well ourselves. We can’t make any mistakes, and we have to stop their running game. We have a couple kids hurt, but everyone does at this time of the season. Overall we are fairly healthy.”

The Balers, who went on an eight-game unbeaten streak this season, have been working hard this week on special teams and moving the ball.

“We have to play a solid football game,” Cameron said. “We have been playing solid defense. We have to score points in the second half and keep the pressure on. We have to play a solid four quarters offensively.”

One thing that has impressed Cameron about the Trojans is the kick return. Milpitas, led by R-Jay Benavides, can open a game up in a hurry with a big return.

“We can’t afford to give up a big play on the kickoff,” Cameron said. “They have good-sized, fast kids. They are good, skilled athletes, and they play in a good league. It is going to be a challenge.”

The Balers will have running back Nick Bailey back this week. Bailey was out last week with a separated shoulder. He was cleared to play but couldn’t get any movement in his shoulder. Bailey said he can raise his arm and move it around without any pain and he is pumped up about the game.

Note: Tickets can be purchased in advance at the San Benito student payment center to save time waiting in long lines on the night of the game. No passes of any kind except official CCS passes will be honored at the game.

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