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Battle for Pearl Street is back: Bishop’s School and La Jolla High football to square off Aug. 20

The Bishop's School Knights practice for their Aug. 20 game against La Jolla High School.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

As the coaches of La Jolla football rivals The Bishop’s School and La Jolla High School count down to matching up Friday, Aug. 20, they believe the game is going to be a battle.

That would be fitting for what is dubbed the Battle for Pearl Street, which this year will take place on the La Jolla High School field at 750 Nautilus St. The game is so named because Pearl Street divides the two schools, and the winning school gets a “Pearl Street” trophy that looks like a street sign.

“It’s a fun game, and we hope to get the community to come out and experience the Friday night lights again,” said La Jolla coach Tyler Roach. “It’s always a fun game for the community, with the schools being so close. The kids know each other. Plus, we owe Bishop’s one.”

The two teams did not face each other in last season’s coronavirus-truncated football schedule, but the year before, the Battle for Pearl Street went to The Bishop’s School, 18-7. In the 2016 season, Bishop’s won the Battle, 49-0.

So will this be the year the La Jolla Vikings turn the tables on the Bishop’s Knights? Or will the Knights keep their title, and the trophy?

“It’s going to be a battle, that’s for sure,” said Bishop’s coach Shane Walton. “We have a pretty young team. They are talented but untested. But we have strong senior leadership in Thomas Muniz, who is an anchor for our team. Under his leadership, I think we are going to have a great year.”

Walton said the match-up against the Vikings is “going to be a tough one, maybe one of our toughest all year.”

The game also will be “a litmus test to see where we are” and “help us figure out who we are.”

Similarly, Roach said the Vikings are a younger group, with several seniors having graduated last school year.

“We have new kids and guys coming back from injury that didn’t play last year,” he said. “Our strength this season is our offense. Our quarterback, Jackson Stratton, had a strong season last year and he’s back, and we have some weapons around him. We plan to be more fun to watch offensively. Last year, defense carried more of the momentum, so there is a role reversal this season.”

He said the players are “super excited” to have a full season ahead of them, while acknowledging they have their work cut out.

“We have a really tough season, but things are starting to gel,” Roach said. “We are playing some really top teams, especially later on. We’re calling that second half of the season ‘The Gauntlet.’”

The Vikings hope to build momentum in the first half of the season — including the Battle for Pearl Street — to carry them into the second half.

“The goal is to build confidence each week and get better, regardless of opponent,” Roach said. “We have a lot of new faces that need game time, because you can’t replicate that in practice. So we need to start the season fast and get some wins out of the gate.”

La Jolla High and Bishop’s football schedules

These schedules are based on information available by the La Jolla Light’s press deadline. All games are at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

La Jolla High School

  • Aug. 13: Away vs. Granite Hills, 6 p.m.
  • Aug. 20: Home vs. Bishop’s
  • Aug. 27: Home vs. Scripps Ranch
  • Sept. 3: Home vs. Point Loma
  • Sept. 10: Away vs. Del Norte, 7:15 p.m.
  • Sept. 17: Away vs. Mater Dei
  • Sept. 24: Home vs. Foothills Christian
  • Oct. 8: Home vs. Lincoln
  • Oct. 15: Home vs. Madison
  • Oct. 22: Away vs. Cathedral Catholic
  • Oct. 29: Away vs. St. Augustine

The Bishop’s School
Home games will be played at La Jolla High School.

  • Aug. 20: Away vs. La Jolla
  • Aug. 28: Home vs. Maranatha Christian, 6 p.m.
  • Sept. 4: Home vs. Rancho Christian, 6 p.m.
  • Sept. 10: Home vs. University City, 7:30 p.m.
  • Sept. 24: Away vs. Serra High School
  • Oct. 2: Away vs. Santa Fe Christian, noon
  • Oct. 8: Away vs. Francis Parker
  • Oct. 15: Away vs. Tri-City Christian
  • Oct. 22: Home vs. La Jolla Country Day, 7:30 p.m.
  • Oct. 29: Home vs. Orange Glen, 7:30 p.m. ◆