El Camino College football Coach John Featherstone calls Saturday's matchup between the Warriors and Taft the community college game of the week.
The Warriors (1-0) are the state's top-ranked team, according to the Junior College Athletic Bureau. Taft is rated third.
In 1987, both teams went to the Pony Bowl undefeated, and El Camino walked away with 24-7 victory and a national championship. El Camino hasn't forgotten that game, which many believed the Warriors didn't stand a chance of winning.
"Taft is always very strong on both sides of the ball," Featherstone said. "They always have a fast, physical defense and an absolute machine on offense. This will be the test for us."
The Warriors' offense, which features a lot of running, looked impressive in last week's opener against Ventura. But Featherstone said things will be different Saturday.
"Without a question, Taft will be the toughest defense we will face this season," he said. "We'll really know where we're at in terms of our running game after Saturday."
The Cougars haven't played this season, so Featherstone is basing his prediction on Taft's strength and consistency throughout the years. Last year the Cougars went undefeated (9-0-1) and beat Bakersfield in the Shrine Potato Bowl.
Game time is 7 p.m. at El Camino's Murdock Stadium.
Harbor College will open its season against visiting Victor Valley on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
Victor Valley lost to Porterville, 14-10, in its opener last week.
The Seahawks and the Rams are unranked and looking to improve last year's dismal records. Under first-year Coach Don Weems, Harbor finished last in the Northern Division of the Western State Conference with a 2-7 record, 3-7 overall. Victor Valley (0-8, 1-9) finished last in the nine-member Foothill Conference.
L.A. Southwest is off and plays Harbor on Sept. 22.