DANVILLE -- The Monte Vista and Pittsburg high football teams would like to soothe nagging aches when they meet Friday night to kick off the North Coast Section Division I playoffs.
The host Mustangs (6-4), seeded eighth, will try to snap a three-game losing streak, and the No. 9 Pirates (7-3) want to exorcise the demons from a ghastly 44-14 loss to Monte Vista two months ago.
Friday's winner will face No. 1 De La Salle (10-0) on Nov. 16 in the second round.
"I think we caught them with the perfect storm when we played them," Monte Vista coach Craig Bergman said of the 30-point win over Pittsburg. "They didn't, obviously, play as well as they could, and I thought at that time we were at the top of our game."
For Pittsburg, the loss to the Mustangs was like the perfect headache.
"We didn't even show up," Pittsburg coach Victor Galli said. "We got down. We threw a pick for a touchdown, and we never were able to recover. They're a good team, but that shouldn't have happened like that."
The Mustangs, led by senior two-way stalwart Mason Melin, have lost three games by a combined 14 points, including losing leads in the fourth quarter in defeats against Amador Valley and San Ramon Valley in East Bay Athletic League play.
"If we're gonna be successful we've got to learn how to finish games," Bergman said.
Galli is upset that five EBAL teams were seeded above the Pirates in the 14-team Division I bracket. He also believes No. 6 Freedom (8-2), the Bay Valley Athletic League champion, is seeded too low.
"They put 5-5 teams ahead of us," Galli said. "I don't know who sits on those committees, but it's a bunch of (bleep), though."
Galli, whose team also lost to No. 2 seed California, thinks NCS didn't give enough credence to the Pirates' 28-27 win over Sac-Joaquin Section power Granite Bay.
Bergman has no problem with the seedings.
"I think they did a pretty good job because they have to go off head-to-head competition, and in league we beat each other up," Bergman said. "It's tough to seed our league. Outside our league when you look at the results, I think they have it seeded right."