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Tigers look to keep Grape Bowl trophy for second straight year

Senior Martin Garcia (32) carries the Grape Bowl trophy off the field following a 20-16 Tokay win last season. (Keith Colgan)

The city championship trophy will be on the line tonight for the 45th consecutive year, and Lodi and Tokay are gearing up for their historic football clash at the Grape Bowl.

Lodi (1-3 in the Tri-City Athletic League, 4-5) will be on the visitor’s for this year’s showdown, scheduled to kick off at 7:15 p.m., while Tokay (1-3 in the TCAL, 3-6) will be the home team. Tokay won last year’s contest 20-16.

But it’s not just bragging rights and a city trophy on the line. A Flames win would give them two league wins and a 5-5 record for the season, and a possible at-large playoff berth. With the Sac-Joaquin Section’s playoff system, it’s not every year that 5-5 teams make the playoffs. But the way the standings are shaking out this year, a few 5-5 squads could get in, and Lodi’s opponent wins could secure them a spot.

The playoff brackets are suppose to be released Saturday after 4 p.m. on its website —

Tokay coach Michael Holst feels one of the Flames’ strengths is the offensive and defensive lines, along with some threats in the skill positions.

“They’re big up front and physical,” Holst said. “It’s their second year operating out of the flexbone on offense, and they’ve improved at the technical aspects of running it.”

To read the entire News-Sentinel story, please click HERE.

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