This gives a whole new meaning to the “Battle of 33.”

When Mendota High and Firebaugh High clash every year in football, the game is nicknamed the “Battle of 33,”, noting the stretch of highway that separates the two communities by eight miles.

Now law enforcement is getting involved.

This Saturday the police departments from both communities will square off in a benefit flag football game.  It will take place at Mendota’s Aztec Stadium starting at 11 a.m. The inaugural event will benefit the Mendota Police Department’s Chaplaincy Program as well as providing funds for officers to compete in the Police Olympics.

“My officers have been practicing hard and will be ready to play,” said Mendota Police Chief Kevin Smith.

Tickets for the game are $20 per person, and that will also include a meal of tri-tip, beans, rice pilaf, salad and a drink.  Game-only tickets are $5.

Police officers from both agencies will be selling tickets.  For information, call the Firebaugh Police Department at 559-659-3051.

David Borboa