Diamond Bar vs. Ganesha
The Diamond Bar High football team, winner of five straight this year and 19 in a row over the last two years, faces a formidable challenge when it meets Hacienda League rival Ganesha at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut. The last team to beat the Brahmas was Ganesha in the CIF Southeastern Conference championship game in December, 1983.
Ganesha, winner of two straight league games and 3-2 overall, may have its best team since the championship year. The Giants have an outstanding rushing attack led by fullback Terrell Thompson and quarterback Craig Norvell and a big, physical defense led by nose guard David Foster (6-1, 205) and tackle Antonio Johnson (6-4, 250). Diamond Bar has balance on offense with standouts Kraig Washington at running back, Curt Ledesma at quarterback and Larry Vladic at wide receiver. Defensive back Troy Porter is the leader of a defense that has allowed only 23 points. The offense had its best outing of the season in a 50-0 rout of Garey last week.
Nogales vs. West Covina
At the start of the season, few would have considered these teams title contenders in the powerful Sierra League. However, the winner of this league opener at 7:30 p.m. Friday at West Covina High will emerge as a strong possibility for the title. Both are off to their best starts in recent years. West Covina is 4-0 and Nogales 4-1. Both have an outstanding running back, effective passing and strong defenses. West Covina is led by Leland Adams, who rushed for 233 yards and two touchdowns in 16 carries in last week's 29-6 win over Arcadia, and Nogales is headed by Darryl Lewis, who ran for three touchdowns in a 40-12 rout of North Torrance last week. Other standouts for Nogales are quarterback Tim Wells and wide receiver Ron Lattimore. Besides Adams, West Covina's offense is led by quarterback Vince Aguilar, wide receiver Mike Culwell and fullback Sean Bentsen.
Los Altos vs. Walnut
What a difference a few weeks has made for Los Altos Coach Dwayne DeSpain. Four weeks ago, after a 33-6 loss to Bishop Amat that left several key players injured, DeSpain was mostly concerned with keeping his team healthy. He is feeling much better about things lately, thanks to three straight wins. That gives the Conquerors a 4-1 record going into their Sierra League opener against surprising Walnut (3-1-1) at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Hacienda Heights. One factor in the recent success of Los Altos has been the return of quarterback Mark Smith, who was injured in the Bishop Amat game. Smith completed 18 of 30 passes for 240 yards and two touchdowns in a 14-7 victory over Lakewood last week. Walnut, one of the surprise teams in the San Gabriel Valley, has relied on the passing of Dan Crockett and the rushing of Scott Potter and a defense that has allowed only 34 points.
Pomona vs. Don Lugo
Pomona has been impressive in winning its first five games, but the Red Devils face a tough opponent in Don Lugo in a Baseline League game at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Chino. Not that Don Lugo's 2-3 record is anything to brag about, but the Conquistadores are coming off a shocking 20-14 upset of Claremont, which had an 18-game winning streak.
Don Lugo will have to contend with Pomona running back J. J. Flannigan, the leading rusher in the CIF Southern Section. Flannigan ran for 265 yards and three touchdowns in last week's 28-17 triumph over Glendora and has 1,166 yards and 16 touchdowns in only 93 carries. That's 12.5 yards a carry to worry about. Other offensive leaders for the Red Devils are quarterback Kevin Osborne and wide receiver Jimmy Brown. Pomona is led on defense by linebacker Lamar Gray. Don Lugo's leaders are quarterback Rich Jimenez and place-kicker Alan Zendejas, considered best in the CIF.
San Gabriel Valley's Top Ten Prep Teams
Rank, School, League Record Opponent 1 Bish. Amat. (Ang.) 5-0-0 Bish. Mont. 2 Diamond Bar (Hacienda) 5-0-0 Ganesha 3 Muir (Pacific) 4-1-0 Arcadia 4 Los Altos (Sierra) 4-1-0 Walnut 5 Claremont (Baseline) 4-1-0 Upland 6 West Covina (Sierra) 4-0-0 Nogales 7 Charter Oak (Montview) 5-0-0 Bassett 8 Pomona (Baseline) 5-0-0 Don Lugo 9 Rowland (Sierra) 4-1-0 HH Wilson 10 Nogales (Sierra) 4-1-0 West Covina
OTHERS: Arroyo (5-0-0), Ganesha (3-2-0), Pasadena (3-2-0), San Dimas (4-0-0), South Hills (2-1-1).