Bishop Amat High has not faced much of a challenge in rolling to eight straight victories this season. That will change considerably when the Lancers host powerful Servite in an Angelus League showdown at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Bishop Amat in La Puente. Both teams, ranked among the best in the state, head into the game with 8-0 records (3-0 in league play) and the winner should take the league title.
The game will present contrasting offensive philosophies. Bishop Amat has won with the run, Servite with the pass. Bishop Amat, which blasted Pius X last week, 55-14, has been led by junior running back Eric Bieniemy, who has rushed for 1,193 yards and 20 touchdowns in 188 carries. Bishop Amat also has a good passer in quarterback Rick Carter, who has thrown for 949 yards and 11 touchdowns.
The Bishop Amat defense, which has allowed only 75 points, will be tested by Servite's strong passing attack that features quarterback Tim Rosenkranz and wide receivers Jeff Fieldhouse and Nick-John Haiduc. Rosenkranz completed a 36-yard touchdown pass to Fieldhouse with 33 seconds remaining to give Servite a dramatic 35-33 win over St. Paul last week.
Pasadena vs. Hoover
This was supposed to be the year that Hoover toppled perennial powers Pasadena and Muir from first place in the Pacific League, but it hasn't worked out that way. While Pasadena and Muir are tied for first place, Hoover is struggling to make the playoffs. Hoover needs a victory over Pasadena in their match-up at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Pasadena City College to keep its diminishing playoff hopes alive. Pasadena is 6-2 overall and 3-0 in league play and Hoover 6-2 overall and 1-2 in league games.
Pasadena's offense, led by the rushing of quarterback Ray Murphy and running back W. C. Morrison, is having problems scoring but the defense has been consistently strong. The Bulldogs, who beat Arcadia last week, 14-7, have allowed only 65 points this season. Two leaders are linebacker Kenny James and 6-0, 246-pound middle guard Lamar Watkins. Pasadena will need a strong defensive effort to offset Hoover's option offense, which features quarterback John Alaimo and running back Al Roberson. Hoover gained only 168 total yards in a 13-0 loss to Muir last week and Roberson rushed for 108 of them.
Damien vs. Pomona
After looking impressive in winning its first five games, Pomona has struggled recently. The Red Devils have lost their last three Baseline League games and find themselves in a must-win position for Friday's 7:30 p.m. game against much-improved Damien in La Verne. Pomona is 5-3 overall and 2-3 in league games and Damien 4-4 overall and 4-1 in league play. Another loss probably would put an end to Pomona's playoff hopes.
The key player for Pomona is explosive running back J. J. Flannigan, who was held to 65 yards rushing in 14 carries in last week's 29-6 loss to Upland. Flannigan, No. 2 in rushing in the CIF, has rushed for 1,399 yards and 13 touchdowns. Pomona's defense is led by linebacker Lamar Gray, who also is an offensive lineman. Damien, which has won four of its last five games, has been led by running back Eric Henley and quarterback Bob Fresques. But the Spartans, who are tied with Claremont for first place in the league, were held to 32 yards rushing in their 21-0 loss to the Wolfpack last week.
Los Altos vs. Nogales
The Sierra League championship figures to be decided when Los Altos hosts West Covina in two weeks. But Los Altos had better not look past its league game against Nogales at 7:30 p.m. Friday in La Puente. With its 6-2 overall record (2-1 in Sierra League), Nogales is one of the most improved teams in the San Gabriel Valley. Los Altos is 6-1-1 overall and 2-0-1 in league play.
One of the key figures in the Nogales success is running back Darryl Lewis, who has rushed for 1,111 yards and 13 touchdowns in 127 carries. Two other standouts for the Nobles, who defeated Walnut (26-14) last week, are quarterback Tim Wells and wide receiver Ron Lattimore. Los Altos, which tied Rowland last week (10-10) on a 47-yard field goal by place kicker Chad Dunn with two seconds remaining, has been led by a strong defense that has allowed only 57 points. The offense is led by senior quarterback Mark Smith and running back Garo Sirinian. San Gabriel Valley's Top Ten Prep Teams
Rank, School, League Record Opponent
1 Bishop Amat (Angelus) 8-0-0 Servite 2 Diamond Bar (Hacienda 8-0-0 Ontario 3 Muir (Pacific) 7-1-0 Cres. Valley 4 Claremont (Baseline) 7-1-0 Chaffey 5 West Covina (Sierra) 7-0-0 Rowland 6 Charter Oak (Montview 8-0-0 Sierra Vista 7 Los Altos (Sierra) 6-1-1 Nogales 8 Pasadena (Pacific) 6-2-0 Hoover 9 Nogales (Sierra) 6-2-0 Los Altos 10 S. Hills (Valley Vist 5-1-1 Northview
OTHERS: Arroyo (7-1-0), Ganesha (5-3-0), Rowland (5-2-1), San Dimas (6-1-0), San Marino (5-2-0).