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Bellflower Slip Puts La Mirada in Driver's Seat

November 07, 1985|PAUL McLEOD

A week ago, the game between Bellflower and La Mirada high schools was being billed by the rest of the Suburban League as the battle for the league title.

But in the consistently inconsistent world of prep football, a week can change a lot of things.

That is the case with Friday night's meeting between host Bellflower (6-2, 2-1) and La Mirada. Bellflower's shocking 32-13 loss to Artesia last week has taken a bit of the luster off this one.

"Kids are hard to get up," said Bellflower Coach Clay O'Dell about the sudden turn of events that saw Artesia snap the Bucs' three-game winning streak. "When they're winning they think they're the greatest thing in the world. The warning signs (of overconfidence) were there two weeks ago (a 14-0 struggle over Norwalk). Artesia caught us when we were down."

Bellflower won the Suburban League title in 1981. The Bucs tied La Mirada that year, 7-7. Since then the Matadors have won three straight in the series. La Mirada has won or shared the league title each of the past three seasons and brings a four-game winning streak into the contest.

The Matadors' ground-oriented offense revolves around running back Kelly Brooks. He is averaging 8.3 yards a carry and has scored 20 touchdowns. He also is one of the area's top punters, averaging 40.7 yards a kick. A senior, he was a Times All-Southeast selection last year.

Despite a lack of depth (only 24 players turned out for fall practice), Bellflower has won with execution and hustle. Quarterback Mike Lemanski leads the offense. He has passed for 1,215 yards and 15 touchdowns. His favorite target is Byron Rex, who has caught 38 passes for 662 yards and six touchdowns. Brian Dorsey has 24 receptions for 267 yards and five TDs. Defensively, Reggie Kennedy has seven interceptions.

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