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Big Games : Bishop Amat vs. St. Francis

October 02, 1986|MITCH POLIN and San Gabriel Valley Top Ten Prep Grid Teams and Rank, School, League Record Opponent 1 Bishop Amat (Angelus) 3-0-0 St. Francis 2 Muir (Pacific) 3-0-0 North Torrance 3 Los Altos (Sierra) 3-0-0 La Mirada 4 South Hills (Valle Vista) 3-0-0 Walnut 5 Temple City (Rio Hondo) 3-0-0 Rosemead 6 Diamond Bar (Sierra) 2-0-1 San Dimas 7 Nogales (Sierra) 3-0-0 Bell 8 Pasadena (Pacific) 2-1-0 Monrovia 9 Claremont (Baseline) 2-1-0 Don Lugo 10 San Dimas (Montview) 2-0-0 Pasadena and OTHERS: Arcadia (2-1-0), Arroyo (2-1-0), Azusa (3-0-0), Covina (3-0-0), Damien (1-2-0), Northview (3-0-0).

With an impressive victory over Long Beach Poly behind them and a big football game against Lynwood next week, the Bishop Amat Lancers had better not overlook St. Francis in a non-league match-up at 7:30 p.m. Friday at La Canada. With its 1-1-1 record, St. Francis may not look like a strong challenge for the undefeated Lancers (3-0), but St. Francis has one of the most difficult schedules in the Southland. After tying San Gorgonio (0-0) and losing to Pasadena (24-15), the Knights defeated Damien for their first win (7-6) last week. St. Francis is a tough defensive team. The question is whether the Knights have the offense to stay close to Amat. Their toughest task is stopping senior running back Eric Bieniemy, who has rushed for 441 yards and seven touchdowns in 68 carries. He ran for 143 yards and two touchdowns in a surprisingly easy 21-7 triumph over Long Beach Poly, which had been the top-ranked team in the state. Bishop Amat has an outstanding defense led by linebacker Charles Fraley and defensive back Sean Canova that held Poly to 120 yards.

Diamond Bar vs. San Dimas

San Dimas will have plenty of incentive for its non-league match-up against Diamond Bar at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Diamond Bar. All the Saints have to do is look back at last year's CIF Southeastern Conference semifinals when Diamond Bar defeated them 25-12. Both are pretty good. Diamond Bar, which has moved to the Eastern Conference, is 2-0-1, and San Dimas, ranked No. 1 in the Southeastern Conference, is 2-0. Diamond Bar was impressive in a 16-14 squeaker over strong Pasadena last week. The Brahmas rolled up 404 yards, led by junior running back Sean Trejo's 217 in 17 carries. Diamond Bar has a big offensive line with tackles Bascom Mellon (6-3, 240) and Kelly Schlegel (6-6, 225) and a solid defense led by linebacker George Spada and defensive back Frank Galindo. San Dimas, which has one of the top defensive teams in the valley, has allowed only nine points in two games against Montclair and Bonita. But Diamond Bar is better than both of those teams. Another problem for San Dimas could be its offense, which has scored only 24 points.

Azusa vs. Arroyo

With three weeks gone in the season, Azusa has emerged as one of the surprises. Three straight victories by impressive scores is bound to receive notice. The Aztecs have outscored opponents by 59-15 but figure to receive their toughest test at Arroyo at 7:30 p.m. Friday in El Monte. Arroyo, which has won two straight since losing its opener to strong Temple City, is one of the favorites in the Southeastern Conference. Both teams are fresh from easy victories. Arroyo shut out La Puente, 20-0, and Azusa rolled over Keppel, 32-3. Arroyo has played well defensively, and last week the Knights rolled up 308 yards behind running backs Fernando Zabala and Anthony Alvarez, who combined to rush for 235. Azusa also has a strong, run-oriented offense. The Aztecs were led last week by running back Phil Ramos, who rushed for 91 yards and two touchdowns in 17 carries, and they have a running quarterback in Leon Sherwood.

Muir vs. North Torrance

Which was the last team to defeat Muir? The answer is North Torrance, which edged the Mustangs, 29-28, in the fourth game of last season. Muir has won 13 in a row since then, including the Coastal Conference championship game, entering its non-league game against North Torrance at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Pasadena City College. That should give Muir (3-0) incentive and momentum for the rematch. North Torrance is 1-2 and struggling. The Saxons played their worst game in a 27-6 loss to Leuzinger last week. They are led by running back Tom Button, wide receiver Dustin MacGillivray and linebacker Ryan Kanehailua, but they may not be enough to stop Muir, which has steamrolled opponents by a 97-28 margin. The top offensive players for the Mustangs are running back Ricky Ervins and quarterback Vince Phillips, who completed 15 of 25 passes for 187 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-6 rout of Morningside last week.

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