The big little game of the high school football season will be upon us Friday when Chadwick, ranked No. 2 in the CIF eight-man conference, travels to No. 3 Pasadena Poly.
The match-up may not carry the weight of Carson-Banning in the minds of college recruiters and scouting bureaus, but on the eight-man level this is the game of the year, as well as the title game for the Prep League.
Kickoff is at 2:30 p.m. Friday. By trick-or-treat time one of these light heavyweights will have turned into a pumpkin.
Despite the teams' good defensive statistics, the coaches expect an offensive-minded game. On its way to a 5-0 record Chadwick has averaged more than 37 points per game, with a high of 49. Poly, 6-0, has averaged 41 points, with a high of 57. Chadwick is allowing 13.4 points per game, Poly only 7.
Old Aerial Circus
"The ball will be flying through the air most of the game. It should be wide open," Chadwick Coach Howard Cole predicted.
Chadwick has a veteran, talented team led by quarterback-cornerback Jeff Kaufman, running back Collin McDonald, linebacker Ben Rosen and defensive ends Greg Burrelli and Fred Clark. Kaufman, Burrelli and Rosen earned all-CIF honors as juniors. Clark may be the best athlete in the program.
Kaufman, a 6-4 senior, has completed 68% of his passes for 840 yards and 11 touchdowns and has scored five. As a junior he passed for about 1,500 yards and was the all-CIF punter. With his defensive talents, his 42.2-yard punting average and baseball ability added in, several colleges are interested in him.
McDonald has rushed for 728 yards and nine touchdowns and has a high game of 192 yards on the ground.
Jeff Carnes leads the receivers with 24 catches for six touchdowns, but Chadwick's key receiver, Charlton Jackson, has returned from a stress fracture in his foot and is rounding into form. In Chadwick's last game the lanky junior was in for three plays--and caught two touchdowns. He earned all-CIF second-team honors as a sophomore.
"He'll get a lot of playing time Friday," Cole said.
Everybody on the squad is healthy, giving Chadwick a full complement of 22 players, one of its largest squads ever.
Poly's offense is similar to Chadwick, though a bit more run-oriented. However, Poly's top runner, Bernard Clark, is out with a knee injury, forcing quarterback Vince Duffy to throw more. "They're putting it up more than they have in the past," Cole said. Clark's loss deprives Poly of his team-high 360 rushing yards and eight touchdowns.
Duffy has completed 347 of 68 tosses for 590 yards and eight touchdowns. Wide receiver Charles Ellis is the main target with 17 receptions for 226 yards. Poly still has a solid running attack with Kelcey Wilson and Jeff Wilson having split about 500 yards.
The squads aren't the biggest, the players aren't the biggest and the fan and news media interest may not be the biggest. But from the standpoint of records, rankings and league titles, this is the big game of the week.