El Toro vs. Mission Viejo The records--El Toro 4-0, 9-0; Mission Viejo 3-1, 5-4.
The site--Mission Viejo High School.
The standings--El Toro has clinched a tie for its sixth league title in the last seven years and can become the South Coast League's No. 1 representative in the Southern Conference playoffs with a victory. A Mission Viejo victory would create a three-way tie for first place with El Toro and Capistrano Valley.
El Toro update--The Chargers were at full strength last week for the first time since the season's third week when running back Ron Chocklet returned to the lineup. Chocklet has lost his starting position to Aly Diaz, a transfer from Twentynine Palms, but Charger Coach Bob Johnson said both players could be in the backfield together sometime tonight. Quarterback Bret Johnson has thrown for 1,763 yards and 20 touchdowns. Johnson's main receivers are Scott Miller (43 receptions, 714 yards) and Chris McCarthy (28 receptions, 442 yards). All-American tackle Scott Spalding, linebacker Scott Ross and cornerback Shane Brisbin lead the El Toro defense.
Mission Viejo update--The Diablos had allowed only 43 points in eight games before losing to Capistrano Valley last week, 41-14. Tailback Darrin Sweazy has missed two straight games with an injury, and his status is questionable. Sweazy has averaged 5.1 yards per carry and scored 6 touchdowns. With Sweazy out, Mission Viejo has relied primarily on its passing game. In the last two weeks, quarterback Tony Arnone has passed for a total of 247 yards and 3 touchdowns. Sophomore Eric Ekdahl has gained 136 yards in Sweazy's absence. Ekdahl also is the team's kicker. Linebacker David Bancroft leads the team with three interceptions.
Key to the game--El Toro upset Mission Viejo last year, 24-17, so the Charger coaching staff is aware that anything is possible in this rivalry. El Toro must avoid looking ahead to the first round of postseason play next week. Mission Viejo must play an error-free game if it is to have any chance at an upset.
Consensus--Mission Viejo has had problems against quality opponents, losing to San Diego Morse, Hart, Santa Ana and Capistrano Valley. El Toro should win by two touchdowns.
Woodbridge vs. Laguna Beach The records--Woodbridge, 2-2, 7-2; Laguna Beach, 3-1, 8-1.
The site--Guyer Field.
The standings--The Artists need a victory to advance to the Southern Section playoffs as the No. 1 team because Orange defeated Costa Mesa Thursday and clinched its first playoff spot since 1972. Woodbridge has clinched a playoff berth, but a victory would put the Warriors in second with Orange winning the league and the Artists finishing third.
Woodbridge update--Before league play started, this game figured to be for the championship because the teams were 5-0. But Woodbridge has been upset twice: first, in the league opener, by Orange, 23-6, and then again last week by Laguna Hills, 10-3. For Coach Gene Noji, it's a matter of hoping the team that beat Costa Mesa, 38-18, will show up to play Laguna Beach. Senior running back David Townsend is among the county leaders in rushing (143 carries for 661 yards) and receptions (23 for 279 yards).
Laguna Beach update--The Artists have the county's leading running back, Jonathan Todd, who has led in rushing from Week One and ran for 253 yards against Orange last Friday. Todd has 1,426 yards in 245 carries and has scored 16 touchdowns. But the Artists also have developed a consistent passing game, thanks to an improved Danny Lane. The junior is the county's sixth-ranked passer. He is 79 of 126 for 1,058 yards and has thrown 5 touchdown passes.
Key to the game--Woodbridge has stopped the run at times, but had trouble against the league's other top runner, Paul Maund of Orange, who rushed for 168 yards in the Panthers' 23-6 victory. The emergence of Lane's passing has added another dimension to the Artists, who already have earned a playoff berth. The Warriors will have to stop Todd and Lane and hope Townsend has a strong game. Woodbridge has the advantage of emotion, and has enough talent to win.
Consensus--Laguna Beach should win, but Woodbridge tends to play the better teams well, so look for the Warriors in an upset.
Bolsa Grande vs. La Quinta The records--Bolsa Grande 4-0, 8-1; La Quinta 4-0, 6-3.
The site--Garden Grove High School.
The standings--Bolsa Grande and La Quinta are tied for first place in the Garden Grove League. This game will determine the league championship.
Bolsa Grande update--The Matadors were almost upset last week by Rancho Alamitos, but won 14-13. "We had to come back in that game and I think it woke us up a little bit," said Greg Shadid, Bolsa Grande coach. "This game should be their passing game against our running game." Bolsa Grande's Travin Lui and Ricky Lepule have rushed for 1,467 yards.
La Quinta update--The Aztecs' overall record is not as good as Bolsa Grande's, but La Quinta has outscored their league opponents, 156-38. The Aztecs are led by quarterback Derek Debbs, Orange County's third-ranked passer. "It should be a high-scoring game," La Quinta Coach Roger Takahashi said. "Both sides have some very good people at the skill positions." Starting safety Darren Kerr is out for the season with a knee injury.
Key to the game--Bolsa Grande must find a way to slow down Debbs. Bolsa Grande has enjoyed a good season, but dethroning defending league champion La Quinta, which advanced to the Central Conference final last year, may be asking too much.
Consensus--Bolsa Grande will give La Quinta a tough game, but the Aztecs should win.