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Prep Friday : ORANGE COUNTY SOUTHERN SECTION FOOTBALL PREVIEW : Desert-Mountain Conference : Townsend Is Key to Woodbridge's Game

November 21, 1986|STEVE LOWERY | Times Staff Writer

David Townsend plays football for Woodbridge High School. Well, the playing part may be putting it a little soft.

Townsend is a 6-foot 1-inch senior running back/wide receiver/linebacker/strong safety. He is constantly on the field.

"Every now and then I get homesick for the sidelines," he said.

He is constantly up.

"David is the one guy we have to tell to calm down," said Gene Noji, Woodbridge coach.

From most accounts, he is the Woodbridge offense. He has run for touchdowns, caught touchdowns, thrown for touchdowns.

"If you can stop David Townsend you'll beat Woodbridge," said Jim Barnett, Trabuco Hills coach. "I think he's easily the best all-around player in the league."

No doubt Bell-Jefferson, Woodbridge's first-round opponent in the Desert-Mountain Conference playoffs at 7:30 tonight at Irvine High School, knows how important Townsend is to the Warriors.

Given all this, the fact remains that you've probably never heard of David Townsend.

That's because he plays in the Pacific Coast League where Orange County statistical leaders such as Costa Mesa's Tyler Riddell, Laguna Beach's Jonathan Todd and Orange's Paul Maund.

Todd ranked second in the county in rushing with 1,480 yards, Maund was fourth with 1,219 yards. Riddell was second in scoring with 110 points (18 touchdowns).

"I think about being overshadowed by those guys every now and then, but I really don't worry about it," Townsend said. "Basically I want the team to do well. I think I've helped."

Townsend led Woodbridge in rushing with 702 yards and receiving with 23 receptions for 279 yards.

"I don't think you'd call us one-dimensional, but it's no secret that David is the key to our offense," Noji said.

In other Desert-Mountain Conference games:

Norte Vista (5-5) vs. Orange (6-4) in Fred Kelly Stadium (El Modena High School)--Norte Vista started the season with three losses, in no small part because of the absence of Java Watson, the Braves' leading receiver and rusher. Since his return, Norte Vista has gone 5-2 as Watson has gained 332 yards rushing and 365 yards on 26 receptions. The Braves' only losses during that time have been by a total of five points against Bloomington and La Sierra, the conference's No. 1 and 3 seeds.

After winning just three games in three years, Orange enters the playoffs as the Pacific Coast League's No. 1 representative. Most attribute the turnaround to the performance Maund, who has scored 13 touchdowns this season. What some forget is that the Orange defense, led by linebacker Chris Macias, strong safety Robby Glover and defensive tackle Chris Dunham, has been tough throughout its league schedule. Orange allowed just 13 points a game in league play.

Laguna Beach (8-2) vs. La Sierra (9-1) at Riverside Community College--Laguna Beach most likely will play without star running back Todd, who suffered a knee injury during the Artists' 21-0 loss to Woodbridge last week. Without Todd, quarterback Danny Lane will be the focus of the offense. Lane completed 60% of his passes during the regular season. Receiver Chris Dickerson is a favorite target. Dickerson, who caught 21 passes for 403 yards, is a deep threat averaging 19.2 yards a reception.

La Sierra averages 27 points a game due, in large part, to the arm of Ed Browning, a 6-1, 190 pound quarterback. Browning has thrown for 1,851 yards and 22 touchdowns this season. As a junior, Browning threw for more than 2,000 yards and 23 touchdowns. His main target is 6-4 Doug Burke, who has caught 39 passes for 750 yards and has scored 8 touchdowns. La Sierra is led on defense by linebacker Lonnie Lemon, a 6-2, 220-pound senior, who leads the team in tackles and fumble recoveries.

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