Two area high schools play this weekend for Southern Section football titles.
On Friday night, St. John Bosco (13-0) meets Crespi (12-1) at Anaheim Stadium in the Big Five Conference title game. On Saturday night at Gahr High School, Valley Christian (11-1) takes on Carpinteria (11-2) for the Inland Conference championship.
The finals are part of nine conference championships being staged by the CIF Southern Section this weekend. All games begin at 7:30.
The Big Five game pits a pair of Del Rey League rivals. Crespi's only loss was to St. John Bosco, 32-27, in league play.
"St. John Bosco is well-coached," Crespi Coach Bill Redell said. "It should be a good game. When we first played it seemed like whoever had the ball last was going to win. I expect that to be the case Friday, too."
Coach Bill Friedrich of St. John Bosco also looks forward to a second meeting.
Looking Forward to Rematch
"Rematches are always fun," he said. "Our first game was extremely exciting. Both of us scored a lot of points."
Neither team has ever won a Southern Section football championship. St. John Bosco made it to the 2-A Division finals in 1971, but fell to Temple City, 28-18. Crespi has made two previous appearances in title games.
Both teams sport explosive offenses.
St. John Bosco averaged 31.8 points a game during the regular season, but in its three playoff games it has upped that to 41.7. Running back Oscar Meza and quarterback Jim Sterner anchor the veer offense.
Running back Russell White of Crespi has averaged 12.7 yards a carry for the Celts. He ranked fourth in the Southern Section with 1,604 yards in 10 games.
"This game is something to look forward to," said Friedrich, who is 35-20-2 in six seasons with the Braves.
A pair off all-purpose players head the field in the Inland Conference title game Saturday.
Sean McQuown of Valley Christian has kicked 8 field goals, scored 45 extra points, caught 44 passes for 718 yards and 11 touchdowns and intercepted 10 passes as a defensive back.
"He's our money player," Coach Mike Wunderley said.
For Carpinteria, slot back Chris Ames has scored a school record 172 points, including 8 field goals and 58 extra points. He has rushed for 504 yards and caught 51 passes for 731 yards. He also plays linebacker.
"He can do it all," Warrior Coach Lou Panizzon said.
Carpinteria will be without the school's career rushing leader, Jon Keiser. Keiser was removed from the team for disciplinary reasons two weeks ago. The junior has gained 2,099 yards in his career.
'Most Explosive Team'
Still, Panizzon is confident.
"This is the most explosive team I've been associated with," he said.
Carpinteria enters its fourth championship game. It has won one (1975, 1-A Division). Valley Christian advances to the championship game for only the second time (1964, 6-Man Division).
For awhile this season, Wunderley was not sure how the Crusaders would do. The team lost five two-way starters to injuries during the year.
"That forced us to adapt," he said. "The entire football team got caught up in that and has tried to make the best of it. That's a testament to what football is all about at this level."
Panizzon suggested that Valley Christian maintains a good attitude when most teams would fold.
"Valley Christian is a fine institution, a great school with great leadership."
Favors Valley Christian
Coach Mike Fitch of Brethren, the only common opponent on the finalists' schedules, favors Valley Christian. Brethren lost to the Crusaders, 59-7, in an Olympic League game and to Carpinteria, 47-9, in the opening round of the playoffs.
"I'm taking Valley by 10 points," Fitch said.
Carpinteria runs a pass-oriented offense similar to that of Brethren, Fitch said. "Valley did a pretty good job of shutting us down," he said.
"Valley has a pretty good defense. It can shut down the corner and out patterns and Carpinteria likes to use them. We ran up 300 yards against Carpinteria, so I think Valley's offense can take advantage of them."
Wunderley is 71-24-1 in eight years as football coach at Valley Christian.