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THE HIGH SCHOOLS : Konstantinopoulos' Name Rivaled in Length by Only His Field Goals

October 11, 1987|STEVE HENSON | Times Staff Writer

The player with the longest name in the Valley kicked the longest field goal of the season Friday night. George Konstantinopoulos' boot traveled more than three yards for every letter in his surname, 53 yards in all, and helped Reseda to a 10-0 win over Westchester.

The kick, which came on the last play of the first half and gave Reseda a 3-0 lead, broke the school record of 52 yards, set by George's brother, Harry, in 1983.

Harry, the kicker at Sonoma State, soon found out about it, too.

"I called and woke him up last night at 1 o'clock to tell him," George said Saturday morning.

Konstantinopoulos, an All-City selection last season after making four field goals and 35 conversion kicks, was nursing an injured thigh and wasn't scheduled to play Friday. But when Coach Joel Schaeffer asked him to attempt the kick, Konstantinopoulos agreed.

"My leg was hurting and I'd been hooking kicks in practice, but I figured I'd give it a shot," he said.

And the kick was good, by George.

Konstantinopoulos' teammates swarmed onto the field and mobbed him after the ball sailed through the uprights. "You'd have thought we won the Super Bowl," he said.

Not quite, but it was a Pac 8 League opener against perhaps the toughest opponent Reseda (2-0) will face in defense of its City Section 2-A title.

"The kick kind of fired us up," Konstantinopoulos said. "It's nice to be able to do that."

No matter how much of a kick Reseda fans get over Konstantinopoulos' feats, he doesn't expect to hear them chanting his six-syllable name. His teachers can't even pronounce it.

"They usually just call me George," he said.

Mighty Casey vs. Mighty Mite: Sylmar found a way to beat North Hollywood and its over-achieving running back, Chip Grant: Let the 5-foot, 6-inch Grant chip away for his 250 yards and unleash a back of your own who can explode for even more yardage.

In Sylmar's 43-21 Pac 8 League win Friday night, Jerome Casey, a 6-0, 175-pound sophomore tailback, rushed for 257 yards on 18 carries and caught two passes, both touchdowns, for 43 yards. Grant, indeed, ran for 250 yards, giving him 823 in three games. He has 13 touchdowns.

But Casey, who rushed for touchdowns of 13, 37 and 58 yards, was mightier than North Hollywood's mighty mite.

"Jerome has extreme speed," said Jeff Engilman, Sylmar's first-year coach. "He's a jitterbug. I'd compare his style to that of Wendell Tyler."

And apparently without the fumbles that plagued the former NFL running back. Casey hasn't dropped the ball all season.

He almost had to drop football, however, after transferring along with his brother, Brian, from Poly last summer. City Section officials said he would be ineligible unless his mother moved into the Sylmar attendance district.

The Caseys made the move, allowing Jerome to display his moves on the field. Brian, a 6-1, 265-pound senior tackle who starts on offense and defense, is a mover as well.

Obviously, the Casey brothers are a major reason Sylmar is off to a 2-0-1 start. Jerome has rushed for 452 yards and is averaging 10.1 yards a carry.

"They've been a nice addition," Engilman said.

Add Sylmar: Quarterback Chris Pikes, a junior who shared the job with Rick Negrete, has been lost for the season after suffering torn ligaments in his hip Friday night. Pikes also started at defensive back.

"Although Rick's a good quarterback, losing Chris is a blow because Rick has to take his place on defense," Engilman said. "It's a concern having your only quarterback going both ways."

Rush week: In addition to Casey and Grant, Birmingham's Marcel Sellers, Crespi's Russell White and Notre Dame's Jere Deranja each rushed for more than 200 yards.

Sellers had 253 yards and 4 touchdowns on 26 carries; White had 230 yards on only 9 attempts for an average of 25.6 yards a carry and Deranja had 210 yards on 17 carries.

Although Simi Valley (1-4) continued on its dismal course with a 13-7 Marmonte League loss to Westlake, running back Tony Kerr rushed for 190 yards on 27 carries. Kerr, a senior, has 694 yards and leads Marc Monestime of Thousand Oaks in the race for the league rushing title.

Monestime, who had 140 yards in Friday's 34-0 win over Royal, has 686 yards and is closing in on Hilria Johnson's Ventura County record of 3,709 career yards. Monestime, a senior, has 3,087.

Deadeye: The completion percentage of Granada Hills quarterback Jeremy Leach decreased after he connected on 22 of 33 passes for 366 yards and 5 touchdowns in Friday's 49-14 win over Canoga Park.

Leach has completed 64 of 86 passes (74.4%) for 876 yards. Even more notable is that he has thrown only one interception this season and has had only two of 285 passes picked off in two years.

Interesting matchup: Monestime and Leach meet on the field when Granada Hills plays at Thousand Oaks on Oct. 23. After losing its opener to Alemany, 17-14, Granada Hills (2-1) has posted consecutive impressive victories. Thousand Oaks (5-0) could be unbeaten entering the Coastal Conference playoffs if the Lancers can get past Granada Hills.

There is little danger Granada Hills will look past this week's opponent before the Thousand Oaks game. The Highlanders play host Friday to Carson (3-0), the defending City 4-A champion, which is ranked No. 4 in the nation by USA Today.

Point-maker: Canoga Park (2-1) lost to Granada Hills, 49-14, despite the best efforts of Mike Conover. The senior rushed for 121 yards, caught six passes for 71 more and scored all of the Hunters' points. He has scored 39 points in three games.

No surprise: Carpinteria's 42-0 win over Moorpark was the Warriors' 46th in a row over the Musketeers, a streak that dates to 1934.

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