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Frontier League Teams Finally Play for Keeps

October 15, 1987|STEVE HENSON | Times Staff Writer

Caution is the key to becoming king of the not-so-wild Frontier League. Teams must survive the lengthy nonleague campaign with enough healthy players to remain competitive.

It may be midseason in the Southern Section, but Frontier teams fire up and fire out against one another for the first time Friday night. It's been a long wait.

A rundown of preleague misfortunes follows:

1) Nordhoff lost its quarterback.

2) Santa Clara also lost its quarterback, then lost face in a 56-12 pounding at the hands of Crespi.

3) Calabasas, defending league co-champion, lost several starters and four of five games.

4) Santa Paula lost a victory last week when a fourth-quarter, point-after attempt failed in a 28-28 tie against winless Laguna Hills.

All of which leaves Agoura, also a defending co-champion, as the Frontier front-runner--at least until fourth quarters roll around. The Chargers have scored only five points in five final periods.

Coaches believe the league is evenly matched. Every team but Santa Paula received a first-place vote in a preseason coaches poll.

This is Pete Rozelle's dream league--parity to the point of parody. Every team could finish 2-2.

"Every team is good but no one appears dominant," Santa Clara Coach Steve Dann said.

Preleague records indicate as much. Agoura is 3-2 and Santa Paula is 2-2-1. Calabasas is 1-4 but was 1-3-1 this time last season and ended up in the Desert-Mountain Conference semifinals. Nordhoff and Santa Clara, both 3-2, have found fine replacements at quarterback.

When Jeremy Anthony broke an ankle three weeks ago, Nordhoff went with senior Jason Savard, who had been the free safety. In two games, Savard has completed 16 of 31 passes for 294 yards and 4 touchdowns.

"Jason is a pitcher on the baseball team," Coach Cliff Farrar said. "He has a strong arm and throws a tight spiral."

Sophomore Tim Gutierrez replaced injured senior Tim Teron at Santa Clara and has completed 49 of 81 passes for 616 yards and 5 touchdowns.

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