Bell-Jeff tailback Phil Reynolds stands only 5-feet, 6-inches, but he worries opposing coaches with his breakaway ability.
Reynolds, who has rushed for 762 yards, scampered 82 yards for a score earlier this season against Burbank. The run was captured on film by a free-lance cameraman and later featured by sportscaster Fred Roggin on KNBC Channel 4 news.
"I think he called it his 'Touchdown of the Week,' " Bell-Jeff Coach Doug Woodlief said. "The kids got a real kick out of it. It was one of those runs where a little guy gets boxed in and then breaks loose."
Reynolds has become a breakaway threat whenever he touches the ball. Last week against Pater Noster, Reynolds had runs of 60 and 69 yards and returned a kickoff for a touchdown, only to have it nullified by a clipping penalty. Reynolds also has returned two punts for touchdowns.
"He's pretty quick," Woodlief said. "And he's got good upper-body strength. You'd have to see him to believe him."
Chaminade will get a look at Reynolds and Bell-Jeff when the teams meet Saturday night at Pierce College.
Chaminade (4-2, 3-0 in league play) will all but clinch the Santa Fe League title with a victory. But Woodlief's Guards (5-0-1, 2-0) should provide a good test.
"If they beat us, they're in," Woodlief said. "They're pretty big up front. But we've got some pretty fair size, too."
Woodlief's tailback excluded.
It might get worse: Alemany Coach Enrique Lopez called last Friday's 21-21 tie with St. John Bosco his biggest career disappointment.
"It was the worst I ever felt and the kids felt the same way," he said. "We took it worse than a loss."
Alemany emerged from a difficult pre-Del Rey League schedule with a 3-1-1 record before last week's tie with a powerful opponent. St. John Bosco reached last year's Big Five Conference championship game.
Lopez, who believes this year's team is his best in four years, has a sentimental attachment to his seniors, who started in the program when he did.
"These seniors won the league championship when they were freshmen and they expect to be there this year," he said. "We're looking at a good season and then we tied the first league game."
Alemany, which already has played Granada Hills, Kennedy and Canyon, meets nationally ranked Loyola (No. 15) and Crespi (No. 3) in the next two weeks. The Loyola game, which was listed incorrectly on school schedules, is Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Glendale High.
Tradition brewing?: When North Hollywood breezed through its pre-Pac 8 League schedule, beating Hollywood and Verdugo Hills by a combined score of 89-34, fans thought it signaled a year of Husky domination. Dissenters argued that the Huskies had yet to be tested.
The pessimists were right. North Hollywood is 0-2 in league play after being outscored, 50-24, by Sylmar and University.
Coach Fred Grimes said weak opponents didn't prepare his team for league play. "The first two games, as easy as they were, hurt us," he said.
Grimes' immediate solution is to spend extra time working with the defense. His long-range solution is to schedule tougher preleague opponents, including Southern Section teams.
Notre Dame, located less than five miles from North Hollywood, is his top choice.
Said Grimes: "Notre Dame is right down the street and that would be a good game for both schools."
Picking up the pieces: Despite last week's stunning 7-6 loss to Westlake, Thousand Oaks Coach Bob Richards isn't panicking. The Marmonte League title is still within reach, if the team wins its final three league games against Newbury Park, Simi Valley and Channel Islands.
Several league coaches said the loss might help the Lancers.
"In some ways, I think this could have been the best thing to happen to their season," Westlake Coach George Contreras said. "They've been hearing so much from coaches and parents and media about what a good football team they are."
Thousand Oaks takes a week off from league play tonight but hardly gets a break. The Lancers play host to Granada Hills, a Valley 4-A League power.
"I approach this as a very, very positive week," Richards said. "As we look at this week, it means nothing in the Marmonte League and nothing to our future plans."
Double duty: Tony Kerr moved into second place on Simi Valley's career rushing list with 78 yards against Royal last Friday, but the senior's best position might be defensive back. Kerr has 1,418 career yards, 359 behind M. J. Nelson. As a junior, Kerr was an All-Marmonte League defensive back and All-Ventura County running back. This season, Kerr is fourth among Valley-area Southern Section rushers with 772 yards and again is a force on defense.
Simi Valley Coach Dave Murphy would prefer to have Kerr on the field only half the time but cannot afford to sit him down either way.
"Before this year I would have said he's a better defensive player," Murphy said. "But after watching him on offense this year, I don't know. He's a fine player both ways."