The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps College football team can clinch a share of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship with a victory in its season finale at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at La Verne.
Claremont, which won the title last year, is tied for first with Occidental at 3-0-1. Occidental plays host to Whittier at 7:30 Saturday.
Claremont and Occidental are expected to win Saturday, so the conference race figures to end in a tie.
Claremont will rely on its one-man rushing attack, senior Chris Dabrow. Dabrow rushed for 204 yards and one touchdown in 40 carries in Claremont's 24-7 victory over Redlands last week.
Dabrow, leading rusher in NCAA Division III, has run for 1,225 yards and 10 touchdowns, an average of 153.1 yards a game. He also led the conference in rushing last year.
Claremont has a productive runner and passer at quarterback in Mike Pembroke, who ran for two touchdowns against Redlands.
La Verne, which improved its conference record to 1-2-1 with a 13-10 overtime win over Whittier last week, will counter with a solid passer in quarterback Mark Brown. He has completed 98 of 214 passes for 1,056 yards and 9 touchdowns.
Occidental will bring a strong rushing attack into its game against Whittier. The Tigers have had three players rush for 100 yards in a game this season--Mike Sandlin, George Conahey and Tim Carlson.
Carlson, a senior, has surpassed the 100-yard barrier the last two games. He rushed for 110 in 33 carries in a 20-14 win over Pomona-Pitzer last week. Occidental is also solid at quarterback with senior Mark Krajnik, a former Rosemead High standout, and junior Tony Werbelow, who played at Arcadia High.
In other season finales matching four-year schools at 1:30 Saturday, Pomona-Pitzer (2-6) hosts Redlands (1-7) and Azusa Pacific (2-7) hosts Cal Lutheran (3-6).
Pomona will have a chance for revenge against Redlands, which scored on a last-second touchdown pass to defeat the Sagehens (30-27) in the first meeting between the teams in September.
Azusa will try to end a disappointing season on a winning note against Cal Lutheran but that does not figure to be easy. Cal Lutheran defeated the Cougars, 45-23, last year and holds a 12-2 advantage in the all-time series.
Arroyo High School of El Monte, ranked No. 1 in the state, will be the heavy favorite in the CIF Southern Section boys 3-A cross-country championships Saturday at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut.
The Knights, who won the 3-A title last year and were voted the top team in the state, have been led by Jaime Ortega, Jeff Gilkey, Derrick Powers and Gerardo Puentes.
Arroyo has won the biggest invitationals in the state--the Mt. Sac and Stanford. The Knights figure to receive their strongest challenge from Upland and Mission Valley League rival Rosemead.
The San Gabriel Valley also has a strong title hopeful in the boys 2-A in Walnut, ranked No. 2 in the state in Division II behind junior Scott Hempel. Two other valley schools, La Salle and Maranatha, figure to finish among the leaders in the boys 1A.
The top title threats from the valley in girls divisions may be South Hills in 2-A and Maranatha and Webb in 1-A.
Rio Hondo Prep of Arcadia is seeded No. 1 for the CIF Southern Section Large Division Eight-Man football playoffs that start Friday.
The Kares, who won the Prep League and have an 8-0 record, will play host to Faith Baptist (5-3) at 7:30 p.m. Friday. In two other first-round games in the Large Division, Prep League runner-up Pasadena Poly (3-3-1) visits third-seeded Brentwood (6-3) and Flintridge Prep (5-3) visits second-seeded Templeton (6-2).
The winners advance to the semifinals Nov. 20 and the championship is Nov. 27.
The Azusa Pacific University men's cross-country team will have its first participant in the NAIA championships in three years when junior Darren Near competes Nov. 21 at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside in Kenosha.
Near, a former standout at Monrovia High and Citrus College, finished fourth in a 10-K time of 25:48 at the NAIA District III championships last week at UC Santa Barbara. He is expected to contend for one of the top 25 positions, which would earn him NAIA All-American status.