After upsetting L.A. City power Carson last year, the Bishop Amat High football team was beaten in its next game against Long Beach Poly. Bishop Amat is hoping it does not suffer the same fate when the teams meet in a non-league game at 7:30 p.m. Friday in La Puente. Once again, the Lancers (1-1) are fresh from a 24-23 upset win over Carson, which was ranked No. 2 in the state by Cal-Hi Sports News. Meanwhile, Long Beach Poly dropped its season opener to City power Banning, 21-9, last week. While Poly is not as highly regarded as Carson, the Jackrabbits have no shortage of speed or ability. The leaders are running back Andre Green, who returned a kick 92 yards for a touchdown last week, and linebacker Willie McGinest (6-5, 230), regarded as one of the top college prospects in Southern California. Bishop Amat is led by the pass catching of wide receiver Jeremy Smith, a preseason All-American who caught two touchdown passes against Carson. The Lancers also received an improved performance from junior quarterback Zack Zertuche, who completed 15 of 28 passes for 195 yards and three touchdowns. Poly won last year's game, 27-17.
Muir vs. Banning
Muir of Pasadena has been impressive defensively in winning its first two games of the season. But the highly regarded Mustangs, ranked No. 1 in the CIF Division II, may need to show a little more on offense for their non-league game against L.A. City power Banning of Wilmington at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Pasadena City College. Muir has defeated its first two opponents by a combined score of 39-13. Banning, 1-0 after a 21-9 win over Long Beach Poly in its opener last week, has plenty of strength on offense led by quarterback John Ma'ae and tailback Travis Davis, who rushed for 109 yards and a touchdown against Poly. The Pilots are led on defense by linebacker John Herrera and cornerback Nizam Walker. Muir's strength has been its defense, led by defensive back Reggie Reser, nose guard Reggie Hunt and linebacker Cassius Conway. Reser and Conway returned interceptions for touchdowns in Muir's 25-6 win over Verbum Dei last week. The offense revolves around quarterback Demitrius Martin and fullback Carlton Greer. The Mustangs have a huge offensive line led by guards Orlando Benn (6-4, 308) and Johnny Drawn (6-3, 265). The teams have split in their meetings the last two seasons, with Banning winning last year.
Los Altos vs. La Habra
Two games into the season, everything has gone pretty much as expected for Los Altos. The Conquerors are 2-0 and appear every bit as strong as last year, when they won the CIF Division IV championship. In their first two games, the Conquerors outscored their opposition by an impressive 53-7 margin. The trend should continue when Los Altos hosts La Habra in a non-league game at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Hacienda Heights. Only the final result figures to be considerably closer than last week, when the Conquerors rolled to a 40-7 win over Crescenta Valley. La Habra also has a 2-0 record, having blasted Bolsa Grande, 30-3, last week. The Highlanders also have an outstanding running back in Mark Brown, whose older brother Derek starred at Servite of Anaheim the last three years. Los Altos, which amassed 518 total yards against Crescenta Valley, also has a good running attack led by backs Roger Boden and Fernando Zambrano. The Conquerors have a good passer in quarterback Mike Allen, who threw for 281 yards and three touchdowns last week. The defense has been successful, with end Mike Collins and linebacker Bryan Carr leading the way.
Nogales vs. Paramount
It's a good thing Nogales appears to be improving as it heads into a non-league game against Paramount at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Paramount. The Nobles may need to be in mid-season form to stay close to the Pirates, who won the Division III title last year and have opened the season with a 2-0 mark. After dropping its opener to Lincoln of San Diego by a 28-12 score, Nogales responded with a 28-14 win over Arroyo last week. Nogales will rely mostly on its potent rushing attack that accounted for 344 yards against Arroyo. The leader is quarterback Jimmy Hunter, and the Nobles have two excellent running backs in Tyrone Edwards and Billy Ivey. The trio combined for 294 yards against Arroyo, including 109 yards and two touchdowns from Edwards. The problem will be stopping Paramount, which is directed by quarterback Jack Manu, Division III player of the year last season. Another top player is tailback Leon Neal, who rushed for 121 yards and two touchdowns as the Pirates scored an easy 34-6 win over Katella last week. Paramount's defense features linebacker Dan Godfrey and lineman Kevin Murphy.
San Gabriel Valley's Top Ten Teams
Rank, School, League Record Opponent 1 Muir (Pacific) 2-0-0 Banning 2 Bishop Amat (Angelus) 1-1-0 LB Poly 3 Los Altos (Sierra) 2-0-0 La Habra 4 Baldwin Park (Sierra) 2-0-0 So. Hills 5 Glendora (Baseline) 2-0-0 Chart. Oak 6 Claremont (Baseline) 2-0-0 Montclair 7 Diamond Bar (Sierra) 2-0-0 Don Lugo 8 Bassett (Montview) 2-0-0 John Glenn 9 Wilson (Sierra) 1-1-0 Schurr 10 Nogales (Sierra) 1-1-0 Paramount
Others: Arcadia (2-0-0), Arroyo (1-1-0), Blair (2-0-0), Covina (2-0-0), Rosemead (1-1-0), San Marino (0-1-0), Temple City (1-1-0).