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Game Could Seal Fate of Kearny and La Jolla


SAN DIEGO — Tonight's game between No. 8 Kearny and La Jolla will not only showcase two teams that seem to have a lock on a Division 2-A playoff berth but will likely decide the City Western League championship.

Both coaches, Willie Matson of Kearny and Dick Huddleston of La Jolla, are preoccupied with a different concern, because neither wants this potential title matchup, at 7 p.m. at Mesa College, to become "Watson vs. Scott, Part I."

Junior running back/safety E.J. Watson of La Jolla (5-1) and senior wide receiver/safety Darnay Scott of Kearny (5-1)--two football players so dominant that they have almost single-handedly defeated some opponents--have already exchanged verbal blows about tonight's showdown, albeit in good nature.

As a result, both coaches have designed their respective game plans to stop Watson and Scott, who, ironically, are neighborhood friends.

In a 20-0 La Jolla victory Sept. 29 over Hoover, Watson rushed for 205 yards in 19 carries, caught two passes for 27 yards, intercepted a pass and scored all three of his team's touchdowns. The previous night, Scott scored four of Kearny's five touchdowns in a 35-15 victory over Serra. Three of his scores came on 38-, 51- and 21-yard passes from quarterback Sam Page. The fourth was a 70-yard interception return.

Shortly after he moved to Clairemont from St. Louis in 1989, Scott met Watson. From that day, the two seemed destined to be friends off the field and rivals on it. Both wear No. 9, and four weeks into the season the two were tied for second in the county with nine touchdowns.

La Jolla, despite scoring an average of 35 points a game, second-best in the county, is considered an underdog against Kearny, the defending Western League champion. But Kearny is coming off a 57-6 loss to No. 1 Morse.

"This is definitely the big game of the year," Matson said. "The way La Jolla's been playing, this is it."

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