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FOOTBALL '93 : The High Schools: City / Southern Section : ALPHA LEAGUE

September 02, 1993

L.A. Baptist

1992 RECORD: Lost in quarterfinals of playoffs

OVERALL: 6-6

LEAGUE: 3-1

PLACE: 2nd

COACH: Mark Bates

YEAR: 5th

RECORD AT SCHOOL: 21-22

TOP RETURNEES OFF DEF YR Jim Romero, 6-0, 185 WR -- Sr. Zack Hernandez, 5-11, 165 QB -- Sr. Craig Lord, 6-0, 210 TE LB Sr. Jeff Symington, 5-7, 175 RB -- Sr. Henry Matthews, 6-1, 300 OT DT Sr. Rocky Mertz, 5-7, 155 -- DB Sr. Matt Hernandez, 6-0, 170 WR -- Sr. Brian Lynch, 5-11, 195 OG -- Sr. John Pinto, 5-8, 295 C -- Sr. Dana Berg, 6-2, 195 RB -- Sr. Chad Ruffner, 5-8, 175 -- LB Sr. Brandon Lopez, 6-0, 180 -- DB Sr.

TOP NEWCOMERS OFF DEF YR Dave Clark, 6-2, 230 OG -- So. Shawn Godby, 6-3, 240 OT -- Sr. Joe Romero, 5-11, 170 -- DB Jr. Seth Barkley, 5-10, 185 -- OLB So. Koby Arnold, 5-9, 165 -- LB Jr. Adrian Kaali-nagy, 5-9, 155 WR CB Jr.

FAST FACT

Five of the Knights' 12 games last season were decided by a touchdown.

OUTLOOK

The Knights feature the finest air attack combination in the league. Wide receiver Jim Romero, who is being courted by eight Pac-10 schools, has perhaps the finest pair of hands in the area and will be quarterback Zack Hernandez's primary target. Romero caught 38 passes for 721 yards and 10 touchdowns. Hernandez completed better than half of his passes for 1,394 yards. And the proven talent does not stop there. L.A. Baptist returns nine starters on offense, seven on defense, nine of which were all-league selections. Biggest drawback: With just 29 on the team, the Knights lack depth at the skill positions. Predicted league champion: the winner of the L.A. Baptist-Village Christian game on Nov. 6.

Village Christian

1992 RECORD: Lost in quarterfinals of playoffs

OVERALL: 6-6

LEAGUE: 4-0

PLACE: 1st

COACH: Mike Plaisance

YEAR: 14th

RECORD AT SCHOOL: 79-55-2

TOP RETURNEES OFF DEF YR Mike Spielman, 6-0, 175 QB DB Sr. Ignacio Brache, 5-11, 180 PK -- Jr. Mike Agnor, 6-0, 215 OG LB Sr. Jake Funk, 5-9, 175 RB -- Jr. Jason Kallen, 5-11, 205 OG -- Sr. Brandon Wilson, 6-3, 210 OT -- Jr. George Skiles, 5-9, 175 C -- Sr. Scott Hurst, 5-11, 190 OG -- Sr. Billy Skiles, 5-10, 180 RB -- Sr. Newt Wimer, 5-9, 170 -- DB Sr. Bryan Rust, 5-9, 170 -- OLB Sr. Brandon Mitchell, 6-2, 220 OT DT Sr.

TOP NEWCOMERS OFF DEF YR Enrique Borja, 5-10, 180 WR -- Jr. Rene Martinez, 5-5, 150 RB -- Jr. Chris Carrubba, 6-0, 180 TE -- So.

FAST FACT

Kicker Ignacio Brache converted 34 of 35 extra-point attempts as a sophomore and kicked 85% of his kickoffs into the end zone.

OUTLOOK

Village Christian forfeited its first four games last year because of an ineligible player. Without the forfeits, the Crusaders would have finished 10-2. Seventeen lettermen return, including eight starters, for what promises to be another successful season. The entire offensive line is returning to open holes for a ground-oriented offense. The question marks, however, appear on defense where the Crusaders lost seven starters. "We've got to mature early on the defensive side of the ball," Plaisance said. The Crusaders' defense will have eight weeks to prepare for the air attack of league rival L.A. Baptist.

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