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GAME DAY: A look at today's key matchups

September 28, 1996



At Walkup Skydome, Flagstaff, Ariz., 6:05 p.m.

The Matadors' debut in the Big Sky matches the top offensive teams in the conference. Northern Arizona, which ranks second in Division I-AA with 530.75 yards a game, leads the Big Sky, followed by Northridge's 400.33. Northern Arizona, ranked 13th in the I-AA poll, has a balanced attack and the marque player is running back Archie Amerson, who leads the nation in all-purpose yardage (250.0 per game) and is second in rushing (216.5). Northridge will stack up the line of scrimmage to try to stop Amerson, a strategy that will open the field up for freshman quarterback Travis Brown, who's completed 47.1% of his passes for 993 yards. Northridge's best hope to stop the pass is to pressure Brown into bad decisions, which they did to New Mexico State's quarterbacks last week. Northridge's secondary will be strengthened by the return of safety Steve Standifer, who had been out with a pulled hamstring. But the defensive line was weakened this week when Pete Silvey was lost for the season with a broken foot. A victory would give the Matadors' their first three-game winning streak since 1990, when Northridge won seven games in a row.



At Antelope Valley College, 7 p.m.

The teams open Foothill Conference play. Antelope Valley, in its 50th year of football, lost its season opener two weeks ago to Palomar, 43-6. The Marauders gained only 155 yards and gave up 409 yards. Antelope Valley Coach Brent Carder, in his 27th season, is two victories shy of 150. Rio Hondo defeated Pierce, 34-19, two weeks ago. Tommy Vazquez leads conference quarterbacks with 300 yards passing and four touchdowns, and Prescot Hill is second among conference running backs with 119 yards. Antelope Valley leads the series, 7-2-1, and won five straight before the Roadrunners won last year, 30-27.


* NORDHOFF (2-0) vs. ST. BONAVENTURE (2-0)

At Ventura High, 1:30 p.m.

Keep an eye on the struggle between Nordhoff's powerful running game and St. Bonaventure's defensive line. Nordhoff has rolled up 722 yards of offense, 621 on the ground. The Rangers' attack is a blend of plays run out of option, wing-T and power formations. Senior quarterback Matt Cresto has thrown only 13 passes. Kevin Zielsdorf (191 yards and four touchdowns in 25 carries) and Russell Farrar (123 yards and two touchdowns in 34 carries) run behind a much-improved offensive line. St. Bonaventure counters with a physical and experienced defensive front. David Bernal, a 6-foot-1, 300-pound senior lineman, has caused three fumbles and returned two for touchdowns. Seniors Brian Carr (6-4, 213) and Steve Chase (6 feet 194) are second-year starters alongside Bernal. Teohua Sanchez of St. Bonaventure has completed 35 of 39 passes for 417 yards and five touchdowns.


Other games

Junior college: At 1 p.m., Ventura at Compton; Harbor vs. Glendale at Glendale High; Santa Monica at Santa Barbara; At 7 p.m., West Los Angeles at Pierce; Los Angeles Southwest at Moorpark.

High school: At noon, Viewpoint at Price Christian. At 1 p.m., Cuyama at Antelope Valley Christian. At 1:30 p.m., Shandon at Lancaster Bethel Christian, Flintridge Prep at San Diego Francis Parker. At 7:30 p.m., L.A. Baptist vs. Brentwood at Palisades High, Village Christian at Kern Valley, St. Genevieve vs. Western Christian at Charter Oak High.

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