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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK

Defense Helps Poly Into Win Column

October 28, 1997

Poly High's first victory in nearly three years can be largely attributed to the play of its improving defense.

The Parrots (1-6, 1-3 in Valley Pac-8 Conference) converted three of five North Hollywood turnovers into touchdowns to record a 27-16 victory.

Poly entered the game giving up a region-worst average of 413 yards a game. But the Parrots limited the Huskies to 145 yards of offense and defensive back Tony Meza recorded Poly's first interception of the year.

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Bad break: Canyon suffered a big loss when leading receiver Josh Borgese broke his leg during a 33-21 victory over Burroughs Friday night.

Borgese, who has 23 receptions for 359 yards, will miss the rest of the season. The 5-foot-9, 145-pound senior broke the tibia and fibula in his left leg after making a catch on fourth-and-12 play in the second quarter.

"It was a typical Josh Borgese play," Canyon Coach Larry Mohr said. "He epitomizes Canyon football because he plays with his whole heart and soul. It's typical that his last reception as a Cowboy got us a first down on fourth and 12."

Borgese had surgery at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital. After the game, several teammates and coaches went to visit Borgese. The team also plans to sign a ball and give it to him.

"He is real well-liked," Mohr said. "It was touching to see the team gathered in the emergency room like that. Losing a kid like that is the kind of thing that wears on you as a coach. We're going to miss him."

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Still questionable: St. Bonaventure running back Jesse Kirk has a sprained ankle and may not play in a key Tri-Valley League game Saturday against Carpinteria.

Kirk, who has rushed for 830 yards and eight touchdowns in 113 carries, was held out of St. Bonaventure's game last Friday game against Fillmore.

He had been hobbled since initially be injured during a game against Santa Maria St. Joseph earlier this month.

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For the birds: Calabasas fullback Drew Coppola may miss the rest of the season because of a neck injury.

"[The doctor] said if it's a [bulging] disc, I probably won't be back for the season and I might need surgery to correct it," said Coppola, who expects to receive test results this week.

At the very least, the injury, which has kept him out of the past two games, is a pinched nerve. If so, Coppola would not be back until the regular-season finale at the earliest.

Drew's older brother, Robby, a standout running back, has been slowed by a sprained ankle and the Coyotes, who were top-ranked in Southern Section Division X two weeks ago, have dropped their last two games.

A loss against Moorpark (6-1) two weeks ago wasn't completely a shocker, but a 25-15 loss to Santa Paula (2-5) last Friday was unexpected.

"We're not panicking yet," Calabasas Coach Larry Edwards said.

The Coyotes (5-2, 0-2 in Frontier League play) have a key game Friday against Nordhoff in Ojai.

After averaging 41.2 points through their first five games, the Coyotes have averaged 11 in their last two.

"We have to win to have any hope [at a league title] at this point," Edwards said. "If we don't, the vultures will be circling our practice."

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Climbing the charts: Palmdale's Matt Leonard has been listed as the 14th-best senior high-school defensive lineman in the nation by The Sporting News.

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Still out: The City Section Rules Committee has denied an appeal by Monroe football players Mark Cumbiss and Andrew Blackman to regain their eligibility. Both were declared ineligible for a year for falsifying a physical.

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