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GAME DAY / A Look at Today's Key Matchups

City Section

September 19, 1997

GRANT (1-0) vs. BIRMINGHAM (1-0)

At Birmingham High, 7 p.m.

After a 40-0 victory over outmanned Verdugo Hills, Grant gets a much tougher test against the Braves, who are expected to contend for a 4-A playoff spot and possibly the Northwest Valley Conference title. Grant's top priority should be stopping tailback Emmanuel Evans, who gained 191 yards and scored three touchdowns in a 26-13 victory over Canoga Park. Birmingham passed for only 19 yards against the Hunters, but sprinter Demetrus Patterson poses a deep threat. If Grant falls behind, it can come back behind quarterback Lawrence Monroy, who completed 75% of his passes against Verdugo Hills. Grant rushed for 285 yards last week after averaging 55 per game last season.

SOUTHERN SECTION

NEWBURY PARK (1-0) vs. OXNARD (1-0)

At Oxnard High, 7:30 p.m.

The talent of No. 2-ranked Oxnard is supposed to be the best in Ventura County, a claim that will be tested against No. 7-ranked Newbury Park, which outlasted Tucson Sahuaro, 32-28, last week. In his first start at quarterback, Nick Czernek passed for 297 yards and connected with seven receivers. Oxnard tailback Desmond Davis and fullback Chad Pierson chewed up yardage in even amounts in a 28-6 victory over Camarillo. They might find even more success against a Newbury Park defense that allowed 202 rushing yards last week.

PALMDALE (1-0) vs. SAUGUS (0-1)

At College of the Canyons, 7:30 p.m.

Palmdale struggled offensively last week, committing five turnovers in a 20-3 victory over Ridgecrest Burroughs. But the Falcons sparkled on defense, allowing only 210 yards and creating three turnovers. Saugus couldn't stop the option in a 44-35 loss to Santa Barbara, allowing 403 rushing yards. The Centurions moved the ball effectively, with Travis Ivey passing for 299 yards and three touchdowns. Brandon Hartwell ran for 108 yards in 11 carries, despite missing most of the second and third quarters with cramps. Palmdale's Jason Anderson had 126 yards in 17 carries. Eric Wade returns for Saugus after a dislocated finger forced him to miss the Santa Barbara game.

AGOURA (1-0) vs. BUENA (1-0)

At Ventura High, 7:30 p.m.

Preseason handicapping had Agoura way up and Buena way down, but after their season-opening performances, they appear fairly even. Injury-riddled Agoura needed a fourth-quarter comeback to defeat Hueneme, 27-22. Buena upset Westlake, 20-19, by shutting out the Warriors in the second half. Agoura displayed a balanced attack, with Ryan McCann passing for 177 yards and Chris Poling rushing for 104 yards and three touchdowns. Buena is run-oriented with senior Aaron Kleefisch, who had 135 yards and three touchdowns. Buena allowed Westlake 374 passing yards, so McCann should find some openings. Hueneme gained 450 yards against Agoura's banged-up defense.

QUARTZ HILL (1-0) vs. CRESPI (1-0)

At Crespi High, 7:30 p.m.

This will be only the second time since 1988 the Celts have hosted a game on campus. Crespi, which defeated Chaminade, 6-3, hasn't been 2-0 since 1992. The game should be determined on the ground. Kevin Cork threw only four passes last week while running Crespi's new wing-T offense. Quartz Hill rushed 44 times in 54 plays during a 28-18 victory over L.A. Baptist. David Fetters gained 123 yards, quarterback Erik Holtfreter rushed for 70 and Jermaine Reyes added 67. The Rebels' victory ended a five-game losing streak.

VENTURA (1-0) vs. WESTLAKE (0-1)

At Westlake High, 7:30 p.m.

How a team that passed for a region-high 374 yards last week can be shut out in the second half is a question Westlake coaches are pondering after the Warriors' 20-19 loss to Buena. Rushing for minus-24 yards has something to do with it. Running against Cougar linebackers Joe Martinez and Cristobal Gonzalez will be even more difficult. Ventura held Simi Valley to 39 yards--minus two on the ground--in a 41-6 victory. Ventura quarterback Mike Anderson might miss the game with a knee injury. His replacement, Jason Branch, threw three touchdown passes against Simi Valley.

INTERSECTIONAL

EL CAMINO REAL (1-0) vs. CHAMINADE (0-1)

at Chaminade High, 7:30 p.m.

Chaminade held Crespi to six points last week. El Camino Real scored 51 points against North Hollywood. Quincy Wright of El Camino Real rushed 14 times for 228 yards and four touchdowns. He'll be targeted by a defense that allowed Crespi only 106 yards and is led by linebacker James Webber, who made 13 solo tackles. Chaminade has switched to a veer option, but the Eagles scored only three points, gained 49 yards rushing, and committed six turnovers last week. El Camino Real, surprise team of the summer passing league circuit, passed for 44 yards in its opener.

Other games:

City Section, nonleague--At 3 p.m., Poly at Crenshaw, Kennedy at Marshall, Canoga Park at Verdugo Hills. At 3:30 p.m., San Fernando at University. At 7:30 p.m., Cleveland at Reseda, Chatsworth at Sylmar, L.A. Wilson at Monroe.

Southern Section, nonleague--At 3:30 p.m., Malibu at Buckley. At 7:30 p.m., Rio Mesa at Camarillo, Burroughs at Notre Dame, Canyon at Highland, Pasadena at Alemany, Barstow at Antelope Valley, Burbank at Glendale, Oak Park at Calabasas, Channel Islands at Hueneme, Hart at Thousand Oaks, Kilpatrick at Cerritos Valley Christian, Keppel at La Canada, Moorpark at Simi Valley, Nordhoff at Santa Ynez, Santa Paula at Santa Maria, Vasquez at Lone Pine, Paraclete at Serrano, Lancaster at Sultana, Valencia at Silverado.

Intersectional--At 7 p.m., Granada Hills at Royal, Van Nuys at Culver City, Harvard-Westlake at North Hollywood, Lincoln vs. Montclair Prep at Valley College.

8-man, nonleague--At 7:30 p.m., Grace Brethren at Victor Valley Christian.

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