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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Reseda Comes Full Circle

December 11, 1998

CITY DIVISION

* RESEDA (9-4) vs. CHATSWORTH (8-5)

At Coliseum, 5 p.m. TV: KLCS, Channel 58

The first championship matchup between Valley teams since 1981, when Canoga Park and Van Nuys tied, 13-13, could be a dandy. Chatsworth defeated Reseda, 35-13, in the opener behind Matt Cassel's 276 yards passing and three touchdowns, but the Regents have toughened defensively. "We know we are a much better football team [than we were]," Coach Joel Schaeffer of Reseda said. "Our kids are peaking at the right time and I think they're ready to go." The Regents, seeded No. 12, are on a four-game winning streak and have allowed one touchdown in the last eight quarters. They surprised Manual Arts, 7-0, last week and limited Marco Acietuno to 52 yards passing after he passed for 291 yards in a 40-16 victory over top-seeded Palisades the previous week. Joseph Looney, a senior inside linebacker, leads Reseda with 97 tackles and Skyler McKnight, a senior outside linebacker, has 85. Senior safety Erik Ceja has nine interceptions, best among City players in the region. McKnight has 609 yards passing and 436 yards rushing. Chatsworth's balanced attack prevailed in a 34-7 victory over Van Nuys last week, the second consecutive time the Chancellors limited an opponent to one touchdown. Coach Bill Coan credits the secondary, anchored by safety Reggie Lee and cornerback Nick Lott, and the defensive line. "Our tackles [Terrence Redmond and Dan Wheat] plug the run very well," Coan said. Both teams are anxious to play at the storied Coliseum. "Our seniors, that's all they talk about," Coan said. Said Reseda's Ceja: "That's a good place to finish the season." Reseda won the 3-A title in 1995 and Chatsworth won it in 1979. In their last 3-A title game appearance, the Chancellors lost to Crenshaw, 27-7, in 1991.

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