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at Today's Matchup

Ncaa Division I-aa

November 07, 1998


At North Campus Stadium, 3:05 p.m.

Radio: KCSN-FM (88.5)

The winner survives to sort things out in the Big Sky Conference in the next two weeks; the loser starts dreaming about next season. A Northridge victory, coupled with a Montana State loss at Eastern Washington, lifts the Matadors to first place. All the Matadors would need then would be a win over lowly Idaho State in Pocatello in the conference season finale Nov. 21 to clinch second place--and perhaps first place--because of Big Sky tiebreaking rules. Portland State must defeat Northridge, then Northern Arizona at home next week to place no worse than second. The Big Sky champion automatically qualifies for the Division I-AA playoffs, and every Big Sky runner-up has been invited since the division adopted a 16-team format in 1986. Portland State's explosive offense is ranked No. 6 in the division at 485.6 yards a game and is No. 11 in scoring at 34.9 points. Sophomore Charles Dunn is third in the Big Sky and eighth in I-AA in rushing at 151.5 yards a game and Jimmy Blanchard (1,509 yards passing, 14 touchdowns) leads the division in passing efficiency with 169.67 points. Blanchard is recovering from a shoulder injury but backup Tyson Parsons (986 yards, 11 touchdowns), is fifth in I-AA in passing efficiency with 158.83 points. The Vikings, however, are giving up 438.4 yards and 31.9 points a game. Northridge is yielding 21.5 points a game, third fewest in the Big Sky, and the team's passing attack ranks No. 15 in I-AA at 265.6 yards a game. Northridge must do without starting free safety and leading tackler Jeremy Golden, suspended for violating team rules.


* LA VERNE (3-4, 2-2) vs. CAL LUTHERAN (4-3, 1-2)

At Mt. Clef Stadium, Thousand Oaks, 1 p.m.

Third place in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference will be up for grabs when Cal Lutheran faces long-time nemesis La Verne. The Kingsmen, currently fourth in the SCIAC, beat Occidental last week and will be seeking their second consecutive victory over La Verne, currently third in the conference. The Kingsmen rely on a pair of rotating running backs with nearly identical numbers. Senior Fredrik Nanhed, who became the Cal Lutheran career rushing leader last week, has 584 yards this year and averages 5.3 yards a carry. Sophomore Dorian Stitt has gained 593 yards and averages 5.1 yards a carry. Stitt's 131 yards last week and Nanhed's 122 were season highs for both.


* CANYONS (7-1, 4-0) vs. BAKERSFIELD (5-2, 3-0)

At Bakersfield, 7 p.m.

Canyons, No. 6 in the state, can clinch at least a share of the Western State Conference Northern Division title. But beating the Renegades in Bakersfield is a tall order. Second-place Bakersfield has won four in a row and boasts the stingiest defense in the conference, allowing 6.3 points a game. Canyons will counter with the WSC's No. 1-ranked offense, which averages better than 40 points. Sophomore quarterback Kevin Carrasco passed for 518 yards last week against Glendale to raise his season total to a WSC-high 2,103. Carrasco has completed 61 percent of his passes, 17 for touchdowns. Jason Parks is fourth in the WSC with 810 rushing yards and ranks first with 12 rushing touchdowns.

* MOORPARK (6-1, 4-0) vs. EAST L.A. (1-6, 0-4)

At East L.A., 7 p.m.

Moorpark, its last two victories by a combined four points, is inching closer to a WSC Southern Division title. The Raiders edged West L.A., 19-18, last week after defeating Santa Monica in overtime. An easier time is expected against East L.A., which ranks last defensively in the WSC. Moorpark's powerful running attack has accounted for about two-thirds of the team's offense. Sophomores Carl Richardson (835 yards) and Emory Holmes (571) have had explosive games. Moorpark's defense is third in the WSC.

* VENTURA (5-2, 1-2) vs. SANTA BARBARA (0-7, 0-3)

At Santa Barbara, 1 p.m.

Despite a two-game losing streak, Ventura remains in contention for the WSC Northern title. The Pirates' losses have come against Bakersfield and Hancock, both by 27-7 scores. Travis Rogers has been slowed the past two games, slipping from first to third among state rushing leaders with 1,159 yards. Brian Shubin has passed for 902 yards and eight touchdowns. Ventura's defense, second overall in the WSC, has done the rest. Santa Barbara's 59 points are the fewest of any WSC team.

* SOUTHWEST (4-3, 2-2) vs. VALLEY (4-3, 3-1)

At Valley, 7 p.m.

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