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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Pigskin Prophecies

November 12, 1998

It's the final week of the regular season and the sportswriters are restless. Despite Mike Bresnahan's monster 13-2 Week 9 showing, the guests still trail in picks and points. (Shock of the year!) So who better to anchor their team than a come-from-behind specialist, John Ortega, the region's renown cross country and track guru? . . . OK, OK. It was a rhetorical question.

GAME OF THE WEEK (5 points)

Granada Hills at Taft

THE PROPHET SAYS: The Granada Hills football team is the feel-good story of the year. Tom Harp and Darryl Stroh have turned in an incredible coaching job. Jason Winn is a fine quarterback. Peter Gunny is an outstanding athlete. Jory Goldberg is a standout lineman. Taft, 22-21.

OTHER TOP GAMES (each 3 points)

Hueneme at Camarillo

THE PROPHET SAYS: Camarillo gets no respect. The Scorpions have won seven in a row since an 0-2 start. Still no ranking. Hueneme, with a tie and four losses (three by forfeit) gets ranked 10th in the region. It's a shame. It's accurate. Hueneme, 30-24.

Harvard-Westlake at Chaminade

THE PROPHET SAYS: Both teams should thank their lucky stars they somehow ended up in a league championship game. Love those four-team formats. Harvard-Westlake, 22-20.

St. Francis at Alemany

THE PROPHET SAYS: St. Francis, without Murice Law, will need to run three fumblerooskis for touchdowns to win this one. If you think that couldn't happen you haven't seen Alemany's defense. Alemany, 28-14.

GAME OF THE WEEK (5 points)

Granada Hills at Taft

ORTEGA SAYS: First of all, I'm a Kennedy graduate. Secondly, Taft, with Marquis Brignac and Lawrence Wallace, has superior team speed. But you gotta love those old-time disciplinarians like Granada Hills co-Coach Darryl Stroh. They always seem to get the most out of their players. Granada Hills, 21-20.

OTHER TOP GAMES (each 3 points)

Hueneme at Camarillo

ORTEGA SAYS: Garrett Valencia of Camarillo and Jeff Garcia of Hueneme are solid quarterbacks. But Hueneme running back Donald Thompson and wide receiver Keary Colbert are big-play threats Camarillo lacks. Hueneme, 27-17.

Harvard-Westlake at Chaminade

ORTEGA SAYS: Chaminade beat Serra, 24-7, two weeks ago. Harvard-Westlake lost to the Cavaliers, 20-15, last week. But running back George Witter and tight end and linebacker Alex Holmes of Harvard-Westlake are quality track and field athletes. And I'm a track guy. Harvard-Westlake, 30-24.

St. Francis at Alemany

ORTEGA SAYS: St. Francis might score on the fumblerooski and the Golden Knights have a solid quarterback in John Sciarra. But they won't be able to contain Alemany's offense, led by quarterback Casey Clausen. Alemany, 31-13.

THE REST (1 point each)

* Chatsworth at El Camino Real: The Prophet: Chatsworth was close against Taft and Granada Hills the last two weeks. El Camino Real wasn't. Chatsworth, 34-31. Ortega: El Camino Real, 31-23.

* Kennedy at Cleveland: The Prophet: If only Cleveland's defense was as good as its offense. Kennedy, 35-27. Ortega: Kennedy, 34-20.

* Sylmar at Van Nuys: The Prophet: This one is for the Valley Pac-8 championship (yawn). Sylmar, 42-14. Ortega: Sylmar, 31-10.

* Hart at Canyon: The Prophet: Everyone raves about Kyle Boller, but it's been a while since he faced a decent defense. Sorry Canyon, I just had to bring that up. Hart, 42-14. Ortega: Hart, 45-13.

* Crescenta Valley at Arcadia: The Prophet: Crescenta Valley, defending league champion, is a year away from being back on top. Arcadia, 28-22. Ortega: Arcadia, 28-27.

* St. John Bosco at Notre Dame: The Prophet: If top-ranked Notre Dame is really the best team in the region, it wins this one easily. Notre Dame, 28-7. Ortega: Notre Dame, 31-13.

* Highland at Palmdale: The Prophet: If Palmdale had quarterback Johnathan Thompson this would be a no-brainer (my specialty). But he's out with a broken collarbone. That makes it close. Palmdale, 21-20. Ortega: Palmdale, 23-21.

* Burbank at Burroughs: The Prophet: Punter Scott Talamantes of Burbank is among the region's best. . . . Practice makes perfect. Burroughs, 42-7. Ortega: Burroughs, 35-10.

* Glendale vs. Hoover at Glendale High: The Prophet: No high school football team should have to suffer through a winless season. Hoover, 21-20. Ortega: Glendale, 24-20.

* Thousand Oaks at Newbury Park: The Prophet: Nick Czernek didn't have a pass intercepted last week. If he is close to that efficient again, Newbury Park wins. Newbury Park, 42-34. Ortega: Newbury Park, 34-27.

* Simi Valley vs. Royal at Moorpark College: The Prophet: During the off-season, Royal picked up two transfers--both starters--from Simi Valley. The word then was they wanted to play for a winner. Oops! Simi Valley, 21-14. Ortega: Simi Valley, 23-17.

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