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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Pigskin Prophecies

November 19, 1998

I can't believe it worked. They used John Ortega, a track guy, as their anchor, and he passed me at the turn--the final week of the regular season. For the first time this season, The Prophet trails in picks and points. But up ahead we have the stretch run--the playoffs--and I have plenty left for a strong closing kick. My opponent this week is Peter Yoon, who likes to golf when he's not out covering the Foothill and Pacific leagues. He'll be wrapping a club around a tree come Saturday morning.

GAME OF THE WEEK (5 points)

San Pedro at Sylmar

THE PROPHET SAYS: The winner of this game gets to lose to Banning next week. These teams each have won two City 4-A titles this decade. San Pedro is the two-time defending champion, but the Pirates won't repeat. Sylmar brings this San Pedro season to a relatively early close. Sylmar, 27-20.

YOON SAYS: It's not true I have made bad picks so the Prophet can regain the lead. I am a full-fledged member of the non-Prophet organization of sportswriters. Sylmar (7-2-1) tied Antelope Valley (2-7-1) and was whipped by Hart. Two-time defending City champion San Pedro (6-4) is always dangerous in the playoffs. San Pedro, 25-17.

OTHER TOP GAMES (each 3 points)

Crescenta Valley vs. Valencia at Canyon High

THE PROPHET SAYS: Crescenta Valley's inexperienced group was good enough to finish second in the Pacific League, but isn't good enough to stop a healthy Manuel White. Wait till next year, Falcons. Valencia, 22-20.

YOON SAYS: The Falcons lost twice to Foothill League teams this season, to third-place Canyon and fifth-place Burroughs. With Manuel White (season-high 256 yards last week) back to speed for second-place Valencia, the third time will not be the charm. Valencia, 36-13.

Canyon at Lancaster

THE PROPHET SAYS: If Lancaster could pass, it wins this game easily. Canyon is good against the run--but not good enough. Lancaster's first playoff game won't be its last. Lancaster, 14-12.

YOON SAYS: Canyon's weakness is stopping the pass, but that won't be a problem against the low-flying Eagles, who average 45 passing yards a game. Lancaster scores a late touchdown on its 16th consecutive fullback dive for a four-yard gain, but it's called back because of excess boring football. Canyon, 20-15.

Moorpark vs. Buena at Ventura High

THE PROPHET SAYS: League champion Buena gets a fourth-place team on a four-game losing streak. If Moorpark's Art Garcia was completely healthy, picking an upset would be tempting. It still is, but . . . Buena, 27-21.

YOON SAYS: After a 6-0 start, Moorpark has dropped four in a row. Playing its first playoff game in Division IV after moving up from Division XI is no way to cure a losing streak. Buena, king of the slim margin of victory, has an easier time in this one. Buena, 37-12.

THE REST (1 point each)

* Crenshaw at Taft: The Prophet: This is a rematch. Taft won, 38-22, earlier this season, but Crenshaw helped with five first-half turnovers. This is a tossup. Taft, 27-20. Yoon: Taft, 33-6.

* El Camino Real at Venice: The Prophet: El Camino Real allowed quarterback Brandon Hance of Taft to throw five touchdown passes. J.P. Losman of Venice, who already has passed for 44 touchdowns, might end up looking almost as good as Kyle Boller. Venice, 42-20. Yoon: Venice, 44-20.

* Kennedy vs. Dorsey at Jackie Robinson Stadium: The Prophet: Kennedy is an overachieving team that plays people tough. Dorsey is champion of the Southern Pacific Conference. Dorsey, 28-14. Yoon: Dorsey, 35-20.

* Hollywood at Van Nuys: The Prophet: Great story line for a Hollywood flick: Traditionally bad football program upsets 7-3 favorite in first round of playoffs. Only in the movies. Van Nuys, 28-7. Yoon: Hollywood, 17-9.

* Crespi at Littlerock: The Prophet: The last time Crespi ventured out into the desert the Celts escaped with a one-point victory. Not this time. Littlerock, 21-7. Yoon: Crespi, 12-10.

* Harvard-Westlake at Arroyo: The Prophet: If Harvard-Westlake can beat Alemany, it can beat Arroyo. And if it can lose to Chaminade, it can . . . Arroyo, 22-21. Yoon: Arroyo, 28-26.

* St. Francis at Muir: The Prophet: If this was a typical Muir team, St. Francis wouldn't have a chance. It's not, and the Knights do. St. Francis, 15-14. Yoon: St. Francis, 24-6.

* Ventura at Newbury Park: The Prophet: This one depends on which Ventura team shows up. Newbury Park shouldn't be seeded No. 1. Ventura shouldn't have lost to the likes of Royal. Newbury Park, 42-28. Yoon: Newbury Park, 52-14.

* Westlake at San Marcos: The Prophet: As Bradlee Van Pelt goes, so goes San Marcos. In this case, right out of the playoffs. Westlake, 35-14. Yoon: Westlake, 42-38.

* Lompoc at Thousand Oaks: The Prophet: Both teams have high-powered running attacks. But Thousand Oaks' top rusher, Wes Cobos, is injured. Thousand Oaks wins anyway, 29-27. Yoon: Lompoc, 36-18.

* Santa Barbara at Camarillo: The Prophet: Camarillo came back to earth--hard--against Hueneme after seven victories in a row. Eight out of nine isn't bad. Camarillo, 21-14. Yoon: Santa Barbara, 38-21.

THE PROPHET

Season totals for The Prophet: 100 of 150 (67%), 160 points

PETER YOON

Season totals for the guests: 102 of 150 (68%), 162 points

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