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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

GAME DAY / A Look at Today's Key Matchups

November 27, 1998

SOUTHERN SECTION QUARTERFINALS

* MATER DEI (10-1) vs. NOTRE DAME (10-1)

At Valley College, 7:30 p.m.

After scoring a last-minute touchdown to defeat Long Beach Wilson in the first round last week, the Knights move into the Division I quarterfinals. Mater Dei, seeded No. 3, had 10 sacks last week in a 30-14 victory over Fountain Valley. Kevin Mitchell, who is considered among the top linebackers in the West, had 2 1/2 sacks. Matt Grootegoed, a converted quarterback, rushed for 187 yards and three touchdowns in 26 carries for the Monarchs, whose only loss was a 28-21 setback to Concord De La Salle. Todd Fenton of Notre Dame had seven catches for 162 yards and two touchdowns last week, including the 29-yard game-winner with nine seconds. Running back Chris Leon is questionable with a sprained knee and ankle. Defensive end Alec Moss is expected to return from a sprained shoulder.

*

* VALENCIA (8-3) vs. CRESPI (6-5)

At Crespi High, 7:30 p.m.

Crespi picked the best possible time to break a five-game losing streak, upsetting second-seeded Littlerock, 17-7, in the first round. The Celts' reward is a Division III playoff home game against Valencia and Manuel White, who is finally in top form. White, a junior tailback, gained 275 yards in a 42-19 victory over Crescenta Valley and has rushed for 1,709 yards and scored 19 touchdowns. He has gained 531 yards in the last two weeks. White will be tested by Crespi's defense, which allows an average of less than 300 yards per game. The Valencia defense is statistically better, giving up an average of less than 100 yards a game rushing and 230.8 overall. Robert Muller of Crespi has passed for 1,029 yards and 10 touchdowns. He has had nine passes intercepted. None of Crespi's top five rushers average five yards per carry.

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* HART (9-2) vs. ST. FRANCIS (6-5)

At St. Francis High, 7:30 p.m.

St. Francis will have its hands full trying to contain quarterback Kyle Boller and the high-powered Hart offense in this Division III game. The top-seeded Indians, led by Boller's 4,062 passing yards, have 5,288 yards in offense. St. Francis allows an average of only 276 yards per game and has not been embarrassed by top teams such as Alemany (a 20-14 loss), Bishop Amat (a 28-7 loss) and St. Paul (a 28-8 loss). The Golden Knights own a 29-25 victory over third-seeded Arcadia. Murice Law, who has rushed for 1,069 yards in 210 carries, and John Sciarra, who has completed 95 of 173 passes for 1,405 yards, must have good games and the Golden Knights' defense will have to be airtight. St. Francis would be best served not to rely on turnovers because Hart has lost only five fumbles and its quarterbacks have thrown only three interceptions.

*

* LANCASTER (9-2) vs. ALEMANY (8-3)

At Alemany High, 7:30 p.m.

One more victory and Coach Jim Bonds of Alemany might get his dream Division III semifinal matchup against his alma mater, Hart. Standing in the way is a Lancaster team that relies on defense and a punishing ground attack. The Eagles stymied Canyon last week, 10-0, holding the Cowboys to 117 yards. They have Robert LaPlante, an excellent kicker, and Jason Jacobs, a dangerous option quarterback. After going 2-8 last season, Alemany has been revitalized by an explosive offense led by quarterback Casey Clausen and running back De'Andre Scott. Clausen has passed for 2,824 yards and 27 touchdowns. The defense needs a big game from linebacker Reggie Kinlaw.

*

* HUENEME (5-5-1) vs. SAN MARCOS (4-7)

At San Marcos High, 7:30 p.m.

In terms of talent, Hueneme has the Royals overmatched in this Division IV game. But San Marcos has combined one star player and a stellar supporting cast into a formidable team. Bradlee Van Pelt of San Marcos, son of former All-Pro Brad Van Pelt, has rushed for 1,195 yards and 22 touchdowns, and passed for 1,189 yards and 12 touchdowns. He has had five passes intercepted. Tailback Carlos Santano of Royal has rushed for 711 yards and six touchdowns, and fullback Todd Aguilera has 640 yards and seven touchdowns. Nick Kellams is San Marcos' leading tackler with an average of 12 per game and has six fumble recoveries, two interceptions and three blocked kicks. Hueneme, in the playoffs for the first time since 1987, averages more than 400 yards and 40 points per game. Donald Thompson of Hueneme is the region's leading rusher and scorer with 1,746 yards and 186 points, including 31 touchdowns. Henry Otineru, a nose guard and linebacker, will be key in Hueneme's attempt to stop Van Pelt. San Marcos forfeited five victories earlier this season because it used an ineligible player.

*

* ARROYO GRANDE (8-2) vs. BUENA (7-4)

At Ventura High, 7:30 p.m.

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