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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

GAME DAY / A Look at Today's Key Matchups

October 10, 1998

NCAA DIVISION I-AA

* MONTANA (3-2, 1-1) vs. CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE (3-1, 2-0)

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

Radio: KCSN-FM (88.5)

At stake for Northridge are credibility and staying the course toward a Big Sky Conference championship, which usually means going through perenially powerful Montana. The Matadors have not defeated Montana in two attempts. Northridge lost to the Grizzlies, 21-13, in Missoula last year and 43-36 two years ago at North Campus Stadium after tying the score, 29-29, with 9:17 to play. But the Grizzlies, ranked No. 18 in one poll, are not as menacing as in the past. They lost at home to Southern Utah, 45-35, on Sept. 12, at Weber State, 27-20, on Sept. 26 and squeezed by Portland State, 20-17, last week. Southern Utah, Weber State and Portland State have excellent running attacks. The Grizzlies are next to last in the Big Sky in rushing defense, allowing 251.8 yards a game. Northridge's game plan today probably emphasizes the run more than the shoot, not only to exploit Montana's weakness, but to keep the ball away from Brian Ah Yat, Montana's prolific quarterback. Ah Yat ranks second in Division I-AA in offense at 295.6 yards a game but has had nine passes intercepted. His Northridge counterpart, redshirt freshman Marcus Brady, leads I-AA in passing efficiency with 169.73 points. Brady can scramble effectively, which shouldn't be difficult against the Grizzlies, who have only six sacks. Northridge, ranked No. 23, stuffed Southern Utah's option attack, 44-17, last week. The Matadors have five interceptions, second best in the conference, and have a turnover ratio of five, 11th-best in I-AA. A victory would give the Matadors their best start since joining the Big Sky in 1996.

DIVISION III

* CAL LUTHERAN (2-2) vs. CHAPMAN (0-4)

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

Coming off a bye week, Cal Lutheran goes into this nonconference homecoming game looking to stay on the up side in an up-and-down season. The Kingsmen defeated the University of San Diego in their last game Sept. 26. That victory was preceded by consecutive losses after a victory in the season opener. Cal Lutheran has relied on senior quarterback Zack Hernandez, an L.A. Baptist High graduate, to run its option offense. He shares the offensive backfield with running backs Fredrik Nanhed and Dorian Stitt, who average 5.1 and 4.7 yards a carry. Nanhed and Stitt provide a luxury to the Kingsmen that Chapman's offense has not had. The Panthers have averaged just 17 points. The primary culprit has been an injury-plagued offensive line, which is missing three starters. The Panthers also will be without running back Jared Rollins, who suffered an ankle injury two weeks ago. Filling in will be Nate Ballinger, who last week rushed for 99 yards, more than Chapman's combined team rushing total in three previous games. The game will feature two defensive standouts in Chapman linebacker Keith Dykes and Cal Lutheran strong safety/linebacker Mattias Wikstrom. Both players lead their teams in tackles.

JUNIOR COLLEGE

* MOORPARK (2-1) at COMPTON (0-3)

At Compton, 1 p.m.

Carl Richardson had the glory with 257 rushing yards and a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in Moorpark's 42-27 victory last week over Bakersfield. But quarterback Bryan Spencer made the most of the opportunity, completing 12 of 18 passes for 165 yards and three touchdowns. Spencer's passing accuracy earned him the starting job this week over Scott Ange, who continues to nurse a knee injury. Moorpark's defense ranks second in the Western State Conference entering this Southern Division opener. Linebacker Kameron Salem had six unassisted tackles against Bakersfield. Compton's Demon Winston has rushed for 144 yards and two touchdowns. Jason Brown has passed for 411 yards and three touchdowns.

*

* CANYONS (3-1) at PIERCE (1-3)

At Pierce, 4 p.m.

A winning streak for Pierce? "That would be nice," Coach Bill Norton said. The mood was celebratory for Norton and the Brahmas after they ended a 31-game losing streak with a 34-28 overtime victory over Compton. Now, it's back to reality for the WSC Northern Division opener. Canyons has about twice as many players as Pierce and a strong running game. Jason Parks has rushed for 408 yards to rank fifth in the WSC. Kevin Carrasco passed for 270 yards and three touchdowns in a 42-34 victory last week over East L.A. Canyons' defense hasn't been overpowering, and Pierce quarterback Calvin Zinck should be able to move the chains. Zinck, WSC player of the week, leads the WSC with 957 passing yards and six scoring passes. Vaughn Corley has a conference-high 38 receptions and Basil Duncantell has 20.

*

* GLENDALE (1-3) at VENTURA (4-0)

At Ventura High, 7 p.m.

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