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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | Game Day / A Look
at Today's Key Matches

High Schools

October 16, 1998

* KENNEDY (4-1, 2-0) vs. TAFT (4-1, 2-0)

At Taft High, 7 p.m.

The opponents keep getting tougher for Kennedy. The Golden Cougars entered Northwest Valley Conference play as a dark horse, then opened with victories over contenders Chatsworth and El Camino Real. Kennedy's secondary, led by safety David Burney, slowed Chatsworth's passing game in a 28-10 victory. The Golden Cougars' run defense, keyed by middle linebacker Jason Newman, shut down El Camino Real in a 20-14 victory. Now they'll face the most balanced attack in the region--Taft has rushed for 750 yards and passed for 755. Kennedy should be aware of trick plays--four different players have thrown touchdown passes for Taft this season.

* GRANADA HILLS (5-0, 2-0) vs. SAN FERNANDO (3-2, 0-2)

At San Fernando High, 7 p.m.

San Fernando is reeling after starting the season with three victories. The Tigers lost to El Camino Real, 63-30, and to Taft, 21-0, without several injured players. Quarterback Larry Brown and running back Major Caldwell are closer to full strength, but San Fernando lost fullback-linebacker Noe Ramirez because of a knee injury. Granada Hills, the most improved team in the region after finishing 1-9 last year, cruised to victories against Birmingham and Cleveland. Jason Winn ranks second among City quarterbacks in the region with 10 touchdown passes.

* HARVARD-WESTLAKE (5-0) at NOTRE DAME (5-0)

At 7:30 p.m.

Harvard-Westlake hasn't forgotten its 55-7 loss to Notre Dame last year. An improved Wolverine offensive line, led by Tom Larkin, has created scoring opportunities for tailback George Witter, who has rushed for 624 yards and 10 touchdowns. The defense has received strong play from linebackers Alex Scott and Robert Van Norden. Another key for the Wolverines is that none of their 32 players is injured. Notre Dame has won several close games because of its bend-but-doesn't-break defense, featuring big-play lineman Travis Johnson and aggressive linebacker Alec Moss. Quarterback Seth Oseransky's arm strength won't ever be compared to Kyle Boller of Hart, but he has completed 58% of his passes and has thrown for eight touchdowns.

* LOYOLA (5-0) vs. ALEMANY (4-1)

At Alemany High, 7:30 p.m.

Loyola defeated Hart, 23-22, last week in an intense game between two of the top 10 teams in the state. John Grady, one of two sons playing for his father, Loyola Coach Steve Grady, rushed for 130 yards and two touchdowns in 24 carries. After a tough 14-13 loss to Notre Dame, Alemany recovered with a 49-14 rout of Canyon last week. The Indians, ranked No. 5 in the region by The Times, are averaging 40.6 points per game. De'Andre Scott is averaging 11.1 yards per carry and his brother, Deon, is averaging 38.4 yards per catch.

* CRESPI (5-0) vs. SERRA (3-2)

At Serra High, 7:30 p.m.

This will be the toughest test yet for Crespi, ranked No. 4 in the region by The Times. Blake Tibbetts, who missed three games because of a foot injury, returned last week against St. Bernard and gave a boost to the Celts' ground game, rushing for 135 yards and a touchdown. Serra is streaky. The Cavaliers looked impressive in a 17-14 victory over Valencia, but were turnover-prone in a 24-10 loss to Narbonne. Serra's speedsters include safety Dashaun McCullough, who finished second in the 100 meters at the USA Track and Field Junior championships, and cornerback Warren Rodgers, who placed fifth in the 200 at the state championships last spring.

* PALMDALE (3-2) vs. LANCASTER (4-1)

At Lancaster High, 7:30 p.m.

Lancaster, playing its second season of varsity football, has designs on the Golden League title. The Eagles, with the league's biggest lineup, have outscored their last two opponents, 80-6. Their first obstacle in league play is Palmdale, the two-time defending champion. The game figures to be decided on the ground, since neither team has a receiver averaging more than one catch per game. Palmdale averages a league-best 280 yards per game. Lancaster is allowing a league-low 174 yards, only 61 on the ground. Palmdale quarterback Johnathan Thompson has rushed for 242 yards and last week passed for a career-best 219 yards in a rout of Bakersfield Ridgeview. Marquis Murray and Anthony Diggs have combined to rush for 600 yards and nine touchdowns for Palmdale. Danny Pagnella has run for 399 yards for Lancaster, which has touchdown runs from seven different players. Darsay Barnwell (227 yards) is averaging 7.3 yards per carry. Palmdale won, 41-16, last season in the first meeting between the teams.

* ROYAL (1-4, 0-2) vs. MOORPARK (5-0, 2-0)

At Moorpark High, 7 p.m.

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