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Pigskin Prophecies

October 22, 1998

The adage, "It's better to be lucky than good," certainly came true last week. The Prophet missed on only four of 15 choices, yet got beat on two of the top four games when Newbury Park lucked out against Westlake and Royal handed over a victory to Moorpark. Get rid of the Marmonte League! The Prophet's opponent this week is Dave Desmond, self-proclaimed "expert" on High Desert football. Desmond went to high school at Highland Hall, which doesn't have a football team, and he covers, among other circuits, the Golden League, which has yet to discover the forward pass.

GAME OF THE WEEK

Notre Dame at Crespi

THE PROPHET SAYS: When it comes to rivalry games, who knows? The Prophet, that's who! Crespi has only one loss, but the Celts' biggest victory came against Lancaster. Enough said. Notre Dame moves the ball without making mistakes and wins with defense. This season, that's enough. Notre Dame, 17-7.

DESMOND SAYS: With Eric Sondheimer riding shotgun and the Prophet, his magic carpet, crystal ball and turban in the back, there's no more room on the Notre Dame bandwagon. Only two of the Knights' six victories have come against teams with winning records. The Critters are eyeing Notre Dame like it's a Scooby Snack. Crespi, 27-21.

OTHER TOP GAMES

Granada Hills at Kennedy

THE PROPHET SAYS: Kennedy was sailing along until getting torpedoed by Taft last week. The Golden Cougars will be fortunate to escape without being shut out for the second consecutive game. Granada Hills, 28-7.

DESMOND SAYS: Granada Hills was 3-27 before Darryl Stroh returned. Now the Highlanders are 6-0. Maybe he can resurrect my writing "career." Kennedy would have earned my vote if not for last week's 42-0 loss to Taft. Besides, I grew up in the Granada Hills district. Granada Hills, 27-10.

Littlerock at Antelope Valley

THE PROPHET SAYS: Littlerock (6-0) has allowed only two opponents to score in double figures. Antelope Valley limps in at 2-3-1. Upset special: Antelope Valley, 20-14.

DESMOND SAYS: Unlike the Marmonte League, they play defense in the desert. The Lobos have never defeated Antelope Valley, but with a defense that is yielding 176 yards a game and a power-pitch offense that is steam-rolling opponents, this could be Coach Jim Bauer's year. Littlerock, 17-14.

Newbury Park at Moorpark

THE PROPHET SAYS: Moorpark opponents are a combined 11-24-1. In league play, 1-7. Finally, the Musketeers play a team with a winning record. Newbury Park's Ryan Shipton out-runs Moorpark's Art Garcia. Newbury Park, 28-16.

DESMOND SAYS: What an offense, but does Newbury Park use its 11 allotted guys on defense, or just seven? Panther games are higher-scoring than the WNBA. These teams have combined for 400 points in six games. They might have 100 by halftime. Newbury Park, 56-54.

THE REST (1 point each)

* San Fernando at Chatsworth: The Prophet: San Fernando was outscored, 70-7, by Taft and Granada Hills. Chatsworth isn't Taft or Granada Hills, but the Chancellors are good enough. Chatsworth, 41-29. Desmond: Chatsworth, 37-14.

* Poly at Grant: The Prophet: Neither team plays much defense, but with Steven Smith back in the backfield, Poly has won two in a row. Make it three. Poly, 40-34. Desmond: Grant, 9-6.

* Cleveland at El Camino Real: The Prophet: Barring technical difficulties, this will mark El Camino Real's first game under the lights at its home field. Yet another reason to celebrate. El Camino Real, 34-20. Desmond: El Camino Real, 35-7.

* Village Christian vs. L.A. Baptist at Alemany High: The Prophet: Village Christian has the better weight room. L.A. Baptist, the better team. L.A. Baptist, 13-10. Desmond: L.A. Baptist, 18-6.

* Alemany at Harvard-Westlake: The Prophet: Previously undefeated Harvard-Westlake was brought back to earth by Notre Dame last week. Alemany was driven into the earth by Loyola. Alemany, 28-14. Desmond: Alemany, 33-17.

* Paraclete vs. Montclair Prep at Valley College: The Prophet: Montclair Prep has three consecutive shutouts and hasn't allowed a touchdown in four games. So much for that streak. Paraclete, 15-7. Desmond: Paraclete, 28-13.

* Quartz Hill at Palmdale: The Prophet: After winning three in a row, Palmdale has three consecutive losses. The Falcons return to the win column. Palmdale, 17-7. Desmond: Palmdale, 28-8.

* Rio Mesa at Oxnard: The Prophet: Oxnard is beat up and despite its 1-5 record, Rio Mesa has been competitive in every game. Rio Mesa, 21-13. Desmond: Oxnard, 14-12.

* San Marcos at Camarillo: The Prophet: San Marcos was upset at home last week by Buena. Camarillo has won four in a row. Bradlee Van Pelt brings that streak to an end. San Marcos, 28-24. Desmond: Camarillo, 24-22.

* Santa Clara at Oak Park: The Prophet: It's tough to bounce back from a 58-3 drubbing, which is what St. Bonaventure delivered to Oak Park last week. Santa Clara, 20-14. Desmond: Oak Park, 21-13.

* Agoura at Royal: The Prophet: Royal shoulda, woulda, coulda won at Moorpark last week. If (a huge if) the Highlanders can cut down on mistakes, they earn their first league victory. Royal, 20-13. Desmond: Royal, 10-7.

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