Westminster's Kelly Coburn had the kind of game quarterbacks dream about in a 51-48 loss to Saddleback.
The 6-2, 172-pound junior completed 25 of 45 passes with one interception for 480 yards. He also threw for seven touchdowns, tying the county record set by Capistrano Valley's Burt Call in 1983.
Four of the touchdowns came in the fourth quarter of Friday's game when Coburn was 18 of 29 for 269 yards.
"It was a combination of things," Lion Coach Ted McMillen said of Coburn's effort. "He got hot and had the confidence going. But the game also turned into a track meet. We couldn't stop them, and they couldn't stop us."
McMillen said he told Coburn he would have to pass often because Westminster was short on running backs. Four were too injured to play, and another had been suspended for a game after being ejected during the Santa Ana contest.
"We're not that comfortable with the game going that way," McMillen said. "If we had played well and had a lead, I would have stopped Kelly at about 250 yards."
Edison went into the Los Alamitos game last Thursday without its top three receivers, and the injury list has grown as it goes into Thursday's game against third-ranked Esperanza.
Running back Darin Pope (20 touchdowns) and right tackle Eric Abbascia are questionable because of concussions they suffered against the Griffins. Quarterback Jason Kripavicious was scheduled to see a doctor Monday to diagnose his injured knee.
However, Marshall Hendricks, an injured receiver, is scheduled to return for the Chargers (3-4, 0-2).
"We're losing more than we're getting back, that's for sure," Edison Coach Dave White said.
"I've never had a season like this. We started out young and inexperienced, and now we're just getting hurt. We're in the best league [Sunset] in the county, and we're beat up. We're playing with a lot of kids who were junior varsity players in the spring."
Los Alamitos Coach John Barnes knows what it's like to have the No. 1-ranked football team in the nation. His Griffins started the 1995 season atop the USA Today poll.
This year's Griffins aren't ranked in the national top 25 but are ranked No. 5 in the West Region. They're the only No. 5 team not included in the top 25, which Barnes finds unusual "because California, Texas and Florida are the power states."
But, he said, "the only thing that's important is the end of the year."
Though the 1998 team probably won't match the 1995 team's ranking, this year's version of the Griffins compares favorably.
"This team is better on defense, has a better running game, and we don't lose much at quarterback," Barnes said. "Kevin Feterik was incredible, but this kid [quarterback Ryan Hanson] is performing so great. Our offensive line is a lot better than 1995."
Three years ago, Barnes said this group of seniors could return the program to the highest standards nationally. He reiterated that feeling last week.
"We thought we would have a chance [to be No. 1]," Barnes said. "It's panned out well. We have some leaders."
One reason Los Alamitos bears watching nationally is because of Mater Dei's performance against Concord De La Salle this season. The Monarchs are ranked behind Los Alamitos in the Orange County and Southern Section polls, yet were tied with De La Salle, the top-ranked team in the nation, in the fourth quarter before losing, 28-21.
The Griffins can prove themselves by season's end because Mater Dei and Long Beach Poly, the nation's second-ranked team (and ranked No. 1 in the section), will be in the section's Division I playoffs.
The Western Regional competition in the Foot Locker Cross-Country Championships will move to Mt. San Antonio College this year after being held at Woodward Park in Fresno the last 18 years.
Open to high school boys' and girls' cross-country runners, the regional will be Dec. 5. The state CIF finals will be Nov. 28 at Woodward Park.
The Foot Locker national finals, featuring the top eight boy and girl finishers from the four regionals, will be Dec. 12 in Orlando.
Natasha Watley, a shortstop at Woodbridge, made an oral commitment to play softball next season at UCLA, her father Ed said.
Watley, a first-team Times Orange County infielder, batted .471 with 11 runs batted in, 24 stolen bases and scored 38 runs to help the Warriors reach the Southern Section Division II semifinals.
Senior Ashlee Phillips, a 6-1 setter from Marina High, has verbally committed to play volleyball at Wake Forest, her father Cameron said.
Phillips, a starter on last year's state championship team, was a second-team All-Sunset League selection. She is the captain of the second-ranked Vikings (9-1), who host Fountain Valley today.
Right-handed pitcher Brett Young and shortstop Chad Sterbens of Calvary Chapel have agreed to attend Mississippi next fall, Eagle Athletic Director Joe Walters said.
Young was 8-2 with a 0.95 earned-run average last season for Calvary Chapel, with 79 strikeouts in 59 innings. Sterbens batted .437 with two home runs and 29 RBIs, and stole 42 bases in 42 attempts. Both were All-Olympic League first-team and All-Southern Section Division IV second-team selections.
Arpi Kojian, a sophomore at Villa Park, has been selected to participate in the USA Tennis Player Development Training Camp in Key Biscayne, Fla. Tom Gullikson, the U.S. Davis Cup captain, and Billie Jean King, the U.S. Federation Cup captain, will host 48 of the top American junior players, ages 16 and under, from Oct. 28 to Nov. 1. Kojian, ranked in the top 20 nationally in the girls' 16 age group, is not playing high school tennis this season because the matches conflict with her practice schedule.
Times staff writers Martin Henderson, Dave McKibben, Paul McLeod and Bob Rohwer contributed to this report.