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Game Day / A Look at Today's Key Matchups

October 30, 1998


* LITTLEROCK (7-0, 2-0) vs. LANCASTER (6-1, 2-0)

At Lancaster High, 7:30 p.m.

These teams are the only members of the Golden League without a league football title, but that should change for the winner of this game. Statistically, they couldn't be more evenly matched. Lancaster, ranked No. 5 in the region by The Times, is averaging 265.4 yards and is yielding 170.7 yards per game. Littlerock is averaging 264.6 yards and allowing 177.7. Both rely heavily on the run. Rodney Woods of Littlerock has rushed for 815 yards and 12 touchdowns, and teammate Keith Williams has run for 643 yards. Seven Lancaster players have rushed for touchdowns and three have gained more than 200 yards. Danny Pagnella leads Lancaster with 532 yards and five touchdowns. This game will feature some of the region's top linebackers. Mike Arvizo and Adam Fabela of Littlerock set school records for tackles last season. Donald Forshee of Lancaster has 7 1/2 sacks and is averaging more than 13 tackles a game. Littlerock won last year, 21-0.

* EL CAMINO REAL (4-2-1, 3-1) vs. GRANADA HILLS (7-0, 4-0)

At Granada Hills High, 7 p.m.

Granada Hills continues a treacherous second-half schedule against the run-oriented Conquistadores. El Camino Real can be explosive--the Conquistadores scored 63 points against San Fernando--but only if the running game is working. After alternating with Devontra Hargrove much of the season, DeAngelo Nedd split time at running back with Justin Graham in a 29-20 victory over Cleveland. Nedd leads El Camino Real with 552 yards rushing, and Hargrove has 512. They will face a Highlander defense that allows 81.4 yards rushing a game, best in the Northwest Valley Conference. Robert Garcia, Adrian Padilla and Gerald Jones lead the Granada Hills defense. Jason Winn has thrown 14 touchdown passes for Granada Hills, tied for the conference lead with Matt Cassel of Chatsworth.

* TAFT (6-1, 4-0) vs. CHATSWORTH (5-2, 2-2)

At Chatsworth High, 7 p.m.

Chatsworth's timing is not good. Taft will be at full strength for the first time in a month, including the return of receiver Lawrence Wallace, who has recovered from a broken hand. Wallace's absence allowed for the emergence of Ronald Andrews, who has caught 24 passes for 300 yards. Marquis Brignac of Taft ranks fifth in the region in rushing with 949 yards. Chatsworth is coming off a 14-10 loss to San Fernando that knocked the Chancellors out of title contention, but they could still play the role of spoiler behind a dynamic offense. Matt Cassel has passed for 1,589 yards and 14 touchdowns, and five receivers have caught at least eight passes. Reggie Lee leads the conference with 662 yards receiving and has scored eight touchdowns. The Chancellors will face a Taft defense that has recorded three shutouts in five games.

* ST. FRANCIS (4-3) vs. CRESPI (5-2)

At Crespi High, 7:30 p.m.

In a Mission League opener, Coach Bill Redell of St. Francis returns to Crespi, where he coached the Celts to a Southern Section championship in 1986. Redell resigned from Crespi in 1988 and returned to coaching in 1994 at St. Francis. The Golden Knights were competitive last week against powerful Bishop Amat, trailing by a touchdown at halftime before losing, 28-7. Sophomore John Sciarra has passed for seven touchdowns for St. Francis, with 10 interceptions. Crespi is looking to rebound from consecutive losses to Notre Dame and Serra. Four Celts comprise a balanced running game, with Ken Turner at 272 yards, Blake Tibbetts at 242, Joel Garcia at 228 and Jimmy Guardino at 198. Defensive end Gregg Guenther of Crespi, a 6-foot-7, 240-pound junior, is out for the season because of a stress fracture in his foot.

* NOTRE DAME (7-0) vs. BISHOP AMAT (7-0)

At Bishop Amat High, 7:30 p.m.

An interesting Del Rey League opener features teams that have played only once--a 28-0 victory by Bishop Amat in a 1983 playoff game. Last week, Notre Dame scored 21 fourth-quarter points to defeat Crespi, 24-10. Chris Leon surpassed 100 yards rushing for the second consecutive game and has 351 yards in 52 carries this season. Todd Fenton of Notre Dame has tied the school record with 17 touchdown receptions in his career. Bishop Amat, a Division I powerhouse in La Puente, had trouble with St. Francis last week, trailing near the end of the first half, 7-6, before rallying for a 28-7 victory. Chris Rix, a 6-3, 200-pound junior, could be the next big-name quarterback to come out of Bishop Amat, joining Pat Haden, Paul McDonald and John Sciarra, father of the St. Francis quarterback. Rix rushed for two touchdowns last week, including a 51-yarder, and has six rushing touchdowns this season. He has completed 64 of 108 passes for 1,010 yards and 10 touchdowns, with three interceptions.

* MOORPARK (6-1, 3-1) vs. WESTLAKE (5-1-1, 1-1-1)

At Westlake High, 7 p.m.

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