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Between the Lines / News, notes; and quotes from around
the Valley and Ventura County

Pigskin Prophecies

September 17, 1998

Cynics repent! You may have doubted before, but now you should believe. The Prophet knows (almost) all! Who else would have chosen Notre Dame to defeat previously No. 2-ranked Sylmar last week? Before the game, even members of the Notre Dame coaching staff were openly doubting themselves. OK, so The Prophet did slip up on a few picks, but nobody, not even this mystic, is perfect. This week The Prophet picks against Times columnist Eric Sondheimer, who many readers mistakenly believe is The Prophet. Hah! The Prophet is no mere mortal, and this week he will prove it!

THE PROPHET

Season totals for The Prophet: 10 of 15 (66.7%), 18 points

ERIC SONDHEIMER

Season totals for the guests: 12 of 15 (80%), 18 points

GAME OF THE WEEK (5 points): Antelope Valley at Sylmar

Antelope Valley and Sylmar meet for the third consecutive year in a budding intersectional rivalry. The Antelopes have won the previous two meetings and Sylmar is winless in four games against Southern Section teams this decade. Both teams, among the best in the region, lost their openers. Sylmar was upset by Notre Dame, 22-19, even though the Spartans held a healthy 289-168 edge in yardage. Antelope Valley was throttled by Bakersfield, losing 20-0 and gaining only 54 yards--one rushing.

THE PROPHET SAYS: See if this sounds familiar: Sylmar can't beat a good Southern Section team. Yes, you read it here last week. It was true then. It's true now. Antelope Valley was outclassed by Bakersfield last week. So what? Several junior college teams would be overwhelmed by Bakersfield, which has something like a billion major-college prospects on its roster. This week, the Antelopes play. Antelope Valley, 20-13.

SONDHEIMER SAYS: The Prophet and his Southern Section cronies enjoy putting down City Section schools. Enough! Sylmar will get the ball to Corey Neal and George Wrighster and knock off the Antelopes. Sylmar outplayed Notre Dame last week, only to lose because of turnovers. Coach Jeff Engilman, who yells louder than a screaming baby, won't tolerate a similar effort. This time, City rules! Sylmar, 28-21.

OTHER TOP GAMES (each 3 points)

Royal at Granada Hills

THE PROPHET SAYS: Unless it's a tie, the Highlanders win this one. But seriously, do you think Granada Hills could possibly lose its first game at newly named John Elway Stadium? And on the home return of popular coaches Darryl Stroh and Tom Harp? I do. Royal, 28-10.

SONDHEIMER SAYS: The stadium might be named after a quarterback, but a running back--Royal's Steve Sheehan--will steal this show. Royal, 24-14.

St. Francis vs. Crescenta Valley at Glendale High

THE PROPHET SAYS: Crescenta Valley, rebuilding after a league championship season, will squeak out a victory if it does one thing: Watch the ball! Closely! Always! And if it's on the ground, pick it up before one of St. Francis' guards do! Crescenta Valley, 15-14.

SONDHEIMER SAYS: Coach Bill Redell keeps running the fumblerooski for touchdowns. But his smartest move was choosing sophomore John Sciarra as his quarterback. Sciarra completed nine of 13 passes for 162 yards in his debut. St. Francis, 21-10.

Monroe at Chatsworth

THE PROPHET SAYS: The Northwest Valley Conference was 3-1 against the Valley Pac-8 on opening night. The trend continues--even with the Chancellors missing receiver Reggie Lee. Chatsworth, 28-21.

SONDHEIMER SAYS: Chatsworth's passing goes against Monroe's rushing. The difference is quarterback Matt Cassel, who might be better at football than he is at baseball. Chatsworth, 35-28.

THE REST (each 1 point)

Silverado vs. Valencia at Canyon High (tonight): The Prophet: Manuel White is feeling much better, and it's a good thing because Silverado is no pushover. Valencia, 35-21. Sondheimer: Valencia, 42-7.

Palmdale at Kennedy: The Prophet: Kennedy can't beat a good Southern Section team, either. Palmdale, 21-7. Sondheimer: Palmdale, 21-14.

El Camino Real at Chaminade: The Prophet: Geez, am I this much of a Southern Section honk? Yes I am. Chaminade, 31-21. Sondheimer: El Camino Real, 20-14.

Crenshaw at Taft: The Prophet: Taft isn't as bad as it looked against Banning and Crenshaw isn't as good as it looked against Manual Arts. Taft, 21-20. Sondheimer: Taft, 24-14.

Van Nuys at Birmingham: The Prophet: Here's a first: I'm picking a team that lost to Canoga Park over a team that won 45-0. Go figure. Birmingham, 20-14. Sondheimer: Birmingham, 14-7.

Thousand Oaks vs. Hart at Col. of the Canyons: The Prophet: Jerry Owens is the man, plus I'm mad at TO for losing to Crescenta Valley last week. Hart, 42-14. Sondheimer: Hart, 49-14.

Quartz Hill at Crespi: The Prophet: You think Blake Tibbetts might take razzing about that Scooby-Doo photo in Wednesday's paper? Quartz Hill had better talk fast. Crespi, 28-14. Sondheimer: Crespi, 21-7.

Westlake at Ventura: The Prophet: Never trust Westlake when the Warriors look like overwhelming favorites. Still, Westlake, 42-20. Sondheimer: Westlake, 35-14.

Oxnard at Newbury Park: The Prophet: Quarterback Nick Czernek gets his confidence back after throwing 10 picks in two games. Newbury Park, 42-20. Sondheimer: Newbury Park, 35-14.

Camarillo at Agoura: The Prophet: The difference is, Camarillo has a kicker. Camarillo, 16-14. Sondheimer: Agoura, 14-10.

Buena at Rio Mesa: The Prophet: Upset special. Plus, I'm mad at Rio Mesa for lucking out against Saugus last week. Buena, 21-20. Sondheimer: Rio Mesa, 28-21.

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