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FOOTBALL

Few Guarantees in Title Races

November 07, 2000|MARTIN HENDERSON

Instead of going into the final game of the season with a head of steam, Valencia is coming off a 21-14 loss to Brea Olinda. To guarantee a playoff appearance for the 19th time in 20 years, the Tigers, who are 5-4 overall, 2-2 in the Orange League, must beat Anaheim (3-6, 2-2), the team with which they share third place.

Justin Fletcher, a wide receiver and defensive back for Valencia who caught two touchdown passes against Brea, isn't worried.

"We're guaranteeing a victory next week," he said.

With league titles and playoff berths at stake, there are big games all over the place during the final week of the regular season.

Trying to figure out league champions is easy for the most part, unless you reside in the Garden Grove League, where everyone should be walking on eggshells.

* Academy League--Capistrano Valley Christian (3-0) will win the league title with a victory over St. Margaret's (1-2). Second-place Downey Calvary Chapel (2-1) plays Fairmont (0-3). Head to head competition will break any ties.

* Century League--Villa Park (4-0) wins the title if it beats Foothill (3-1). However, a victory by Foothill and a victory by El Modena (3-1) over Orange (0-4) creates a three-way tie for first place and the No. 1 entry into the playoffs will be determined by a coin flip.

* Empire League--If Kennedy (3-1) beats Loara (4-0) and Cypress (3-1) beats Century (0-3), there's a three-way tie for first that will be decided by a coin flip. If Loara wins, it's the champion. They are the only three teams going to the playoffs.

* Express League--Murrieta Calvary Chapel (5-0) is league champion and will go into this weekend's eight-man large-school playoffs. Liberty Christian (3-1) finished second and enters the small-school playoffs as the league's No. 1 entry. The Minutemen (6-2 overall) play Ridgecrest Immanuel Christian (7-2) in a first-round game at 5 p.m. Saturday at Murray Middle School in Ridgecrest.

* Freeway League--Champion La Habra (4-0) plays winless Sunny Hills (0-4). Troy (2-2) and Buena Park (2-2) are playing for the final automatic playoff berth. Fullerton (3-1) is guaranteed a playoff berth.

* Garden Grove League--Garden Grove (4-1) wins a share of the title if it beats Bolsa Grande (0-5). A victory by Pacifica (4-1) over Rancho Alamitos (3-1-1) prevents Pacifica from being passed by Rancho Alamitos (3-1-1) and Los Amigos (3-1-1). A Garden Grove win, coupled with victories by Rancho Alamitos and Los Amigos, would drop Pacifica from first to fourth place.

* Golden West League--If Tustin (3-0) beats Westminster (2-1), the Tillers win the title and Saddleback (2-1) will finish no worse than third regardless of the outcome of its game against Ocean View (1-2).

* Olympic League--Orange Lutheran (4-0) wins the title with a victory over Calvary Chapel (3-1), which, like Cerritos Valley Christian (3-1), has qualified for the playoffs.

* Orange League--Western (4-0) and Brea Olinda (4-0) are tied; the winner gets the title. Valencia (2-2) plays Anaheim (2-2) for the third playoff berth.

* Pacific Coast League--Victories by Corona del Mar (3-1) and Estancia (3-1) create a three-way tie for first place. A coin flip will determine the No. 1 team, and head-to-head will determine Nos. 2 and 3. University (4-0) wins the title with a victory over Corona del Mar. University, Corona del Mar and Estancia are the only teams that will get automatic playoff berths.

* Sea View League--Irvine (3-0) wins the title with a victory over Woodbridge (2-1). However, a Woodbridge victory, coupled with a win by Newport Harbor (2-1) over Aliso Niguel (1-2), could create a three-way tie for first, which would be decided by a coin flip. If there is a three-way tie for second, a coin flip determines second place and head-to-head competition determines third. Aliso Niguel must win to have a chance at an automatic playoff berth.

* Serra League--Santa Margarita (2-0) wins the title with a victory over Servite (1-1). Victories by Servite and Mater Dei (1-1) create a three-way tie for first place, and a coin flip will determine who receives the league's two guaranteed playoff berths.

* South Coast League--San Clemente (4-0) and Mission Viejo (4-0) are playing for the league title. El Toro (1-3) must beat Dana Hills (2-2) to get a share of third place. Victories by El Toro and Capistrano Valley (1-3) create a three-way tie for the final playoff berth.

* Sunset League--Edison (4-0) and Esperanza (4-0) are playing for the title. The Marina-Fountain Valley winner can get a piece of third place only if Huntington Beach (0-4) upsets Los Alamitos (2-2), but the Griffins will go as the No. 3 team based on victories over the Barons and Vikings.

UPON FURTHER REVIEW

Cypress lineman Justin Conde played in the Centurions' 21-13 victory over Kennedy after a referee reversed his decision during the week.

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