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PREP FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS

Orange Lutheran Avoids the Big Dog Until Title Game

November 14, 2000|MARTIN HENDERSON

There appear to be two distinct classes in Division XI: Ventura St. Bonaventure (10-0) and everybody else. The Seraphs won last year's title over Ojai Nordhoff, 22-15, and return several players, including junior running back Lorenzo Booker, who already has scholarship offers from UCLA, USC and Arizona State.

"They're in a league by themselves," said Orange Lutheran Coach Jim Kunau. "I think they could compete in the Serra League. Nobody wants to play those guys."

Through some good fortune, third-seeded Orange Lutheran (8-2), the county's best hope for a title in this division, wouldn't have to see St. Bonaventure until the championship game. Orange Lutheran had been ranked 10th after four weeks, but eventually rose to fourth, which would have had the Lancers aligned for a semifinal meeting with St. Bonaventure. Then came Week 9 and Nordhoff, ranked third in the division, was beaten. Orange Lutheran moved up to third and into Los Angeles Cathedral's half of the bracket. Second-seeded Cathedral is 9-0, has a huge offensive line and a receiver named Earvin Johnson, who will attend Georgia Tech. . . .

Cathedral will play Brethren Christian in the first round. Brethren Christian (3-6-1) made the playoffs because there are only four leagues in the division, so each league got four berths instead of the three typical in other divisions. . . .

Cerritos Valley Christian (9-1) is No. 4. The Crusaders, who lost to Orange Lutheran, are the only team to beat La Habra, which is ranked No. 4 in Division IX. . . .

Calvary Chapel (6-4), third in the Olympic League, should be competitive in its first-round game against Los Angeles Verbum Dei (6-3-1). But the Eagles have their work cut out for them if they win--a second-round game against St. Bonaventure.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

Key Player

Name: Jon Talmage

School: Orange Lutheran

Key stat: 1,057 rec. yds.

Notable: Among the county's leaders with 65 catches, though the Lancers' best QBs were often injured.

At a Glance

1999 winner: Ventura

St. Bonaventure

Seeded teams: 1. St. Bonaventure (10-0), 2. L.A. Cathedral (9-0), 3. Orange Lutheran (8-2), 4. Cerritos Valley Christian (9-1)

County teams: Brethren Christian (3-6-1), Calvary Chapel (6-4), Orange Lutheran (8-2)

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