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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Game Day

A Look at Today's Key Matchups

November 18, 2000

NCAA DIVISION I-AA

* CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE (4-6, 2-5) vs. PORTLAND STATE (7-3, 4-3)

At Hillsboro Stadium, 2:05 p.m.

Northridge has won three of its last four and has its sights set on winning its final Big Sky Conference game against the slumping Vikings. Portland State, a preseason pick to challenge Montana for the conference title, has lost three of its last four and needs a victory to force a four-way tie for second with Cal State Sacramento, Eastern Washington and Weber State, who have concluded their schedules. Portland State was 6-0 but must hope for an at-large berth in the I-AA playoffs. The Vikings hold a 12-7 series advantage over Northridge and are 9-0 against the Matadors at Portland. The home team has won every Big Sky game since the teams joined the conference in 1996. Portland State won, 31-24, last season at rain-soaked Civic Stadium. Expect a passing contest between Marcus Brady of Northridge and Jimmy Blanchard of Portland State. Northridge and Portland State rank eighth and ninth in pass defense in the conference. Brady has become sharper as the season has progressed and is coming off a 284-yard, five touchdown performance in a victory over Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Brady has passed for 2,546 yards and 23 touchdowns this season. Drew Amerson leads a talented group of receivers with 65 receptions and nine touchdown catches. Amerson has a streak of four consecutive games with at least 100 yards receiving. Injuries have contributed to the Vikings' collapse. Blanchard, who last week became the second Viking quarterback to surpass 8,000 yards passing in his career, has bruised ribs but is listed as probable. Receiver Terry Charles is doubtful because of a knee injury. Charles Dunn, formerly of Pasadena Muir High, is the Big Sky's rushing leader with 1,522 yards.

JUNIOR COLLEGE

* MOORPARK (6-3, 5-1) vs. HANCOCK (7-2, 5-1)

At Santa Maria Righetti High, 7 p.m.

There's plenty on the line for Moorpark. The Raiders are playing for the Western State Conference Northern Division title and to qualify for a bowl game. Only the top 12 ranked teams in Southern California are eligible for one of six bowl games in the region on Dec. 2 and the Raiders are ranked No. 12. A loss likely leaves them out of the mix. Ray Carmel, who has bounced between running back and safety this season, depending on where Coach Jim Bittner needed him most, has 775 yards rushing and four touchdowns. Moorpark might be hard-pressed to move the ball against Hancock, which has the WSC's top defense. The Bulldogs are allowing--are you ready for this?--30.1 yards rushing per game, and against the pass, yielding 119.9 yards per game. Andre Nickelson leads Hancock with 884 yards rushing and six touchdowns. Hancock defeated Moorpark, 42-29, last year.

Other games: 1 p.m.--Pierce (2-7, 2-4) vs. Glendale (3-6, 2-4) at Glendale High; Ventura (4-5, 3-3) at Santa Barbara (0-9, 0-6); 7 p.m.--Antelope Valley (4-5, 3-4) at San Bernardino Valley (2-7, 2-5); Canyons (8-1, 5-1) vs. Valley (2-7, 2-4).

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