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Game Day

A Look at Today's Key Matchups

November 24, 2000



* ST. FRANCIS (9-2) vs. ANTELOPE VALLEY (10-1)

At Antelope Valley High, 7:30 p.m.

St. Francis is attempting to reach the semifinals for the second consecutive season. Antelope Valley hasn't made it to the semifinals since five consecutive trips from 1993-97. St. Francis' balanced offense thrives behind quarterback John Sciarra and running back Matt Milton. Sciarra has passed for 2,253 yards and threw for four touchdowns last week in a 36-14 victory over Saugus. Milton rushed for 111 yards, his eighth consecutive 100-yard game, and has 1,181 yards and 17 touchdowns. No. 3-seeded Antelope Valley has won 10 consecutive games and captured the Golden League title with one of the region's best defenses. The Antelopes are allowing 183 yards a game and haven't allowed more than one touchdown in their last seven. Two-way lineman Michael Graves is one of the region's best. Antelope Valley's veer offense is guided by quarterback Demetre Booker, who threw for two touchdowns and ran for another last week in a 34-6 victory over Hawthorne. He also intercepted a pass. Sean Wallace has rushed for 827 yards and seven touchdowns.

* VALENCIA (9-2) vs. MIRA COSTA (10-1)

At Canyon High, 7:30 p.m.

Valencia can claim its third consecutive semifinal berth with a victory. The Vikings lived by the pass all season, but had to switch gears entering the playoffs after losing quarterback Kyle Bauer to a broken finger. Sophomore Charles Burnley rushed for 183 yards last week in a 41-26 victory over Palmdale and Brandon Fuselier ran for three touchdowns. Backup quarterback Robert Herrick threw for 113 yards and a touchdown to Will Broadous, who has 13 this season. No. 4-seeded Mira Costa dethroned perennial Bay League power Peninsula but had to rally to defeat Arcadia, 36-29, in the first round. Morgan Ralls caught eight passes for 216 yards and three touchdowns, and sophomore Michael Okwo rushed for 135 yards, putting him over 1,200 yards this season. Mira Costa's only loss was to Warren, third-place team from the Division II San Gabriel Valley League. The Mustangs defeated Peninsula, 28-7, in league play. Valencia lost to Peninsula, 25-21, in the second game of the season.

* NOTRE DAME (10-0-1) vs. PENINSULA (9-2)

At North Torrance High, 7 p.m.

Peninsula is unbeaten with running back Chris Beal in the lineup, and that's what concerns Notre Dame's coaching staff. With Beal sidelined because of a broken collarbone, Peninsula lost two Bay League games. He returned last week to run for two first-quarter touchdowns in a 43-18 playoff victory over Muir. He's fast and has drawn interest from Oregon, Oregon State and Boise State. Notre Dame has done well against top running backs, shutting down De'Andre Scott, among others. Linebacker Tom Curiel has emerged as one of the region's best. It will take a consistent offensive performance for the Knights to prevail. Quarterback Phil Beckmann has been effective in limiting his mistakes, with only three interceptions this season. He'll need to be on target to receivers Michael Luderer and Jim Sharp. Another important Knight could be kicker Ryan Allen, who has made nine of 10 field goals.

* HART (9-2) vs. CRESCENTA VALLEY (10-1)

At Glendale High, 7:30 p.m.

None of Crescenta Valley's players were around when the Falcons pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the 1992 playoffs by defeating previously unbeaten Hart, 13-7. But Hart's coaching staff remembers the game. "We have to exorcise the demons off that field," assistant Dean Herrington said. The quarterback for that '92 Hart team, Davis Delmatoff, is an assistant coach. His advice for quarterback Kyle Matter should be, "Don't take the Falcons lightly." Crescenta Valley shut out Leuzinger, 23-0, last week. The Falcons have an excellent secondary, led by safety Jason Hogan. Hart's rushing attack has been nonexistent, putting pressure on Matter, who has passed for 2,961 yards and 30 touchdowns. Crescenta Valley's ability to pass and run will challenge Hart. Hudson Gossard is a cool, confident junior who has passed for 2,436 yards and 31 touchdowns. Hogan, Jason Burkhart and Ryan Radenbaugh are three dependable receivers who could give the Indians problems.


* BUENA (9-2) vs. ARROYO GRANDE (6-4)

At Arroyo Grande High, 7:30 p.m.

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