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Pigskin Prophecies

October 19, 2000

No guts, no glory. That was the lesson learned last week by staff copycat Mike Bresnahan, who matched your Soothsaying Swami pick for pick except for two lousy one-point games. Of course, misguided Mike lost both, allowing me to extend my season advantage over the ink-stained rabble. This week's challenger, John Ortega, is showing a more independent spirit with his picks, though I can't say the same for his behavior around the office. Since getting married and becoming a father, Johnny O has turned into a crusty, old fuddy-duddy who no longer has time to gamble or run the NBA fantasy league. Too busy changing diapers, I suppose. His football picks have the same odor.

The Prophet

Season totals for the Prophet: 61 of 90 (68%), 87 points

John Ortega

Season totals for the guests: 56 of 90 (62%), 82 points

GAME OF THE WEEK (5 points)

Kennedy at Sylmar

THE PROPHET SAYS: Ortega, a Kennedy grad, is so excited about this game he's planning to drink half a can of root beer Friday night. OOO-WEE! Sylmar, intent on avenging a 69-33 playoff loss to the Golden Cougars last season, ruins the party. Sylmar, 32-27.

ORTEGA SAYS: Last year, Kennedy snapped Sylmar's league winning streak at 69 games with a 21-20 victory and demolished the Spartans, 69-33, in the City Section playoffs. Tonight, the Golden Cougars will hand Sylmar its first loss of the season after six consecutive victories. Kennedy has too much firepower for Sylmar, averaging 419.2 yards a game. Kennedy, 33-19.

OTHER TOP GAMES (each 3 points)

Taft at Birmingham

THE PROPHET SAYS: Now that Coach Troy Starr has mastered the art of substitution and two-platoon football, Taft appears ready to take its place among the City Section's elite teams and send yet-to-be-tested Birmingham to its first defeat. Taft, 35-21.

ORTEGA SAYS: Birmingham has surprised with a 6-0 record but won't be able to stop Rick Clausen's passes to Steve Smith and Chris Morgan. Birmingham is averaging 388 yards a game but much of that has come against Verdugo Hills (0-6), Van Nuys (0-6), Reseda (1-5) and El Camino Real (2-4). Taft, 27-14.

Hart vs. Valencia at College of the Canyons

THE PROPHET SAYS: Valencia QB Kyle Bauer turned in a gutty performance last week in a victory over Saugus, but look for Hart QB Kyle Matter to steal the show Friday night. Hart, 31-17.

ORTEGA SAYS: This is not the same Hart team that won its second consecutive Division III title with a 34-6 victory over Valencia last year. Quarterback Kyle Matter could do no wrong last year, but has looked human this season while running for his life behind a porous line. Valencia, 24-23.

St. Bonaventure at Oak Park

THE PROPHET SAYS: Confusion reigns for Oak Park when the signals of QB Josh Walker can't be heard over the eardrum-shattering screams of the Mack family. St. Bonaventure, 36-18.

ORTEGA SAYS: This game pits the top-ranked team in the Southern Section Division XI poll, St. Bonaventure, against the No. 5 team, Oak Park. But I don't see it being close. St. Bonaventure, 35-13.

THE REST (1 point each)

* Grant at Canoga Park: The Prophet: After five consecutive Canoga Park victories, we have to ask: Can anyone stop the Lugos? Yes, Lancer RB Perry Clayton. Grant, 27-26. Ortega: Canoga Park, 24-13.

* Burroughs vs. Saugus at Canyon High: The Prophet: Don't look now, but Burroughs is about to register its third victory in four games. Burroughs, 28-21. Ortega: Saugus, 23-16.

* Quartz Hill at Antelope Valley: The Prophet: The Antelopes put Quartz Hill in its rightful place among the pretenders in the Golden League. Antelope Valley, 30-14. Ortega: Antelope Valley, 34-13.

* Agoura at Thousand Oaks: The Prophet: Now that Thousand Oaks has tasted victory, will the Lancers go back for seconds? We're betting they will. Thousand Oaks, 24-21. Ortega: Agoura, 27-17.

* Royal at Newbury Park: The Prophet: Before the player suspensions, it was shaping up as a successful season for Royal. No more. Newbury Park, 26-14. Ortega: Newbury Park, 24-7.

* Hueneme at Camarillo: The Prophet: It's time for RB Loren Cerny and his Camarillo teammates to flex their muscles in the Pacific View League. Camarillo, 32-22. Ortega: Hueneme, 24-23.

* Temple City at La Canada: The Prophet: Steady La Canada is ready to make its move in the Rio Hondo League race. La Canada, 26-17. Ortega: La Canada, 17-16.

* Buena at Oxnard: The Prophet: Sky-high after its upset of Ventura, Buena makes it two in a row by stinging the Yellowjackets. Buena, 33-14. Ortega: Buena, 30-24.

* Irvine Woodbridge at Westlake: The Prophet: Down to its third-string quarterback, Westlake still finds a way to beat a competitive Orange County team. Westlake, 22-14. Ortega: Westlake, 27-10.

* Harvard-Westlake at Chaminade: The Prophet: After losing at St. Bernard, Chaminade gets back on track against the winless Wolverines. Chaminade, 28-10. Ortega: Chaminade, 23-21.

* Kilpatrick vs. L.A. Baptist: The Prophet: It's payback time for the Knights, who were steamrolled by Kilpatrick and RB Jermaine Marshall last season. L.A. Baptist, 30-26. Ortega: L.A. Baptist, 35-21.

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