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ORANGE COUNTY / PREP FOOTBALL | ON THE SIDELINES

No Need for Misdirection

October 21, 2000

Jeff Bailey, who played center at UCLA, is Esperanza's offensive coordinator. A 1987 graduate at Fullerton High, Bailey's job is to make sure Esperanza fully utilizes the talents of the county's leading rusher, Temitope Sonuyi.

"It's really tough," Bailey said. "Run left. Run right."

As it turned out, run up the middle was one of the best plays Thursday--that's how Sonuyi gained most of his 214 yards, leading to three touchdowns in the third-ranked Aztecs' 42-15 victory over Marina at Westminster High.

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When Irvine defensive end Brian Porteous says he's a Vaquero, you'd better believe it.

In the off-season, the 6-foot, 180-pound senior is a bull rider who competes in the National High School Rodeo Assn.

"It's not a big part of my life," Porteous said. "I stopped doing it because of football."

He last competed this past summer, when he rode atop "Thumper"--which he described as "a tough bull."

*

So much for padding the stats on a roster. Craig Campbell, a senior at University, is listed at 5 feet 7, 147 pounds. Nothing strange about that, necessarily.

Except. . . .

"He's got to be the smallest defensive tackle in Orange County," Trojan Coach Mark Cunningham said.

Estancia coach Dave Perkins was impressed after University's 42-21 victory and Campbell's two sacks of 6-5, 225-pound quarterback Kenny Valbuena: "He's got my vote for all-league."

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In his eight years as a head coach at Capistrano Valley and San Clemente, Eric Patton never had a starting quarterback miss a game. That perfect record ended this season at San Clemente, where Triton starter Dan Coviello has missed every game with a knee injury and even his backup, Beau Budde, missed two games with a stress fracture in his ankle.

But the injuries haven't slowed the sixth-ranked Tritons, who have a 3-1 record with Budde and are 3-0 with third-stringer Matt Mitchell after Friday's 24-0 victory over El Toro.

"We've been lucky in that our system is a running system," Patton said. "Matt Mitchell can come in and hand the ball off. He's been running the same offense on junior varsity. It's just a different speed and timing. If we had our offense built around the quarterback, we'd be in trouble."

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Long Beach Poly, defending co-champion with Mater Dei of Southern Section Division I, is one of four high schools from across the country that has five players in the NFL this season, according to a league survey.

Poly, which has produced more NFL players than any high school, tied this year with Ely High of Pompano Beach, Fla., St. Augustine of New Orleans and Willowridge of Houston.

Poly currently boasts Washington defensive back Mark Carrier, New England defensive lineman Willie McGinest, Oakland defensive back Marquez Pope, New York Giant defensive back Omar Stoutmire and Philadelphia defensive lineman Brandon Whiting.

*

Orange has played its home games at El Modena's Fred Kelly Stadium since the facility was built in 1969.

The Panthers' PA announcer for the past 20 years has been Joseph AuBuchon, a teacher at Cerra Villa Junior High.

AuBuchon said he has seen many remarkable gridiron feats over the years, including the Orange County record-setting, 527-yard rushing performance by Foothill's Skyler Champion last season, but his most memorable moment had nothing to do with the games he announced.

"My fondest memory is of a former student of mine who spoke to me several years ago at a game here at the stadium," AuBuchon said. "He told me that he had decided to become a teacher. It feels good knowing that I may have contributed in the molding of some fine human beings."

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De Andre Scott, one of the state's premier prep running backs, has transferred from Mission Hills Alemany to Santa Fe Springs St. Paul effective this past Wednesday.

Scott was expected to be in uniform for the Swordsmen on Friday for their game against Bellflower St. John Bosco. Scott had rushed for 532 yards and four touchdowns in 102 carries for Alemany (2-4). Last year, as a junior, Scott rushed for 1,876 yards and 33 touchdowns, leading Alemany (8-4) to the Southern Section Division I semifinals.

Scott's transfer did not sit well with Servite Coach Larry Toner or La Puente Bishop Amat Coach Mike DeFiori, whose teams met Thursday night.

"You can't let a kid transfer in the middle of the season," Toner said. "It's terrible. What are they teaching the kid by doing that?"

Said DeFiori: "I can't believe the CIF doesn't do an investigation about stuff like this. . . . It isn't right."

*

Villa Park right tackle Sal Solarzano will miss the rest of the season with a broken ankle, Spartan Coach Pat Mahoney said.

Solarzano, a 6-foot-5, 265-pound junior, broke his right ankle three plays into Villa Park's 49-0 victory Thursday night over Orange.

Another junior, Ken Olley, replaced Solarzano and played well, Mahoney said. Olley had been rotating into the lineup as a sixth lineman.

"We've got a couple other seniors we can put into that position too," Mahoney said. "But it's a loss because [Solarzano] had been playing good football."

Villa Park is 7-0 and ranked No. 2 in Southern Section Division VI.

*

The Servite-Bishop Amat game Thursday seemed more like a track meet than a football game as the teams combined for 971 yards of offense.

Lamar Mason, Adam Ernst and Justin Domineck led the Friar attack, combining for 375 yards rushing. Mason led the group with 141 yards, followed by Domineck's 131. In addition to rushing for 103 yards, quarterback Ernst added another 119 yards in passing and scored three touchdowns.

"This was a morale boost for us," said Ernst, who scored the game-winning, 23-yard touchdown with 2 minutes 53 seconds left to play.

"The offensive line was awesome," Ernst said. "Our offense's philosophy is that we can move the ball when we need to and that we're going to score more than they do."

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