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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Pigskin Prophecies

October 26, 2000

Starved for success, Birmingham High has proven to be a hungry football team this season, devouring opponents with an insatiable appetite for big chunks of yardage. Who better, then, to cover Birmingham than staff gourmet/trencherman Steve Henson? Stevie B, as he's known around the office (the B stands for brunch), is salivating over Birmingham's rags-to-riches story and plans to eat a big plate of Yankee pot roast before the Patriots' game Friday night against Cleveland. After that, he'll be easy to spot. Just look for a disheveled man walking along the sideline with gravy smeared on his sweat shirt and a mushy yam stuffed in his coat pocket. This is a perfect example why the ink-stained minions continue to get eaten alive by your Soothsaying Swami.

The Prophet

Season totals for the Prophet: 72 of 105 (68%), 106 points

Steve Henson

Season totals for the guests: 65 of 105 (62%), 93 points

GAME OF THE WEEK (5 points)

Westlake at Royal

THE PROPHET SAYS: Before Westlake can raise a glass to toast another Marmonte League title, the Warriors have to douse fired-up Royal. The Highlanders need a spark, but the only flame they find will be in the snack bar. Westlake, 40-21.

HENSON SAYS: See the Prophet's so-called crystal ball? It's actually a crock and you can guess what it's full of. But even that swami of swill can sound this one out. Royal is a game group, but the only true royalty in the Marmonte League wears scary expressions and uniforms the color of jack-o-lanterns. Westlake, 41-14.

OTHER TOP GAMES (each 3 points)

Birmingham at Cleveland

THE PROPHET SAYS: I fear Birmingham will score so many points in the first half, Henson will have to spend halftime doing stats instead of spending money on hot dogs and nachos. This would be a serious financial blow to the Cleveland concession stand. Birmingham, 45-24.

HENSON SAYS: Birmingham's backfield of track athletes lapped Taft last week. Cleveland can match the Patriots' speed, but not their defense. Birmingham hasn't had a good week of practice and is ripe for an upset. But a 7-0 record has made me a believer. Birmingham, 38-37.

*

Crescenta Valley at Muir

THE PROPHET SAYS: Unbeaten Crescenta Valley is rolling along behind the arm of QB Hudson Gossard and the legs of RB Jason Hogan. Unfortunately for the Falcons, they run smack dab into the forearm of another talented Muir team. Muir, 30-27.

HENSON SAYS: Like Birmingham, Crescenta Valley is an unlikely unbeaten. And like Birmingham, the Falcons will stay that way. Crescenta Valley will see Muir trail as it climbs to the mountaintop--a Pacific League title. Somebody's prophet-and-loss ledger is about to take a beating. Crescenta Valley, 27-21.

*

Chaminade at Notre Dame

THE PROPHET SAYS: Defensive-minded Notre Dame, inspired by the presence of prep Poo-bah Eric Sondheimer, meets the challenge in a tune-up for next week's Mission League showdown with St. Francis. Notre Dame, 24-10.

HENSON SAYS: Chaminade needs diversity in its offense--and in its student population. Maybe a certain turban-topped prognosticator can be admitted. To the psycho ward. Notre Dame allows an average of four points a game. Chaminade won't even get that. Notre Dame, 3-0.

THE REST (1 point each)

* Pasadena vs. Hoover at Glendale High: The Prophet: Entering the eighth week of the season, these teams are still looking for their first victories. Hoover must keep looking. Pasadena, 13-6. Henson: Pasadena, 14-13.

* El Camino Real at Granada Hills: The Prophet: After looking like a contender early in the season, Granada Hills has resembled a pretender in recent weeks. Time for the Highlanders to get back on track. Granada Hills, 35-21. Henson: Granada Hills, 31-20.

* San Fernando at Monroe: The Prophet: Even if Monroe did win this game, you know the Vikings would be forced to forfeit somewhere down the road. San Fernando, 27-14. Henson: San Fernando, 28-13.

* Dos Pueblos at Ventura: The Prophet: Ventura RB Tyler Ebell could have another big night, or he'll get only 250 yards or so. Ventura, 34-20. Henson: Ventura, 41-10.

* Canyon vs. Saugus at College of the Canyons: The Prophet: Who wants to go to the playoffs? Saugus prevails in a battle for third in the Foothill League. Saugus, 26-22. Henson: Saugus, 24-23.

* Hart at Burroughs: The Prophet: Hart QB Kyle Matter will keep Keith Jarbo, Burroughs' terrific defensive back, busy in this one. Hart, 32-14. Henson: Hart, 35-14.

* Quartz Hill at Palmdale: The Prophet: Palmdale dropped out of the regional top 10 after a lackluster victory over Lancaster last week. Falcon QB Terry Furlow and Co. need to step it up. Palmdale, 28-13. Henson: Palmdale, 31-17.

* Moorpark at Agoura: The Prophet: Agoura QB Chris Denove gets back on target after missing the mark last week in a loss to Thousand Oaks. Agoura, 27-20. Henson: Agoura, 27-25.

* Nordhoff at Santa Paula: The Prophet: What in the name of Hoppy Mumford is going on at Santa Paula? The Cardinals are 6-0-1 and looking tough. Santa Paula, 19-17. Henson: Nordhoff, 21-17.

* Oxnard at Camarillo: The Prophet: The Scorpions get it together after a frustrating loss to Hueneme last week. Camarillo, 30-19. Henson: Camarillo, 38-28.

* Village Christian vs. L.A. Baptist at Alemany High: The Prophet: Village Christian doesn't have a prayer against the Knights in the annual Bible Bowl. L.A. Baptist, 44-26. Henson: L.A. Baptist, 20-19.

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