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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Game Day

A Look at Today's Key Matchups

October 28, 2000

NCAA DIVISION I-AA

* EASTERN WASHINGTON (4-4, 3-2) vs. CS NORTHRIDGE (2-5, 1-4)

At North Campus Stadium, 3:05 p.m.

Northridge is trying to make a late-season run that would result in a middle-of-the-pack finish in the Big Sky Conference. The Matadors have improved in recent weeks and could play spoiler with front-runner Portland State ahead on the schedule. Eastern Washington, despite losing three of its last four games, is clinging to title hopes. Northridge earned its first conference victory last week, 24-12, at Montana State. Marcus Brady threw three touchdown passes in the snow at Montana State and has thrown 131 passes without an interception, a span of more than four games. Drew Amerson has returned from an early season knee injury and leads the Matadors with 30 catches and five touchdown catches. Northridge is 0-3 at home this season but has not lost to the Eagles at North Campus. Jesse Chatman had 211 of Eastern Washington's 456 yards rushing last season against Northridge. Chatman is fourth in the Big Sky in rushing with 719 yards. Defense and special teams are the Eagles' strong suits. The Eagles are tied for the Big Sky lead with 28 sacks and opponents have averaged only 95 yards rushing. Troy Griggs was selected conference special teams player of the week after making three field goals against Cal State Sacramento. Griggs leads the Big Sky with 12 field goals and is second in scoring with 58 points.

DIVISION III

* CAL LUTHERAN (2-4, 0-2) at WHITTIER (2-4, 2-0)

At Whittier College, 7 p.m.

Cal Lutheran must make defensive adjustments to avoid a repeat performance of last week's 47-18 loss to La Verne. The Kingsmen allowed 24 first-quarter points and trailed, 38-0, before scoring. The Kingsmen hold an 11-3 series lead over Whittier, including a 48-12 victory last season at Thousand Oaks. Cal Lutheran's offense is a different story. The Kingsmen rank first in offense in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, averaging 441 yards a game. Chris Czernek is the SCIAC's leading passer, averaging more than 250 yards a game, while throwing for 11 touchdowns. His favorite target is Brian Woodworth, who ranks third in the conference with 36 catches, four for touchdowns. Dorian Stitt has rushed for 670 yards and 10 touchdowns, and leads the SCIAC in rushing with 68 points. Whittier is coming off a 28-27 conference victory at Occidental. Mark Mejia of Whittier ranks fifth in the SCIAC with 837 yards passing. Kenny Bohman leads the SCIAC with 33 receptions.

JUNIOR COLLEGE

* CANYONS (6-0, 3-0) vs. MOORPARK (4-2, 3-0)

At Moorpark, 7 p.m.

Much is at stake for Canyons, ranked No. 4 in the state. There's the Western State Conference Northern Division title, which the winner tonight likely will claim. Also, Canyons wants to retain its No. 2 ranking in Southern California, or perhaps move to the top slot if Bakersfield loses to East L.A. tonight. The top two teams in the South at season's end meet in a bowl game, with the winner advancing to the state championship game against the Northern California survivor on Dec. 9 at Visalia. Canyons is powering its way to that encounter. The Cougars have scored 40 points or more in four games and can strike swiftly through the air or on the ground. Last week, the pass-oriented Cougars exploited West L.A.'s weak defense against the run, and Steve Smith cut loose for 249 yards rushing and four touchdowns in a 55-17 pounding. Moorpark last week slipped against Southwest, 23-20, in overtime after four consecutive victories. The Raiders, ranked No. 13 in Southern California, are averaging 16.7 points, quite a drop-off from Canyons, which is putting up 42.3 points per game.

Others: 1 p.m.--Santa Barbara (0-6, 0-3) vs. Glendale (2-4, 1-2) at Glendale High; Antelope Valley (3-4, 2-3) at Mt. San Jacinto (2-5, 2-3); 7 p.m.--Pierce (1-5, 1-2) vs. Hancock (4-2, 2-1) at Righetti High in Santa Maria; Valley (1-5, 1-2) vs. Ventura (2-4, 1-2) at Ventura High.

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