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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Game Day

A Look at Today's Key Matchups

September 22, 2000

HIGH SCHOOL

* NOTRE DAME (2-0) vs. SAUGUS (1-1)

At College of the Canyons, 7:30 p.m.

Both teams made dramatic improvement on offense in the second week, setting up an intriguing battle. Notre Dame has relied on versatile junior quarterback Phil Beckmann, who is averaging 10.4 yards per carry. Beckmann's running skills have prompted Coach Kevin Rooney to use the option more than in past seasons. Receiver Mike Luderer also has been effective, along with Notre Dame's improving offensive line. Sophomore quarterback Chris Ahlheim took a step toward becoming the starter for Saugus last week in a 41-0 victory over Simi Valley, completing eight of 12 passes for 153 yards. The Centurions need a big game from tailback-linebacker Jared DePaiva. Notre Dame's defense appears as strong as ever, with strong safety Louie Procopio and cornerback Jimmy Sharp anchoring the secondary.

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* TAFT (2-0) vs. JEFFERSON (2-0)

At Jefferson High, 3 p.m.

Taft travels outside the Valley not at full strength. Lee Marks, a key player on offense and defense, has a cast on his broken right hand but is expected to play. Marks, a senior, has rushed for 235 yards and intercepted three passes. The Toreadors have plenty of firepower other than Marks. Ricky Clausen has completed 35 of 58 passes for 584 yards and seven touchdowns, and receivers Steve Smith (14 catches, 188 yards) and Chris Morgan (10 catches, 178 yards) each have three touchdown catches. Jefferson defeated South Gate, 27-13, last week. The Democrats defeated El Camino Real, 40-6, in their opener, rushing for 294 yards.

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* VENTURA (2-0) vs. ROYAL (2-0)

At Royal High, 7 p.m.

Tailback Tyler Ebell of Ventura packed a decent season into the first two games, rushing for 705 yards and nine touchdowns in victories over Simi Valley and Moorpark. He averages 18.9 yards a carry. Ebell, a senior, is merely picking up where he left off last season, when he rushed for 1,622 yards and 30 touchdowns. The Cougars' passing game is a question mark, but with Ebell, it might not need to be answered. Royal used strong defense and a balanced attack in victories over Saugus and Channel Islands. Junior James Cox has passed for 311 yards and six touchdowns, and has rushed for 92 yards. Greg Morris has rushed for 131 yards in nine carries. Linebacker Lee Martin and defensive back Mike Carr lead a Highlander defense that has allowed only 373 yards and 13 points.

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* NEWBURY PARK (1-1) vs. BUENA (1-1)

At Ventura High, 7:30 p.m.

Newbury Park continues its unusual schedule. Buena continues its attempt to regain respectability. Newbury Park started the season with a home game, but plays its second of five consecutive road games. The Panthers were plagued by dropped passes in a 20-13 loss at Paso Robles last week. Marcus Crawford has rushed for 248 yards and three touchdowns for Newbury Park. Buena lost its opener to Westlake, 34-13, but drubbed Rio Mesa, 35-7, last week. Freddy Keiaho has rushed for 245 yards and three touchdowns. Buena lost to Newbury Park, 21-14, in the Southern Section Division IV quarterfinals last season.

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* CAMARILLO (1-1) vs. THOUSAND OAKS (0-2)

At Thousand Oaks, 7 p.m.

Mike Jasper has passed for 469 yards and five touchdowns, bringing back memories of Camarillo's high-flying attack under Joe Borchard. Bruising back Loren Cerny has rushed for 253 yards and two touchdowns in 46 carries. Under first-year Coach Mike Sanders, Thousand Oaks has logged tough losses against Crescenta Valley, 24-20, and Hart, 16-6. Receiver Dave Anderson has 16 catches for 238 yards. Thousand Oaks defeated Camarillo last season, 38-27.

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* SERRANO (1-1) vs. LANCASTER (2-0)

At Lancaster High, 7 p.m.

Lancaster enters this game with a heavy heart. On Wednesday, most team members attended funeral services for former teammate Majdy Haddad, the 1999 Golden League lineman of the year who was killed in a shooting last week. The Eagles are off to a strong start, holding opponents to 139 yards and 6.5 points a game. Tony Ortiz has rushed for 243 yards, including 164 last week against Sultana, and Josh Pratt has been efficient at quarterback. Serrano, a Division VIII school, has compiled an ambitious nonleague schedule that includes three Golden League schools. Clark Flournoy intercepted a pass and rushed for 174 yards and two touchdowns in the Diamondbacks' opening 28-14 victory over Quartz Hill. They also face Antelope Valley on Oct. 6. Last week, Serrano lost, 42-3, to Barstow, Division VIII runner-up last season.

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* OTHER GAMES

City Section: 3 p.m.--Palisades at Grant; Canoga Park at Eagle Rock. 7 p.m.--Jordan at San Fernando; Granada Hills at South Gate; Van Nuys vs. San Pedro at Daniels Field; Chatsworth at Poly; Kennedy at North Hollywood; Monroe at Cleveland; Sylmar at El Camino Real. 7:30 p.m.--Birmingham at Reseda.

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