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ORANGE COUNTY PREP FOOTBALL | ON THE SIDELINES

Big Brother Is Watching . . . at Orange Lutheran

September 23, 2000

An interested bystander on the Orange Lutheran sideline Friday was former quarterback Jason Whieldon, The Times' Orange County back of the year last season.

He said he missed the debut of his brother, Casey, at quarterback last week, after injuries to the two quarterbacks in front of him on the Lancers' depth chart.

"I had practice, but I'm looking forward to seeing him play," said Jason, who broke his hand last week in a game for Saddleback College. "I knew he could pass the ball, but I didn't know he could run it."

Casey completed 14 of 18 passes, including his first nine, and rushed six times for 59 yards in a 35-14 victory over Troy.

In the 55-14 loss to Irvine, he completed 11 of 31 for 211 yards and two touchdowns, with one interception.

*

Pacifica Coach Bill Craven wasn't roaming the sideline Thursday for the first time in 25 years. Craven, 58, was at home suffering from cellulitis, a skin infection. Meanwhile, his team suffered one of its worst defeats, losing 42-14 to Kennedy and dropping to 1-2.

Craven left practice early on Monday with flu-like symptoms. On Tuesday, his fever worsened and blisters started forming on his right leg. He went to an emergency room, where he received antibiotics.

Craven's fever has broken, but he is still not out of danger.

"My right calf is probably a third larger than my left one," he said.

He has been told by doctors to stay off his feet and take antibiotics four times a day.

Craven said he believes he might have contracted his infection while undergoing angioplasty last week. If he continues to improve, Craven expects to return to practice Tuesday.

*

A Monarch can swing a sword, a Griffin can pretend to fly, but what's a Dolphin mascot supposed to do?

Flap its fins and make like it's jumping into a tank at SeaWorld?

Well, the male and female Dolphin mascots at Dana Hills High actually do have plastic inflatable swimming pools at their disposal, but it probably wouldn't be wise to dive head first into them.

So juniors Brittany Waddell and Amy Gilbert just hang out along the sideline, dancing during their choreographed routines. You can tell them apart because the female Dolphin, played by Gilbert, has a neatly tied blue bow atop her head.

Waddell said she isn't buying the notion that dolphins don't exactly inspire the same type of fear as more formidable mascots such as bears or lions.

"Have you ever seen a dolphin eat a seal?" she said. "They're fierce."

*

The comparisons are bound to begin. Esperanza players were clearly aware their 42-23 victory over Fallbrook--the top-ranked team in San Diego County--was greater than No. 1 Mater Dei's 28-21 margin two weeks ago.

"We had to show that we were a superior team," Aztec running back Temitope Sonuyi said. "We had to beat them better than Mater Dei."

The reason the Aztecs were so consumed was because of their loss a week earlier to San Clemente, a 23-14 setback in which Esperanza was outscored in the second half, 20-0.

Sonuyi said the loss might have made Esperanza better in the long run. At least, made them better on Thursday.

"That's what keeps us motivated," Sonuyi said. "That loss never should have happened. We were more conscientious in the second half."

*

OK, it didn't exactly pour during Friday night's El Toro-Jurupa Valley game at Trabuco Hills High, but it did stir up memories of the last time the Chargers got rained on.

Mike Waddell, who has been operating the game clock at Charger home games since 1982, isn't sure of the exact date, but said it was sometime in the late 1980s, during the Bob Johnson coaching era.

But the circumstances weren't so cloudy.

"This [tonight] is nothing, but the last time was a downpour," Waddell said. "We beat Lynwood, 2-0, in a [Southern Section] playoff game. After a fumble in the first quarter there was a safety and the rest of the game was played in a huge pile of mud."

*

One of the stranger things about Los Alamitos' 28-20 victory over Lawndale Leuzinger on Thursday was that the Olympians attempted only one pass the entire game--it was intercepted by defensive back Steve Shinen.

Leuzinger also attempted no field goals or points after touchdowns. "The only time we kick is when we kick off," Coach Mike Whitt said. "We usually don't pass either. We run everything."

The Olympians, led by Mafua Leilua and Ellias Elias, racked up 389 yards rushing compared to Los Alamitos' 142.

Before the game, Griffin Coach John Barnes said his team would have its hands full trying to contain Leuzinger's offense.

"We knew this was going to be a challenge for us," Barnes said. "Leuzinger runs the double wing and it poses confusion for our defenders. You never know who has the ball. So, we figured we wouldn't be able to stop them, so we just had to outscore them."

Lack of a kicking game especially hurt Leuzinger in the second half. With Los Alamitos leading, 21-12, the Olympians drove to the Griffins' seven-yard line. After a penalty, Leuzinger faced a fourth-and-goal from the 13, but Leilua was stopped after a short gain. Los Alamitos took over possession and drove 93 yards in 10 plays for a touchdown to increase its lead to 28-12.

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