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This Week's Top Football Games

November 13, 2002|Ben Bolch,John Ortega,Martin Henderson,Mike Bresnahan,Eric Sondheimer


Bellflower St. John Bosco (7-2, 4-0) vs. Santa Ana Mater Dei (7-2, 3-1) at Santa Ana Stadium, 7 p.m., Thursday

St. John Bosco will win its first Serra League title if it defeats Mater Dei, which fell victim to poor special teams play in a 19-0 loss to Santa Margarita last week. The Monarchs failed to get off one punt and had another blocked. Mater Dei seemed to be peaking before its loss, having won six games in convincing fashion since losing to Mission Viejo in Week 2. St. John Bosco, ranked No. 8 by The Times, is riding a six-game winning streak after beating Anaheim Servite, 24-20, last week. Derrick Williams had 79 yards in 12 carries for the Braves, who seek their first league title since winning the Del Rey League in 1986. Ninth-ranked Mater Dei last won the Serra League in 1999.

-- Ben Bolch

La Verne Damien (7-2, 2-1) at Chino Hills Ayala (8-1, 3-0), 7 p.m., Thursday

The scuttlebutt before the season was that newcomer Chino would sweep through the Sierra League with ease. Ayala took care of that two weeks ago with a 21-14 victory over the Cowboys. Now, the Bulldogs, ranked No. 10 by The Times, can clinch a league title the same way they did last year -- by beating Damien, ranked No. 22. Justin Wolfchief, who scored two first-quarter touchdowns in last season's 24-8 victory, may be gone, but the Bulldogs can rely on running backs Robert Meza, Steven Toliver and Corey Tello. Damien's most potent offensive weapons are quarterback Nick Davila and running back Ian Johnson.

-- Ben Bolch

Ventura Buena (8-1, 4-0) vs. Ventura St. Bonaventure (8-1, 4-0) at Ventura High, 7:30 p.m., Thursday

A victory by St. Bonaventure, ranked No. 12 by The Times, would make it the Channel League champion in its inaugural season in the Division IV league. A Buena victory would give the Bulldogs their fifth league title in six years. "It's just a championship game every young man should get a chance to play in," Buena Coach Rick Scott said when asked if the game was extra significant because it was against a St. Bonaventure team that won the previous three Division XI championships. Buena will be led by Alex Garfio, who has rushed for 1,772 yards and scored 23 touchdowns in 223 carries. Whitney Lewis of St. Bonaventure, one of the most heavily recruited players in the nation, has rushed for 553 yards in 67 carries, caught 42 passes for 783 yards and scored 23 touchdowns.

-- John Ortega

Hacienda Heights Los Altos (7-2, 2-1) at La Verne Bonita (5-3, 3-0), 7:30 p.m., Friday

Bonita's defense is allowing a Miramonte League-best nine points per game. Statistically, it is going up against the league's best offense in Los Altos, which is averaging 34.3 points behind backfield mates Daniel Drayton and Randall Brown, who have combined for 29 touchdowns, and quarterback Carlos Ordonez, who has passed for 17 touchdowns. Bonita, formerly in the Valle Vista League, has positioned itself to end four years of domination by Los Altos, which is trying to win its third title in five years, and Covina Charter Oak. Los Altos is ranked No. 17 by The Times and No. 1 in Division VI; Bonita is unranked, despite a muddy 14-7 victory over Covina Charter Oak.

-- Martin Henderson

Westlake Village Westlake (7-2, 6-0) at Moorpark (9-0, 6-0), 7 p.m., Friday

Moorpark could win its first Marmonte League championship in its fifth year in the league. The No. 21 Musketeers have been crushing teams with their defense and their offense has had its moments, outscoring league opponents, 236-61. Cliff Cardwell had a school-record 292 yards rushing in a 35-7 victory over Agoura on Nov. 1. Westlake has rebounded since getting thumped by Sherman Oaks Notre Dame and Newhall Hart in consecutive weeks, winning six consecutive league games and outscoring Marmonte League teams, 190-73.

-- Mike Bresnahan

Antelope Valley (8-1, 4-0) at Palmdale (8-1, 3-1), 7 p.m., Friday

Antelope Valley is trying to win its third consecutive Golden League title against a team it defeated last season, 24-14. The No. 23 Antelopes have allowed more than 13 points only once this season -- a 21-19 loss to Los Angeles Loyola. Palmdale's defense has also been stellar, allowing 13.5 points per game. It will have its hands full against the triple-option attack of Johnny Walker, Kreig Peters and Sean Wallace. Walker has rushed for 993 yards and 13 touchdowns and has passed for four more. Peters has rushed for 778 yards and 11 touchdowns, and Wallace has rushed for 535 yards and four touchdowns.

-- Martin Henderson


Woodland Hills Taft (9-0, 4-0) at Lake Balboa Birmingham (7-2, 4-0), 7 p.m., Friday

This West Valley League title matchup could determine the No. 1-seeded team for the City Section playoffs. Unbeaten Taft, ranked No. 5 by The Times, has lost to Birmingham the last two years because of its failure to stop the Patriots' rushing attack. But the Toreadors have five shutouts this season, allowed only seven points in league play and haven't permitted a running back to surpass 100 yards. Birmingham's losses have come against unbeaten Sherman Oaks Notre Dame and Newhall Hart. Running back Dennis Keyes rushed for 216 yards and had a 96-yard touchdown reception last season against Taft.

-- Eric Sondheimer

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