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This Week's Top Football Games

October 17, 2002|Ben Bolch ,Mike Bresnahan,Eric Sondheimer,John Ortega,Eric Stephens

SOUTHERN SECTION

Huntington Beach (4-1) vs. Los Alamitos (4-0-1) at Long Beach Veteran's Stadium, 7, tonight

There's no secret to Huntington Beach's surprising success. The Oilers hand the ball off to Patrick Harrigan every chance they get, and the hard-nosed running back has responded by gaining 250 yards a game, which leads the Southland. He was limited to 117 yards last year during Los Alamitos' 42-7 victory and may need to pile up nearly twice that many yards tonight for the Oilers to stay in this Sunset League opener. The quarterback platoon for Los Alamitos, No. 4 in The Times' rankings, became a one-man show last week when Justin Elway injured his shoulder in a 34-26 victory over Carson. But Jeff Kline (628 yards, five touchdown passes) should be able to handle things, with receivers Jeremy Childs (504 yards) and Brandon Tripp (274) in the mix.

Ben Bolch

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Santa Ana Mater Dei (4-1) vs. L.A. Loyola (5-0) at East L.A. College, 7:30 p.m., Friday

Mater Dei tailback Rafael Rice will play his first game against his former team, which is making its debut in the reconfigured Serra League. Rice, averaging 76 yards a game, has never quite regained the form he displayed last as a Loyola sophomore. Bo Renaud, then Rice's backup, now carries the load for the run-oriented Cubs, averaging 7.2 yards an attempt while having scored 11 touchdowns for No. 2 Loyola. Mater Dei quarterback Jason Forcier, who has completed 62.5% of his passes for 474 yards and three touchdowns for the No. 14 Monarchs, should throw away from speedy defensive back Quintin Daniels, who has three interceptions.

Ben Bolch

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Rolling Hills Estates Peninsula (4-1) at Manhattan Beach Mira Costa (5-0), 7 p.m., Friday

Will Mira Costa's offense keep rolling in a Bay League opener? The No. 9 Mustangs are averaging 48 points thanks to Michael Okwo, who has 780 yards rushing and eight touchdowns, and Peter Dobush, who has completed a sizzling 42 of 60 passes (70%) for 739 yards and 13 touchdowns. Peninsula will try to control the clock with junior running back Jordan Munde, who is second in the Southland in yards rushing, 998, and carries, 152. Peninsula has won three games in a row since a 27-20 loss to Gardena Serra.

Mike Bresnahan

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Santa Fe Springs St. Paul (2-2-1) at Sherman Oaks Notre Dame (5-0), 7:30 p.m., Friday

The two best teams in the Mission League meet in this league opener. The offense of No. 20 Notre Dame keeps improving. One reason is the play of sophomore tailback Cary Harris, who has broken off touchdown runs of 73 and 76 yards in the last two weeks. St. Paul has beaten Wilmington Banning and L.A. Roosevelt the last two games because quarterback Kevin Davies, a transfer from La Canada St. Francis, has added some stability to the offensive attack.

Eric Sondheimer

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Moorpark (5-0) at Simi Valley Royal (3-2), 7 p.m., Friday

Moorpark, which is 2-0 in league and trying to win its first Marmonte title since joining the league in 1998, beat Newbury Park, 47-13, two weeks ago and recorded its third shutout of the season with a 42-0 victory against Simi Valley last week. The Musketeers' offense is led by Cliff Cardwell, who has rushed for 523 yards and seven touchdowns, and Eddie Garcia, who has thrown for 606 yards and eight touchdowns. Royal, also 2-0 in league, defeated Calabasas, 24-17, in overtime in its league opener and edged Newbury Park, 58-55, last week. Highlander quarterback Kyle Uebelhardt has thrown for 1,311 yards and 14 touchdowns.

John Ortega

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CITY SECTION

Jefferson (3-2) at Crenshaw (2-3), 3 p.m., Friday

Stopping Jefferson wide receiver Gary White will be one of the objectives for Crenshaw's defense in this Coliseum League game. White, a 6-foot-3 senior, caught a 35-yard game-winning touchdown pass in the final minute to defeat Gardena last week. Running back Daymeion Hughes is Crenshaw's top offensive threat and he accounted for the only touchdown in a 7-6 loss to San Pedro last week.

Eric Stephens

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Roosevelt (4-1) at Jordan (3-2), 3 p.m., Friday

Coming off a victory over defending City champion Dorsey, Roosevelt came crashing to earth with a 40-3 loss to St. Paul. Jordan is coming off its own defeat against L.A. Wilson. Though this is an Eastern League opener, these two are the title favorites. Each has great offensive weapons: Roosevelt's running backs Jody Adewale and Zach Owens and Jordan's quarterback Naquan Walker, wide receiver Martail Burnett and all-purpose threat Micrin Lias.

Eric Stephens

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