Anaheim Katella (7-0, 2-0) vs. Orange Lutheran (5-2, 2-0) at Brea Olinda HS, 7, tonight
Katella, ranked No. 5 in the Southern Section's Division VI poll, has three shutouts this season and has allowed seven points or less in five games. Brandon Barnes and Kevin Stout have seven interceptions each, a big part of the 26 turnovers forced by the defense and special teams. Barnes has been the main target for quarterback Tony Savala, catching 25 passes for 377 yards and five touchdowns. Orange Lutheran, ranked No. 4 in Division VI, saw its high-powered offense suffer a setback when running back John Ausmus broke his leg last week against Placentia Valencia and is out for the season.
-- Dan Arritt
Chino Hills Ayala (6-1, 1-0) at Chino (7-0, 2-0), 7 p.m., Friday
Both teams may be hindered by injuries in this Sierra League showdown. Ayala quarterback Colin McNeil is questionable with a slightly separated shoulder that caused him to sit out last week during the No. 21 Bulldogs' 21-6 victory over Glendora. Jacob Flowe, running back for No. 2 Chino, is still nursing a sore ankle that limited his playing time last week during the Cowboys' 26-21 victory over La Verne Damien. If McNeil is unable to play, the Bulldogs will turn to a more run-oriented attack led by Corey Tello (451 yards rushing) and Bobby Meza (360), who is also a threat as a receiver and kick returner. Kes Ekpre-Olomo, who rushed for 186 yards last week, can carry the load for Chino.
-- Ben Bolch
*Hacienda Heights Los Altos (6-1, 1-0) at Covina Charter Oak (6-1, 1-0), 7 p.m., Friday
If recent history is any indication, the stakes in this game are self-evident: In the last two years, the winner has won the Miramonte League title and the Southern Section Division VII championship. Charter Oak, No. 18 in The Times' rankings this season, won last year's game and No. 11 Los Altos won in 2000. Though the teams now play in Division VI, the same could happen again. Los Altos is No. 1 in the division poll and Charter Oak is No. 3.
-- Peter Yoon
Santa Fe Springs Santa Fe (5-2, 2-0) at Whittier Pioneer (7-0, 2-0), 7 p.m., Friday
It's not just a game with Del Rio League title implications -- it will also determine the top team in the Southern Section Division VII rankings and give the winner the inside track to the division's top playoff seeding. Pioneer, currently No. 1, is led by Ricky Reyes, who has rushed for 919 yards in 98 carries -- an average of 9.4 yards per carry -- and has scored 13 touchdowns. Santa Fe's Adam Sandoval has 840 yards rushing and eight touchdowns, and Dan Banzet has 577 yards passing with eight touchdowns.
-- Mike Bresnahan
Santa Ana Mater Dei (6-1, 2-0) at Anaheim Servite (7-0, 2-0) at Cal State Fullerton, 7 p.m., Saturday
Servite is off to its best start since it began 8-0 in 1985. The teams have played every year since Servite fielded its first team in 1960, but Servite hasn't won since 1988. Mater Dei holds a 25-13 edge in the series and there have been two ties, including 0-0 in 1992. Servite is ranked No. 8 by The Times and No. 3 in the Division I poll, and Mater Dei is No. 9 and No. 4, respectively. The winner will have an inside track on the Serra League title, though both still must face Bellflower St. John Bosco, also undefeated in league.
Fremont (7-0, 2-0) at Crenshaw (4-3, 2-0), 2:15 p.m., Friday
Many eyes in the City will be focused on this matchup of title contenders. Quarterback Michael Beach, with his running and passing ability, may be the final piece to a championship puzzle for the high-scoring Pathfinders, No. 12 in The Times' rankings. But they haven't faced a defense as physical as Crenshaw's. Lineman Brandon Mebane and cornerback Daymeion Hughes are the anchors of a unit that hasn't allowed an offensive touchdown in league play. With Andrew Simpson at quarterback and former quarterback Bryant Thompson moved to running back, the Cougars' offense has become more diversified.
Gardena (5-2, 2-0) at Wilmington Banning (4-3, 2-0), 6:30 p.m., Friday
Improved offense has been one of the keys for the Panthers as they try to avoid repeating last year's late-season swoon. Quarterback LaFerrell Payne is in charge of an option attack that averages 29 points. Payne has rushed for 506 yards, and tailback DeAndre Hughes (454 yards in five games) and fullback Jason Franklin (472 yards) are the other threats. Banning counters with its veer-option offense, powered by running backs A.J. Tuitele and Patrick Perry, who accounted for 236 yards and three touchdowns last week in wearing down Harbor City Narbonne. The winner figures to stay in a first-place tie with Carson, which plays winless Washington this week.
-- Eric Stephens