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This Week's Top Football Games

September 26, 2002|Mike Bresnahan , Lauren Peterson, Ben Bolch,Martin Henderson, Peter Yoon, Eric Stephens


Manhattan Beach Mira Costa (2-0) vs. Wilmington Banning (2-0) at Gardena High, 7 p.m., Friday

Can Mira Costa stop Banning's veer offense? Last week, Banning running backs A.J. Tuitele and Patrick Perry combined for 314 yards rushing in a 28-7 victory over North Hollywood. Mira Costa, ranked No. 9 by The Times, counters with Michael Okwo, an inside linebacker who has three sacks and 13 tackles and is drawing attention from UCLA, USC, Stanford and Oregon State. Okwo, who also plays running back, rushed for 187 yards and a touchdown in 15 carries in last week's 35-6 victory over Warren.

Mike Bresnahan

*Santa Monica (1-1) at Venice (2-0), 7 p.m., Friday

Big-play receivers B.J. Vickers and Antwuan Giddens have made their marks in Venice's spread offense, guided by quarterback Eddie Miller (21 of 35 passing for 497 yards and three touchdowns with three interceptions). The versatile Vickers has averaged 23 yards a catch in nine receptions. He also averages more than 16 yards a carry in occasional rushing attempts, plays free safety and returns kickoffs. Giddens has seven receptions for an average of 27.1 yards. Santa Monica won the Division X title last year, handling Venice, 47-27, in a regular-season game. But the Vikings, now in Division IV, lost 25 seniors from that team. Ricky Johnson, a three-year reserve, is at quarterback and Adrian Gonzalez gained 100 yards while leading Santa Monica to a 20-9 victory over Palisades last week.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday October 03, 2002 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 4 inches; 146 words Type of Material: Correction
High school football--Jaron Thompson is the Los Angeles Fremont linebacker who is sidelined because of a pinched nerve in his neck. His first name was reported incorrectly in a Sports story Sept. 26.

Lauren Peterson


L.A. Dorsey (1-1) vs. Santa Margarita (2-0) at Saddleback College, 7:30 p.m., Friday

Dorsey's record slipped to 1-1 this week when the Dons learned they would have to forfeit their season-opening victory over Sylmar for using an ineligible player. But that makes beating Dorsey no less formidable a task for No. 7 Santa Margarita, which has ridden the running of Ashton White (270 yards, three touchdowns) to victories over Orange El Modena and Redlands. The Dons will rely on a cast of playmakers that includes Jody Rucks, who rushed for 182 yards against Sylmar, and Hakeem Washington, who sealed a 28-24 victory over Oakland McClymonds last week when he made a late interception at the Dorsey five-yard line.

Ben Bolch



Riverside North (1-1) vs. Santa Ana Mater Dei (1-1) at Santa Ana Stadium, 7, tonight

North fell out of The Times' rankings this week after losing to Fontana Kaiser, 24-21, in a game that could have gone either way. The Huskies could return in a big way by knocking off No. 17 Mater Dei, which looked much better last week against Mission Viejo than it did in its opener against Orange Lutheran. Quarterback Jason Forcier was nearly unstoppable last week during a late 80-yard scoring drive that brought the Monarchs to within two points in the 21-19 loss. North has a balanced offense led by quarterback Dion Morton (311 yards passing and two touchdowns) and running back Joshua Barnett (188 yards and four touchdowns rushing, 76 yards receiving).

Ben Bolch


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

La Mirada ended Los Altos' 23-game winning streak last season with its huge special teams advantage--it returned a kickoff for a touchdown; Los Altos missed an extra-point and field-goal attempt--in a 14-13 victory. La Mirada is coming off a mistake-filled 35-7 loss to Crenshaw, and must control the ball with running back Garrett Busk. Los Altos' strength is its defense, but its offense has scored 91 points in two games.

Martin Henderson

*Inglewood (2-0) at Compton Dominguez (1-1), 7:30 p.m., Friday

Expect a track meet in this game that features two teams loaded with speed. Brian Flowers, Paul McCalope and Solomon Jones all have more than 100 rushing yards in Inglewood's double-wing offense and quarterback Troy Durk has 205. Dominguez counters with mobile quarterback Anthony Wheat, who played receiver last season and is the safety. The Dominguez defense stifled Tustin in a 20-12 victory last week.

Peter Yoon



San Pedro (1-1) at L.A. Fremont (2-0), 7 p.m., Friday

Fremont scored easy victories over Hamilton and Bell, but Coach Pete Duffy realizes the Pathfinders have a much tougher test this week. "I want us to play exceptionally well and if we do what we're supposed to do, it can be a big win for us," Duffy said. "But if the ball bounces their way a couple of times and they come out on the other end, it's not the end of the world." Injuries have racked Fremont. Linebacker John Thompson is out six weeks because of a pinched nerve in his neck and offensive tackle DeJuan Clark is questionable because of a leg injury. Star receiver Mark Bradford has battled ankle injuries since the start of fall practice.

Eric Stephens

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