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This Week's Top Football Games

November 13, 2003|Martin Henderson; Peter Yoon; Martin Henderson; Rob Fernas; Rob Fernas; Lauren Peterson

Orange (8-1, 5-0) at Westminster (8-1, 5-0), 7, tonight

After waiting 25 years between league titles, Westminster can win its second in three seasons with a ninth consecutive victory. The Lions have done it with a defense -- anchored by Nick Niko (12 sacks) -- that has allowed only 75 points, and an offense that is averaging 19 yards per pass completion and is powered by running back Carlos Brooks (1,240 yards, 15 touchdowns). Orange's offense has produced Orange County's top rusher in Justin Jones (1,631 yards, 18 touchdowns) and Daniel Chairez (994 yards, 13 touchdowns). The Panthers, who haven't won a league title since 1992, won last season's game, 21-20.

-- Martin Henderson

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Los Angeles Loyola (6-3, 3-1) at La Puente Bishop Amat (6-3, 2-2), 7:30 p.m., Friday

Loyola is seeking its first Serra League title and its first league title of any kind since 2000. The Cubs, who have won three in a row since starting the season 3-3, can clinch it outright with a victory. Bishop Amat needs a victory and a loss by Santa Margarita to clinch third place and an automatic berth in the Southern Section playoffs but most expect two of the bottom three league teams to receive at-large berths anyway. Lancer running backs William Wagner and Jonathan Robinson have gained 556 and 551 yards, respectively. Loyola's balanced offense is led by running back Trason Bragg (783 yards) and quarterback Scott Deke (1,426 yards and 14 touchdowns).

-- Peter Yoon

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Santa Ana Mater Dei (5-4, 3-1) vs. Santa Margarita (7-2, 2-2) at Cal State Fullerton, 7:30 p.m., Friday

Santa Margarita, ranked No. 20 by The Times, can't afford to be pushed around as it was last week by Loyola, which was dominant in a 21-7 victory. If the Eagles played "soft," as Coach Mike Jacot said they did, they shouldn't have much trouble getting up for this game as they try to spoil their rivals' hopes at a Serra League title. Mater Dei, ranked No. 22, has salvaged its season with five victories in its last six games. Anemic on offense early, the Monarchs have averaged 25.8 points over the last five games.

-- Martin Henderson

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Redlands East Valley (7-1-1, 4-0) at Fontana Miller (6-3, 4-0), 7:30 p.m., Friday

Neither school has won the Citrus Belt League title, but that will change for the winner of this showdown. The game matches two of the league's top players in quarterback/safety Nate Johns of East Valley and quarterback/safety Kyle Jacobo of Miller. Johns leads the Wildcats in rushing, passing and return yardage, accounting for 25 touchdowns. He passed for three touchdowns and ran for one last week in a 35-7 rout of Rialto. Jacobo directs the Rebels' triple-option wishbone offense and is a threat to run or pass.

-- Rob Fernas

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Beverly Hills (5-2-2, 2-0-1) at Manhattan Beach Mira Costa (9-0, 3-0), 7 p.m., Friday

A victory would give Mira Costa the Bay League title, a perfect regular season and probably the No. 1 seeding in the Southern Section Division III playoffs. But it won't be easy. Beverly Hills has won four of its last five games, the only blemish coming last week in a 23-23 tie with Rolling Hills Estates Peninsula. The Normans' balanced attack will test a tough Mira Costa defense. Quarterback Ollie Linter has passed for 1,590 yards and 15 touchdowns, 11 of them to wide receiver Brandon Rice, who has 63 catches for 931 yards. Mira Costa relies on running back Tyler Pringle (1,425 yards rushing, 15 touchdowns) and big-play special teams.

-- Rob Fernas

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Hacienda Heights Los Altos (9-0, 3-0) at Hacienda Heights Wilson (8-1, 3-0), 7 p.m., Friday

Los Altos, the defending Southern Section Division VI champion, has owned this series the last five years. Wilson, however, has its best chance for a victory since 1997, when the Wildcats last beat the Conquerors and went on to win a section title. This matchup pits a Wilson offense that has averaged slightly more than 40 points a game against a Los Altos defense with three shutouts and an average of less than nine points allowed. Wilson's balanced offense is led by senior quarterback Charles Lacy, who has completed 62.5% of his passes for 1,911 yards and 24 touchdowns.

-- Lauren Peterson

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