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Today's Top Football Games

November 26, 2003|Ben Bolch; Eric Sondheimer; Eric Stephens; Eric Stephens

Los Angeles Crenshaw (9-2) at Venice (11-0), 7 p.m.

Against Crenshaw in a City Championship quarterfinal, Venice faces its stiffest test since a Week 2 matchup against Los Angeles Loyola. The Cougars limited San Pedro to 90 yards last week in a 19-3 first-round victory. Quarterback Beau Davis must be wary of a Crenshaw defense that registered five sacks last week. James Lewis, who returned punts 50 and 70 yards for touchdowns last week in Venice's 63-14 victory over Gardena, could be a difference-maker for the Gondoliers, who were 10th in the Southland in The Times' final regular-season rankings.

-- Ben Bolch

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Harbor City Narbonne (6-5) at Sylmar (8-2-1), 7 p.m.

With Narbonne having upset defending City champion Lake Balboa Birmingham last week, Sylmar is in position to reach the semifinals for the first time since 1997. Junior quarterback Terry Newsome will be critical to the Spartans advancing. Running the veer option attack, he'll need to complete some passes against an aggressive defense. Narbonne didn't complete a pass against Birmingham but gained 281 yards on the ground. Running back Pat Smith re-injured his ankle but must be ready for the Gauchos to win.

-- Eric Sondheimer

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Van Nuys Grant (8-3) at Carson (8-3), 7 p.m.

Running back Anthony Dickson is the key to Grant's offense, but it also has weapons in quarterback Dashawn Smith, receiver Marquis Powell and slot back Franco Stasilli. Dickson rushed for 246 yards, Smith threw for 268 yards and Powell caught six passes for 143 yards in Grant's 37-35 victory over Fairfax in the first round. Carson's defense is led by lineman Norris Malele, linebacker Elisha Mueller and safety Chet Sanders, who has six interceptions in six games since returning from a knee injury.

-- Eric Stephens

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Granada Hills (9-2) at Los Angeles Dorsey (11-0), 7 p.m.

Granada Hills, which defeated Bell, 16-13, in the first round, can't afford to let Dorsey control the time of possession. Quarterback Brandon Charls is efficient, but the offensive line must protect him from Dorsey's fierce rush. The Highlanders have offensive threats in running backs Jammal Rashad and Gilbert Linton and receiver Darion Donnelly. Dorsey, ranked No. 12 by The Times, has a dominating running game led by junior Jeremiah Johnson and talented sophomore Stafon Johnson, and David Gettis is an emerging receiver.

-- Eric Stephens

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