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This Week's Top Football Games

October 02, 2003|Martin Henderson; Dan Arritt; Peter Yoon; Eric Stephens

Long Beach Poly (2-1) at Mission Viejo (3-0), 7, tonight

Mission Viejo, ranked No. 1 in the Southern Section Division II coaches' poll, No. 2 in the Southland by The Times and No. 3 in the state, is looking to make local history. The Diablos are trying to match Huntington Beach Edison (1979-81) with 32 consecutive victories to tie the Orange County record. To do so, Mission Viejo must offset the superior speed of Long Beach Poly, which is ranked No. 4 in Division I, No. 4 by The Times and No. 14 in the state. The Jackrabbits have to put pressure on Mark Sanchez, the Diablos' quarterback, and keep receiver Marty Tadman in check.

-- Martin Henderson

*

Huntington Beach Edison (3-0) vs. Santa Ana Mater Dei (0-3) at Santa Ana Stadium, 7, tonight

Mater Dei and No. 15 Edison find themselves in reversed roles. Heading into this game a year ago, the Chargers had spiraled off the charts after opening the season ranked No. 5 by The Times. Mater Dei sent them even further into the abyss with a 35-18 victory. The Monarchs began this season ranked No. 4, but have since fallen to No. 25 after losing their first three games. A loss by Mater Dei would hand Coach Bruce Rollinson his first five-game losing streak since he took the job in 1989. Edison has gotten off to a fast start behind running back Abel Cardona, who has rushed for 314 yards and six touchdowns, including four in a season-opening 26-21 victory over San Clemente.

-- Dan Arritt

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La Habra (2-1) vs. Los Alamitos (3-0) at Long Beach Veterans Stadium, 7, tonight

La Habra gave Los Alamitos all it could handle when the teams met last season. Los Alamitos won, 24-20, but La Habra made quite an impression by gaining 405 yards. La Habra sustained that momentum and went on to win the Southern Section Division IX title. Los Alamitos won the Division I title and this year is the top-ranked team by The Times. This will be La Habra's second game against a section champion. In Week 2, the Highlanders lost, 22-13, to Division VI champion Los Altos. Jimmy Barnes has passed for 580 yards for Los Alamitos, which has defeated Culver City, Newhall Hart and Brea Olinda, but has not had the high-powered offense to which it is accustomed. The Griffins, coming off a bye week, have averaged 31 points per game, but only 22 in their last two games.

Peter Yoon

*

Fountain Valley (2-1) vs. Santa Margarita (3-0) at Saddleback College, 7:30 p.m., Friday

These teams are similar with solid defenses, so this could be a low-scoring game. Fountain Valley, ranked No. 17 by The Times, has been able to control the ball with Ryan Best and Bryan Reihm. The Barons' only loss was to No. 2 Mission Viejo, 14-13, in a season opener. Santa Margarita, which has won three of the five meetings between the schools, is No. 18 in The Times' rankings and No. 9 in Division I. Santa Margarita has allowed only 13 points and continuity might be an advantage; Fountain Valley is coming off a bye week.

-- Martin Henderson

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Granada Hills (3-0) at Venice (3-0), 7 p.m., Friday

Granada Hills was a finalist in the Invitational Division last year, but the Highlanders came into this season intending to be a factor in the City Section title race. They haven't disappointed, outscoring opponents, 117-24. Senior quarterback Brandon Charls has completed 65% of his passes and has six touchdowns with no passes intercepted. Venice's Beau Davis is averaging 271 yards passing per game. The Gondoliers, No. 13 in The Times' rankings, can certify their status as the class of the City Section with another impressive performance.

-- Eric Stephens

*

L.A. Roosevelt (3-0) vs. L.A. Dorsey (3-0) at Rancho Cienega Park, 7 p.m., Friday

The Dorsey defense has been dominating but will have its hands full against a high-powered Roosevelt running attack. With defensive lineman Jasper Henry and safety Jerome Boyd leading the way, Dorsey has allowed only 13 points, including a 27-0 shutout of L.A. Fairfax last week. Roosevelt has a way of finding holes with its Wing-T attack. Led by running back Chris Hurtado, the Roughriders have averaged 360 rushing yards and 39 points a game. Hurtado has 444 yards and averages 12.7 per carry.

-- Peter Yoon

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