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This Week's Top Football Games

October 16, 2003|Martin Henderson; Eric Sondheimer; Peter Yoon; Lauren Peterson; Dan Arritt

Los Alamitos (5-0) vs. Huntington Beach Edison (3-2) at Huntington Beach High, 7 tonight

Edison's emergence as a Times' top 25 team makes this a delicious Sunset League opener, but the No. 24 Chargers have struggled near the goal line in back-to-back losses to Serra League opponents, No. 21 Mater Dei, 6-0, and No. 22 Servite, 7-0. They have to do better tonight, because Los Alamitos has a diversified offense. Two weeks ago against La Habra, quarterback Jimmy Barnes passed 46 times; last week against Carson, he threw 11 times. Nine Griffins have scored touchdowns. That's a lot of guys to keep track of and indicative of why Los Alamitos is No. 1 in the Southland and No. 2 in the state.

-- Martin Henderson

Canyon Country Canyon (5-0) vs. Valencia (4-1) at College of the Canyons, 7 tonight

Three of Valencia's four victories have been fourth-quarter comebacks behind sophomore quarterback Mike Herrick, who has passed for 1,102 yards and seven touchdowns. The Vikings' only loss was to No. 11 Sherman Oaks Notre Dame when Herrick overthrew a receiver on a two-point conversion attempt with 3 seconds left. Canyon may be a restless giant, ranked 14th by The Times but second in the Southern Section Division II coaches' poll. The Cowboys have outscored opponents, 248-69, but have played only one team with a winning record.

-- Martin Henderson

Santa Ana Mater Dei (2-3) at Bellflower St. John Bosco (5-0), 7:30 p.m. Friday

Get ready for another bruising, unpredictable Serra League race. This battle of Division I powers should be decided by which team's offensive line performs better. Mater Dei has won twice since its 0-3 start. Its offensive line has started to create opportunities for the running game and quarterback Jason Forcier. Running back Terrence King has 12 touchdowns for St. John Bosco, the defending league champions.

-- Eric Sondheimer

Manhattan Beach Mira Costa (5-0) at Rolling Hills Estates Peninsula (2-1-2), 3 p.m. Friday

Peninsula looked like the early-season favorite to dethrone three-time defending Bay League champion Mira Costa, but the Panthers stumbled early and were winless through three games with a loss and two ties. Mira Costa, with 15 starters lost to graduation, has reloaded and regained its status as league favorite. Tyler Pringle is the main offensive weapon for Mira Costa. He has 907 rushing yards in 121 carries. Jordan Munde and Dane Morck lead the Peninsula attack, which has rushed for more than 1,400 yards. Munde, the team leader with 815 yards, has rushed for 473 in the last two games.

-- Peter Yoon

Palmdale (4-1) at Lancaster Antelope Valley (4-1), 7 p.m. Friday

Antelope Valley Coach Brent Newcomb, who recorded his 200th victory with the Antelopes' 21-6 decision over Barstow last week, believes his team will need some big plays by the defense to win this Golden League opener. Palmdale defeated Antelope Valley, 20-15, in the regular-season finale last year to pull into a tie for the league title. Palmdale senior quarterback JaVonte Holmes suffered a dislocated shoulder against Upland two weeks ago and sat out last week's 29-8 victory over Los Angeles Locke. Holmes could play this week, though it will be at receiver if he cannot throw. Adrian Jenkins (16 carries for 102 yards last week) has helped Palmdale average more than 32.2 points a game. Antelope Valley, led by senior running back/linebacker Kreig Peters, has given up only 16 points in five games.

-- Lauren Peterson

Anaheim Servite (5-0) vs. Los Angeles Loyola (3-2) at Glendale High, 7:30 p.m. Saturday

Loyola, ranked No. 15 by The Times, was picked by Serra League coaches to finish second behind Santa Ana Mater Dei. Servite was predicted to finish second to last, just ahead of Santa Margarita. It's obvious the voters did not take into account Servite's defense, which has not been scored upon in its last nine quarters. Running backs Omar Ramiro and Ken Ashley have provided a nice 1-2 combination for No. 21 Servite. Ramiro has totaled 355 yards rushing and three touchdowns, Ashley has rushed for 331 yards and five touchdowns. Loyola's Trason Bragg has rushed for 491 yards in 97 carries.

-- Dan Arritt

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