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This Week's Top Football Games

October 30, 2003|Eric Stephens; Lauren Peterson; Martin Henderson; Rob Fernas; Dan Arritt; Peter Yoon

Gardena (7-0, 2-0) at Carson (4-3, 2-0), 7 p.m., Friday

A victory over Carson would go a long way toward helping Gardena win its first Marine League title since 1974; however, the Panthers lost to the Colts, 43-26, last year and 48-0 in 2001. Gardena running back Chris Green gained 252 yards last week against Wilmington Banning and has 1,104 yards in only 89 carries. After taking some lumps during its difficult nonleague schedule, Carson has handled San Pedro and L.A. Washington in league play. Chet Sanders has three interceptions in his first two games back from knee surgery. Robert Miller broke a 27-year-old school record with his 98-yard touchdown run against Washington.

-- Eric Stephens

Gardena Serra (5-2, 2-0) at Encino Crespi (6-1, 2-0), 7 p.m., Friday

In Serra, the defending Del Rey League champion, Crespi faces its biggest challenge in the quest for its first league title since 1991. Serra is looking for its fourth consecutive league championship, having won Angelus League titles in 2000 and 2001. Crespi senior quarterback Kevin Vollmer has passed for 535 yards and five touchdowns with only one interception and has rushed for 275 yards and six touchdowns. Junior Daryl Fields, the team leader in tackles (66) and sacks (six), heads a defense that has allowed an average of 15 points a game. Serra relies on senior Ryan Kelley, who has rushed for 742 yards and 10 touchdowns.

-- Lauren Peterson

Corona (5-1, 1-0) at Corona Centennial (4-2, 1-0), 7 p.m., Friday

Only once this season has Corona, ranked No. 4 in Division V, scored more than 25 points. Its Mountain View League opponent, Centennial, ranked No. 10 by The Times, has scored as few as 25 only once, in a season-opening, 25-0 shutout of Rialto Eisenhower. Terrell Jackson is averaging 239.7 yards per game and has scored 25 touchdowns. His 152 points is more than Corona's 121 as a team. But Centennial's defense has shown cracks, and the No. 3 team in Division V has allowed an average of 23.3 points. Corona is led by quarterback Brian Hildebrand, who has thrown for four touchdowns with three interceptions, and running back Kenny Moon, who is averaging 6.4 yards per carry with seven touchdowns.

-- Martin Henderson

Inglewood Morningside (7-0, 3-0) at Culver City (7-1, 4-0), 7 p.m., Friday

Morningside has reversed a decade of losing with an eight-game winning streak dating to last season, when it spoiled Culver City's bid for a 10-0 regular season by upsetting the Centaurs in a Pioneer League finale. This year's game will likely decide the Pioneer title. Culver City has won seven in a row since losing to Division I power Los Alamitos, 49-0, in its opener. The Centaurs rely on highly recruited receivers Michael Bumpus and Jaison Williams, as well as shifty running back James Magee. Morningside features a power running game led by fullback Heliki Fifita, who has rushed for 759 yards and scored 15 touchdowns.

-- Rob Fernas

Mission Viejo (7-0, 2-0) at San Clemente (5-2, 2-0), 7:30 p.m., Friday

San Clemente might be the hottest team Mission Viejo has faced during its 35-game winning streak. Among the weapons for the Tritons, ranked No. 23, are quarterback Cole Bergquist, who has completed 98 of 147 passes for 1,196 yards and 10 touchdowns, receiver Steve Melton (56 receptions for 839 yards) and running back Cheyne Verhagen (906 yards in 122 carries). The Diablos will counter with a defense that has given up only 100 points through seven games.

-- Dan Arritt

Bellflower St. John Bosco (6-1, 1-1) vs. Los Angeles Loyola (4-3, 1-1) at Glendale High, 7:30 p.m., Saturday

Last year, these Serra League foes split two meetings, with St. John Bosco winning, 26-14, during the regular season en route to the league title, but Loyola turning the tables with a 38-8 victory in the Division I quarterfinals. Quarterback Scott Deke and running back Trason Bragg lead a balanced Loyola offense, but the famed Cub defense has allowed 89 points in its last three games. Running back Terrance King leads St. John Bosco with 628 yards and 13 touchdowns.

-- Peter Yoon

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