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This week's top games

Highlights of this week's high school football schedule:

October 07, 2005|MARTIN HENDERSON; ERIC SONDHEIMER; PETER YOON

SOUTHERN SECTION

* Valencia (4-0) at Sherman Oaks Notre Dame (4-0), 7:30 tonight: In what figures to be one of the top games of the season, Notre Dame's 26-game win streak could be severely threatened by a Valencia team that seems to be reaching peak form. The combination of Michael Herrick's passing and Shane Vereen's running have the Vikings confident of victory. Notre Dame is hoping that quarterback Garrett Green can return from a thumb injury and add some big plays to the offense. The game figures to come down to which team can run the ball best. Notre Dame tailback Rodney Glass has rushed for more than 100 yards in every game this season; Vereen in three games.

-- ERIC SONDHEIMER

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* Los Angeles Loyola (4-0) vs. Newhall Hart (3-1) at College of the Canyons, 7 tonight: Two of the Southland's winningest teams over the last decade have split eight meetings during that span. Hart has won three of the last four meetings between the teams, including last year's 17-16 victory on a last-minute score. Led by quarterback Tyler Leon, the Indians are averaging 22.3 points -- meek by Hart standards -- and will have to find a way to penetrate a Loyola defense that has given up an average of 15 points. Loyola's new balanced offense led by quarterback Henry Burge and running back Chad Peppars has averaged 36.3 points. The Cubs face a stern test against Hart, however. With linebacker Patrick Sarkissian leading the way, the Indians have allowed an average of 14.7 points. The game will be televised by FSN West 2.

PETER YOON

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CITY SECTION

* Lake Balboa Birmingham (1-3) vs. Los Angeles Dorsey (3-1) at Rancho Cienega Park, 7 tonight: This is a revenge game for Dorsey, which lost to the Patriots in last year's City Championship game, 36-13, at the Coliseum. Dorsey running back Stafon Johnson, in particular, wants to make a statement that the Dons learned from their defeat. Birmingham is led by sophomore tailback Milton Knox. Both schools have inexperienced players at quarterback, putting pressure on the offensive lines to come through and open holes for the running backs.

-- ERIC SONDHEIMER

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INTERSECTIONAL

* Fresno Clovis West (4-0) at Corona Centennial (3-1), 7:30 tonight: Centennial's opponents have averaged 30 points a game, but the host Huskies have a balanced high-powered offense that features sophomore tailback Ryan Bass, who replaced injured starter Tracy Johnson and carried 40 times for 401 yards in his debut as a varsity starter last week against Rancho Cucamonga, and quarterback Chris Scott, who can hurt opponents with the run or the pass. Johnson is still out, but Centennial should be bolstered by the return of three other starters. Pass-happy Clovis West wilted under Centennial's physical play last season, 36-33, but counters this year with a power-running game with Kyle Duffy (8.9 yards per carry), 240-pound fullback Chris Lewis (11.8 yards), and Ato Lakatani (6.4 yards). Clovis West, which beat Concord De La Salle, 7-0, in its opener, is ranked No. 2 in the state by Cal-Hi Sports and No. 18 in the nation by Student Sports magazine. Centennial is ranked No. 11 in the Southland by The Times.

* Concord De La Salle (3-1) at Mission Viejo (4-0), 7:30 p.m. Saturday: Running back Chane Moline is averaging 8.1 yards and has 10 touchdowns for Mission Viejo, ranked No. 1 in the state by Cal-Hi Sports and No. 2 in the nation by Student Sports magazine. De La Salle, ranked No. 5 in the state and No. 32 in the nation, will try to prevent Moline from making long runs, keep the Diablos from playing on a short field, and avoid turning the ball over, which it did five times last week in a 28-21 victory over Salinas Palma. Mission Viejo won at De La Salle last season, 17-14, on Robby Bosanko's field goal inside the final minute. The game will be televised by FSN West 2.

-- MARTIN HENDERSON

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