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VARSITY TIMES

The view from the Insider

September 26, 2007|Austin Knoblauch; Mike Terry; Lauren Peterson; Martin Henderson; Dan Arritt; Jaime Cárdenas; Eric Sondheimer

Varsity Times Insider is The Times' newest blog and a source for observations, news and game coverage. It has been up and running since the season's start and can be found at latimes.com/highschool.

Here are some excerpts we like to call "Best of the Blog":

FROM SAN FERNANDO VALLEY/NORTH

Immediately after Ventura St. Bonaventure's 41-33 victory over Westlake Village Oaks Christian, Darrell Scott, who rushed for 248 yards and five touchdowns, trotted off the field and in the direction of the locker rooms at Ventura High.

St. Bonny Coach Todd Therrien said Scott had been experiencing flu symptoms all week and still hadn't fully recovered.

"He's not here. He went home," Therrien said after the game.

Of course, feeling sick isn't the only thing that's been going a little haywire for Scott the last couple days. Tonight, he had to wear a No. 21 jersey because he "couldn't find his other jersey," said Therrien, who added: "His jersey is missing. . . . I don't know, maybe it's on EBay."

-- Austin Knoblauch

FROM THE CITY SECTION

If Los Angeles Dorsey thought it caught a good-sized fish by defeating Santa Margarita, 12-7, on Sept. 14, the Dons have a whale of an opportunity against Lake Balboa Birmingham Friday at Rancho Cienega. How much of their playbooks do the teams show each other, especially if they expect to face each other again in the playoffs?

"We won't keep anything in reserve," Birmingham Coach Ed Croson said. "When you play a Paul Knox team, you are in it up to your ears." Knox, Dorsey's coach, was of a similar mind: "We won't hold back anything that can help us. . . . This is an opportunity to show we belong in the class of the top teams."

-- Mike Terry

FROM LOS ANGELES COUNTY

Cerritos Gahr's no-huddle, shotgun-formation is being run with aplomb by junior quarterback Corey Nielsen, who spent part of a two-week summer vacation in Hawaii in 2006 throwing the ball around with Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan.

Nielsen's uncle, Jon Nielsen, is the quarterbacks and receivers coach for Gahr and a former NFL, CFL, Arena League and XFL player who knows Hawaii Coach June Jones. . . . The Gladiators' offense, which includes an abundance of screens and shovel passes, is patterned after pass-happy Hawaii's.

"The whole scheme is challenging because you've to throw the ball around all over the place -- show that you're not going to focus on any one guy," Nielsen said. "But we all know what we're doing. We expect to score every time we have the ball."

-- Lauren Peterson

FROM ORANGE COUNTY

As DJ Shoemate gets healthier, it appears Anaheim Servite is going to lean on him more and more. The USC-bound receiver/defensive lineman was all over the Orange Coast College field Friday during Servite's 6-0 victory over Huntington Beach Edison.

He caught six passes for 80 yards. He rushed 13 times for 59 yards. He blocked two punts. He sacked the quarterback. He also scored the only touchdown of the game, a one-handed grab of Johnny McEntee's pass to the flat, and then turned the corner and made it 12 yards to the end zone.

What did he remember about the touchdown?

"I don't remember it," he answered. "I'm, like, in a trance when I'm playing."

-- Martin Henderson

FROM THE INLAND EMPIRE

Redlands East Valley manhandled Compton Dominguez, 44-14, behind [converted wide receiver] Chris Polk, who rushed for 244 yards in 15 carries and scored four touchdowns, including one through the air. "He knew how to run the ball real well," said Dominguez linebacker Marquis Simmons, who will join Polk at USC next year.

-- Dan Arritt

FROM THE SAN GABRIEL VALLEY

In today's tech-savvy world of recruiting, in which assistant coaches need to know how to TXT MSG as well as post MySpace comments, Los Altos running back Bryce Mahmud-McBride is making it easy for scouts to find him.

Bryce's father, Munir, said he and his son will be uploading Bryce's highlights onto YouTube all season long. . . . "Since the college season started, most scouts and coaches are focused on their seasons," Munir wrote. "I send out the highlights to keep them posted on his season."

-- Jaime Cárdenas

FROM RECRUITING BUZZ

Khaled Holmes, Santa Ana Mater Dei's 6-foot-5, 290-pound senior offensive lineman, is one of the best uncommitted football prospects in the state. He said he's trying to decide between USC, where his brother, Alex, was a standout tight end, and California.

Holmes attended USC's game Saturday night against Washington State with Mater Dei junior quarterback Matt Barkley.

-- Eric Sondheimer

For more Varsity Times Insider, visit www.latimes.com/sports/highschool.

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