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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL

This Week's Top Games

November 07, 2008|Ben Bolch

No. 8 Santa Ana Mater Dei (6-2, 3-0) vs. No. 10 Bellflower St. John Bosco (7-1, 2-1)

Tonight at Santa Ana Stadium, 7:30

This could be a matchup of future Pacific 10 Conference quarterbacks, though St. John Bosco's Keith Price's commitment to Washington has softened in the wake of Coach Tyrone Willingham's resignation. USC-bound Matt Barkley of Mater Dei has shrugged off a slow start in which he had nearly as many interceptions (11) as touchdown passes (12) through five games. In three Trinity League games, Barkley has completed 72.9% of his passes for 710 yards and eight touchdowns with no interceptions. His recent success coincides with the Monarchs' newfound balance keyed by running back Jaron Hytche, who has averaged 170 yards in his last three games. Price has been steady all season, completing 71.1% of his passes for 1,846 yards and 21 touchdowns with only four interceptions.

The pick: St. John Bosco.

Compton (7-0, 4-0) vs. No. 2 Long Beach Poly (8-0, 4-0)

Tonight at Long Beach Veterans Stadium, 7

No matter who has the ball, there will be a pair of potent running backs in the backfield in this Moore League battle of unbeaten teams. Poly's dynamic duo is Daveon Barner and Melvin Richardson. Compton has junior James McConico, who is averaging 28.8 yards a carry while piling up 1,008 yards and 13 touchdowns in only 35 touches. McConico has runs of 92, 90, 80 and 75 yards. He also is averaging 57.5 yards on his two catches, which both went for touchdowns. McConico's backfield companion, Curry Williams, is averaging a not-so-shabby 16.6 yards a carry.

The pick: Poly.

No. 14 Huntington Beach Edison (6-2, 2-1) vs. Fountain Valley (6-2, 2-1)

Tonight at Orange Coast College, 7

Since winning "The Battle for the Bell" rivalry with Edison during his first season in 2004, Fountain Valley Coach John Shipp's Barons have mostly had their bell rung by the Chargers, losing by a combined score of 87-22. But Fountain Valley has won two consecutive games to move into a four-way tie for first place in the Sunset League alongside Edison, Los Alamitos and Anaheim Esperanza. Shipp called the Barons' 21-14 overtime victory over then-No. 12 Los Alamitos last week "a great momentum-builder for us because we kind of control our own destiny in our league."

The pick: Edison.

Saugus (5-3, 3-0) at No. 23 Valencia (7-1, 3-0)

Tonight, 7

Saugus has powered its way past three Foothill League opponents behind running back Ryan Zirbel and quarterback Desi Rodriguez, who has already amassed more than 1,000 yards passing and rushing. Valencia relies on running back Jordan Thompson and quarterback Dominick Solley, who has excelled since returning from an ankle injury that sidelined him for nearly a month. "We're on the verge of peaking at the right time, I think," Valencia Coach Larry Muir said.

The pick: Valencia.

No. 3 Sherman Oaks Notre Dame (8-0, 1-0) vs. L.A. Loyola (5-3, 1-0)

Saturday at Glendale High, 7

It will be a contrast in styles when pass-happy Notre Dame plays run-oriented Loyola with first place in the Serra League on the line. Knights quarterback Ryan Kasdorf has passed for 2,401 yards and 26 touchdowns with only four interceptions. Anthony Barr has been similarly unstoppable running the ball for Loyola, piling up 1,458 yards and 19 touchdowns. He rushed for 216 yards last week during the Cubs' 17-6 victory over La Puente Bishop Amat, Loyola's first league triumph since 2005.

The pick: Notre Dame.

-- Ben Bolch

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