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There is no shortage of big football matchups this week

They include Los Angeles Dorsey-Los Angeles Crenshaw and Fountain Valley-Huntington Beach Edison.


If there were ever a time to rent a helicopter on a Friday night to avoid the traffic-snarled Southland freeways, this is the weekend to do it.

There are so many top high school football games scheduled for Friday night that I'm going to feel guilty missing any one of them.

Here are the many options to consider:

* Los Angeles Dorsey at Los Angeles Crenshaw. These two City Section powers have been on a hot streak in sending players to the college and professional ranks, and there might not be a team with better talent than unbeaten Crenshaw. The Cougars' team speed is stunning, and Dorsey Coach Paul Knox probably has been having nightmares trying to figure out what to do.

* Fountain Valley vs. Huntington Beach Edison at Cal State Fullerton. This rivalry game is big every season, but this time, each school is 8-0 and the Sunset League title is on the line. If you can get a ticket to the game, you better be prepared to stand because the excitement will be nonstop from beginning to end.

* Orange Lutheran vs. Anaheim Servite at Cerritos College. This is your typical Trinity League title decider where the teams and their fans will finish the game exhausted and experience either exhilaration or agony.

* Roosevelt vs. Garfield at East Los Angeles College. If the CIF ever wants to sell out the Home Depot Center for the state CIF bowl games, perhaps inviting these two schools will do the trick. A crowd of 25,000 is expected for a neighborhood rivalry that keeps getting bigger and bigger. Pity the team that loses, because the alumni will have a year of bragging rights, and they make sure the other side knows it.

* Rancho Cucamonga at Upland. Etiwanda is the surprise leader in the Baseline League, but the winner of this game should finish on top or get a share of the league title.

* Carson at Harbor City Narbonne. Do you know how physical players are in the Marine League? Just watch what happens when these two teams meet. The hits are going to be coming so hard and fast that when a ballcarrier doesn't fumble, it will be news.

* La Canada St. Francis at Mission Hills Alemany. Coach Dean Herrington of Alemany used to be a mentor for Coach Jim Bonds of St. Francis. Now they want to beat each other so bad that they haven't played golf together in months. What a great matchup of running backs, Oregon State-bound Malcolm Marable vs. St. Francis' Dietrich Riley.

* Norco at Corona Centennial. These two schools have played memorable games featuring the likes of Toby Gerhart, Vontaze Burfict and Matt Scott. It's the run-oriented attack of Norco against the spread offense of Centennial. Arrive early and be prepared to leave late.

* La Puente Bishop Amat at Encino Crespi. Bishop Amat is 8-0. Crespi might be the best 4-4 team in the Southland.

So there you have it. Week 9 could be better than championship week. The Times plans live blogging from Roosevelt-Garfield, Crenshaw-Dorsey and Fountain Valley-Edison.

It's personal

Garfield Coach Lorenzo Hernandez has a problem. His wife, Martha, is a Garfield graduate, and she doesn't like losing to Roosevelt, so the game against the Rough Riders has family consequences.

"She doesn't care if we're playing Mater Dei or Servite," Hernandez said. "We just have to beat Roosevelt."

Proving he belongs

When receiver Ryan Wolfe graduated from Newhall Hart in 2005, he had one scholarship offer, to Nevada Las Vegas. He is 24 receptions from becoming the fifth player in college football to reach 300 receptions.

"I used it as motivation to prove I was worthy of playing at the Division I level and have people think twice," Wolfe said. "I've been working hard these last four years, and it's coming together."

Wolfe already has his degree in kinesiology from Las Vegas and is working on his master's in sports education and leadership. He should be an NFL draft pick.

He advises about the recruiting process: "It's not hard to turn a bad situation into a positive one."



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