Friday's top high school football games:
No. 23 Encino Crespi (5-1) at No. 8 La Puente Bishop Amat (6-0), 7 p.m. — Crespi has been the odd team out of the playoffs from the Serra League the last two years, but the Celts have hung tough with Bishop Amat. In 2008, Crespi lost by one point to the Lancers, and last year the Celts handed the Serra League champions their only league defeat. Crespi has reeled off five consecutive victories since a season-opening loss to Compton Dominguez, with quarterback Kenny Stenhouse passing for 364 yards and a school-record six touchdowns last week during a 53-47 victory over Woodland Hills Taft. Bishop Amat defeated Dominguez, 21-15, the week after the Dons beat Crespi. The pick: Bishop Amat.
No. 16 Thousand Oaks (4-1, 3-1) at No. 10 Westlake Village Oaks Christian (3-2, 3-1), 7 p.m. — Both teams thumped Simi Valley Royal and were routed by league leader Westlake, though Oaks Christian at least scored a touchdown against the Warriors; Thousand Oaks managed only a field goal during a 31-3 loss. Reaching the end zone usually isn't a problem for a Thousand Oaks offense averaging 31.4 points. Quarterback Avondre Bollar passed for one touchdown and ran for another last week during a come-from-behind 21-12 victory over Agoura. A third defeat would give Oaks Christian more losses than it had in the 2008 and 2009 seasons combined. The pick: Oaks Christian.
No. 18 Santa Margarita (4-1) vs. Orange Lutheran (3-2) at Orange Coast College, 7:30 p.m. — Santa Margarita, off to its best start since it opened the 2006 season 6-0, looks to continue its resurgence under Coach Harry Welch in its Trinity League opener. It will be Welch's first game since undergoing surgery for prostate cancer last week. Lutheran must contend with an offense averaging 45.4 points and 357.8 yards a game. Fourth downs are rare for Santa Margarita, which has punted only five times this season. Lutheran lost back-to-back games before notching a 51-0 victory over St. Albert of Alberta, Canada. Both teams are coming off a bye week. The pick: Santa Margarita.
No. 15 Los Angeles Dorsey (5-0) vs. L.A. Locke (3-2) at Jackie Robinson Stadium, 7 p.m. — Locke has defeated Dorsey in each of the last two seasons to finish second in the Coliseum League behind Crenshaw. For the undefeated Dons to reverse the trend and prove themselves worthy challengers for a league title, they must get past the Saints, who appear to be a notch below the team that advanced to a City Section quarterfinal last season. Locke running back Tony Bell was held to 39 yards last week during a 21-13 loss to San Pedro. Led by quarterback Joseph Gray, Dorsey has outscored its opponents by an average of 22.9 points a game. The pick: Dorsey.
— Ben Bolch