Alemany quarterback Devon Dunn looks for a receiver while playing against… (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles…)
Does Mission Hills Alemany football Coach Dean Herrington truly believe that "defense wins championships?"
"Of course we believe that," he said Saturday morning.
Then how do the Warriors expect to win a Serra League championship after needing to score with 45 seconds left to pull out a 49-42 win over Sherman Oaks Notre Dame on Friday?
"We're pretty good on offense," he said. "People are still going to have to stop us."
Yes, Alemany (6-1) is still the Serra League favorite, thanks to quarterback Devon Dunn, receivers Steven Mitchell and Devin Ross and running back Deshone Randall.
Dunn passed for 282 yards and ran for 122 yards and two touchdowns.
But Alemany faces La Puente Bishop Amat (5-0-1) on Friday night and ends the regular season against Encino Crespi (7-0), and it remains to be seen whether the Warriors are going to be able to rely simply on outscoring teams in shootouts.
"We'll get better on defense," Herrington said.
Injuries forced Alemany to start four sophomores and five juniors on defense.
"Whenever you give up 42 points, you're worried," Herrington said. "But we know they're correctable mistakes."
As for the 5-foot-11 Dunn, who scored the winning touchdown on a four-yard run, Herrington said, "He was awesome."
Roosevelt is in first
Los Angeles Roosevelt (6-1, 3-0) took control of the Eastern League with a 40-34 victory over South East (5-2, 2-1). Gilbert Herrera, taking a direct snap, scored three touchdowns.
"It was Herrera running behind 10 blockers," Coach Javier Cid said.
San Fernando rolls along
San Fernando (6-0) continues to cruise in the Valley Mission League behind junior quarterback Cristian Solano, who completed 11 of 13 passes for 248 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 53 yards and one touchdown in a 54-6 win over Panorama.
Receiver Drew Wolitarsky of Canyon Country Canyon has set a state record for career yards receiving. He has 4,585 yards receiving after catching nine passes for 149 yards and four touchdowns against Golden Valley. Former Taft receiver Steve Smith caught 271 passes for 4,486 yards. Wolitarsky has 240 receptions.
Playing like Peyton
There's probably lots of colleges that wish they had recruited 6-4 senior quarterback Chad Kanoff of Studio City Harvard-Westlake. He made an early commitment to Vanderbilt and what a steal he is.
He has passed for 1,983 yards and 26 touchdowns with only two interceptions. He engineered a 44-11 Mission League victory over Santa Fe Springs St. Paul, passing for 391 yards and six touchdowns.
"We knew they were going to pressure us from all different directions," Coach Scot Ruggles said. "He had to get the right protection and right play call. It's like watching [Peyton] Manning or [Tom] Brady get their team in the right call. He's way ahead of the game. He's fearless. I think he's one of the best around."
Harvard-Westlake (5-1, 1-0) already has equaled its league win total for the last two seasons. And the Wolverines were able to win despite 311 yards rushing by St. Paul's Kurt Scoby.
South Coast showdown
It's now must-win time in the South Coast League, where Tesoro (6-0), Mission Viejo (6-0) and El Toro (7-0) risk not making the Pac-5 Division playoffs with any defeat. Only two teams are guaranteed playoff spots from the league, with the third-place team having to hope for an at-large berth.
So Friday's game between Tesoro and El Toro at Trabuco Hills is a game likely to decide a playoff berth.
"It's a big-time test," El Toro Coach Rob Frith said.
Quarterback Conner Manning of El Toro continues to compile staggering passing statistics. He has passed for 2,939 yards and 30 touchdowns with three interceptions.