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ERIC SONDHEIMER / ON HIGH SCHOOLS

West Hills Chaminade Eagles triumph over Venice Gondoliers, 57-33

Venice has an early lead, but Chaminade pulls ahead in the second half behind Cory Watkins, with four touchdown runs.

August 30, 2013|Eric Sondheimer

The only high school football game in Southern California on Friday night featuring two quarterbacks committed to schools from BCS conferences offered intriguing insight into teenagers who could be facing lots of pressure in the coming months depending on their performances this season.

Although Brad Kaaya of West Hills Chaminade and Alexander Diamont of Venice have indicated they remain strongly committed to Miami and Indiana, respectively, additional schools are likely to join the recruiting chase if each performs to his capability.

Both encountered moments of adversity and were required to show resiliency Friday. The Chaminade Eagles dominated the second half behind Cory Watkins (four touchdown runs) to pull away to a 57-33 victory over Venice.

Kaaya had an interception returned 92 yards by Tayon Blockmon and had another interception returned 12 yards for a touchdown by Joseph Dews. He also lost the ball on a bad snap. He finished 20 of 31 for 269 yards and one touchdown.

Diamont was sacked on the opening offensive play and was taken down four times. He had a 74-yard touchdown pass to DaJuan Parham and helped the Gondoliers open a 21-0 lead. But he struggled in the face of relentless defensive pressure. He was eight of 19 for 155 yards and one pass intercepted.

The 6-foot-4 Kaaya is facing almost daily lobbying from teammate JoJo McIntosh, a safety who's committed to UCLA.

"He really wants me to play with him," Kaaya said. "He's really on me."

Kaaya has soared in national recruiting rankings in recent months, and UCLA could end up making an offer.

"I really want him to come with me, but he really likes Miami," McIntosh said. "I'm not going to stop."

As for the 6-2 Diamont, Indiana was the first to make him an offer, and he feels lots of loyalty to the Hoosiers. He's also motivated by the fact that lots of recruiting experts have him ranked below plenty of quarterbacks from Southern California.

"I still think it's ridiculous where I'm ranked," Diamont said. "It's left a chip on my shoulder. I don't forget about the schools that didn't give me a look."

Meanwhile, Kaaya is going to keep hearing from McIntosh. Letter of intent day isn't until Feb. 5.

"Until he signs, he's going to get it," McIntosh said.

eric.sondheimer@latimes.com

Twitter: @LATSondheimer

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