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Encino Crespi is surprise leader in Serra League

Crespi, with a 3-4 overall record and 1-0 in league, defeated Los Angeles Loyola, 32-14, on Friday night and is in first place.

October 19, 2013|Eric Sondheimer

When Friday night's prep football games had been completed, the biggest surprise was which team held first place in the Serra League.

That would be Encino Crespi (3-4, 1-0) after a 32-14 victory over Los Angeles Loyola. The other four league teams all have one loss.

Sophomore Jalen Starks rushed for 183 yards, junior Daniel Collins returned an interception for a touchdown and senior Dylan Klumph kicked a school-record 54-yard field goal.

It was a major turnaround for a Crespi team that has struggled at times under first-year Coach Troy Thomas, who has been holding players accountable for off-the-field issues, leading to weekly suspensions.

"I think things are going exactly the way they needed to," Thomas said. "We're holding guys to a standard, and we're seeing there is a method to the madness."

Next up for Crespi is a neighborhood rivalry game with visiting Sherman Oaks Notre Dame (5-3, 1-1) on Friday night. The game has been decided on the final play the last four seasons.

Diablos march on

Mission Viejo (7-0, 1-0), ranked No. 2 in the Pac-5 Division, is expected to dominate in the South Coast League and did just that in a 70-17 victory over San Clemente.

Ian Fieber passed for 300 yards and three touchdowns. The defense scored three touchdowns.

Oak Park rises

Oak Park (7-1, 2-0) hasn't won a Tri-Valley League title since sharing the crown in 2007. The Eagles moved a step closer to winning the title after a 23-3 victory over previously unbeaten Ojai Nordhoff.

Brandon Coppel made two interceptions, returning one for a touchdown, and also ran 68 yards for a touchdown.

"I'm really happy for our kids," said Coach Terry Shorten. "It's been a long time since we've beaten Nordhoff."

It was Oak Park's first win over Nordhoff since 2006. Oak Park plays another unbeaten team, Santa Barbara Bishop Diego, on the road Friday night.

Top teams lose

Seven teams in The Times' top 25 were beaten this weekend — No. 7 Chaminade, No. 8 Orange Lutheran, No. 11 Notre Dame, No. 15 Chino Hills, No. 16 JSerra, No. 21 Glendora and No. 25 Santa Margarita.

Among top performances: Donavin Washington of Covina Charter Oak caught 14 passes for 213 yards in a 24-17 win over Chino Hills; Maurice Davison had two interceptions in Servite's 30-14 win over Santa Margarita; Coltin Gerhart rushed for 103 yards and scored his 18th touchdown of the season in Vista Murrieta's 43-3 win over Great Oak.

USC decision

Gardena Serra defensive end-linebacker Olajuwon Tucker announced after Friday's victory over Chaminade that he has committed to USC.

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