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Football: It's Birmingham's turn to experience Southern Section tests

September 18, 2013|By Eric Sondheimer

Narbonne, Crenshaw, Venice, Dorsey and Garfield have all done it. Now it's Birmingham's turn to test itself against a Southern Section power or two. First up is Sherman Oaks Notre Dame on Friday night, then Newhall Hart next week.

"It lets us know where are at the midway point of the season and what we have to do to win the whole thing," Coach Jim Rose said.

City Section teams have gotten smart. If they want to compete for a City title, they know they have to play a challenging nonleague schedule to prepare for the big games ahead. And playing a quality Southern Section team does just that. There's a positive whether it's a win or a loss.

Birmingham is 3-0 and coming off a close call against Fairfax, when the Patriots made 12 penalties in the first half, then had to rally to defeat the Lions, 28-20. One weapon Notre Dame should pay special attention to is sophomore running back Sterling Salguero. He plays well against everybody.

As for Notre Dame, which lost in double overtime last week to No. 3-ranked Gardena Serra, Rose said, "They don't miss tackles. They get to the ball. They do everything they're supposed to do. I was really impressed with their defense."

Eric.sondheimer@latimes.com

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