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Fryer on football: Previews, predictions for Week 5
Steve Fryer's analysis and predictions for the top games in Week 5, plus the full schedule of games for the week.
GAME OF THE WEEK
NO. 10 SAN CLEMENTE (4-1) VS. NO. 6 TESORO (4-1)
Where, when: Tesoro High, Friday, 7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports West, Friday, 8:30 p.m. (delayed)
Coaches: San Clemente, Jaime Ortiz (23-16); Tesoro, Matt Poston (22-7)
Last time they met: 2014, Tesoro 59, San Clemente 38
Series: San Clemente leads, 6-5
Analysis: San Clemente opened the season with a 34-20 loss to San Juan Hills. At the time, that looked like an upset. San Clemente was CIF-Southern Section Southwest Division runnerup last year. San Juan Hills was 4-7 in 2014. Since that season opener, San Juan Hills won its next four games, including a 54-26 humbling of Los Alamitos last week. San Clemente’s loss to San Juan Hills no longer looks like an upset. The Tritons have improved as quarterback Jack Sears has improved. He has completed 70 percent of his passes for an average of 190 yards a game with 12 touchdowns and two interceptions. Sears throws to one of the better pass-catchers in the county, 6-foot-4, 215-pound senior tight end Cole Fotheringham who is fast for a guy of his size. Last year’s San Clemente quarterback, 2014 O.C. offensive player of the year Sam Darnold, was a good runner and so is Sears. Sears is averaging 9 yards a carry and 65 rushing yards a game. The Tritons’ inside-outside running back tandem of Vlad Dzhabiyev and Brandon Reaves is outstanding. Tesoro has wins over Corona del Mar, Edison and Upland. The Titans’ loss was to county No. 1 Mater Dei. They have the county’s leading passer, Arizona-committed senior Devon Modster. He has thrown for 1,455 yards and nine touchdowns with one interception. Tesoro receiver Carter Jaenichen’s 33 receptions are the third most in the county. Running back Anthony Battista has returned from injury to give the Titans another offensive weapon. This might be as high-scoring as last year’s game, in which the teams combined for 97 points. The winner probably will be the same this time.
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All games 7 p.m. unless noted
EL MODENA (3-1) VS. YORBA LINDA (1-3)
Where, when: Yorba Linda High, 7 p.m.
Analysis: El Modena last week came close to snagging what would have been one of the larger upsets of the season. The Vanguards lost to Villa Park, 10-9. They had a 9-0 lead. El Modena’s defense is allowing only 10 points a game. The defense has been helped by the ball-control offense. Vanguards running back Kenneth Lamb is averaging 114 yards a game and 23 carries a game. As a team, El Modena is rushing for 174 yards a game. Yorba Linda has a good ground game, too, led by Mason Winter’s 126 rushing yards a game. El Modena’s defense and solidly conservative offense should get the Vanguards to 4-1.
Winner: El Modena
CREAN LUTHERAN (3-2) VS. CAPISTRANO VALLEY CHRISTIAN (1-3)
Where, when: Capistrano Valley High, 7 p.m.
Analysis: Crean is on a two-game winning streak and on a two-game, high-scoring streak. The Saints beat California Military Institute of Perris, 50-7, on Sept. 18 and Mammoth of Mammoth Lakes, 58-0, last week. They lost to teams to which they should have lost, Saddleback Valley Christian and Mission Prep of San Luis Obispo. SVC and Mission Prep are superior teams. So might be Capistrano Valley Christian. The Eagles are 2-2 on the field, with a forfeit loss overturning a win over Tri-City Christian of Vista. Capistrano Valley Christian quarterback Dawson Piper is averaging 256 passing yards a game. His chief target is senior Ben Sukut, one of O.C.’s better small-schools players, who has 27 catches for 525 yards and eight touchdowns. Sukut, who also plays defensive back, is averaging 10 tackles a game. Crean is a hot team, but CVC is better than the teams Crean has seen lately.
Winner: Capistrano Valley Christian
No. 8 San Juan Hills (5-0) vs. Beckman (2-2) at Tustin High
Ocean View (2-2) at Estancia (1-3)
Rancho Alamitos (3-1) vs. Loara (0-4) at Glover Stadium
Century (2-2) vs. La Quinta (1-3) at Bolsa Grande High
Narbonne of Harbor City (2-2) vs. Los Alamitos (2-2) at Veterans Stadium/Long Beach, 7:30 p.m.
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EL TORO (3-2) VS. CAPISTRANO VALLEY (4-1)
Where, when: Capistrano Valley High, 7 p.m.
Analysis: This was one of the better rivalries in county football in the 1980s when these two squared off in South Coast League games. El Toro has won three in a row since opening 0-2. One of those wins was against Corona del Mar, 13-7. It takes a heck of a defense to hold Corona del Mar to seven points. Capistrano Valley made the playoffs and will do so again. The Cougars have wins over teams you would expect them to beat – Long Beach Jordan, El Rancho of Pico Rivera, Castle Park of Chula Vista and Kennedy – and lost to team you would expect to beat them – San Juan Hills. If El Toro’s defensive effort is similar to what it was against Corona del Mar, then El Toro will win.
Winner: El Toro
VALENCIA (4-0) VS. LAGUNA HILLS (4-0)
Where, when: Laguna Hills High, 7 p.m.
Analysis: Two of the grand veterans of coaching take their teams into this one. Mike Marrujo is in his 35th season coaching at Valencia. Bruce Ingalls is in his 30th season coaching at Laguna Hills. Both teams so far have not played teams as good as will be playing in this game. Valencia has wins over Yorba Linda, Brea Olinda, El Dorado and Troy. Those are not great teams. But they are wins nonetheless. After beating Inglewood in the season opener, Laguna Hills has three wins in a row over Pacific Coast League teams Northwood, Woodbridge and Irvine. Those are not great teams. But they are wins nonetheless. Valencia will be the best team Laguna Hills has faced so far.
WESTMINSTER (4-0) VS. PACIFICA (3-1)
Where, when: Bolsa Grande High, 7 p.m.
Analysis: Westminster opened the season with a 27-26 upset win over Garden Grove. The Lions have kept rolling from there with wins over Marina, Laguna Beach and Magnolia. But key players are incurring injuries, including leading rusher Jose Avila who turned an ankle last week and might not be able to play in this one. Westminster will need all of the offensive weapons they can muster against Pacifica. The Mariners last week beat Aliso Niguel, 37-20. They are averaging 38 points a game. Pacifica quarterback Nick Garcia has completed 64 percent of his passes for 190 yards a game. He is averaging 78 rushing yards a game. Mariners running back Marcus Tolbert has rushed for 420 yards and four touchdowns. Pacifica lost to Garden Grove, which lost to Westminster. Logically, that would indicate a Westminster win in this one. Pacifica, though, could be the better and healthier team this week.
CANYON (2-2) VS. FOOTHILL (3-1)
Where, when: Tustin High, 7 p.m.
Analysis: Canyon advanced to the CIF-SS Southern Divison semifinals last year. The Comanches might be better this year. Their losses are to teams that should beat them, Edison and San Juan Hills. Their wins are over Troy and Esperanza. That win over Esperanza caught the eye. Foothill is not as good as Edison or San Juan Hills, but the Knights are better than Troy and Esperanza. Foothill quarterback Preston Moebius is having the quality year expected, averaging 150 passing yards and 65 rushing yards a game. Canyon quarterback Jason Harman is a good one, too, averaging 198 passing yards and 44 rushing yards a game. This is another of those Century Conference cross-league battles (Canyon is in the conference’s North Hills League, Foothill in the Crestview League). Crestview teams will win most of these games, including this one thanks to Foothill’s defense.
SONORA (4-0) VS. ALISO NIGUEL (2-3)
Where, when: Aliso Niguel High, 7 p.m.
Analysis: It’s a running-game-vs.-passing-game matchup. Sonora running back Jacob Fimbres is the county’s No. 2 rusher at 799 yards (the leader is Santa Ana’s Jorge Briseno with 902 yards). Aliso Niguel quarterback Nick Chapman has been busy. His 174 pass attempts are the most in the county. He has completed 57 percent of them for an average of 245 yards a game with 15 touchdowns and four interceptions. If Sonora’s defense can pressure Chapman and the offense gets its usual production from Fimbes, the Raiders will win the game.
IRVINE (3-1) VS. TROY (2-2)
Where, when: Fullerton High, 7 p.m.
Analysis: One of Troy’s wins came when Yorba Linda had to forfeit after beating Troy, 38-0. The Warriors lost to Valencia last week, 28-14, and their only win is over 0-4 El Dorado, 33-16. Troy needs to get better and soon, because they go into Freeway League play next week and this year’s Freeway League is stronger than it has been in some time. Irvine is a tough team to figure out. The Vaqueros were overwhelmed in a 39-15 loss to Esperanza that later became a forfeit win for Irvine. They played well against Laguna Hills but lost, 14-7. So, Irvine appears to be improving. We’re going with Irvine in a close one.
CALVARY CHAPEL (2-2) VS. SADDLEBACK VALLEY CHRISTIAN (4-0)
Where, when: San Juan Hills High, 7 p.m.
Analysis: Calvary Chapel clobbered Sage Hill, 40-7, in its season opener that was marred by an abundance of penalties, including some of the personal-foul variety. The Eagles handed Bassett of La Puente its only loss, then lost to Ontario Christian by three points and to undefeated University by one. They have a balanced offense with running back Ben Stack (83 rushing yards a game, 9 yards a carry) and quarterback Patrick Glasgow (247 passing yards a game). Saddleback Valley Christian, coached by 26-year-old SVC alum Brendan Chambers, is averaging 47 points a game and winning by an average margin of 35 points a game. Junior quarterback Cade Henjum has thrown 11 touchdown passes to five receivers. Calvary Chapel should outscore Saddleback Christian in a high-scoring game.
Winner: Calvary Chapel
Sage Hill (1-4) at University (4-0)
Western (1-3) at Buena Park (3-1)
Los Amigos (0-4) at Trabuco Hills (0-5)
Katella (4-0) at El Rancho of Pico Rivera (0-4)
Garden Grove (3-1) at Roosevelt of Eastvale (0-4)
Santiago (0-4) vs. Savanna (1-3) at Glover Stadium
Dana Hills (0-5) vs. Cypress (1-3) at Western High
Anaheim (2-2) vs. Godinez (1-3) at Segerstrom High
El Dorado (0-4) Villa Park (4-0) at El Modena High
Bolsa Grande (0-4) vs. Santa Ana (4-0) at Santa Ana Stadium
Brea Olinda (1-3) vs. Esperanza (0-4) at Yorba Linda High
Mira Costa of Manhattan Beach (4-0) at Newport Harbor (2-2)
St. Margaret's (4-0) vs. Whittier Christian (3-2) at Whittier College
Aquinas of San Bernardino (2-2) vs. Saddleback (3-1) at Santa Ana Sports Complex
Mira Mesa of San Diego (4-1) vs. Fountain Valley (2-2) at Huntington Beach High
St. Michael's Prep (0-4) at Cornerstone Christian of Wildomar (3-2)
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No games scheduled
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Fryer on Football last week: 8-2
Season to date: 36-13-1
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