Fryer on football: Previews, predictions for Week 3
Steve Fryer's analysis of the top games and the full schedule of games for Week 3:
GAME OF THE WEEK
NO. 8 LA HABRA (2-1) VS. NO. 7 LOS ALAMITOS (2-0)
Where, when: Veterans Stadium/Long Beach, Friday, 7 p.m.
Coaches: La Habra, Frank Mazzotta (163-54-1); Los Alamitos, John Barnes (308-96-2)
Last time they met: 2012, La Habra 10, Los Alamitos 7, in Southwest Division playoffs, first round.
Series: Los Alamitos leads, 7-1
Analysis: La Habra coach Frank Mazzotta might not say it publicly, because his team did not achieve its goal of winning the game. But the Highlanders played well against Mission Viejo in their 24-14 loss last week. They matched up pretty well physically and in the quickness department. La Habra gets another toughness/quickness test in this game. Los Alamitos still looks like the favorite in the Sunset League. The Griffins have high-scoring wins over Paramount, 49-12, and Lakewood, 53-16. Los Alamitos quarterback Jack Telenko is off to a solid start. He has completed 67 percent of his passes for an average of 280 yards a game with six touchdowns and one interception. Jacob Gasser has nine receptions over two games, as has Holden Edmondson. Gasser is averaging 21 yards a reception. La Habra quarterback Eric Barriere has been terrific, too. He has completed 64 percent of his throws for and average of 202 yards with eight touchdowns and four interceptions. Like every high school quarterback hoping for a college scholarship, Barriere wants to be known as an effective passer in the pocket. But he is at his best on the move, either throwing it or tucking the ball in and running upfield. Los Alamitos coach John Barnes and a couple of assistants were at the Mission Viejo-Los Alamitos game, and they saw how good Mission Viejo was at pressuring Barriere from various angles. Los Alamitos has the quickness on defense to make that happen. These teams are close in the rankings. The final score could be similarly tight.
Winner: Los Alamitos
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All games at 7 p.m. unless noted
NEWPORT HARBOR (2-0) VS. CORONA DEL MAR (2-1)
Where, when: Orange Coast College, 7:30 p.m.
Analysis: The Battle of the Bay. There have been years when one team was much better than the other. Mostly it’s been Newport Harbor that has been superior, as the Sailors’ 38-15 lead in the series proves. Corona del Mar has won the past two bay battles, the first time that has happened the Sea Kings won four in a row against the Sailors, 1985-88. The thinking before the season started was that the Sea Kings would make it three in a row. Then came their 13-7 loss last week to El Toro, which went into that game 0-2. Corona del Mar’s two wins are over teams that are a cumulative 0-6. Newport Harbor’s defense has led the way in wins over Eisenhower of Rialto and El Rancho of Pico Rivera. But consider this: Eisenhower is 0-2 and El Rancho is 0-3. So this is one of those seasons in which Newport and Corona del Mar appear to be very similar in quality. It looks like a matchup of Newport Harbor’s defense vs. Corona del Mar’s offense. We’re going with the Newport defense.
Winner: Newport Harbor
SADDLEBACK (2-0) VS. SUNNY HILLS (2-1)
Where, when: Buena Park High, 7 p.m.
Analysis: Saddleback made the playoffs last year and is off to a good start this year. The Roadrunners have wins of 41-0 over La Quinta and 29-19 over longtime, irritating rival Santa Ana Valley (nothing against you Falcons, as all rivalries should be irritating). Saddleback running back Pedro Leon has been the offensive leader, rushing for 141 yards and six touchdowns. Roadrunners quarterback Ozzy Zuno, equipped with one of the better names in county football, has thrown for 335 yards and four touchdowns. Sunny Hills might have one of its better teams in a few years. The Lancers have wins over Godinez and Santiago, and their loss was by 7-0 to Rubidoux which is 3-0. They have been a run-oriented team, led by David Cabral (279 yards) and Brandon Castelo (254 yards). Sunny Hills’ ball-control offense might grind out another win.
Winner: Sunny Hills
El Modena (2-0) at Western (1-10
Loara (0-2) vs. Katella (2-0) at Glover Stadium
Santa Ana (2-0) vs. Santiago (0-3) at Garden Grove High
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ESPERANZA (2-0) VS. BUENA PARK (2-1)
Where, when: Buena Park High, 7 p.m.
Analysis: Esperanza is looking like those Esperanza teams of the 1990s and 2000s that had great running games. In last week’s 49-14 win over Bellflower, Patrick Campos rushed for 140 yards and scored four touchdowns including 86 yards and three touchdowns in the first quarter. Buena Park has scored 106 points over three games. Actually, that would be over two games. The Coyotes were shut out by Edison, 38-0, two weeks ago. That game is sandwiched between wins of 75-20 over Orange and last week’s 31-15 over Warren of Downey. Buena Park quarterback Zach Taylor threw three touchdown passes against Warren. Buena Park’s athleticism could be the difference in this one.
Winner: Buena Park
YORBA LINDA (1-1) VS. SONORA (3-0)
Where, when: La Habra High, 7 p.m.
Analysis: Jacob Fimbres was a football renaissance man last week for Sonora. He rushed for 144 yards and two touchdowns, had 153 yards and two touchdowns receiving and threw a touchdown pass. Unlike their NFL namesake, these Raiders have a splendid offense. They are averaging 45 points a game, which is the fourth-highest average in county football. Yorba Linda beat a Freeway team last week. The Stallions shut out Troy, 38-0, as Mason Winter rushed for 152 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries. They had a 31-0 lead at halftime. Sonora is better than Troy, and should be better than Yorba Linda, too.
NO. 9 SERVITE (1-2) VS. EDISON (2-1)
Where, when: Orange Coast College, 7 p.m.
Analysis: Servite opened the season with a 45-7 win over Fountain Valley, then lost to teams one should expect the Friars to lose to – Bishop Amat of La Puente, 28-10, and De La Salle of Concord, 52-15. De La Salle is No. 1 and Amat is No. 7 in the California top 25 compiled by CalHiSports.com. Servite is the best 1-2 team in the county, and is better than many 2-1 and 3-0 teams. For the Friars, this game is much like in horse racing in which a horse struggles against top competition before dropping down in class (as the terminology goes) to find competitive equilibrium. That’s not to say Edison can’t win a good race. The Chargers lost big to Tesoro, 35-16, then went wild in wins of 38-0 and 35-0 over Buena Park and Canyon, respectively. They won’t shut out Servite and junior quarterback Tyler Lytle who had a tough time against Amat and De La Salle. Lytle gets untracked, and so does Servite in this one.
NO. 1 MATER DEI (3-0) VS. UPLAND (2-1)
Where, when: Upland High, 7 p.m.
Analysis: This is an interesting challenge for the Monarchs. They won two big ones against Bishop Amat and Tesoro, and avoided that “trap game” business last week with a business-like 42-7 win at La Mirada. Upland is ranked No. 5 in the West Valley Division, which is a very good division. Freshman quarterback JT Daniels must play another clean game, and the Mater Dei defense cannot afford a reduction in intensity. Mater Dei is one game away from playing Edison and two games away from playing Orange Lutheran in a Trinity League opener. If the Monarchs maintain focus, then it’s a happy bus trip home. Long, but happy.
Winner: Mater Dei
BISHOP’S OF LA JOLLA (2-0) VS. ST. MARGARET’S (2-0)
Where, when: St. Margaret’s High, 7 p.m.
Analysis: High-flying St. Margaret’s gets its first test of 2015. The Tartans have scored 97 points over wins against Capistrano Valley Christian and Webb of Claremont. Quarterback George Krantz has completed 68 percent of his passes for an average of 319 yards a game with eight touchdowns and one interception. Bishop’s was 13-0 last year, but that’s in San Diego County where the small-schools football is not nearly as good as it is here. St. Margaret’s has won 29 of its past 32 games. The Tartans should make it 30 for 33.
Winner: St. Margaret’s
NORCO (2-0) VS. NO. 2 MISSION VIEJO (4-0)
Where, when: Mission Viejo High, 7:30 p.m.
TV: Cox3, 11 p.m. (tape)
Analysis: Mission Viejo might be getting a tad weary, having already played four games. Three of them were away games, including one in Bakersfield and another in Hawaii. Diablos coach Bob Johnson has talked about this game being a heck of a challenge. He has a point. Norco is ranked No. 10 in the elite Pac-5 Division and its quarterback, Victor Viramontes, has committed to Michigan. The Cougars are good, sure, but Mission Viejo might be as good as it was last year when the Diablos won the West Valley Division title. They have a superb defense led by lineman Carter Hartmann, and quarterback Brock Johnson made all the throws he needed to make in last week’s 24-14 win at La Habra. Look for Mission Viejo to get a couple of early turnovers, cash them in and get to 5-0.
Winner: Mission Viejo
No. 3 Santa Margarita (3-0) at Westlake of Westlake Village (2-1), 7:30 p.m.
Hamilton of Los Angeles (1-2) at No. 5 JSerra High (3-0)
No. 6 Tesoro (2-1) at West Covina (1-2)
No. 10 San Juan Hills (3-0) vs. Marina (1-2) at Westminster High
Woodbridge (1-2) at Laguna Hills (2-0)
Westminster (2-0) at Laguna Beach (1-2)
Pacifica (2-0) at Garden Grove (1-1)
Valencia (2-0) at El Dorado (0-2)
El Toro (1-2) at Norwalk (1-2)
Estancia (1-1) at Irvine (1-1)
Godinez (1-1) at Segerstrom (1-1-1)
Bolsa Grande (0-2) at Century (1-1)
La Quinta (1-1) at Ocean View (0-2)
Diamond Bar (3-0) at Brea Olinda (0-2)
Dana Hills (0-3) at Aliso Niguel (1-2)
Beckman (1-1) at Glenn of Norwalk (0-3)
Huntington Beach (1-2) at Moorpark (2-1)
Villa Park (2-0) at Pomona (2-1)
La Mirada (1-2) at San Clemente (2-1)
Northwood (0-3) at Santa Ana Valley (0-2-1)
Calvary Chapel (2-1) at University (2-0)
Tustin (2-1) at Paloma Valley of Menifee (2-1)
Savanna (1-1) vs. Orange (1-2) at El Modena High
Magnolia (2-1) vs. Kennedy (1-2) at Western High
Sage Hill (1-2) at Windward of Los Angeles (1-1), 3 p.m.
Saddleback Valley Christian (2-0) at Garey of Pomona (0-3)
Foothill (2-0) at Palos Verdes of Palos Verdes Estates, 3 p.m.
Castle Park of Chula Vista (1-1) at Capistrano Valley (2-1)
Rancho Alamitos (1-1) vs. Anaheim (1-1) at Glover Stadium
Crean Lutheran (1-2) at California Military Institute of Perris (1-2)
Costa Mesa (2-1) vs. Los Amigos (0-2) at Bolsa Grande High
Trabuco Hills (0-3) at Mira Costa of Manhattan Beach (2-0)
Whittier Christian (1-2) at Western Christian of Upland (0-3)
West Adams Prep of Los Angeles (0-3) vs. Fountain Valley (2-1)
Fullerton (3-0) at St. Paul of Santa Fe Springs (2-1), 7:30 p.m.
Crossroads Christian of Corona (2-1) at St. Michael's Prep (0-2), 3:30 p.m.
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NO. 4 ORANGE LUTHERAN (2-1) VS. DE LA SALLE OF CONCORD (2-1)
Where, when: De La Salle, 7 p.m.
Analysis: Servite made the trip last week to De La Salle and got punctured, 52-15. Is it Lutheran’s turn to do the same? Or can Lutheran score the upset? De La Salle is the top-ranked team in California. The Lancers got beat last week by the state’s No. 2 team, Centennial of Corona, 35-14. De La Salle is tough to beat anywhere but especially at the tight confines of its on-campus stadium, which routinely draws huge crowds. A team needs to play error free to beat De La Salle. It needs to get some turnovers and turn them into touchdowns. It needs to control the clock. Guess who is going to do all of that Saturday?
Winner: Orange Lutheran
Also Saturday (all games 7 p.m. unless noted)
Fairmont Prep (1-2) vs. St. Monica (1-1) at Santa Monica College
Capistrano Valley Christian (2-1) vs. Brethren Christian (3-0) at Ocean View High
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Fryer on Football last week: 7-3
Season to date: 21-8-1
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