Fryer on football: Previews & predictions for Week 2
Taking a look at this week's top games:
GAME OF THE WEEK
NO. 3 ORANGE LUTHERAN (1-1) VS. CENTENNIAL OF CORONA
Where, when: Centennial of Corona High, Friday, 7 p.m.
Live coverage: Streaming at foxsports.com/west/prepzone-stream
Coaches: Orange Lutheran, Chuck Petersen (19-14 at Orange Lutheran); Matt Logan (212-47 at Centennial)
Last time teams met: 2015, Centennial 49, Orange Lutheran 27, CIF-SS Pac-5 Division playoffs, second round
Series record: Centennial leads, 3-0
Analysis: This is the third Orange Lutheran-Centennial game in 12 months. Lutheran lost to the Huskies in a 2015 nonleague game, 35-14, and lost to them in the CIF-Southern Section Pac-5 Division second round, 49-27. Both of those games were at Orange Coast College, the Lancers’ home field. Lutheran played Centennial in 2014, too, when Centennial won a close one, 52-49, in the Honor Bowl at Oceanside. Centennial, last year’s Pac-5 champion, is No. 3 in CalHiSports.com’s California top 25. Lutheran dropped out of the state top 25 and out of the CIF-SS Division 1 top 10 after a Week 0 loss to La Mirada, 21-14. The Lancers got their first 2016 win last week with a 23-3 triumph over Crespi of Encino. Quarterback Ryan Hilinski (324 yards, three touchdowns and one interception over two games) can expect to feel some pressure from the Huskies. He’s a sophomore and teams are going to harass a sophomore quarterback as much as possible. It is essential that Lutheran establish a running game to take some of the pressure off of Hilinski and to keep the ball away from Centennial’s offense as much as possible. That could mean a bunch of carries for Lutheran senior running back Dominik Austin, who rushed for 90 yards on 18 attempts last week after gaining 41 yards on 12 attempts against La Mirada. The Huskies score a lot. They have scored 105 points over two games, a 56-49 win over Chandler of Arizona and last week’s 50-49 loss to Florida’s IMG Academy in the Honor Bowl. (IMG has players from 26 states and eight countries … and you thought Trinity League teams dominated the athletes import field). Centennial junior quarterback Tanner McKee threw for 474 yards and three touchdowns against IMG. Senior running back Miles Reed rushed for 178 yards and three touchdowns on 41 carries. Playing a team that good, coming off of a tough loss, and at that team’s first on-campus game of the season, is not going to be easy.
All games 7 p.m. unless noted
EL MODENA (1-0) VS. KENNEDY (1-1)
Where, when: Western High, 7 p.m.
Analysis: El Modena is ranked No. 1 in CIF-SS Division 8. The Vanguards were not great in last week’s 36-25 win over Woodbridge. They had the usual opening-game issues – lining up incorrectly, missed assignment. But El Modena won because it did what it has done frequently the past couple of seasons. The Vanguards played their best football in the fourth quarter. First-year coach Matt Mitchell has picked up where his predecessor, Ed Drzanek, still the school’s athletic director, left off in making team spirit a priority. Kennedy is a prideful program, too. The Fighting Irish, which lost to Katella, 29-24, two weeks ago and cruised to a 48-10 win over Northwood last week, have a good running game led by back Alonzo Pineda who has 274 yards and four touchdowns. El Modena moved the ball best last week when it handed off to Dillon Keefe, who rushed for 96 yards. This will be a grind-it-out night at Handel Stadium.
Winner: El Modena
ESPERANZA (1-0) VS. KATELLA (2-0)
Where, when: Glover Stadium, 7 p.m.
Analysis: These teams were Empire League rivals, a long time ago. Esperanza underwent a coaching change when Tommy Storing was promoted from defensive coordinator to head coach in early August. That’s never a great situation. The Aztecs came into the season with few returning starters, but the new kids made a fine debut last week in a 22-15 win over Irvine. Hayden Winters rushed for 180 yards and two touchdowns in that one. Katella has wins over Kennedy and Western. Not exactly head-turning wins, but those are teams of Katella’s level so those are quality wins. Knights running back Francisco Pineda, last season’s Orange League MVP, has rushed for 162 yards and two touchdowns. Backfield mate James Fraser ran for 79 yards last week. James Fatasia is making big players for Katella as a receiver and defensive back. It looks like a close game. If Katella’s defense plays better than it did the past two weeks, the Knights will win.
Cabrillo of Long Beach vs. No. 9 Villa Park (1-0) at El Modena High
El Rancho of Pico Rivera (0-2) vs. No. 17 Newport Harbor (1-0) at Estancia High
Sunny Hills (2-0) vs. Godinez (0-1) at Santa Ana Valley High
Orange (2-0) vs. Santiago (1-1) at Garden Grove High
Anaheim (0-1) vs. Santa Ana (1-0) at Santa Ana Stadium
Rancho Alamitos (1-0) vs. Ocean View (0-2) at Westminster High
Brethren Christian (2-0) vs. Workman of Industry (0-1) at La Puente High
University (1-0) at Pioneer of Whittier (0-2)
NO. 11 LA HABRA (1-1) VS. NO. 2 MISSION VIEJO (2-0)
Where, when: Mission Viejo High, 7 p.m.
Live coverage: Live streaming at foxsports.com/west/prepzone-stream
Analysis: La Habra was not productive on offense last week in a 14-13 overtime loss at Tesoro. Maybe that was Tesoro’s defense. Maybe it’s too early to make a conclusion. La Habra had touchdowns on an interception return and a punt return called back because of penalties. La Habra was fine defensively. Highlanders defensive back/kick returner/running back Madison Wheeler is going to be in the All-County discussion if he keeps it up. Win or lose, give La Habra and its coach, Frank Mazzotta, credit for taking on this game. Mazzotta knows these challenges make his team better. That’s why La Habra has seven CIF-SS championships. Mission Viejo is very productive on offense. And defense. And special teams. The Diablos are No. 4 in Division 1 and No. 5 in California. They too have a fine collection of CIF-SS championship plaques. They will prove why throughout this game.
Winner: Mission Viejo
NO. 20 EL TORO (0-2) VS. NO. 14 CORONA DEL MAR (1-1)
Where, when: Estancia High, 7 p.m.
Analysis: El Toro is the best 0-2 team in O.C. football. The Chargers lost to La Habra, 42-34, at La Habra, which is a difficult venue for visiting teams, and took the long bus trip to Chula Vista last week, where they lost to Eastlake, 41-21. Don’t worry about good teams that lose after long bus trips early in the season. Who knows where high school kids’ heads are after sitting on a bus with their friends for 90-plus miles. El Toro is the favorite to win the Sea View League. Junior quarterback Cooper Jones, not expected to be the starter until last year’s all-league starter, Dawit Wilson, transferred away, has completed 56 percent of his passes for 709 yards. Austin Derrico has 19 receptions for 295 yards and Noah Aguilar has 18 catches for 217 yards. They, too, are juniors. Corona del Mar lost at Palos Verdes in the Sea Kings’ season opener and won at Los Gatos, 31-13, last week. Senior quarterback Chase Garbers is playing as well as expected, completing 62 percent of his passes for 440 yards. Even against a fine El Toro team, Garbers could be set for a terrific game.
Winner: Corona del Mar
DE LA SALLE OF CONCORD (2-0) VS. NO. 6 SERVITE (1-1)
Where, when: Cerritos College, 7 p.m.
Live coverage: Live streaming at foxsports.com/west/prepzone-stream
Analysis: De La Salle is like the Rolling Stones of high school football – if you’ve never seen them play, you really should give them a look. Last week, De La Salle beat a team that Northern Californians thought was pretty good, Serra of San Mateo. The Spartans won, 47-13, and had a 32-7 lead at halftime. De La Salle junior running back Kairee Robinson ran for 123 yards and two touchdowns and scored on an 84-yard reception. Servite trampled Fountain Valley two weeks ago, 44-0, and lost to Bishop Amat of La Puente, 14-10, last week. Fountain Valley is struggling, so forget that game. Before playing Servite, Bishop Amat lost to Mater Dei by 49 points. So you get the idea that Servite might be in for a long night against De La Salle. It’s not impossible for Servite to win. If the Friars are ahead or close at halftime, their well-respected brotherhood vibe will kick in and who knows what happens next. But De La Salle’s skill and, especially, execution could be too much.
Winner: De La Salle
MARINA (2-0) VS. WESTMINSTER (0-1)
Where, when: Westminster High, 7 p.m.
Analysis: Marina, which has had a difficult time succeeding in the always-tough Sunset League, is off to a good start. The Vikings have defeated Dana Hills and Ocean View. Those are not O.C. top 25 teams. But they are similar to Marina, so those are fine wins for the Vikings. And this week, Marina is in a top 10 for the first time in a long time. The Vikings are No. 10 in CIF-SS Division 12. Marina quarterback Ian Green is averaging 149 passing yards over the two games and has five touchdown passes with no interceptions. Running back Blain Riederich has rushed for 264 yards. Westminster lost to Garden Grove last week, 28-21. Garden Grove is good, so no shame in that loss. Westminster will be a playoff team this year, as usual. These teams are close geographically, so there is a bit of a neighborhood vibe. Westminster beat Marina last year, 42-20, and won their meeting, 56-7, two years ago. Maybe, finally, it’s Marina’s time.
NO. 16 SAN JUAN HILLS (2-0) VS. NO. 15 CAPISTRANO VALLEY (2-0)
Where, when: Capistrano Valley High, 7 p.m.
Analysis: San Juan Hills, led by a great group of seniors, went 8-3 in 2015. It would be fair to expect them to tumble this season. But so far, so good. San Juan Hills has wins over Dos Pueblos of Goleta and Canyon. Doug Jackson, a transfer from San Clemente, has completed 67 percent of his passes for 445 yards. He has an outstanding receiver, who will make any quarterback look better, Jacob Huff, who has 13 receptions for 200 yards and three touchdowns. Capistrano Valley is off to a great start. The Cougars beat Valencia and El Rancho of Pico Rivera by a cumulative score of 93-7. Senior quarterback Kevin Brown, being recruited by several Ivy League schools, has completed 65 percent of his passes for 258 yards and seven touchdowns with no interceptions. Three of Capo Valley’s receivers, Nathan Manning, Gianni Munoz and Riley Kaspar, have at least two touchdown catches each. This game could be as close as their O.C. rankings suggest.
Winner: Capistrano Valley
NO. 7 JSERRA (2-0) VS. BISHOP AMAT OF LA PUENTE (1-1)
Where, when: Bishop Amat, 7 p.m.
Analysis: A few years ago, a look at this matchup would probably elicit a “JSerra at Amat? Sorry, JSerra.” JSerra has grown into a solid, consistent program, and has done so in the high-pressure environments of the Trinity League and south-county football. JSerra got a huge win last week when it beat Alemany of Mission Hills, 28-27, in overtime at Alemany. Junior quarterback Matt Robinson, one of many non-seniors at key positions for JSerra, threw for 166 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 123 yards. Last year, JSerra was dead in the water at 0-3 in the Trinity League when the Lions beat Mater Dei and Orange Lutheran in the final two weeks of the regular season. Big games against excellent opponents, home or away, are no big deal for JSerra these days.
La Mirada (1-1) vs. No. 1 Mater Dei (2-0) at Santa Ana Stadium
No. 4 Santa Margarita (1-1) at Alemany of Mission Hills (1-1)
Roosevelt of Los Angeles (0-2) at No. 5 San Clemente (1-1)
No. 7 Edison (2-0) vs. Canyon (0-2) at El Modena High
No. 10 Tesoro (1-1) at Huntington Beach (1-1)
No. 12 Buena Park (2-0) at Warren of Downey (0-1-1)
No. 13 Los Alamitos (1-1) at Lakewood (0-2)
Yorba Linda (1-0) vs. No. 18 Troy (2-0) at Fullerton High
No. 21 Tustin (1-1) at Aliso Niguel (1-1)
Valencia (0-2) at No. 22 Brea Olinda (1-0)
No. 24 St. Margaret's 2-0) at Valley Christian of Cerritos (1-1)
Fullerton (1-0) at Bellflower
Irvine (0-1) at Western (1-1)
Pacifica (0-2) at Dana Hills (0-2)
Costa Mesa (0-2) at La Puente (0-2)
Garden Grove (2-0) at Woodbridge (0-2)
Segerstrom (2-0) at Laguna Beach (2-0)
Mayfair of Lakewood (0-2) at Sonora (0-2)
Saddleback (0-1) at Santa Ana Valley (0-2)
Beckman (1-0) at Elsinore of Wildomar (2-0)
Fountain Valley (0-2) at Trabuco Hills (1-1)
Crean Lutheran (2-0) at Aquinas of San Bernardino (1-0)
Laguna Hills (0-1) vs. Northwood (0-2) at Portola High
Saddleback Valley Christian (1-1) at Baldwin Park (1-1)
Estancia (1-0) vs. El Dorado (0-1) at Valencia High
Bolsa Grande (0-2) vs. Savanna (0-1) at Glover Stadium
Cypress (2-0) vs. Los Amigos (1-0) at Garden Grove High
Whittier Christian (1-1) at Arrowhead Christian of Redlands (1-1)
Ontario Christian (1-1) vs. Calvary Chapel (0-2) at Orange Coast College
Webb of Claremont (1-1) vs. La Quinta (0-1) at Bolsa Grande High
Capistrano Valley Christian (1-1) at Upland Christian of Rancho Cucamonga (0-1)
Century (1-0) vs. Trinity Classical Academy of Valencia (0-1) at Filmore High
Sage Hill vs. New Designs Charter at Santee High
MAGNOLIA (0-2) VS. LOARA (0-1)
Where, when: Glover Stadium, 10 a.m.
Analysis: Up and at ’em! Yes, a 10 a.m. game. Loara lost to Estancia last week, 44-20. The Saxons were 0-10 last year, and their average margin of defeat was 23 points. They were 1-9 in 2014. Magnolia, which missed making the playoffs by one game last year, lost its first two games this year, to Glenn of Norwalk and Artesia of Lakewood. These are two teams that need a win. Everybody familiar with O.C. football knows that Loara coach Mitch Olson will get the program going in the right direction. Maybe this game is that wake-up call.
Fairmont Prep (0-2) at Desert Christian of Lancaster (1-1) at Lancaster High
Fryer on Football last week: 6-4
Season to date: 15-5
Contact the writer: email@example.com