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Fryer on football: Previews, predictions for Week 7

STAFF COLUMNIST

OCVarsity's Steve Fryer takes a look at some of the top matchups on the Week 7 football schedule and makes his predictions. 

GAME OF THE WEEK

NO. 5 TESORO (6-1, 1-0) VS. NO. 2 MISSION VIEJO (7-0, 1-0)

Where, when: Mission Viejo High, Friday, 7 p.m.

TV: Fox Sports West, delayed, 10:30 p.m.

Coaches: Tesoro, Matt Poston (15-4); Mission Viejo, Bob Johnson (321-76-1)

Last time they met: 2014, Mission Viejo 12, Tesoro 10

Series: Mission Viejo leads, 7-2

Analysis: The last time Tesoro beat Mission Viejo was in 2008. That was a very good year for Tesoro, which advanced to the CIF-Southern Section Pac-5 Division championship game. This looks like Tesoro’s best chance to beat Mission Viejo since then – especially if quarterback Devon Modster can play. Modster, a senior who committed to Arizona, looked like a leading candidate for Orange County offensive player of the year when he suffered a right shoulder injury (he’s right-handed) against San Clemente on Oct. 2. Poston said Modster’s availability Friday will be a game-time decision. Carter Jaenichen moved from receiver to quarterback last week and played well for the Titans. Jaenichen led the Titans to a win over San Clemente and a league-opening, 31-28 comeback win last week over El Toro. Mission Viejo wiped out Dana Hills last week, 77-0. The Diablos’ starters sat out all of the second half, and the Dana Hills game followed Mission Viejo’s bye week, so the group should be fresh for this one. Mission Viejo senior quarterback Brock Johnson has been sharp, completing 65 percent of his passes for 220 passing yards a game and 17 touchdowns. The Diablos have beaten some good teams – they gave La Habra, Norco and Redondo their only losses thus far in 2015. Tesoro is the best team Mission Viejo will play during the regular season. Mission Viejo, led by its steady offense and quick defense, should win this one.

Winner: Mission Viejo

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All games 7 p.m. unless noted

THURSDAY'S GAMES

(Update: All of Thursday's stories, photos, scores and more)

Sunset League

FOUNTAIN VALLEY (4-2, 1-0) VS. LOS ALAMITOS (2-4, 0-1)

Where, when: Veterans Stadium, Long Beach, 7 p.m.

Analysis: Fountain Valley has won four in a row since opening the season with losses to Servite and Long Beach Wilson. The Barons got a big win last week when they beat Newport Harbor, a victory that lifted Fountain Valley’s chances to secure one of the Sunset League’s three guaranteed playoff berths. Quarterback Chris Olberding has been the offensive star for Fountain Valley. In the 51-20 win over Newport, Olberding contributed 288 yards of total offense, 253 on the ground, and five touchdowns. Los Alamitos has lost four in a row for what looks to be the first time in decades. The Griffins are better than their record suggests. They lost to La Habra on a Hail Mary touchdown pass on the game’s final play, lost to state-ranked Narbonne of Harbor City by a touchdown and last week lost to Edison by three points. Injuries have played a part in the losses, as have turnovers. Los Alamitos needs to keep Olberding in the pocket and limit its turnovers to beat the Barons.

Winner: Los Alamitos

Empire League

Cypress (2-4, 0-1) at Tustin (5-1, 1-0)

Garden Grove League

Bolsa Grande (0-6, 0-1) vs. La Quinta (2-4, 0-1) at Bolsa Grande High

Orange League

Anaheim (3-3, 1-0) vs. Magnolia (2-4, 0-1) at Western High

Katella (6-0, 1-0) vs. Savanna (2-4, 0-1) at Glover Stadium

Orange Coast League

Calvary Chapel (3-3, 1-0) vs. Godinez (3-3, 1-0) at Segerstrom High

Pacific Coast League

Beckman (2-4, 0-1) vs. Corona del Mar (4-2, 1-0) at Estancia High

San Joaquin League

Fairmont Prep (2-4, 0-1) vs. Capistrano Valley Christian (1-5, 0-1) at Capistrano Valley High

Sunset League

Edison (3-3, 1-0) vs. Marina (1-5, 0-1) at Huntington Beach High

Nonleague

Canyon (3-3) at Yorba Linda (2-4)

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FRIDAY'S GAMES

Freeway League

BUENA PARK (5-1, 1-0) VS. LA HABRA (5-1, 1-0)

Where, when: La Habra High, 7 p.m.

Analysis: Buena Park looked like a Freeway League championship challenger before the season began. The in-season addition of transfers enhanced the Coyotes’ profile. Are the Coyotes finally good enough to knock off the Highlanders? Probably not. La Habra has a terrific quarterback, Eric Barriere, who had a rare bad game last week – he was 5 for 23 in a 35-7 win over Sonora. Cortlin Taylor rushed for 155 yards and four touchdowns against Sonora. La Habra’s loss was to Mission Viejo, 24-14. The Highlanders played well enough in that one to beat 90 percent of the teams in Orange County. If they play close to that well in this one, they will win. Beating Buena Park would not officially clinch a ninth consecutive league championship, but it would realistically.

Winner: La Habra

Garden Grove League

GARDEN GROVE (4-2, 1-0) VS. RANCHO ALAMITOS (5-1, 1-0)

Where, when: Bolsa Grande High, 7 p.m.

Analysis: The Garden Grove League title will be decided here. Garden Grove has been on top of the league for several seasons. The Argonauts usually have a dominating offensive player. This year, that player is running back Jordan Antunez. He is averaging 155 yards a game and has rushed for 14 touchdowns. Rancho Alamitos does something well that few teams do well in the Garden Grove League – pass the football. Quarterback Blake Culbert is averaging 256 passing yards a game and has thrown 14 touchdown passes. Vaqueros receiver Jesse Candelario has 24 catches for 302 yards and two touchdowns. Joe Navar is averaging 101 receiving yards a game with seven touchdowns for Rancho. Garden Grove’s defense has a challenge here, which they can handle.

Winner: Garden Grove

Sea View League

LAGUNA HILLS (5-1, 1-0) VS. CAPISTRANO VALLEY (4-3, 0-1)

Where, when: Capistrano Valley High, 7 p.m.

Analysis: It has been a fine season for Laguna Hills, whose gentleman coach Bruce Ingalls is making this his final season running the Hawks. They have a couple of shutout wins – and a shutout loss. Valencia blanked Laguna Hills, 35-0. That might say more about how good Valencia is than anything else. Hawks quarterback Mitch O’Hair has been steady, averaging 165 passing yards a game. Capistrano Valley running back Tyler Waggoner has been the Cougars’ offensive leader, averaging 103 rushing yards a game with 12 touchdowns. Cougars quarterback Kevin Brown is averaging 148 passing yards a game. Capistrano Valley has lost two in a row by scores of 44-0 and 42-6. But those were against tough teams, El Toro and San Clemente, respectively. The Cougars should get back in the win column here.

Winner: Capistrano Valley

South Coast League

No. 8 SAN JUAN HILLS (6-0, 0-0) VS. EL TORO (4-3, 0-1)

Where, when: El Toro High, 7 p.m.

Analysis: At every level of football teams play well in their first game after their bye week. San Juan Hills had last week off after scoring 61 points in a win over Beckman on Oct. 1. The Stallions scored 54 against Los Alamitos the previous week and are averaging 48 points a game and have won their games by an average margin of 30 points a game. Nebraska-committed quarterback Patrick O’Brien has completed 77 of his passes for an average of 287 yards a game with 15 touchdowns and only one interception. El Toro has enjoyed a string of fine quarterbacks and Dawit Wilson is continuing the tradition, averaging 223 passing yards a game with 16 touchdowns. El Toro had a three-touchdown lead against Tesoro but lost by three points. El Toro’s defense has been a strength. The Chargers shut out Capistrano Valley and handled a terrific Corona del Mar offense in a 13-7 win. San Juan Hills, though, can overwhelm just about any defense.

Winner: San Juan Hills

Sunset League

NEWPORT HARBOR (2-4, 0-1) VS. HUNTINGTON BEACH (3-3, 1-0)

Where, when: Huntington Beach High, 7 p.m.

Analysis: This is another of those games that could ultimately decide who goes to the playoffs and who does not. Edison’s win over Los Alamitos last week puts the Chargers in the driver’s seat to win the league championship. Los Alamitos looks good enough to be the league’s No. 2 team, with the others probably fighting to be the league’s third and final playoff representative. (The West Valley Division, to which the Sunset League belongs, does have two at-large berths.) Newport Harbor has lost four in a row, including a 51-20 loss to Fountain Valley in a Sunset League opener. The other three losses were to other good teams – Corona del Mar, San Clemente and Mira Costa of Manhattan Beach. Huntington Beach thumped Marina, 32-0, last week. The Oilers’ losses are to high-quality teams: San Clemente, JSerra and Moorpark. This could be a close, low-scoring game decided in the final moments.

Winner: Huntington Beach

Trinity League

ST. JOHN BOSCO (6-0, 1-0) VS. NO. 1 MATER DEI (6-0, 1-0)

Where, when: Santa Ana Stadium, 7 p.m.

Live coverage: foxsportswest.com

Analysis: If there is a Trinity League team that can beat St. John Bosco, it’s Mater Dei. The Monarchs have good team speed on defense, running back Brandon LaMarche has been a bulldog, and freshman quarterback JT Daniels has a fast, sure-handed group of receivers that can stretch the field. Bosco is strong in all of those categories, but more so. Braves quarterback Quentin Davis has completed 69 percent of his passes for an average of 281 yards a game with 18 touchdowns and only one interception. Running back Sean McGrew, one of the faster ball carriers in the Southern Section, is averaging 115 rushing yards a game and 9 yards a carry. Bosco is averaging 64 points a game and their average margin of victory is 53 points. The Braves look untouchable.

Winner: St. John Bosco

NO. 3 ORANGE LUTHERAN (3-3, 0-1) VS. NO. 6 SERVITE (3-3, 1-0)

Where, when: Cerritos College, 7 p.m.

Analysis: Orange Lutheran made some big plays on offense and defense in its 49-35 loss last week to Mater Dei. Mater Dei made more big plays on offense and defense. Lancers quarterback Lj Northington is a tough challenge for any defense. He can throw on the run with power and accuracy, or can tuck it in and run for the first down or the touchdown. Servite beat JSerra, 39-38, last week as backup quarterback Aaron Simpson scored with six seconds remaining on a 22-yard run then threw two-point conversion pass to Ryan Melvin for the winning points. That’s a confidence-building win for the Servite, which needed it after a 31-point loss to Bishop Gorman of Las Vegas. Servite, this year and in any year, is most dangerous when it believes in itself. The feeling here is that Lutheran’s overall talent advantage wins out.

Winner: Orange Lutheran

NO. 4 SANTA MARGARITA (4-2, 0-1) VS. JSERRA (5-1, 0-1)

Where, when: Saddleback College, 7 p.m..

Analysis: In most leagues, starting 0-1 is not that big of a deal. In the Trinity League, it is. Because when you look at your four remaining league games you see nothing but opponents that are or have been in the state top 25. And if you’re 0-2, your chances of making the playoffs are small, even in the Pac-5 Division which has two at-large playoff berths. So this is a huge game for both teams. Santa Margarita was overwhelmed last week in a 62-14 loss to St. John Bosco. That’s not good for the Santa Margarita psyche, even if it should be accepted that Bosco is often going to beat good teams that way. JSerra lost in the final seconds to Servite. That’s not good for the JSerra psyche. Both teams have to send last week’s memories to the recycling bin and then empty the recycling bin. Santa Margarita quarterback KJ Costello turned an ankle against Bosco but might OK for this one. With our without Costello, Santa Margarita’s offense should score enough to get the Eagles to 1-1 in league.

Winner: Santa Margarita

Academy League

Sage Hill (1-6, 0-1) at St. Margaret's (5-1, 0-0)

Empire League

Western (1-5, 0-1) at Valencia (6-0, 1-0)

Pacifica (5-1, 1-0) vs. Kennedy (2-4, 0-1) at Western High

Freeway League

Fullerton (4-2, 0-1) vs. Troy (4-2, 1-0) at Fullerton High

Sonora (5-1, 0-1) vs. Sunny Hills (4-2, 0-1) at Buena Park High

Orange League

Santa Ana Valley (1-4-1, 1-0) at Century (2-4, 0-1)

Orange Coast League

Laguna Beach (2-4, 0-1) vs. Saddleback (3-3, 0-1) at Segerstrom High

Costa Mesa (5-1, 1-0) at Estancia (1-5, 0-1)

Garden Grove League

Santiago (0-6, 0-1) vs. Los Amigos (1-5, 1-0) at Garden Grove High

Golden West League

Santa Ana (6-0, 1-0) at Ocean View (3-3, 0-1)

Orange (3-3, 0-1) at Westminster (5-1, 1-0)

Segerstrom (3-2, 1-0) vs. Loara (0-6, 0-1) at Glover Stadium

Olympic League

Valley Christian of Cerritos (5-2, 1-0) vs. Whittier Christian (3-4, 0-1) at Whittier College

Pacific Coast League

Irvine (3-3, 0-1) vs. Woodbridge (2-4, 0-1) at University High

University (6-0, 1-0) vs. Northwood (2-4, 1-0) at Irvine High

San Joaquin League

Saddleback Valley Christian (6-0, 1-0) vs. Southlands Christian of Walnut (5-1, 0-1) at Rowland High of Rowland Heights

Sea View League

Trabuco Hills (1-5, 0-0) at Aliso Niguel (2-5, 0-1)

Nonleague

Flintridge Prep of La Canada (2-4) at Crean Lutheran (5-2), 3:30 p.m.

El Dorado (0-6) vs. Esperanza (0-6) at Yorba Linda High

Brea Olinda (3-3) vs. Villa Park (6-0) at El Modena High

Brethren Christian (6-0) at Dymally of Los Angeles (0-5)

El Modena (4-2) vs. Foothill (4-2) at Tustin High

8-man

Express League

Rolling Hills Prep of San Pedro (2-2) at St. Michael’s Prep (0-4), 3:30 p.m.

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SATURDAY'S GAMES

No games scheduled

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Fryer on Football last week: 9-1

Season to date: 50-19-1

Contact the writer: sfryer@ocregister.com


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Football:

Santa Ana 14, Rancho Christian 52 - 01:01 4th QT - Completed

Football:

Calabasas 35, Capistrano Valley 14 - 00:00 4th QT - Completed

Football:

St. John Bosco 21, Mater Dei 14 - 00:33 2nd QT - Completed

Football:

Edison 44, La Mirada 24 - 00:00 4th QT - Completed

Football:

Burbank 21, Yorba Linda 31 - 00:00 4th QT - Completed

Soccer:

El Modena 2, Orange Lutheran 2 - 45:00 2nd Half - Completed

Basketball:

Eisenhower 28, Mater Dei 93 - 02:00 4th QT - Completed

Basketball:

Santa Fe 65, Foothill 53 - 00:00 4th QT - Completed

Football:

Valencia/Valencia 35, San Clemente 41 - 00:00 4th QT - Completed

Football:

El Modena 21, Yorba Linda 28 - 00:00 4th QT - Completed