Fryer on football: Previews & predictions for Week 8


Steve Fryer's preview and prediction for the OCVarsity Game of  the Week, as well as for the other top games for Week 8.


No. 6 SERVITE (3-4, 1-1) VS. NO. 1 MATER DEI (6-1, 1-1)

Where, when: Angel Stadium, Friday, 7 p.m.


Coaches: Scott Meyer (3-4, 1-1 at Servite); Bruce Rollinson (257-81-2)

Last time they met: 2014, Mater Dei 20, Servite 17

Series: Mater Dei leads, 35-17-2

Analysis: This is the best sports rivalry in Orange County athletics. Yes, you have a good rivalry, too. Is yours being played at Angel Stadium? No? In years in when it had little impact on playoff qualification, it still was a heated game. This time, the game will have plenty of impact on playoff qualification. Mater Dei and Servite are tied for second place in the Trinity League at 1-1. St. John Bosco is going to finish 5-0 and win the league championship. The other five teams are competing to be the league’s No. 2 and 3 teams, which get the league’s two other guaranteed playoff berths. There is a good chance Trinity League teams will get one or both of the CIF-Southern Section Pac-5 Division’s two at-large berths, but no team wants to rely upon that. Mater Dei got shellacked last week by St. John Bosco, 42-21; it was 42-0 at one point. That was Bosco’s closest win of the season. The Monarchs beat Orange Lutheran in their other Trinity League game. Servite lost by one point to Orange Lutheran last week and beat JSerra by one point the previous week in league games. Mater Dei freshman quarterback JT Daniels, who on Tuesday got his first scholarship offer, from Cal, has completed 64 percent of his passes for an average of 281 yards a game with 21 touchdowns and only one interception. The running game, led by Brandon LaMarche’s 917 yards, provides plenty of offensive balance. Mater Dei receivers Osiris St. Brown and Amon-Ra St. Brown, brothers, were at Servite last year. Servite senior Aaron Simpson has stepped in at quarterback for injured junior Tyler Lytle and has been superb. Simpson has completed 67 percent of his passes for an average of 97 yards a game, a low figure by Trinity League standards. His running ability boosts his contributions. Three of Servite’s losses are to teams ranked in the state top 25. The fourth loss was to nationally ranked Bishop Gorman of Las Vegas. Mater Dei has won three in a row againstthe Friars. The Monarchs have the offensive firepower to make it four in a row.

Winner: Mater Dei

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All games 7 p.m. unless noted


North Hills League

CANYON (4-3, 0-0) VS. EL MODENA (4-3, 0-0)

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

Analysis: The four teams in the North Hills League play their first league games this week. These look like the league’s two best teams. North Hills teams played Crestview League teams the past four weeks in nonleague games. In the eight-school Century Conference, the top four teams are placed in the Crestview League and the next four in the North Hills. Canyon went 3-1 against the upper-division Crestview teams. Comanches quarterback Jason Harman has rushed for 345 yards and has passed for 1,394 and just might be the league’s MVP when the season ends. El Modena’s forte has been its quick defense, which rarely misses a tackle or gives up a big play. Coaches Ed Drzanek of El Modena and Mike Ogas of Canyon have their teams playing the best football they have played in many years. Canyon’s offensive superiority should get the Comanches the win.

Winner: Canyon

Empire League

Western (1-6, 0-2) vs. Kennedy (3-4, 1-1) at Western High

Garden Grove League

Garden Grove (5-2, 2-0) at Bolsa Grande (0-7, 0-2)

La Quinta (3-4, 1-1) vs. Los Amigos (2-5, 2-0) at Garden Grove High

Orange League

Katella (7-0, 2-0) vs. Anaheim (4-3, 2-0) at Glover Stadium

Orange Coast League

Saddleback (4-3, 1-1) vs. Calvary Chapel (4-3, 2-0) at Estancia High

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Empire League

TUSTIN (6-1, 2-0) VS. PACIFICA (5-2, 1-1)

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

Analysis: Pacifica was ascending steadily for a couple of weeks, with consecutive one-sided wins over Aliso Niguel and Westminster in nonleague games, and over Cypress in a league opener. Then, like what happens on that Tower of Terror ride at California Adventure, a sudden drop – a 27-20 loss to Kennedy last week. Pacifica had a 20-10 lead. Tustin is kind of tough to figure. Five of the Tillers’ wins are against sub-.500 teams. They lost to the best team they’ve played, Foothill. The feeling here is that Pacifica and quarterback Nick Garcia (1,127 yards passing, 595 yards rushing) get it together and win this one.

Winner: Pacifica

Freeway League

TROY (5-2, 2-0) VS. SONORA (6-1, 1-1)

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

Analysis: La Habra is going to win the league championship again, as usual. That does not mean this is not an interesting league. The quality of Freeway League ball is the best it’s been in many years. This game is proof. Troy’s two wins are by 7-6 over Sunny Hills and 24-21, in overtime, over Fullerton. Sonora lost to La Habra by 28 points and last week beat Sunny Hills by one point. Sunny Hills went 0-5 in league last year, with an average margin of defeat of 30 points in those five league games. Sonora quarterback Cole McDonald has thrown for 1,005 yards and 11 touchdowns. Troy quarterback Josiah Norwood, a sophomore, has thrown for 734 yards. Sonora has the game’s best offensive player, Jacob Fimbres, who has rushed for 1,214 yards – an average of 173 yards a game – and 17 touchdowns. If he gets in his rhythm, watch out.

Winner: Sonora

Orange Coast League

GODINEZ (3-4, 1-1) VS. COSTA MESA (5-2, 1-1)

Where, when: Estancia High, 7 p.m.

Analysis: Calvary Chapel is in first place, at 2-0, and looks like it will go 5-0 in league. Four teams are tied at 1-1: Estancia, Saddleback and these two teams. Costa Mesa beat Laguna Beach, 14-9, in a league opener, and lost to Estancia, 23-0, last week. Godinez won its league opener against Saddleback, 44-14, then lost a close one to Calvary Chapel, 30-24, last week. Costa Mesa and Godinez have run-oriented offenses led by workhorse backs. Costa Mesa’s Jonathan Brucales has carried 100 times for 492 yards. Godinez’s Bryan Ibarra has 144 carries for 1,039 yards. Whoever blocks and tackles best wins this one.

Winner: Godinez

Pacific Coast League

CORONA DEL MAR (5-2, 2-0) VS. UNIVERSITY (7-0, 5-2)

Where, when: University High, 7 p..m.

Analysis: These teams are tied for first place. University has its best team in several years and clearly is the chief challenger to Corona del Mar, which has won three consecutive league championships and 17 league games in a row. (Since 2009, the Sea Kings are 25-1-1 in PCL games.) University has won blowouts and close games, including last week’s 19-17 win over Northwood. The Northwood game featured a remarkable comeback. The Trojans trailed, 17-16, with under a minute remaining then motored quickly downfield for Nick Loveland’s 19-yard field goal for the win. Corona del Mar quarterback Chase Garbers threw six touchdown passes in the Sea Kings’ 52-20 win over Beckman last week. He is another O.C. quarterback who will get All-CIF recognition. As much as University has improved, there still is a gap between the league’s best and second-best teams.

Winner: Corona del Mar

South Coast League

NO. 7 SAN JUAN HILLS (7-0, 1-0) VS. NO. 2 MISSION VIEJO (8-0, 2-0)

Where, when: San Juan Hills High, 7 p.m.

Live coverage:

Analysis: Mission Viejo cleared one hurdle in its quest for a seventh consecutive league championship last week with a 39-33, comeback win over Tesoro. The Diablos survived a fine performance by Tesoro quarterback Devon Modster and face another All-CIF type of quarterback in this one. San Juan Hills’ Patrick O’Brien has completed 78 percent of his throws for an average of 283 yards with 17 touchdowns and only one interception. O’Brien, who committed to Nebraska, at 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds is a tough guy to tackle when he decides to tuck in the ball and run. He is averaging 67 rushing yards a game and has run for eight touchdowns. Mission Viejo quarterback Brock Johnson is having an All-CIF-type of senior year, too. Johnson has completed 64 percent of fhis passes for 225 yards a game. His 20 touchdown passes are the fourth-most in the county. Both teams have excellent receivers and offensive lines, and quality running backs. Mission Viejo has more team quickness on defense and that could be the difference.

Winner: Mission Viejo

Sunset League

LOS ALAMITOS (2-5, 0-2) VS. NEWPORT HARBOR (3-4, 1-1)

Where, when: Newport Harbor High, 7 p.m.

Analysis: There was a time when Los Alamitos looked like it would be the best team in the league and would contend for the CIF-SS West Valley Division championship. Now, the Griffins are on a five-game losing streak – a first in the achievement-heavy tenure of Coach John Barnes. They lost to Fountain Valley, 20-7, last week. But that outcome might say more about the growth of Fountain Valley than the troubles of Los Alamitos. Newport Harbor got a boost last week with an overtime win over Huntington Beach.Edison and Fountain Valley are going to finish 1-2 (or 2-1?) in the Sunset. Los Alamitos still has a shot at third place, with league games remaining against Marina and Huntington Beach after playing Newport. The Griffins could launch a three-game winning streak starting with this one.

Winner: Los Alamitos

Trinity League

NO. 4 SANTA MARGARITA (5-2, 1-1) VS. NO. 3 ORANGE LUTHERAN (4-3, 1-1)

Where, when: Orange Coast College, 7 p.m.

Analysis: Like Servite-Mater Dei, this game could have considerable implications on which Trinity teams go to the playoffs. Santa Margarita was hammered by St. John Bosco two weeks ago. Last week, with KJ Costello sidelined because of an ankle injury, Richard Wagner took over at quarterback and sparked the Eagles to a 28-21 win over JSerra. Lutheran lost to Mater Dei two weeks ago, then bounced back with a final-moments, 37-36 win over Servite. Costello was moving around gingerly on that heavily taped right ankle during pregame warmups last week. Santa Margarita coach Rick Curtis said, if Costello is anywhere close to 100 percent healthy then Costello is a 100-percent certainty to play. Lutheran has a terrific quarterback, too – Lj Northington, who can throw it with zip and accuracy on the run and can pick up first downs on his own on the run. This could be another of those down-to-the-wire Trinity League games. Santa Margarita’s defense made clutch stops against JSerra. But Lutheran’s option/veer offense could be too tricky.

Winner: Orange Lutheran

Crestview League

Foothill (5-2) vs. Esperanza (1-6) at Yorba Linda High

Yorba Linda (2-5) vs. Villa Park (7-0) at El Modena High

Freeway League

Sunny Hills (4-3, 0-2) at Buena Park (5-2, 1-1)

No. 8 La Habra (6-1, 2-0) at Fullerton (4-3, 0-2)

Garden Grove League

Rancho Alamitos (5-2, 1-1) vs. Santiago (0-7, 0-2) at Garden Grove High

Golden West League

Santa Ana (7-0, 2-0) at Segerstrom High (4-2-1, 2-0)

Orange (3-4, 0-2) at Ocean View (3-4, 0-2)

Westminster (6-1, 2-0) vs. Loara (0-7, 0-2) at Glover Stadium

North Hills League

Brea Olinda (3-4) vs. El Dorado (0-7) at Valencia High

Olympic League

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

Orange League

Savanna (2-5, 0-2) at Century (2-5, 0-2)

Santa Ana Valley (2-4-1, 2-0) vs. Magnolia (2-5, 0-2) at Western High

Orange Coast League

Estancia (2-5, 1-1) at Laguna Beach (2-5, 0-2)

Pacific Coast League

Irvine (3-4, 0-2) vs. Beckman (2-5, 0-2) at Tustin High

Woodbridge (3-4, 1-1) vs. Northwood (2-5, 1-1) at Irvine High

Sea View League

Capistrano Valley (5-3, 1-1) at Trabuco Hills (2-5, 1-0)

Laguna Hills (5-2, 1-1) at No. 10 San Clemente (5-2, 1-0)

South Coast League

No. 5 Tesoro (6-2, 1-1) at Dana Hills (0-7, 0-1)

Sunset League

Edison (4-3, 2-0) at Huntington Beach (3-4, 1-1)

Fountain Valley (5-2, 2-0) vs. Marina (1-6, 0-2) at Westminster High

Trinity League

No. 9 JSerra (5-2, 0-2) vs. St. John Bosco (7-0, 2-0) at Cerritos College, 7:30 p.m.


Express League

Avalon (6-0, 1-0) at St. Michael's Prep (0-5, 0-1), 2:30 p.m.

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Academy League


Where, when: Ocean View High, 7 p.m.

Analysis: This is a good league. St. Margaret’s is No. 2 in the East Valley Division top 10, behind Grace Brethren of Simi Valley. Brethren is No. 4 in the East Valley poll, with another Academy League team, Crean Lutheran, at No. 8. It’s a high-scoring league, too. Brethren is averaging 50 points a game, St. Margaret’s is averaging 46 points a game and Crean is averaging 45 points a game. Brethren and St. Margaret’s have a common opponent, Capistrano Valley Christian. Brethren beat CVC, 42-33; St. Margaret’s beat CVC, 42-0. Brethren running back Jordan Leonard is the county’s leading rusher with 1,404 yards. St. Margaret’s quarterback George Krantz has a county-leading 29 touchdown passes. An excellent passing attack is a big advantage in high school football.

Winner: St. Margaret’s

Also Saturday (all games 7 p.m. unless noted)

Empire League

Valencia (7-0, 2-0) vs. Cypress (2-5, 0-2) at Western High

San Joaquin League

Capistrano Valley Christian (2-5, 1-1) vs. Santa Clarita Christian (6-1, 2-0) at Canyon of Canyon Country

Saddleback Valley Christian (7-0, 2-0) vs. Fairmont Prep (2-5, 0-2) at Yorba Linda High

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Fryer on Football last week: 8-2

Season to date: 58-21-1

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Westminster 21, Orange 14 - 01:00 2nd QT - In Progress


Mater Dei 26, St. John Bosco 21 - 07:00 4th QT - Completed


Troy 15, Fullerton 14 - 00:00 4th QT - Completed


Servite 42, Orange Lutheran 49 - 00:00 4th QT - Completed


Laguna Hills 41, Templeton 28 - 02:23 4th QT - Completed


Aliso Niguel 10, Capistrano Valley 43 - 00:00 4th QT - Completed


Trabuco Hills 0, Mission Viejo 68 - 07:28 4th QT - Completed


Yorba Linda 27, Foothill 9 - 00:00 4th QT - Completed


Los Alamitos 62, Fountain Valley 7 - 02:06 2nd QT - Completed


El Dorado 20, El Modena 34 - 00:00 4th QT - Completed