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Fryer on football: Previews, predictions for Week 10

STAFF COLUMNIST

OCVarsity's Steve Fryer has his predictions and previews for the top games of Week 10, plus a complete schedule for the week.

GAME OF THE WEEK

South Coast League

NO. 9 SAN JUAN HILLS (8-1, 2-1) VS. NO. 4 TESORO (7-2, 2-1)

Where, when: Tesoro High, Friday, 7 p.m.

Coaches: San Juan Hills, Aaron Flowers (29-23 at San Juan Hills); Tesoro, Matt Poston (25-8 at Tesoro)

Last time they met: 2014, Tesoro 45, San Juan Hills 14

Series: Tesoro leads, 1-0

Analysis: Mission Viejo, which has a bye this week, clinched the South Coast League championship and will go to the CIF-Southern Section West Valley Division playoffs as the top-seeded team in the division the Diablos won last year. San Juan Hills and Tesoro are battling for second place, or, in the lexicon of CIF-SS playoffs, the designation as the South Coast League’s No. 2 playoff representative. That’s important, because only the Nos. 1 and 2 teams from the five-team South Coast League get guaranteed playoff berths. The No. 3 team will be left to hope that the CIF-SS football at-large committee grants it one of the division’s two at-large berths. While it is almost a certainty that the at-large selection points formula will give the South Coast’s No. 3 team an at-large berth, no team wants to leave their playoff status in the hands of a committee or a formula. Don’t worry, be winners. This game matches two prime candidates for All-Orange County quarterback recognition: Tesoro’s Devon Modster and San Juan Hills’ Patrick O’Brien. They are similar – both have excellent arms and both can throw on the run. O’Brien also is a power runner, with a team-leading 542 yards (and 7 yards a carry). Modster is third in Orange County passing (behind, in order, Aliso Niguel’s Nick Chapman and St. Margaret’s George Krantz) with 2,349 yards with a completion rate of 69. O’Brien’s 2,341 yards are the fifth-most in O.C. His completion rate is a semi-ridiculous 77. Tesoro is averaging 56 points a game and allowing 23 points a game. San Juan Hills is averaging 45 points a game and allowing 23 points. Tesoro in this game will make timely big plays on defense and wins the field-position battle.

Winner: Tesoro

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All games 7 p..m. unless noted

THURSDAY'S GAMES

Academy League

CREAN LUTHERAN (7-2, 2-0) VS. BRETHREN CHRISTIAN (8-1, 1-1)

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

Analysis: Crean Lutheran’s climb to football prominence conquered another peak last week in the Saints’ 26-20 win over St. Margaret’s. They have won six in a row. Their losses are to Saddleback Valley Christian, which is 9-0, and to Mission Prep of San Luis Obispo (7-2). Crean’s running attack led the offense last week, as Garrett Cox rushed for 92 yards and Gavin Folsom added 81. Crean coach Brett Mertens believes in his guys: The Saints went for it on fourth down five times and got first downs all five times. Brethren lost to St. Margaret’s two weeks ago in a thriller, 34-31, for the Warriors’ only loss. Led by Orange County’s leading rusher, Jordan Leonard (1,858 yards, 13 yards a carry), Brethren is averaging 48 points a game. Crean is averaging 43. It looks like another high-scoring, close game in the Academy League. Crean must have a boatload of confidence right now.

Winner: Crean Lutheran

Golden West League

SEGERSTROM (6-2-1, 4-0) VS. WESTMINSTER (8-1, 4-0)

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

Analysis: This one is for the Golden West League championship. Segerstrom started 0-1-1, including an 8-8 tie in which Segerstrom looked alternately good and dreadful, sometimes during the same offensive series. The Jaguars’ average margin of victory in league is 32, proof they are playing their best football at the best time of year to do so. Westminster quarterback Matt Dinh has passed for 772 yards and rushed for 462. Segerstrom’s Abel Diaz last week had his biggest game of the year, rushing for 214 yards and two touchdowns in the Jags’ 38-14 win over Ocean View. If Dinh is on his game, the Lions win.

Winner: Westminster

Crestview League

Esperanza (1-8, 0-2) vs. Villa Park (9-0, 2-0)

Empire League

Pacifica (6-3, 2-2) at Valencia (9-0, 4-0)

Cypress (2-7, 0-4) at Western (1-8, 0-4)

Garden Grove League

La Quinta (3-6, 1-3) vs. Santiago (1-8, 1-3) at Garden Grove High

Orange League

Century (3-6, 1-3) vs. Katella (9-0, 4-0) at Glover Stadium

Pacific Coast League

Corona del Mar (7-2, 4-0) vs. Irvine (3-6, 0-4) at Estancia High

San Joaquin League

Santa Clarita Christian (6-3, 2-2) vs. Fairmont Prep (2-7, 0-4) at Yorba Linda High

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FRIDAY'S GAMES

Freeway League

SONORA (8-1, 3-1) VS. BUENA PARK (7-2, 3-1)

Where, when: Buena Park High, 7 p.m.

Analysis: La Habra has secured the league championship and will be the Freeway’s No. 1 playoff representative. This game is for second place and the No. 2 representative tag. It’s better to be a No. 2 than a No. 3. A No. 2 team will play another league’s No. 2 or 3 team in the first round, and it might be a first-round home game. A No. 3 is going on the road against another league’s No. 1 team or, less likely, a No. 2. Sonora’s only loss was to La Habra, 35-7. Raiders running back Jacob Fimbres is having a terrific year. He is second in the county in rushing with 1,695 yards. Buena Park might have the team speed on defense to control him. The Coyotes’ losses are to teams in the O.C. top 10 - No. 8 La Habra, 48-14, and No. 10 Edison, 38-0. When the Coyotes win, they often win big – by 23 points over Troy last week, by 29 over Sunny Hills the week before that. This will be a closer Buena Park win.

Winner: Buena Park

North Hills League

CANYON (5-4, 1-1) VS. BREA OLINDA (5-4, 2-0)

Where, when: Brea Olinda High, 7 p.m.

Analysis: If Brea wins, the Wildcats get the league championship and are the league’s No. 1 playoff representative. If Canyon wins, then Canyon and Brea are league co-champs (and with El Modena, too, if El Modena beats El Dorado). Canyon thus would be the league’s No. 1 playoff representative because of all the North Hills League teams Canyon has the best record (3-1) against the Crestview League teams in the eight-school Century Conference. If Canyon plays with the level of spirit shown in wins over Foothill and Yorba Linda, the Comanches will prevail.

Winner: Canyon

Sea View League

TRABUCO HILLS (3-6, 2-1 VS. LAGUNA HILLS (6-3, 1-2)

Where, when: Laguna Hills, 7 p.m.

Analysis: Is it a must-win game, or not? The winner gets the league’s No. 2 playoff spot in the five-team league that gets only two guaranteed playoff spots. (San Clemente locked away the No. 1 designation.) The loser is No. 3 and will be in the pool of at-large berth candidates in the Southwest Division. The Southwest has three at-large berths to distribute to its five leagues. Looking at the formula the at-large selection committee uses, the Sea View No. 3 team will have a strong chance at getting one of thre division’s three at-large berths. But it’s better to win this game. Trabuco Hills beat Capistrano Valley by 34 points. Laguna Hills lost to Capo by 11. So …

Winner: Trabuco Hills

Trinity League

NO. 2 MATER DEI (7-2, 2-2) VS. NO. 6 SANTA MARGARITA (5-4, 1-3)

Where, when: Trabuco Hills High, 7 p.m.

Analysis: Both teams are coming off losses that were, to some degree, upset losses. Mater Dei and Santa Margarita lost to fellow Trinity League teams, so it’s not like they got beat by drastically inferior opponents. Mater Dei, which lost to JSerra last week, has a lot of non-seniors in key positions, and sometimes it takes those youngsters a tough lesson to understand you’d better be ready to rock every night in the Trinity League. Santa Margarita lost to Servite, which for decades has beaten more-talented teams when the Friars have their brotherhood thing going. JSerra blitzed the heck out of Mater Dei freshman quarterback JT Daniels. Look for Santa Margarita to do the same, and the Eagles have the linebacking crew to do that. Look for Mater Dei to be ready for that.

Winner: Mater Dei

NO. 3 ORANGE LUTHERAN (5-4, 2-2) VS. JSERRA (6-3, 1-3)

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

Analysis: JSerra’s Jim Hartigan was 2014 county football coach of the year because he game-planned the Lions to wins you wouldn’t think would be wins. Hartigan pulled the same magic last week in the 35-28 win over Mater Dei. Can he do it again? Probably not. Orange Lutheran actually got added some confidence last week, although the Lancers lost to St. John Bosco, 31-12. But they hung in there with Bosco through the first half. Nobody else has done that this year. Lutheran quarterback Lj Northington’s mobility is going to be a huge factor in this one.

Winner: Orange Lutheran

Crestview League

FOOTHILL (6-3, 1-1) VS. YORBA LINDA (3-6, 1-1)

Where, when: Yorba Linda High, 7 p.m.

Analysis: Foothill led Villa Park until the final minute of their game last week. Yorba Linda kept its playoff chances alive with its 21-7 win last week over Esperanza. Villa Park will be the league’s No. 1 playoff representative. That leaves these two to battle for the No. 2 designation, the final guaranteed playoff berth in the four-team Crestview League. Yorba Linda has looked good some weeks and has struggled mightily in others. This could be a low-scoring game. Foothill’s defense, led by Ryan Munck and Chris Yaghi, will lead the Knights to the win.

Winner: Foothill

Orange Coast League

ESTANCIA (3-6, 2-2) VS. SADDLEBACK (5-4, 2-2)

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

Analysis: The winner takes the Orange Coast League’s third and final guaranteed playoff berth. The loser will be in the pool of candidates for the Southern Division’s two at-large berths. Saddleback last week beat Costa Mesa, 42-7, as Geovanni Estrada rushed for 202 yards and four touchdowns on 41 carries. Estancia lost to Godinez, 49-21, last week as Godinez’s Bryan Ibarra rushed for 265 yards and five touchdowns. If Saddleback’s running game is like it was last week …

Winner: Saddleback

Empire League

Tustin (7-2, 3-1) vs. Kennedy (5-4, 3-1) at Western High

Freeway League

Troy (5-4, 2-2) at No. 8 La Habra (8-1, 4-0)

Sunny Hills (4-5, 0-4) at Fullerton (4-5, 0-4)

Garden Grove League

Bolsa Grande (0-9, 0-4) vs. Rancho Alamitos (7-2, 3-1) at Bolsa Grande High

Los Amigos (3-6, 3-1) at Garden Grove (7-2, 4-0)

Golden West League

Santa Ana (7-2, 2-2) vs. Orange (4-5, 1-3) at El Modena High

Loara (0-9, 0-4) at Ocean View (4-5, 1-3)

Sea View League

Aliso Niguel (3-6, 1-2) at No. 10 San Clemente (7-2, 3-0)

Sunset League

No. 10 Edison (6-3, 4-0) at Newport Harbor (4-5, 2-2)

Huntington Beach (3-6, 1-3) vs. Fountain Valley (6-3, 3-1) at Westminster High

Los Alamitos (4-5, 2-2) vs. Marina (1-8, 0-4) at Huntington Beach High

North Hills League

El Modena (5-4, 1-1) vs. El Dorado (0-9, 0-2) at Valencia High

Olympic League

Heritage Christian of Northridge (4-5, 1-2) vs. Whittier Christian (3-6, 0-3) at Whittier College

Orange League

Anaheim (4-5, 2-2) at Santa Ana Valley (3-5-1, 3-1)

Magnolia (3-6, 1-3) vs. Savanna (3-6, 1-3) at Glover Stadium

Orange Coast League

Laguna Beach (2-7, 0-4) vs. Godinez (5-4, 3-1) at Segerstrom High

Calvary Chapel (6-3, 4-0) vs. Costa Mesa (5-4, 1-3) at Estancia High

Pacific Coast League

Beckman (3-6, 1-3) vs. Northwood (2-7, 1-3) at Irvine High

Woodbridge (5-4, 3-1) at University (8-1, 3-1)

South Coast League

El Toro (4-5, 0-3) at Dana Hills (0-9, 0-3)

San Joaquin League

Capistrano Valley Christian (4-5, 3-1) vs. Southlands Christian of Walnut (6-3, 2-2) at Damien High of La Verne

Webb of Claremont (5-4, 1-3) vs. Saddleback Valley Christian (9-0, 4-0) at San Juan Hills High

Nonleague

Victor Valley of Victorville (4-5) at St. Margaret's (7-2)

Bassett of La Puente (6-3) at Sage Hill (1-8)

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Fryer on Football last week: 7-3

Season to date: 73-26-1

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