Search:

Fryer's previews & predictions for Week 0

STAFF WRITER

GAME OF THE WEEK

NO. 4 SANTA MARGARITA (5-5 in 2015) VS. NO. 2 MISSION VIEJO (16-0)

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

Live coverage: FoxSportsWest.com’s Prep Zone

Coaches: Santa Margarita, Rich Fisher; Mission Viejo, Bob Johnson

Last time they met: 2011, Santa Margarita 21, Mission Viejo 20, in CIF-SS Pac-5 Division semifinals.

Series: Santa Margarita leads, 2-1

Analysis: This is a great opening-week matchup. Kudos to the people who made it happen. This one has so much going on: two Orange County top 5 teams; new coach vs. veteran coach; and that private school vs. public school angle that vigorously stirs the pot. Santa Margarita finished in last place in the Trinity League last season and missed the playoffs. The Eagles should be better this year. They do have to replace quarterback KJ Costello, now at Stanford. Coach Rich Fisher said the quarterback competition could continue through this week. One of the candidates, senior Richard Wagner, played well in spot duty last season. Whoever is the quarterback, he gets strong offensive support from Grant Calcaterra, a senior who committed to Oklahoma and is one of the better receivers in Orange County. Fisher has wondered how good the offensive line will be. He has a sure-thing there, center Brett Neilon who committed to USC. Transfers Malone Mataele at cornerback and Mace Funa and Malik McClain on the defensive line will make big contributions. Mission Viejo is coming off of a perfect season in which the Diablos won CIF section and state championships. They lost the Register’s 2015 offensive player of the year, quarterback Brock Johnson. Mission Viejo might have a fine replacement, senior Matt McDonald. McDonald was Mater Dei’s starter last year on opening day when he suffered a wrist injury that gave JT Daniels the Monarchs starting position that Daniels did not relinquish. McDonald has terrific passing targets. Austin Osborne was All-County first team last year as a sophomore. Olaijah Griffin is an outstanding receiver and defensive back. The offensive star of the team, though, and the best player in this game might be Mission Viejo senior Colin Schooler. He is a bruiser of a running back with plenty of breakaway speed. Yet Schooler could be even better at linebacker where he was All-O.C. first team in ’15. If Schooler contributes like he can, Mission Viejo wins this one.

Winner: Mission Viejo

• • •    • • •    • • •    • • •  

All games 7 p.m. unless noted

THURSDAY

Nonleague

NO. 20 TRABUCO HILLS (3-8 in 2015) VS. NO. 25 PACIFICA (6-4)

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

Analysis: Trabuco Hills has a new coach, John Abdelnour, who has been an assistant coach there so he’s not new to the Mustangs program. They move from the Sea View League to the South Coast League in the 10-school, two-league Coast View Conference (every two years, the top two teams in the Sea View League switch leagues with the bottom two teams in the South Coast). The South Coast League has Mission Viejo, San Clemente and Tesoro in it, so it’s going to be a tough league. Trabuco will likely be a run-oriented team offensively, and the Mustangs have a good running back to rely on, Jake Cuero. Pacifica missed the playoffs last year but looks good enough to make a return this year. The Mariners return four starters on offensive line, which is a very good place to have that many returning starters. Trabuco might have the quickness edge.

Winner: Trabuco Hills

CANYON (9-6) VS. NO. 23 TROY (5-6)

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

Analysis: Canyon won the CIF-SS Southern Division championship last season. The Southern Division is what now is called Division 12. The Comanches move from the North Hills League, in which they finished 1-2 last year, to the Crestview League as part of the eight-school Century Conference. Canyon lost most of its top players from last year’s team. But sometimes winning begets winning, so we shall see. Troy could have its best team in years. Quarterback Josiah Norwood is a playmaker, throw the ball or running with it. He will enjoy working behind an offensive line that has four returning third-year starters. The Warriors have eight returning starters on defense. Troy will start the momentum it needs to build as it prepares to play La Habra in a Freeway League opener on Oct. 7.

Winner: Troy

Santa Ana Valley (5-6-1) at Garden Grove (10-3)

Saddleback Valley Christian (15-1) at Northwood (2-8)

Calvary Chapel (7-4) vs. Crean Lutheran (9-4) at Irvine High

• • •    • • •    • • •    • • •

FRIDAY

NO. 15 EL TORO (5-6) VS. NO. 8 LA HABRA (13-2)

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

Analysis: El Toro is favored to win the Sea View League. The Chargers, who set county records with their high-flying passing attack a few years ago, will rely more upon the running game these days, especially because last year’s all-league quarterback, Dawit Wilson, transferred to Cantwell-Sacred Heart of Montebello. La Habra won a CIF-SS championship last year and could be good enough to play in the Division 2 championship game this year. The Highlanders still were figuring out their quarterback situation as opening day approached. With the talent on the La Habra roster, like spectacular receiver Prince Ross, an old sportswriter probably would do OK as the team’s quarterback.

Winner: La Habra

LA MIRADA (13-3) VS. NO. 3 ORANGE LUTHERAN (6-6)

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

Live coverage: FoxSportsWest.com’s Prep Zone

Analysis: Orange Lutheran’s nonleague schedule is as challenging as that of any other O.C. team. La Mirada won CIF section and state championships last season and is ranked No. 35 in CalHiSports.com’s California preseason top 50. Matadores senior quarterback Tristan Meyer threw for 1,936 yards and 27 touchdowns last season. He is among seven returning starters on offense. La Mirada also returns seven starters on defense. Orange Lutheran, ranked No. 15 in the state, might have its best team in a few years. Senior back Dominik Austin rushed for 1,016 yards last season and senior receiver Austin Liles had 34 catches for 878 yards. The Lancers have seven returning starters on defense. This one feels like a high-scoring game. Lutheran is going to win a bunch of these types of games.

Winner: Orange Lutheran

NO. 1 MATER DEI (10-3) VS. BISHOP AMAT (10-3)

Where, when: Bishop Amat High of La Puente, 7:30 p.m.

TV: Prime Ticket

Analysis: From 1968-91, Mater Dei and Bishop Amat were league mates in the Angelus League. They were together in the Serra League for a while, too, in subsequent years. It’s great that these old rivals keep playing each other voluntarily. Bishop Amat is not an easy place for any visiting team, and certainly the Lancers’ following will be ready to give Mater Dei an old-fashioned Angelus League welcome. But Mater Dei has too much talent and more than enough maturity to be distracted. Sophomore quarterback J.T. Daniels is ready for another big year, and there Osiris St. Brown could be the best receiver in Southern California. In the CIF-SS Division 1 rankings, Mater Dei is No. 2, behind Centennial of Corona, and Bishop Amat is No. 8. In the state top 50, Mater Dei is No. 4 and Amat is No. 46. Rankings-wise, Amat looks like a challenge. However, Mater Dei could turn this into a runaway in the fourth quarter.

Winner: Mater Dei

LONG BEACH POLY (4-6) VS. NO. 14 LOS ALAMITOS (5-6)

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

Analysis: Don’t take Poly’s 2015 4-6 record, or the “what’s happened to Long Beach Poly” stuff, seriously. The Jackrabbits finished 8-2 on the field but forfeitures for using an ineligible player cost them four wins and kept them out of the playoffs. Poly is No. 5 in CIF-SS Division 1 and No. 18 in California. The Jackrabbits have a good returning senior quarterback, Nolan McDonald, and brother Camren is a standout at tight end and at defensive end. This game marks the Los Alamitos coaching debut of Ray Fenton, who was a county coach of the year at Cypress before eventually moving on to Fountain Valley. Los Alamitos will be good. Fenton assembled a crackerjack coaching staff, including Willy Puga at offensive coordinator and Michael Cobleigh as defensive coordinator, and the Griffins have their usual high-level of athleticism at all the right places. They will find Poly’s athleticism and speed to be a tad superior.

Winner: Long Beach Poly

NO. 6 SERVITE (4-6) VS. NO. 19 FOUNTAIN VALLEY (7-4)

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

Analysis: The halftime band should be ? and the Mysterians (that was a real band, kids) because it’s difficult to figure out how good these teams will be. Servite has a known quantity in senior quarterback Tyler Lytle, who has committed to Colorado. The Friars’ Keith Taylor, who committed to Washington, will be outstanding. Other than that, though, we are not sure about Servite. Fountain Valley had to go through some tough coaching times this past winter – Ray Fenton left for Los Alamitos, and Fenton’s replacement resigned within a couple of weeks of being hired. The Barons brought in Jimmy Nolan, known as an expert motivator who can get the most out of a roster. Always worry about “nobody believes in us but us” teams like Fountain Valley. Servite, though, will provide a physical mismatch and prevail.

Winner: Servite

MARINA (1-9) VS. DANA HILLS (0-10)

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

Analysis: Here are two teams that really, really need a good start. As their 2015 records show, last season was a rough one at Marina and Dana Hills. Marina should be improved. The Vikings have seven returning starters on offense, including a few on a large offensive line, and seven returning starters on defense. Noah Holmes will be a Marina leader on offense, at receiver, and on defense at cornerback where he is a third-year starter. Dana Hills has reasons for optimism, too. For one, the Dolphins have moved to the Sea View League where the competition, although still good, will be easier than it was in the South Coast League. They have a good returning quarterback, Corey Cisowski who threw for 1,139 yards last season. Dana Hills’ defense has a promising front seven led by returning all-league linebackers Julian Casillas and Joe Wilske. This could be a fun game that will be decided in the final moments. It could be the toughest one to predict on the Week 0 schedule. The feeling here is that Marina wins the turnovers battle and thus wins the game.

Winner: Marina

No. 10 Buena Park (10-3) at Pasadena (5-5)

No. 12 Corona del Mar (9-3) at Palos Verdes of Palos Verdes Estates (10-4), 3 p.m.

Dominguez (8-4) at No. 17 Tustin (8-3)

Cypress (2-8) vs. No. 21 Woodbridge (6-5) at University High

Aliso Niguel (3-7) at Long Beach Jordan (3-8)

Kennedy (5-6) vs. Katella (11-1) at Glover Stadium

Santiago (1-9) vs. Sunny Hills (5-6) at Buena Park High

Costa Mesa (5-5) vs. Orange (4-6) at El Modena High

Ocean View (5-5) vs. Brethren Christian (11-2) at Westminster High

Laguna Beach (2-8) at Bolsa Grande (0-10)

Fairmont Prep (2-8) vs. Los Amigos (3-8) at Garden Grove High

Santa Monica (1-9) at Segerstrom (8-3-1)

Alhambra (4-6) at Western (2-8)

Sonora (9-3) vs. Whittier (6-5) at California High of Whittier

Capistrano Valley (5-5) at Valencia (11-1)

Foothill (6-4) at Atascadero (8-3)

Magnolia (4-6) vs. Glenn of Norwalk (0-10) at Excelsior Adult School of Norwalk

Capistrano Valley Christian (4-6) at Tri-City Christian of Vista (7-3)

Oceanside (9-5) at No. 5 San Clemente (11-3)

Dos Pueblos of Goleta (3-7) at San Juan Hills (8-3)

Huntington Beach (3-7) at West Adams Prep of Los Angeles (6-7)

Bishop Union (4-7) vs. Whittier Christian (3-7) at Whittier College

8-man

Calvary Chapel of Downey (5-3) at Sage Hill (2-8)

• • •    • • •    • • •    • • •

SATURDAY

NO. 13 TESORO (9-3) VS. NO. 9 EDISON (1-0 this season)

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

Analysis: Tesoro last season had a terrific senior class led by quarterback Devon Modster, now at UCLA. The Titans program is on a solid foundation so it’s not like they are going to finish below .500 this season although they probably are the third-best team, behind Mission Viejo and San Clemente, in the South Coast League. Edison is the best team in the Sunset League, and perhaps by a good margin. The Chargers were in Hawaii last week. They came back tan, rested and victorious – a 56-21 win over Baldwin of Wailuku. They should be 2-0 after this one, but it won’t be as easy as last week.

Winner: Edison

Fryer on Football in 2015: 78-31-1


See archived 'Sports' stories »
 


Other Varsity coverage:
Inland Empire
Search Players


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

Football:

Lompoc 34, Corona del Mar 35 - 00:00 4th QT - Completed

Football:

Laguna Beach 27, Santa Ana 66 - 00:00 4th QT - Completed

Football:

Rancho Cucamonga 21, Mater Dei 48 - 07:10 4th QT - Completed

Football:

Segerstrom 7, Arroyo 28 - 03:14 2nd QT - Completed

Football:

Rancho Cucamonga 42, Mission Viejo 26 - 01:32 4th QT - Completed