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Fryer on football: Previews & predictions for Week 6
GAME OF THE WEEK
NO. 4 JSERRA (4-1 overall) VS. NO. 5 ORANGE LUTHERAN (3-2)
Where, when: Orange Coast College, Friday, 7 p.m.
Live coverage: foxsports.com/west/prepzone-stream
Coaches: JSerra, Jim Hartigan (56-40 at JSerra); Orange Lutheran, Chuck Petersen (26-22 at Orange Lutheran)
Last time they met: 2015, JSerra won, 45-40
Series: Orange Lutheran leads, 6-4
Analysis: JSerra has won two in a row against Orange Lutheran, and four of its past six. And to think that JSerra forfeited its first game against Orange Lutheran, in 2006, because it did not have enough healthy players. In ’07, JSerra lost to Orange Lutheran, 51-7. What Coach Jim Hartigan has done at JSerra is not only one of the greater coaching jobs in Orange County football this century, it’s one of the greater coaching jobs in all of O.C. athletics this century. JSerra, ranked No. 6 in CIF-SS Division 1, has wins over Sacramento (Sacramento’s only loss), Alemany of Mission Hills, Vista Murrieta and Los Alamitos. The Lions’ loss was to Bishop Amat of La Puente by a touchdown. Quarterback Matt Robinson, who like many of JSerra’s top players is a junior, has passed for 1,082 yards and 12 touchdowns. He is very good at throwing on the run. Orange Lutheran, No. 8 in Division 1, opened the season with a 21-14 loss to La Mirada. That’s not a “bad” loss. La Mirada is No. 1 in Division 3 and its only losses were to St. John Bosco and Mater Dei. The Lancers’ other loss was to the team ranked No. 1 in Division 1, Centennial of Corona. Their wins are over Mullen of Denver, Norco and Crespi of Encino. Orange Lutheran senior running back Dominik Austin has rushed for 379 yards and two touchdowns. He averages 6 yards a carry. Lancers sophomore quarterback Ryan Hilinski gets better by the week. He has thrown for 811 yards and eight touchdowns. Both of these teams can score plentifully. It could be a close, last-team-with-the-ball-wins game. Because its collection of wins is more impressive, the pick to win this Trinity League opener is …
All games 7 p.m. unless noted
ORANGE (5-0) VS. SANTA ANA (5-0)
Where, when: Santa Ana Stadium, 7 p.m.
Analysis: This Golden West League opener will have major influence on the league championship, as will Segerstrom-Orange next week, and Segerstrom-Santa Ana on Oct. 28. Orange is 5-0 for the first time since 1925. That’s before this year’s players were born … and before almost all of their grandparents were born, too. Orange, ranked No. 4 in Division 13, has defeated teams that are a cumulative 5-20. Santa Ana’s wins are over teams that are 7-18. We have two O.C. coach of the year candidates in this one: Orange’s Robert Pedroza and Santa Ana’s Charlie TeGantvoort. Santa Ana, No. 1 in Division 13, has looked a tad shaky of late with close wins over teams that maybe they should have beaten handily, Calvary Chapel (0-5) and Santa Ana Valley (2-3). Orange had to go to overtime for its 3-0 overtime win over Godinez (1-4). Maybe Orange and Santa Ana were looking ahead to this one. Santa Ana needs big production from twin brothers Jonathan and Jorge Briseno. If the Saints get that they will win.
Winner: Santa Ana
NO. 18 TUSTIN (4-1) VS. NO. 23 CYPRESS (4-1)
Where, when: Western High, 7 p.m.
Analysis: Kennedy is good, and so is Pacifica. But these look like the top two teams in the Empire League. Tustin has won three in a row since a 13-0 loss to Foothill. Tustin is running the ball about as much as expected, which is a lot. The Tillers’ Kenneth Carr is O.C.’s leading rusher, with 1,185 yards and 237 yards a game. This isn’t the first time a Myron Miller-coached team had the county’s leading rusher. Tustin, No. 6 in Division 6, will throw a play-action pass here and there, too. Cypress, No. 10 in Division 9, had won its first four games before losing last week to a team it was expected to lose to, Capistrano Valley, 30-7. Alex Ashcraft is a crafty little quarterback for the Centurions. The 5-foot-6 junior has thrown for 769 yards and seven touchdowns. He added a terrific target for his passes two weeks ago when a transfer player, senior receiver Cameron Covington, became eligible. Covington has 11 catches in two games. Cypress will need big plays from Ashcraft and Co. because the Centurions might not get the ball that much. Tustin likes to collect first downs and control the clock. If this is a typical Miller-Tustin team, the Tillers just now are cranking up the offense.
No. 22 Newport Harbor (2-3) vs. No. 7 Edison (4-1) at Huntington Beach High
Woodbridge (2-3) vs. No. 12 Corona del Mar (4-1) at Estancia High
Rancho Alamitos (3-2) at Bolsa Grande (1-4)
Garden Grove (3-2) vs. Los Amigos (3-2) at Garden Grove High
Magnolia (0-5) vs. Anaheim (1-4) at Glover Stadium
Capistrano Valley Christian (2-3) vs. Fairmont Prep (2-2) at Yorba Linda High
Costa Mesa (0-5) vs. Calvary Chapel (0-5) at Orange Coast College
Esperanza (1-4) vs. No. 10 Villa Park (4-1) at El Modena High
NO. 16 CAPISTRANO VALLEY (5-1, 0-0) VS. LAGUNA HILLS (3-2, 0-0)
Where, when: Laguna Hills High, 7 p.m.
Analysis: Capistrano Valley has the best record of the Sea View League teams, but the league’s best team might be 1-5 El Toro. Capistrano Valley plays El Toro on Oct. 14, but the Cougars, No. 4 in Division 5, does not have the luxury of looking past Laguna Hills. The Hawks lost to Garden Grove last week, 20-13, perhaps because they were unable get the ball often enough to Logan Montgomery. In that game, Montgomery had 10 carries and two receptions. That’s 12 offensive touches and that’s at least five fewer than was required to beat Garden Grove. He created one touch himself when he pulled the ball from a Garden Grove running back and went the other way 96 yards for a touchdown. Capistrano Valley senior quarterback Kevin Brown is having a splendid season. He has thrown for 1,544 yards and 14 touchdowns. Brown could have a big night in this one.
Winner: Capistrano Valley
NO. 19 EL MODENA (4-1) VS. CANYON (2-3)
Where, when: El Modena High, 7 p.m.
Analysis: You would have to be an El Modena player, coach or a very optimistic parent to have expected back in August that the Vanguards would be 4-1. Now, this team looks it could go 9-1 in the regular season and win the CIF-SS Division 8 championship. Their only loss was to Villa Park, which clearly is the best team in the eight-team, two-league Century Conference. El Modena has one of the county’s better two-way players, senior running back/linebacker Dillon Keefe. He will be the best player on the field in this game as he will be in most games. Keefe has rushed for 414 yards and eight touchdowns. El Modena junior quarterback A.J. Esperanza has thrown for 744 yards and six touchdowns. Canyon won the CIF-SS Southern Division championship last year. It looked like 2016 was going to be a rough year for the Comanches when they started 0-3. They then beat Esperanza, 34-0, and went to the trick bag a couple of times last week to beat Brea Olinda, 28-9. El Modena should be able to handle whatever Canyon brings in this one.
Winner: El Modena
LA HABRA (2-3, 0-0) VS. TROY (4-1, 0-0)
Where, when: Fullerton High, 7 p.m.
Analysis: Few teams north of the 22 freeway play a schedule as rugged as La Habra plays. The Highlanders have lost to Tesoro, Mission Viejo and Los Alamitos, all O.C. top 10 teams. They beat El Toro and Colony of Ontario. La Habra has won nine consecutive Freeway League championships. Troy and Buena Park look like the top candidates to end that streak. Troy has wins over Canyon, El Dorado, Valencia and Irvine. The loss was to Yorba Linda. Troy’s Skyler Taylor has rushed for 461 yards and five touchdowns. Warriors junior quarterback Josiah Norwood, who did not play in their 46-6 win over Irvine last week because of injury, is expected to play against the Highlanders. He will help, sure, but La Habra still looks like the best team in the Freeway League.
Winner: La Habra
WESTMINSTER (2-3) VS. SEGERSTROM (5-0)
Where, when: Segerstrom High, 7 p.m.
Analysis: Orange, Santa Ana and Segerstrom go into Golden West League play with 5-0 nonleague records so everybody is paying attention to them. Don’t neglect Westminster. Segerstrom won’t. Last year, these played each other in the final week of the regular season. Both were 4-0 in league. Segerstrom won in overtime, 41-38, to snare the Golden West League championship. Both teams are balanced offensively. Denilson Santamaria has rushed for 518 yards and five touchdowns for Segerstrom. Josh Avila has 447 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns for the Lions. Jaguars quarterback Marcos Avalos has passed for 443 yards and three touchdowns. Westminster quarterback Noah Melbon suffered a left wrist injury last week and won’t play. Malachi Mesa did well last week filling in for Melbon. Segerstrom appears to have the superior defense and that could be the difference.
NO. 2 MISSION VIEJO (6-0) VS. NO. 11 TESORO (4-2)
Where, when: Tesoro High, 7 p.m.
Analysis: Sort of hidden behind the headlines about Mission Viejo coach Bob Johnson becoming Orange County’s career wins leader and the Diablos’ great players, and even their 28 uniform combinations, is that the Diablos have a 34-game winning streak. That’s the third-longest winning streak in O.C. history. (St. Margaret’s won the record 44 games in row, 2009-09; Mission Viejo won 41 in a row, 2001-03.) Mission Viejo, No. 4 in CIF-SS Division 1, has won 33 straight league games. That’s the third-longest such streak in O.C. football history. This South Coast League opener represents a fair challenge for the Diablos. Tesoro has wins over good teams like La Habra and El Toro. The Titans’ losses are to Edison and Notre Dame of Riverside. Mission Viejo, offensively, defensively and on special teams, is a lot better than Edison and Notre Dame.
Winner: Mission Viejo
ST. JOHN BOSCO (4-1) VS. NO. 6 SERVITE (3-2)
Where, when: Cerritos College, 7 p.m.
Analysis: Servite almost beat De La Salle of Concord when De La Salle was ranked No. 1 in the state. The Friars lost to De La Salle by one point. Their other loss was to Bishop Amat, which is No. 22 in the CalHiSports.com state top 25; Servite is No. 24. St. John Bosco is No. 2 in California, behind Centennial of Corona. St. John Bosco’s loss was to Bishop Gorman of Las Vegas, which is No. 1 in some national rankings. Bosco quarterback Re-al Mitchell, a junior, has passed for 932 yards and eight touchdowns. Senior Terrance Beasley has 574 yards rushing for the Braves. Terrell Bynum, who started his high school career at Servite, has 22 receptions for 231 yards and two scores. Servite quarterback Tyler Lytle has passed for 1,135 yards and four touchdowns. The Friars, who are not in the Division 1 top 10, know they can compete with the best teams. St. John Bosco’s quickness on defense is going to make it tough for the Friars to keep up in this one.
Winner: St. John Bosco
NO. 3 SANTA MARGARITA (4-1, 0-0) VS. NO. 1 MATER DEI (5-0, 0-0)
Where, when: Santa Ana Stadium, 7 p.m.
Analysis: Santa Margarita has improved since a 48-21 season-opening loss to Mission Viejo. They have averaged 45 points in their four wins since. Senior quarterback Richard Wagner has passed for 955 yards and five touchdowns. William Green and Chad Magyar have more than 300 rushing yards each. Senior receiver Grant Calcaterra is playing like expected, with 31 receptions for 427 yards – that’s 107 receiving yards a game – and four touchdowns. Mater Dei might have its best team since the 1990s. The Monarchs football team might come close to scoring as many points a game as their basketball team. They are averaging 56 points a game and have three shutout wins. Sophomore quarterback JT Daniels has already thrown for 1,925 yards and 28 touchdowns. Mater Dei’s receiving corps is amazing. Junior receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown has 23 catches for 469 yards and 10 touchdowns. Nikko Remigio has 20 receptions for 337 yards, C.J. Parks has 16 catches for 246 yards etc. Maybe Santa Margarita puts together a perfect game. Even so, it still would take a series of Mater Dei mistakes for the Eagles to score the upset. This Mater Dei team seems too polished for that to occur.
Winner: Mater Dei
No. 9 Los Alamitos (3-2) vs. Marina (3-2) at Westminster High
No. 14 Buena Park (4-1) vs. Sonora (0-5) at La Habra High
El Dorado (2-3) vs. No. 17 Foothill (4-1) at Tustin High
Brea Olinda (3-2) at No. 20 Yorba Linda (4-1)
Aliso Niguel (2-4) at No. 21 El Toro (1-5)
Western (2-2) vs. Kennedy (3-2) at Western High
Valencia (0-5) vs. Pacifica (3-2) at Garden Grove High
Fullerton (3-2) vs. Sunny Hills (4-1) at Buena Park High
Santiago (1-4) vs. La Quinta (4-1) at Bolsa Grande High
Savanna (3-2) vs. Katella (5-0) at Glover Stadium
Century (1-4) at Santa Ana Valley (2-3)
Beckman (2-3) at University (5-0)
Irvine (1-3-1) vs. Northwood (0-5) at Portola High
Godinez (1-4) at Laguna Beach (2-3)
Saddleback (2-3) at Estancia (1-4)
Southlands Christian of Walnut (2-3, 1-0) vs. Saddleback Valley Christian (2-3, 0-0) at Aliso Niguel High
Trabuco Hills (4-2) at No. 13 San Juan Hills High (5-1)
Fountain Valley (1-4) at Huntington Beach (2-3)
Excelsior of Victorville (2-2) vs. Brethren Christian (5-1) at Ocean View High
Crean Lutheran (5-1) vs. St. Monica of Santa Monica (2-3) at Santa Monica High
St. Margaret's (5-1) at Sweetwater of National City (1-4)
Calvary Baptist of La Verne (1-3) at St, Michael’s Prep (3-1), 3:30 p.m.
Chadwick of Palos Verdes Peninsula (3-1) at Sage Hill (4-2)
Ocean View (3-2) vs. Loara (1-4) at Western High
Whittier Christian (4-2) vs. Heritage Christian of Northridge (4-2) at Granada Hills Charter School
Fryer on Football last week: 6-4
Season to date: 47-13
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