GAME OF THE WEEK Trinity League NO. 3 SANTA MARGARITA (8-1 overall, 3-1 league) VS. NO. 1 SERVITE (8-1, 4-0) Where, when: Friday, Cerritos College, 7:30 p.m.
The last time: 2010 – Servite 17, Santa Margarita 10 The series: Servite leads, 9-6-1 The coaches: Santa Margarita, Harry Welch (22-4 at Santa Margarita, 244-53-2 overall); Servite, Troy Thomas (66-16 at Servite, 103-29 overall)
Outlook: If Santa Margarita wins this game, the final regular-season game for both teams here in Week 10, then the Eagles share the Trinity League championship with Servite; Servite last week clinched at least a share of its seventh consecutive league title. That would make Santa Margarita the league's No. 1 playoff representative, guaranteeing the Eagles a first-round home game against another league's No. 3 or 4 team when CIF-Southern Section playoff seedings and first-round pairings are released Sunday (visit ocvarsity.com Sunday for everything playoffs). The No. 2 team will play another league's No. 2 at home or on the road, or perhaps will play a home game against a No. 3. So this is a big game. Servite's 2011 loss was to nationally ranked Bishop Gorman of Las Vegas. Santa Margarita's loss was to Mater Dei, which is a tragedy because, according to much of my readership and a couple of my colleagues, Mater Dei could not beat Liberty Christian because, per their argument, Mater Dei won't be in the playoffs and Liberty Christian is a playoff team. Santa Margarita bounced back from that Hindenburg-like event to beat Orange Lutheran, JSerra and St. John Bosco of Bellflower. Servite beat all of those teams and then destroyed Mater Dei by a touchdown last week at Angel Stadium. Santa Margarita matches up very well against Servite. The Eagles have an outstanding running-and-throwing quarterback in junior Johnny Stanton, who has completed 61 percent of his passes for 1,367 yards and is averaging 94 rushing yards a game. Santa Margarita junior running back Ryan Wolpin is averaging 125 rushing yards a game, and he and Stanton operate behind what might be the best offensive line in county football. Servite has enjoyed the return of running back Charlie Etiaki. He rushed for 153 yards and two touchdowns against Mater Dei, but the offensive star for Servite last week was senior quarterback Cody Pittman, who rushed for 137 yards and a touchdown and 159 yards and a touchdown. Don't be shocked if Santa Margarita wins. For Servite, the formula is to not give up the big play, avoid the 15-yard penalties and win the turnover battle. If the Friars follow the formula, the Friars win.
OCVarsity Gridiron preview of Santa Margarita vs. Servite (4:23 mark of video):