I'm supposed to use "The Arias Factor" to provide my thoughts on the O.C. football scene heading into each week. I'm doing my best to provide serious analysis of the O.C. football scene, but how can my OCVarsity bosses expect me to focus this week.
I mean, Marvel's "The Avengers" Four-Disc Combo: Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD + Digital Copy + Digital Music Download drops on Tuesday. By the time "The Arias Factor" posts on OCVarsity.com I will have already purchased "The Avengers" Blu-ray and watched it. I'm probably starting the Joss Whedon director's commentary of "The Avengers" Blu-ray as you read this.
Seriously, I only got to see "The Avengers" five times when it was in theaters. I saw the midnight showing on opening night ... in 3D. I saw it three more times in 3D and once in IMAX 3D. That's only five times. That's the average American's normal amount of "The Avengers" viewings, right?
OK, time to focus on O.C. football. I promise, I'm not going to go off on an Avengers tangent. I won't even think about ... I can't wait to see all the extras, deleted scenes, featurettes, making-of docs and gag reels.
Back to O.C. football. It's time to dissect this week's match ... I can't wait to dissect the best fight scenes from "The Avengers." Was the Thor vs. Iron Man vs. Captain America fight the best fight in the movie? How about Hulk vs. Thor? No, Hulk vs. Loki has to be the one.
OK, now I'm focused like a laser beam on O.C. foot ... Do you remember the Hulk punch from nowhere?
Here are some random thoughts and factors heading into Week 5:
Can Aliso Niguel pick itself off the canvas?
The Wolverines were flying high after a 4-0 start. The aerial attack was putting up huge numbers and Aliso Niguel had moved into the Southwest Division top 10. Then came a date with Mission Viejo and the Diablos smacked the Wolverines back down to earth with an 84-22 beating. That was the bad news. The good news is the Wolverines won't see a team as big, physical, fast or talented as the Diablos for the rest of the season. I'm looking forward to seeing QB Nathan Cole (96 of 140 for 1,410 yards, 20 TDs, 4 ints), WR Alijah Arnold (24 rec., 362 yards, 10 TDs) and WR Jordyn Williams (29 rec., 44 p yards, 3 TDs) help the Wolverines bounce back when they play Woodbridge in the featured game of Thursday Night Football Madness at 7 p.m. at Irvine High.
Can Mission Viejo exact some "Red Dawn"-like vengeance and avenge last year's 10-7 loss to Redlands East Valley when the two schools meet in a rematch Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Mission Viejo High? Don't be fooled by the Wildcats' 1-2 record. Redlands East Valley beat Dominguez of Compton, 36-0, before losing to St. Bonaventure of Ventura, 18-7, and Vista Murrieta, 59-14. St. Bonaventure and Vista Murrieta are both ranked in Cal-Hi Sports top 25 state rankings. Redlands East Valley is ranked No. 6 in the Inland Division and Mission Viejo is No. 6 in the Pac-5 Division. The "Factor" player to watch for Mission Viejo is FS/WR Max Redfield, the pound-for-pound best player in the O.C.
Bounce Back Bowl
Edison turned in a valiant effort in a 20-14 defeat to Mater Dei last week, and San Clemente was without its first- and second-string quarterbacks as it lost to Newport Harbor, 28-7. That was last week. This week, Edison plays at San Clemente on Friday at 7 p.m. in the Bounce Back Bowl. The Tritons are still banged up and come in as the underdog against Edison, which has one of the best defenses in the county. The "Factor" player to watch for from San Clemente is Christian Bailey, who plays defensive back, running back, wide receiver and some quarterback.
Can Mater Dei lasso the Gauchos?
The Monarchs are executing "Red Redemption" to perfection so far this season, but their next big test comes Friday at 7 p.m. at Narbonne of Harbor City, the defending L.A. City Section Division 1 champion. The Gauchos are 4-0 with victories over Long Beach Poly, 56-0, and Serra of Gardena, 22-9. Narbonne is ranked No. 5 in the state by Cal-Hi Sports and No. 19 in the nation by ESPN. Mater Dei is ranked No. 3 in the Pac-5 Division and No. 14 in the state. "Factor" players to watch for in this game are Cal-bound A.J. Richardson, a dangerous wide receiver kick returner and punt returner for the Gauchos, and highly recruited Thomas Duarte, a wide receiver/defensive back threat for the Monarchs.
Will I achieve OCVarsity Pickapalooza Deathmatch glory?
It's been a rough three-week stretch for yours truly, but I will achieve OCVarsity Pickapalooza Deathmatch glory once again. It is my destiny to be the undisputed OCVarsity Deathmatch champion. I'm still in the process of lining up this week's challenger. This week's OCVarsity Pickapalooza Deathmatch game is Trabuco Hills vs. JSerra on Friday at 7 p.m. at Saddleback College. I'm taking Trabuco Hills and I'm putting up my The Incredible Hulk bobblehead. This is the prized bobblehead in my bobblehead collection. It's Hulk smash time.
The inside dope on OCVarsity snack bars and snacking
Being the connoisseur of county snack bars and snacking that I am, I must pass along this latest tidbit of 411 from OCVarsity feature-writing machine Adam Maya. Maya claims the snack bar at Veterans Stadium serves the tastiest pretzels. Maya is a legit source. I trust his snackformation, so I'm going to endorse the Vet Stadium pretzels. Word on the streets is the Diablo Baked Potatoes at Mission Viejo High are the bomb. I'm coming for you, Diablo Baked Potato. I will be at Mission Viejo High on Friday for the Diablos' battle against Redlands East Valley. I will investigate and report my findings next week. Here's another piece of snackvice: If you are heading out to the Mission Viejo-Redlands East Valley game on Friday or are in South OC, check out Jersey Mike's Subs on the corner of La Paz and Marguerite in Mission Viejo. I recommend the Jersey Mike's Famous Philly.
And the OCVarsity Superfan of the Week is ...
Tesoro senior Melissa Foley, who was out in full force to support the Titans as they rallied to knock off Chaparral of Temecula, 17-14. Foley and her crew of Titans fanatics were there to cheer on Matt Adams' heroics. Adam chucked a 41-yard pass to Forrest Dunivin, then scored on a 1-yard TD run on the next play to give Tesoro a 17-14 lead with 1:37 remaining. Tesoro held on for the victory, sending Foley and the rest of Titan Nation into hysterics. Let's keep this thing going OCVarsity Universe. Email photos of yourself and your fellow fanatical fans to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or hit me up on Twitter @LosOCVarsity. I will run the best photos in “The Arias Factor” next Tuesday.