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The Calhoun Countdown for Week 3
Who’s ready for another week of fierce high school football action?
Ready or not, here we go. Week 3 - or 4, depending on where you live - should be just as intriguing as the previous weeks. We have some enticing match-ups.
Thursday: JSerra at Buena Park and Huntington Beach at Trabuco Hills. Friday is jam-packed, led by the Servite-Edison tilt. Also, Ocean View hosts Cerritos. Cerritos hasn’t scored a point all year and has allowed 185 in three games … OUCH.
Sit back and relax, here is this week’s edition of the Calhoun Countdown.
10. Can anybody catch Jack McInally?
Do you know who Jack McInally is? You should. The junior quarterback (6-foot-2, 210) at Brethren Christian has jumped out to an 18-12 lead (over the nearest competitor) in the race for the county title for passing touchdowns. Conner Manning (El Toro) has 12. Nathan Cole (Aliso Niguel) and Mason Dossey (Capistrano Valley) have 11 apiece. Can any of them catch McInally? McInally has thrown for six touchdowns in each of his first three games.
9. Stars coming out for Buena Park
Buena Park faces it toughest challenge of the early season when JSerra comes to town Thursday night. The game is so big, OCVarsity is sending the tag-team of Steve Fryer and Carlos Arias to cover the game. (I think it is safe to say that Arias has never been to Buena Park High. Expect him to get lost.) Now for the game itself: Buena Park is taking a step up against JSerra, which hails from the mighty Trinity League. The Coyotes have scored easily the first three games, averaging 53 points a game. Running back Deven Boston has already eclipsed last year’s touchdown total, with his 14 through three. It has been an awesome start.
8. Pressure is on JSerra’s side
JSerra is off to a 2-0 start after victories over Long Beach Wilson and Huntington Beach. Casey Eugenio is becoming one of the county’s top do-everything players. Now comes word - courtesy of the JSerra Twitter page - that if the Lions win, the school will make Friday a jeans day! That’s big news .. and it's a lot of pressure on the Lions. This is by far Buena Park’s biggest challenge. If they are able to score early and often and get some turnovers the Coyotes could be in for a big night. Will the Coyotes be up for it?
Prediction: It will be jeans day for JSerra's students on Friday.
7. Step up time for San Clemente?
The mighty Tritons hit the road for a trip to La Costa Canyon on Friday night for a nonleague game. I don’t know how good La Costa Canyon is, but the Mavericks have something the previous three San Clemente opponents don’t have - and that’s a victory. San Clemente’s three opponents are a combined 0-8. La Costa Canyon is 2-0, but one of those victories is a 42-0 trouncing of Baldwin Park (0-3). What does that mean? Probably nothing. San Clemente is doing what it should. Through three games, the Tritons are averaging 45 points. First-year starting quarterback Sean Donnelly has completed 65 percent of his passes with seven touchdowns and only one interception. Look for San Clemente to continue its winning ways.
Prediction: Tritons improve to 4-0.
6. Records are made to be broken
And that’s what the Santa Margarita Eagles did last week against Trabuco Hills. Johnny Stanton broke Carson Palmer’s career yardage record. The Eagles also set a new single-game yardage record. Now, this week, the Eagles are hosting Carson. That’s the right the same Carson that gave up 48 points to Mater Dei last week. Santa Margarita might hit 70. The Eagles should be concerned that the Colts had nine plays of 25 yards or more against Mater Dei and they still only scored 13 points. Talk about mind-boggling.
Prediction: Painful night for Carson.
5. Battle of the Bay Showdown
Corona del Mar has been on the short end of the stick in the annual Battle of the Bay rivalry. Newport Harbor has won the past five meetings, including last year’s game, 29-26. Now for this version: CdM opened the season with a 21-12 loss to Laguna Hills, but bounced back with a 34-7 victory over Western last week. On the other side of field, Newport Harbor is 0-2, having lost to Trabuco Hills and Loyola. A loss here and Newport Harbor could be staring at an 0-4 record since they have to face San Clemente next week. Last year’s game was decided with less than three minutes left. Look for this year’s game to have the same ending.
Prediction: The game is close for four quarters and then CdM’s Griff Amies boots a 50-yard field goal.
4. Ground and Pound coming your way
New coach Chuck Peterson has brought a new look to Orange Lutheran and it fits. The Lancers are now running the option and are averaging 273 yards a game on the ground. The Lancers have attempted just 15 passes through three games. No one is sure if the option will work in the Trinity League, but it will certainly be interesting to see. How many times have the Trinity League coaches practiced for the option? That’s still weeks away. This week, the Lancers will meet La Habra at Orange Coast College. If this meeting is anything like the last two, then we’re in for a great night. In 2010, the Lancers held on for a 21-17 victory. Last year, La Habra led 24-8 at halftime, but Orange Lutheran eventually won in OT, 30-24.
Prediction: The Lancers win to improve to 4-0
3. The Edison gauntlet run begins Friday
Edison has an impressive stretch of nonleague games on tap. It is so brutal it is going to make the Sunset League portion of the schedule look like a walk in the park. First up is Servite Friday night. Next week, the Chargers will face Mater Dei and then the final round is set for Sept. 28 against San Clemente. The Chargers will emerge from this stretch a better team, one that will be in the Southwest Division finals (that’s my early prediction).
2. Which Servite will we see?
The Friars opened the season with at 40-23 loss to Bishop Amat. In the next game, they trailed Rancho Cucamonga by 20 points before rallying for a 24-23 victory. In the days following that victory, offensive coordinator Matt Mitchell was fired. Now after a bye week, Servite returns to the field against the Chargers. You have to think the Friars have ironed out the wrinkles from the first two weeks.
1. My pick for player to watch this week is …
Servite quarterback Neil Pauu. The first-year starter will be the key for Servite to get back on track.