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Fryer on football: Week 8's games
GAME OF THE WEEK
NO. 1 MISSION VIEJO (7-0, 1-0) VS. NO. 6 TESORO (6-1, 1-1)
Where, when: Tesoro High, Friday, 7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Net
The last time: 2011 – Mission Viejo 14, Tesoro 7
The series: Mission Viejo leads, 4-2
The coaches: Mission Viejo, Bob Johnson (144-27-1 at Mission Viejo, 265-92-1 overall); Tesoro, Brian Barnes (47-20 at Tesoro, 56-33 overall)
Outlook: Both are in the Cal-Hi Sports state top 25, with Mission Viejo at No. 4 and Tesoro at No. 15. This will be Mission Viejo's toughest opponent so far this season. The Diablos are averaging 51 points a game but have played only two teams, Aliso Niguel and Mission Hills of San Marcos, that go into this week above .500. Mission Viejo does have the talent to compete with any team in Southern California. Quarterback Ian Fieber has completed 72 percent of his passes for an average of 249 yards a game, with 17 touchdowns and five interceptions. Sean Modster is the Diablos' top receiver with 24 catches for an average 27 yards a reception and 110 yards a game. Tesoro quarterback Matt Adam, a third-year starter, has not put up eye-popping numbers, with 94 passing yards a game and 10 touchdown passes. That's because the Titans have one of the county's better running backs. Nate Tago rushed for 320 yards and four touchdowns last week against El Toro. That was a 41-31 loss for the Titans, who became another victim of El Toro quarterback Conner Manning who threw for 280 yards and four touchdowns, and even caught a touchdown pass. Mission Viejo opened league with a 45-7 victory over San Clemente last week. This one won't be that one-sided, but the Diablos' passing game and defense should get them to 2-0 in league.
Winner: Mission Viejo
*** *** ***
Pacific Coast League
CORONA DEL MAR (5-2, 2-0) VS. IRVINE (4-3, 1-1)
Where, when: Irvine High, 7 p.m.
Outlook: The Pacific Coast League has been a crazy one. Irvine lost its league opener to Beckman – that qualifies as an upset this season – and bounced back last week with a 29-21 league victory over University to end a three-game losing streak. Corona del Mar beat University and Northwood in its two league games. In the CIF-Southern Section's Southern Division rankings, Corona del Mar, the division's defending champion, is No. 3 and Irvine is No. 5. (The division's undefeated teams, Segerstrom and Laguna Beach, are 1-2 in the rankings.) Corona del Mar quarterback Cayman Carter is having a league MVP-type season. He has completed 55 percent of his passes for 149 yards a game and is averaging 89 rushing yards a game. Corona del Mar's Troy Reese has 28 receptions for 364 yards and three touchdowns. Irvine's offense has struggled. The Vaqueros are averaging a league-low 17 points a game, but their defense is allowing a league-low 16 points a game. It seems unlikely Irvine can limit Carter and Co. to 16 points in this one.
Winner: Corona del Mar
Also Thursday (all games 7 p.m.)
Sage Hill (0-7, 0-0) vs. Brethren Christian (4-3, 0-0) at Ocean View High
Kennedy (1-6, 0-3) at Western (3-5, 0-4)
Garden Grove League
Rancho Alamitos (5-2, 1-1) vs. La Quinta (3-4, 1-1) at Bolsa Grande High
Garden Grove (5-2, 2-0) vs. Santiago (3-4, 1-1) at Garden Grove High
Golden West League
Segerstrom (7-0, 2-0) vs. Orange (4-3, 1-1) at El Modena High
Santa Ana Valley (4-3, 1-1) vs. Anaheim (3-4, 1-1) at Glover Stadium
Katella (5-2, 2-0) vs. Century (3-4, 1-1) at Santa Ana Stadium
Pacific Coast League
Northwood (2-5, 1-1) vs. Beckman (2-5, 1-1) at Tustin High
*** *** ***
CYPRESS (4-3, 2-1) VS. NO. 24 YORBA LINDA (5-2, 1-2)
Where, when: Yorba Linda High, 7 p.m.
Outlook: It's Tustin's league. The Tillers will conclude the regular season 7-0 in league and 10-0 overall. That leaves two guaranteed playoff berths for the league's Nos. 2 and 3 teams (via a rules change, only the top three finishers in seven-team leagues like the Empire automatically qualify for the football playoffs). Cypress and Yorba Linda are candidates for either, although Valencia's 35-14 triumph over Yorba Linda last week places the Tigers in excellent position to be automatic qualifiers for the playoffs in the Southwest Division, which will have two at-large berths. Cypress and Yorba Linda both got clobbered by Tustin, with Cypress losing to the Tillers by 43 points last week and Yorba Linda losing to them by 33 three weeks ago. Cypress running back Jake Brito is enjoying an excellent season. He is averaging 152 rushing yards a game. The Centurions' Quentin Pounds has 27 catches for 328 yards and seven touchdowns. Yorba Linda's Shad Pace is the league's leading receiver with 37 receptions for 479 yards and six touchdowns. Mustangs quarterback Brandon Summers has completed 57 percent of his passes for 155 yards a game. Brito can be a difference maker, and just might be in this game.
Sea View League
CAPISTRANO VALLEY (5-2, 0-1) VS. No. 22 LAGUNA HILLS (5-2, 2-0)
Where, when: Laguna Hills High, 7 p.m.
Outlook: The Sea View League looked like it might be the most tightly contested league in county football. But there have been more one-sided games than expected. Last week, Capistrano Valley lost big to Dana Hills, 31-0. Laguna Hills manhandled Aliso Niguel, 49-14. Laguna Hills' other league victory in this five-team league was over San Juan Hills, 23-14. It is a league of good quarterbacks, and Capistrano Valley's Mason Dossey is one of them. He has completed 59 percent of his passes for 258 yards a game and 16 touchdowns with eight interceptions. The Cougars' Cole Robinson is among the county's leading receivers with 46 receptions for 631 yards and 12 touchdowns. Laguna Hills quarterback Kevin Cunningham is more of a throwing-and-running quarterback. Cunningham is averaging 97 passing yards and 46 rushing yards a game. Laguna Hills' leading rusher is Mike Longo, who is averaging 64 yards a game. Where Laguna Hills shines is on defense. The Hawks are averaging a league-low 14 points a game. That defense should lead the way to Laguna Hills moving to 3-0 in league.
Winner: Laguna Hills
NO. 17 HUNTINGTON BEACH (4-3, 2-0) VS. NO. 15 NEWPORT HARBOR (3-4, 1-1)
Where, when: Newport Harbor High, 7 p.m.
Outlook: Huntington Beach is tied for first place with Edison. The Oilers have league victories over Fountain Valley and Marina. After playing Newport Harbor, they have league games against the league's top 10-ranked teams, Los Alamitos and Edison. So that makes this a crucial game for Huntington Beach. As it is for Newport Harbor, too. The Sailors lost big to Edison, 35-0, in their league opener then bounced back nicely with a 21-14 victory over Fountain Valley last week. That was a big one for Newport in its hopes to remain in contention for a playoff berth. The Sailors play league games against Marina and Los Alamitos in the final two weeks of the regular season. Huntington Beach quarterback Kai Ross has been a challenge for opposing defenses. He is averaging 136 passing yards and 69 rushing yards a game. Newport Harbor has played a challenging schedule, with losses to Loyola of Los Angeles and Trabuco Hills, and a victory over San Clemente. Newport Harbor's Tala Teaupa is the league's leading rusher with 849 yards and six touchdowns. This looks like it will be a close game. If Newport Harbor can get Teaupa going while keeping Ross under control, Newport will win this one.
Winner: Newport Harbor
ST. JOHN BOSCO OF BELLFLOWER (3-4, 2-0) VS. No. 2 MATER DEI (6-1, 2-0)
Where, when: Santa Ana Stadium, 7:30 p.m.
Outlook: Don't be fooled by the other candidate's claims! Wait, too much election stuff in the mail and on TV. Don't be fooled by St. John Bosco's record. The Braves' four losses were victories on the field that became forfeit losses. A Bosco player in those four games was discovered to have already exhausted his eight semesters of athletic eligibility. St. John Bosco is No. 11 in the state rankings, with Mater Dei at No. 5. In the Pac-5 Division rankings, Mater Dei is No. 3 and St. John Bosco is No. 5. Mater Dei beat defending Pac-5 champion Santa Margarita last week, 24-7. Mater Dei played the type of game it will have to play to beat Bosco – excellent defense and a versatile offense. Monarchs quarterback Ryan McMahon was not spectacular last week, but he was good enough in completing 9 of 16 passes for 133 yards and a touchdown on a great catch by Monarchs star receiver Thomas Duarte. Duarte has 29 receptions for 541 yards and nine touchdowns. Mater Dei looks like it has it together this year, enough to win this game and to make a deep excursion in the playoffs.
Winner: Mater Dei
SERVITE (2-5, 0-2) VS. JSERRA (5-2, 0-2)
Where, when: Saddleback College, 7:30 p.m.
TV: Cox3 (11:30 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday)
Outlook: The top three finishers in a six-team league like the Trinity automatically qualify for the playoffs. Teams that finish in fourth place can get at-large berths, of which there are two in the Pac-5 Division. No longer are there the .500-or-better overall record criteria to be eligible for at-large consideration. But no team wants to leave its playoff hopes in the hands of the at-large committee. A team with three league losses probably is not going to finish third or higher. That makes this a must-win game for JSerra and Servite. JSerra lost in overtime to St. John Bosco, 44-41, last week in an away game in which the Lions trailed, 24-0. JSerra sophomore quarterback Nick Robinson had the best game of his young career, throwing for 325 yards and two touchdowns. Servite lost to Orange Lutheran, 28-14, following a 21-0 league-opening loss to Santa Margarita. JSerra has not beaten Servite. Servite usually is bigger and has more playmakers. Servite still has a size advantage, but the Friars' offense does not yet have that go-to playmaker they have had on their league championship teams of the past several years. With Robinson, Casey Eugenio and Dante Pettis, JSerra does. That advantage, and the confidence JSerra got last week, the confidence that told the Lions they finally belong in this league, could take them to victory.
NO. 5 SANTA MARGARITA (6-1, 1-1) VS. NO. 7 ORANGE LUTHERAN (6-1, 1-1)
Where, when: Orange Coast College, 7:30 p.m.
Outlook: We have a couple of teams here that, like in the Servite-JSerra game, will be fighting for their playoff lives. Santa Margarita misses All-CIF quarterback Johnny Stanton, out for the season because of a knee injury, just as everyone thought it would. Eagles sophomore Kyle Sweet and junior Josh Canty have been good at quarterback at times, but duplicating the contributions Santa Margarita got from all-around star Stanton is just about impossible. After shutting out Servite two weeks ago, Santa Margarita last week lost to a superior Mater Dei team, 24-7. Orange Lutheran opened league with a 21-6 loss to St. John Bosco. The Lancers beat Servite last week, 28-14, as Tavi Jimmerson rushed for 182 yards and three touchdowns. Lutheran trailed Servite, 14-0. Santa Margarita still has the skill players on offense and the excellent offensive and defensive lines to beat Lutheran and so many other teams. But Lutheran's comeback victory over Servite has to be a heck of a booster shot of confidence.
Winner: Orange Lutheran
Also Friday (all games 7 p.m. unless noted)
Crean Lutheran (4-3, 0-0) at St. Margaret's (6-1, 0-0)
No. 25 El Dorado (4-4, 3-1) vs. No. 13 Foothill (5-2, 2-1) at Tustin High
El Modena (2-6, 0-4) vs. Canyon (2-5, 0-3) at El Modena High
No. 9 Villa Park (6-1, 3-0) at Brea Olinda (4-3, 2-1)
No. 23 Valencia (5-3, 3-1) vs. Pacifica (4-3, 2-1) at Bolsa Grande High
Sonora (4-3, 2-0) vs. No. 20 Troy (4-3, 1-1) at Fullerton High
Sunny Hills (3-4, 0-2) at Buena Park (4-3, 0-2)
Fullerton (2-5, 1-1) at No. 19 La Habra (4-3, 2-0)
Garden Grove League
Bolsa Grande (1-6, 0-2) vs. Los Amigos (4-3, 1-1) at Garden Grove High
Golden West League
Santa Ana (0-7, 0-2) vs. Loara (1-6, 0-2) at Glover Stadium
Westminster (3-4, 2-0) at Ocean View (3-4, 1-1)
Maranatha of Pasadena (2-5, 1-0) vs. Whittier Christian (5-3, 2-0) at Whittier College
Savanna (1-6, 0-2) vs. Magnolia (2-5, 1-1) at Western High
Orange Coast League
Saddleback (3-4, 1-1) vs. Costa Mesa (2-5, 0-2) at Estancia High
Calvary Chapel (3-4, 0-2) at Laguna Beach (6-0-1, 2-0)
Estancia (4-3, 1-1) vs. Godinez (3-4, 2-0) at Segerstrom High
Pacific Coast League
University (2-4-1, 0-2) vs. Woodbridge (3-4, 1-1) at Irvine High
Sea View League
Aliso Niguel (5-3, 0-2) at San Juan Hills (6-1, 0-1) at San Juan Hills High
South Coast League
No. 3 El Toro (8-0, 2-0) at No. 14 Trabuco Hills (4-3, 0-1)
No. 10 Los Alamitos (5-2, 1-1) vs. No. 18 Fountain Valley (3-4, 0-2) at Westminster High
Marina (3-4, 0-2) vs. No. 4 Edison (6-1, 2-0) at Huntington Beach High
Boron (7-1) vs. Capistrano Valley Christian (6-1) at San Clemente High, 7:30 p.m.
Liberty Christian (2-5, 1-1) at Price of Los Angeles (2-4, 0-2)
San Joaquin League
Animo Leadership of Inglewood (0-7, 0-2) vs. Fairmont Prep (3-4, 1-1) at Yorba Linda High, 5 p.m.
Saddleback Valley Christian (3-4, 2-0) vs. Santa Clarita Christian (4-2, 1-1) at Canyon High of Canyon Country
Fryer on football last week: 5-3. Season to date: 38-26.
Rankings note: The Orange County media poll provides the 1-10 rankings. Teams ranked 11-25 are Steve Fryer's personal rankings.