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There are several big games on the schedule for Week 9 of the football season, and OCVarsity's Steve Fryer takes a look at the best of the bunch and makes predictions on who will win.

Fryer on football: Week 9's games

OCVARSITY.COM

GAME OF THE WEEK

NO. 21 DANA HILLS (3-5, 2-0) VS. LAGUNA HILLS (5-3, 2-1)

Where, when: Laguna Hills High, Friday, 7 p.m.

The last time: 1997 — Dana Hills 34, Laguna Hills 21

The series: Laguna Hills leads, 8-7

The coaches: Dana Hills, Todd Rusinkovich (6-12); Laguna Hills, Bruce Ingalls (92-64-1)

Outlook: The Sea View League is living up to expectations, which were that it would be one of the more-balanced leagues in Orange County football. Dana Hills is in first place in the five-team league in Week 9, the next-to-final week of the regular season. The Dolphins were preseason league favorites according to a poll of league coaches. Laguna Beach is one half-game behind, with Capistrano Valley and San Juan Hills both one game behind at 1-1. Aliso Niguel is 0-3, with two of the losses by seven points or fewer. Dana Hills took their bye last week after league victories over Aliso Niguel and Capistrano Valley. Dana Hills sophomore Brian Scott was inserted into the starting tailback position earlier this season. He rushed for 130 yards against Capistrano Valley. Laguna Hills’ record includes a forfeit loss to Corona del Mar for using an ineligible player in the Hawks’ 21-12 victory over CdM. The Hawks have league victories over San Juan Hills and Aliso Niguel. They lost to Capistrano Valley, 17-14, on a game-ending field goal. Like Dana Hills, Laguna Hills has a run-oriented offense. Dana Hills last year was in the South Coast League, where the Dolphins went 0-4. The switch has been a winning one for Dana Hills, and look for that to continue in this game.

Winner: Dana Hills

THURDAY'S GAMES

Orange League

KATELLA (6-2, 3-0) VS. MAGNOLIA (3-5, 2-1)

Where, when: Glover Stadium, 7 p.m.

Outlook: Orange League coaches picked Santa Ana Valley to win the league championship. Katella killed that prediction with a 34-0 victory over Valley two weeks ago. The Knights also have league victories over Anaheim and Century, and have outscored league opponents, 94-14. The losses were in nonleague games against Garden Grove and Western. Katella's TJ Ashmeade is averaging 132 rushing yards a game and 7 yards a carry. Magnolia can throw the football. Sentinels quarterback Adeel Akbar is averaging 137 passing yards a game, second in the league to the 188 a game average of Valley's Joe Mohr. Magnolia was 0-4 and since has won four of five including league victories over Century and Savanna. It's league loss was a one-sided one to Valley, 42-14. The Sentinels likely would have to win this game or beat Anaheim next week to make the playoffs. Katella looks like it is on the way to the league championship.

Winner: Katella

Also today (all games 7 p.m.)

Century League

Esperanza (5-3, 2-2) at El Modena (2-7, 0-5)

Empire League

No. 23 Yorba Linda (6-2, 2-2) vs. Kennedy (2-6, 1-3) at Western High

Western (3-6, 0-5) at No. 8 Tustin (8-0, 4-0)

Garden Grove League

Los Amigos (5-3, 2-1) vs. Santiago (3-5, 1-2) at Garden Grove High

Orange Coast League

Costa Mesa (3-5, 1-2) vs. Calvary Chapel (3-5, 0-3) at Estancia High

Pacific Coast League

Beckman (2-6, 1-2) vs. University (2-5-1, 0-3) at Irvine High

Sunset League

Marina (3-5, 0-3) at No. 15 Newport Harbor (4-4, 2-1)

FRIDAY'S GAMES

Century League

BREA OLINDA (4-4, 2-2) VS. NO. 12 FOOTHILL (6-2, 3-1)

Where, when: Tustin High, 7 p.m.

Outlook: This is a crucial game for the playoff hopes of both teams. The top three finishers in the seven-team Century League receive guaranteed berths in the CIF-SS Southwest Division playoffs. The fourth-place team will be eligible for one of the division's two at-large berths. Second-place Foothill's league loss was to league-leading Villa Park. The Knights' other loss was in a nonleague game to Tustin. Jack Gilchrist has been outstanding at quarterback for Foothill, completing 63 percent of his throws for 186 yards a game and 16 touchdowns with five interceptions. Twin brothers Jarrell and Julian Moss have been playmakers on offense and defense for Foothill. Brea Olinda is tied with Esperanza for fourth place. They are one-half game behind third place El Dorado (3-2 in league). Brea's league victories are over El Modena and Canyon, its league losses to Esperanza and Villa Park. The loss to Villa Park last week was by only five points, and the loss to Esperanza was by only one point. Brea running back Josh Vizcaya rushed for 130 yards against Villa Park. Brea has proven it can compete with the better teams in the league. But Foothill's offensive versatility and those Moss guys sure can make a difference.

Winner: Foothill

Freeway League

NO. 19 LA HABRA (5-3, 3-0) VS. BUENA PARK (5-3, 1-2)

Where, when: Buena Park High, 7 p.m.

Outlook: La Habra is not as good as it was the past few years, when the Highlanders were racking up CIF championships. Last year's team reached the Southwest Division semifinals. Buena Park was expected to be the team that would challenge La Habra's long-running hold on the league championship. But the Coyotes lost to Sonora and Troy. Buena Park still has running back Deven Boston, who is averaging 190 yards a game and 10 yards a carry. They need more than Boston to beat La Habra. La Habra's defense has been suspect at times, allowing 22 points a game. But the offense has been fine, especially in league in which the Highlanders are averaging 32 points a game. Troy and Sonora, both 2-1, are one game behind league-leading La Habra. Troy beat Sonora last week. La Habra already has defeated Troy. The Highlanders get Sonora next week, but can't look past Boston and Buena Park.

Winner: La Habra

Garden Grove League

RANCHO ALAMITOS (6-2, 2-1) VS. GARDEN GROVE (6-2, 3-0)

Where, when: Garden Grove High, 7 p.m.

Outlook: Rancho Alamitos was the coaches' pick to win the league championship, according to their preseason poll. But Rancho lost big to Los Amigos, 38-0, in the league opener and the following week Garden Grove beat Los Amigos, 56-14. Those events placed Grove firmly in control of the league race. Rancho Alamitos followed the Los Amigos loss with expected victories over Bolsa Grande and La Quinta. Momentum builders, perhaps. Garden Grove has plenty of offensive weapons. Running backs C.J. Del Real and Sione Masoe are averaging 5 and 10 yards a carry, respectively. The Argonauts' Angel Martinez is the league's best quarter. He has completed 62 percent of his passes for 128 yards a game. Rancho quarterback Matt Cubert has been good, too, with a league-high 10 touchdown passes. Garden Grove plays Bolsa Grande next week. Garden Grove, ranked No. 3 in the CIF-SS Southern Division, looks not only like the superior team in this league, but also a top contender in the upcoming Southern Division playoffs.

Winner: Garden Grove

Pacific Coast League

WOODBRIDGE (4-4, 2-1) VS. CORONA DEL MAR (6-2, 3-0)

Where, when: Newport Harbor High, 7 p.m.

Outlook: Woodbridge coach Rick Gibson had wondered if his team would ever play to its potential. The Warriors did so last week in a 38-7 league victory over University. Austin DeFreitas rushed for 193 yards and two touchdowns, and quarterback Matt Callahan threw three touchdown passes. After starting 2-0, including a victory over Garden Grove, Woodbridge lost four in a row, including a 21-10 loss to Northwood in a league opener. The Warriors beat Beckman before defeating University last week. Corona del Mar is ranked No. 1 in the Southern Division, with Woodbridge at No. 5. The Sea Kings have won four in a row, including league victories over University, Northwood and last week's 41-0 triumph over Irvine. Corona del Mar quarterback Cayman Carter is looking like the league MVP. He is averaging 91 rushing yards and 150 passing yards a game. If Carter continues the production, the Sea Kings win this game that would guarantee them a share of the league championship.

Winner: Corona del Mar

Trinity League

NO. 7 ORANGE LUTHERAN (6-2, 1-2) VS. NO. 3 MATER DEI (6-2, 2-1)

Where, when: Santa Ana Stadium, 7:30 p.m.

Outlook: Both teams suffered league losses last week. Lutheran was defeated by Santa Margarita, 17-14. Mater Dei lost to league-leading St. John Bosco of Bellflower, 27-19. Mater Dei's losses are to teams ranked in the state top 5; Cal-Hi Sports has Narbonne of Harbor City, which beat the Monarchs by one point, at No. 2 (behind De La Salle of Concord) and St. John Bosco at No. 5. Lutheran's other league loss was to Bosco, 21-6. This is such an important game. The top three finishers in the six-team Trinity League receive guaranteed playoff berths. A Mater Dei victory would clinch a playoff berth; a Lutheran victory would complicate matters considerably. Mater Dei's best player, receiver/linebacker Thomas Duarte, was on crutches in the second half of the Bosco game after what was described as a thigh contusion. If that description is accurate, Duarte should be able to play in this game. Monarchs quarterback Ryan McMahon is playing better in late October than he did a few weeks ago. Lutheran running back Tavi Jimmerson is averaging 108 yards a game and 6 yards a carry, and has scored eight touchdowns. Mater Dei will need a superb defensive effort to quell Jimmerson and the Lancers' option attack. And the Monarchs do have one of the county's better defenses.

Winner: Mater Dei

St. JOHN BOSCO OF BELLFLOWER (4-4, 3-0) VS. NO. 10 SERVITE (3-5, 1-2)

Where, when: Cerritos College, 7:30 p.m.

Outlook: Logic suggests St. John Bosco should win, and perhaps handily, too. Servite kept itself in contention for a playoff berth last week with a 28-0 victory over JSerra. Servite still is in desperation mode, which usually is a good mode for the Friars. And they seem to have their offense settled, with Travis Waller now established at quarterback. St. John Bosco, though, has too many superior athletes. Braves sophomore quarterback Josh Rosen is averaging 174 yards a game, and has 14 touchdown passes with three interceptions, which is a nice ratio. Receiver AJ Holman, who transferred to Bosco from Orange Lutheran, has 27 catches for 381 yards and five touchdowns. This is a game Servite can win, if it can frustrate Bosco's offense early and get some offensive consistency of its own. But going with logic ...

Winner: St. John Bosco

Also Friday (all games 7 p.m. unless noted)

Academy League

Sage Hill (0-8, 0-1) at Crean Lutheran (4-4, 0-1), 4 p.m.

Brethren Christian (5-3, 1-0) at St. Margaret's (7-1, 1-0)

Century League

Canyon (3-5, 1-3) vs. No. 10 Villa Park (7-1, 4-0) at El Modena High

Empire League

Pacifica (4-4, 2-2) vs. Cypress (4-4, 2-2) at Western High

Freeway League

No. 20 Troy (5-3, 2-1) at Fullerton (2-6, 1-2)

Sunny Hills (3-5, 0-3) vs. Sonora (4-4, 2-1) at La Habra High

Garden Grove League

La Quinta (3-5, 1-2) at Bolsa Grande (1-7, 0-3)

Golden West League

Loara (2-6, 1-2) at Westminster (4-4, 3-0)

Orange League

Santa Ana Valley (5-3, 2-1) vs. Savanna (1-7, 0-3) at Glover Stadium

Anaheim (3-5, 1-2) vs. Century (3-5, 1-2) at Segerstrom High

Orange Coast League

Godinez (3-5, 2-1) at Laguna Beach (7-0-1, 3-0)

Saddleback (3-5, 1-2) at Estancia (5-3, 2-1)

Pacific Coast League

Irvine (4-4, 1-2) vs. Northwood (3-5, 2-1) at Irvine High

Sea View League

San Juan Hills (7-1, 1-1) at No. 25 Capistrano Valley (6-2, 1-1)

South Coast League

No. 14 Trabuco Hills (4-4, 0-2) at No. 1 Mission Viejo (8-0, 2-0)

No. 17 San Clemente (4-4, 0-2) at No. 6 Tesoro (6-2, 1-2)

Sunset League

No. 4 Edison (7-1, 3-0) vs. No. 18 Fountain Valley (3-5, 0-3) at Orange Coast College

No. 9 Los Alamitos (6-2, 2-1) at No. 16 Huntington Beach (4-4, 2-1)

Trinity League

No. 13 JSerra (5-3, 0-3) vs. No. 5 Santa Margarita (7-1, 2-1) at Saddleback College, 7:30 p.m.

Nonleague

Capistrano Valley Christian (6-2) at Xavier Prep of Palm Desert (1-6)

8-man

Coastal League

Avalon (8-0, 3-0) vs. Liberty Christian (3-5, 2-1) at Murdy Park

Nonleague

San Jacinto Academy (2-6) at St. Michael's Prep (4-2), 3 p.m.

SATURDAY'S GAMES

Golden West League

Segerstrom (7-1, 2-1) vs. Santa Ana (0-8, 0-3) at Santa Ana Stadium

Ocean View (3-5, 1-2) vs. Orange (5-3, 2-1) at El Modena High

San Joaquin League

Saddleback Valley Christian (4-4, 3-0) vs. Animo Leadership of Inglewood (0-8, 0-3) at Angelou of Los Angeles, 1 p.m.

Fairmont Prep (4-4, 2-1) vs. Santa Clarita Christian of Canyon Country (4-3, 1-2) at Canyon High of Canyon Country

Fryer on football last week: 3-5. Season to date: 41-31.

Rankings note: The Register media poll provides the 1-10 rankings. Teams ranked 11-25 are Steve Fryer's personal rankings.


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Baseball:

Santa Margarita 3, Trabuco Hills 5 - 8th Inns - Completed

Baseball:

La Mirada 0, Aliso Niguel 8 - 7th Inns - Completed

Baseball:

JSerra 1, Foothill 4 - 7th Inns - Completed

Baseball:

Capistrano Valley Christian 5, Crean Lutheran 1 - 9th Inns - Completed

Baseball:

Temecula Valley 10, Valencia 1 - 8th Inns - Completed

Volleyball:

Esperanza 9, Corona del Mar 15 - 5th Set - Completed

Volleyball:

Saddleback Valley Christian 11, Laguna Beach 25 - 4th Set - Completed

Baseball:

Crescenta Valley 2, Valencia 8 - 7th Inns - Completed

Volleyball:

Westview 17, Esperanza 25 - 3rd Set - Completed

Baseball:

Pacifica 4, Chino Hills 4 - 9th Inns - Completed