|OCVarsity Gridiron: Trinity League clash|
Steve Fryer, Carlos Arias and Dan Albano travel to Laguna Beach to preview their upcoming game against Estancia. Also, what does Robert Murtha's tattoo mean? Can Mater Dei take down Santa Margarita. Video by Jonathan Khamis, OCVarsity.com
|OCVarsity Gridiron Extra: Who's best in Southwest?|
Carlos Arias, Steve Fryer, and Dan Albano travel to Laguna Beach in the OCVarsity Gridiron Extra. Topics include the Southwest division favorites, who owns the Freeway League, and a look at the Sea View league. Video by Jonathan Khamis, OCVarsity.com
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Fryer on football: Week 7's games
GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 3 MATER DEI (5-1, 1-0) VS. No. 1 SANTA MARGARITA (6-0, 1-0)
Where, when: Saddleback College, Friday, 7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports West
The last time: 2011 — Mater Dei 21, Santa Margarita 14
The series: Mater Dei leads, 8-5
The coaches: Mater Dei, Bruce Rollinson (223-71-2); Santa Margarita, Harry Welch (28-5 at Santa Margarita, 249-52-2 overall)
Outlook: Mater Dei rumbled to a 42-10 victory over JSerra in a Trinity League opener last week. Thomas Duarte was OCVarsity football athlete of the week after making five receptions for 125 yards and two touchdowns and returning an interception 52 yards for a touchdown. Santa Margarita stretched its winning streak to 11 games with last week's 21-0 victory over Servite in the Eagles' first game since All-CIF quarterback Johnny Stanton was lost for the season because of a torn ACL. Santa Margarita's Ryan Wolpin rushed for 64 yards and two touchdowns against the Friars. He has rushed for 792 yards and 13 touchdowns this season. The Eagles' most recent loss was to Servite last season. Santa Margarita is 4-2 against Mater Dei in games at Saddleback College. The top three defensive teams in the county this season belong to Edison, Mater Dei and Santa Margarita. So, this figures to be a low-scoring game and a close one, too. Santa Margarita still has offensive weapons without Stanton. Besides Wolpin, the Eagles have receiver River Cracraft (27 receptions, 466 yards, 2 touchdowns). Mater Dei has a pair of good running backs. Justin Allen has rushed for 470 yards, and Treavon Coley has rushed for 274 yards. Linemen-wise, the Eagles have the edge. This one could be decided by turnovers and time of possession. If the Monarchs defenders can create the turnovers, for which they have the potential, and if their offense can control the football, they will win.
Winner: Mater Dei
*** *** ***
Garden Grove League
GARDEN GROVE (4-2, 1-0) VS. LOS AMIGOS (4-2, 1-0)
Where, when: Garden Grove High, Thursday, 7 p.m.
Outlook: Rancho Alamitos was picked to win the league championship, according to a preseason poll of league coaches. Los Amigos perhaps put itself as the league favorite last week with its 38-0 thumping of Rancho. Los Amigos' Jerry Saldivar rushed for 195 yards and two touchdowns. He is the county's No. 2 rusher, behind Buena Park's Deven Boston, with 1,078 yards. Saldivar is averaging 180 rushing yards a game. The Lobos defense limited Rancho to 48 yards of total offense. Garden Grove shut out La Quinta, 54-0, in a league game last week. The Argonauts have the league's best quarterback in Angel Martinez. He has completed 61 percent of his passes for 130 yards a game. Generally, the superior passing team in high school football has an advantage. If the Los Amigos defense plays like it did last week, and Saldivar has another monster game, then that advantage will not matter.
Winner: Los Amigos
Also Thursday (All games 7 p.m. unless noted)
No. 10 Villa Park (5-1, 2-0) vs. No. 25 El Dorado (4-3, 3-0) at Valencia High
Western (3-4, 0-3) vs. Pacifica (3-3, 1-1) at Bolsa Grande High
Golden West League
Orange (3-3, 0-1) vs. Loara (1-5, 0-1) at Glover Stadium
Santa Ana (0-6, 0-1) at Westminster (2-4, 1-0)
*** *** ***
NO. 21 TROY (3-3, 0-1) VS. BUENA PARK (4-2, 0-1)
Where, when: Buena Park High, Friday, 7 p.m.
Outlook: The preseason buzz in the Freeway League was that this could be the year La Habra's long-running position as the best team in the league would get its biggest challenge in a long time, and that challenge would come from Buena Park. But Buena Park lost to Sonora, 30-14, last week, and Troy sure made La Habra work for it in its 20-19 victory. Buena Park's Deven Boston, the county's leading rusher at 1,199 yards, had only 56 yards on 12 carries last week and did not score a rushing touchdown for the first time this season. Sonora's game plan was centered on time of possession, and the Raiders followed the game plan. Troy has a good back, too. Dallas Parent is averaging 117 rushing yards a game and backfield teammate Nathan Fleming is averaging 53 rushing yards a game. The Warriors' strength might be their defense. They have two shutouts and held Dana Hills to single-digit scoring in a 28-9 victory. If Troy can do what Sonora did last week, the Warriors will be victorious.
Orange Coast League
LAGUNA BEACH (5-0-1, 1-0) VS. ESTANCIA (4-2, 1-0)
Where, when: Estancia High, Friday, 7 p.m.
Outlook: If the Laguna Beach cheerleaders celebrate their team's scoring by doing one pushup a point, then they will have NFL linebacker biceps by the end of the season. Laguna Beach is averaging 52 points a game, tying Mission Viejo for the Orange County lead in that category. Estancia is not quite at that scoring level, with a "paltry" 25 points a game. But the Eagles defense has been terrific. Estancia has shutout victories over Loara and Ocean View, and last week led the way in a 15-13 victory over Costa Mesa. It looks like Laguna Beach's offense against Estancia's defense, but Estancia has an outstanding offensive player in running back Robert Murtha, who is averaging 109 rushing yards a game and 7 yards a carry. Laguna Beach back Drake Martinez is averaging 107 yards a game and 10 yards a carry, and the Breakers' Nathan Lancaster is averaging 79 yards a game and 14 a carry. Neither team is crazy about throwing the ball. Laguna Beach might have the quickness edge overall. But Estancia has a significant size advantage along the offensive and defensive lines, and has played a more challenging schedule. If you go to the ocvarsity.com "Gridiron Show" video, you will see I picked Laguna Beach to win. But having since put my head under the hood of that replay machine and examined more evidence ... upon further review ...
Sea View League
CAPISTRANO VALLEY (5-1, 0-0) VS. DANA HILLS (2-5, 1-0)
Where, when: Dana Hills, Friday, 7 p.m.
Outlook: Capistrano Valley's first league game is against the team the league's coaches picked to win the league championship. Dana Hills opened league play last week with a 20-18 victory over Aliso Niguel. Dana Hills played the most challenging nonleague schedule of any Sea View team with games against three Pac-5 Division teams. Capistrano Valley's only loss was to Esperanza, 27-21. After three victories in a row over Pacific Coast League teams, the Cougars had their bye last week. They should be healthy and ready. The Sea View is a quarterbacks' league. Cougars quarterback Mason Dossey has completed 59 percent of his passes for 299 yards a game and 16 touchdowns with six interceptions. Dana quarterback McCain Vail is averaging 123 passing yards a game. Dolphins running back Marcus Hughes is the league's leading rusher but his 71 yards a game is not among even the top 25 rushing averages in the county. We do know that Dana Hills' schedule got the Dolphins primed for a good run in the Sea View League. Look for that good run to continue this week.
Winner: Dana Hills
South Coast League
NO. 4 TESORO (6-0, 1-0) VS. NO. 6 EL TORO (7-0, 1-0)
Where, when: Trabuco Hills High, Friday, 7 p.m.
Outlook: Now we get to find out how good El Toro is. The Chargers charged through the nonleague portion of their schedule, in which their closest of five victories was a 20-point triumph over Clovis of Fresno (5-1). El Toro won its South Coast League opener last week against San Clemente, 49-37, which obviously is not the team it was last year when it played in the Pac-5 Division championship game. Tesoro will be the best team El Toro has faced so far. The Titans have beaten some good teams, including Chaparral of Temecula which is No. 14 in the state rankings. Tesoro is No. 7 in the state, and El Toro is No. 21. Conner Manning is the man for El Toro, with a state-leading 2,939 passing yards and 30 touchdowns. He threw two of his season's three interceptions against San Clemente. But the Chargers are not one-dimensional. El Toro running back Jacob Furnari is averaging 112 rushing yards a game and has 13 touchdowns rushing. Tesoro has a standout back, too. Nate Tago has is averaging 147 rushing yards a game and is averaging 7 yards a carry. Titans quarterback Matt Adam has completed only 40 passes, but 10 of them have been for touchdowns. Tesoro's defense, allowing 14 points a game, has been excellent against good opponents. Look for that defense to be a difference in this one, too.
NO. 6 EDISON (5-1, 1-0) VS. NO. 11 LOS ALAMITOS (5-1, 1-0)
Where, when: Veterans Stadium, Friday, 7 p.m.
Outlook: This looks like a battle of the two best teams in the Sunset League. Edison's offense has been inconsistent, but the defense has been outstanding. The Chargers have three shutouts, including one over Servite (OK, not as impressive as it seemed at the time) and last week's over Newport Harbor. They held Villa Park to single-digit scoring in a 27-7 victory. Los Alamitos has beaten one team we will classify as "good," Paramount, which the Griffins beat, 29-26, They lost to the other good team on their nonleague schedule, Charter Oak of Covina, 22-14. So, as usual, it is difficult in early October to know just how good Los Al actually is. The Griffins offense is averaging a league-leading 37 points a game. Quarterback Cody Marshall has completed 62 percent of his passes for an average of 155 yards a game, nine touchdowns and three interceptions. Edison quarterback Alek Torgerson is improving. He was an efficient 13 for 25 last week against Newport Harbor and a similar 14 for 24 two weeks ago against San Clemente. The Chargers running game uses a variety of players to produce first downs and short-yardage situations. Edison's defense can be counted upon to lead the Chargers charge again.
NO. 9 SERVITE (2-4, 0-1) VS. NO. 8 ORANGE LUTHERAN (5-1, 0-1)
Where, when: Orange Coast College, Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Outlook: A prayer vigil might be arranged for Servite's offense soon. The Friars have been shut out three of their past four games. Sure, those were good teams that blanked Servite — Bishop Gorman of Las Vegas (5-1), nationally ranked Santa Margarita and state ranked Edison. But Servite has to figure out a way to jump start the offense to beat Orange Lutheran. Orange Lutheran, under first-year coach Chuck Petersen, went 5-0 in nonleague games. The Lancers lost, 21-6, in a league opener last week against a fine St. John Bosco of Bellflower team that is No. 11 in the state. Lutheran's option offense operates behind a big, strong offensive line. Line play has not been a Servite asset so far. Like at other positions, Servite has an abundance of non-seniors up front. That lack of experience and a similar lack of momentum are not good in the Trinity League. The team that loses this one will be in poor position for a chance at one of the league's three guaranteed playoff berths. Servite will get some points, finally. Lutheran's offense will score more.
Winner: Orange Lutheran
Also Friday (all games 7 p.m. unless noted)
Brea Olinda (3-3, 1-1) at El Modena (2-5, 0-3)
Canyon (2-4, 0-2) vs. Esperanza (4-3, 1-2)
No. 7 Tustin (7-0, 3-0) vs. Cypress (4-2, 2-0) at Western High
No. 19 Yorba Linda (5-1, 1-1) at Valencia (4-3, 2-1)
Sonora (3-3, 1-0) at Fullerton (2-4, 1-0)
Sunny Hills (3-3, 0-1) at No. 20 La Habra (3-3, 1-0)
Santiago (3-3, 1-0) vs. La Quinta (2-4, 0-1) at Bolsa Grande High
Rancho Alamitos (4-2, 0-1) vs. Bolsa Grande (1-5, 0-1) at Garden Grove High
Golden West League
Segerstrom (6-0, 1-0) at Ocean View (3-3, 1-0)
Savanna (1-5, 0-1) vs. Anaheim (2-4, 0-1) at Glover Stadium
Magnolia (1-5, 0-1) vs. Century (3-3, 1-0) at Santa Ana Stadium
Orange Coast League
Costa Mesa (2-4, 0-1) vs. Godinez (2-4, 1-0) at Segerstrom High
Pacific Coast League
Northwood (2-4, 1-0) vs. Corona del Mar (4-2, 1-0) at Newport Harbor High
Irvine (3-3, 0-1) vs. University (2-3-1, 0-1) at Irvine Stadium
Woodbridge (2-4, 0-1) vs. Beckman (2-4, 1-0) at Tustin High
Sea View League
No. 24 Laguna Hills (4-2, 1-0) at No. 23 Aliso Niguel (5-2, 0-1)
South Coast League
No. 2 Mission Viejo (6-0, 0-0) at No. 16 San Clemente (4-3, 0-1)
No. 15 Newport Harbor (2-4, 0-1) vs. No. 18 Fountain Valley (3-3, 0-1) at Huntington Beach High
No. 17 Huntington Beach (3-3, 1-0) vs. Marina (3-3, 0-1) at Westminster High
Rolling Hills Prep (0-5, 0-2) vs. Liberty Christian (1-5, 0-1) at Murdy Park
No. 13 JSerra (5-1, 0-1) at St. John Bosco of Bellflower (2-4, 0-1), 7:30 p.m.
St. Margaret's (5-1) vs. Firebaugh of Lynwood (0-6) at Lynwood Middle School
Brethren Christian (4-2) at Monte Vista of Spring Valley (2-4)
Whittier Christian (4-3, 1-0) at Heritage Christian of North Hills (4-3, 0-1), 1 p.m.
Orange Coast League
Calvary Chapel (3-3, 0-1) vs. Saddleback (2-4, 0-1) at Santa Ana Stadium, 2 p.m.
San Joaquin League
Southlands Christian of Walnut (2-3, 1-2) vs. Fairmont Prep (2-4, 0-1) at Yorba Linda High, 5 p.m.
Capistrano Valley Christian (6-0, 3-0) vs. Saddleback Valley Christian (2-4, 1-0) at Saddleback College
Fryer on football last week: 4-4. Season to date: 33-23.
Rankings note: The Orange County media poll provides the 1-10 rankings. Teams ranked 11-25 are from Steve Fryer's personal rankings.