Varsity Times Insider High school sports across the Southland

Local high school coaches make their picks in USC-UCLA game

Eric Sondheimer
Contact ReporterVarsity Times Insider

The football rosters of USC and UCLA are filled with locally produced players, so in recent years The Times has asked a cross-section of area high school coaches to predict the outcome of the annual rivalry game.

In many cases, the coach’s loyalty is being tested by the question, whether because they’re an alumnus or have players on the teams. Crenshaw’s Robert Garrett has Ajene Harris playing for USC and Mossi Johnson playing for UCLA, causing him to say, “I refuse to answer” when asked for a score.

This year, there seems to be a lot of agreement on one topic: the number of points USC is expected to score in victory, 35.

Here are the predictions:

Scott Altenberg, Gardena Serra: UCLA 3, USC 0. “During USC’s first offensive possession, [offensive coordinator] Tee Martin is named head coach of Tennessee and leaves. Trojans offense never recovers.”

Nick Baiz, Rancho Cucamonga: USC 34, UCLA 21. “I’m taking USC because they have a Rancho Cucamonga Cougar, Chris Hawkins.”

Jim Benkert, Westlake Village Oaks Christian: USC 38, UCLA 31. “Michael Pittman will be the difference.”

Jim Bonds, La Cañada St. Francis: UCLA 45, USC 42. “Jim Mora carries Rosen off the field after last-second TD pass to win the game.”

Ed Croson, West Hills Chaminade: USC 35, UCLA 31. “USC has been more consistent but UCLA will make it close.”

Manuel Douglas, Harbor City Narbonne: USC 35, UCLA 14. “Uchenna Nwosu will sack Josh Rosen three times.”

Lou Farrar, West Covina Charter Oak: USC 28, UCLA 21. “Right now USC’s defense is playing stronger.”

Robert Garcia, San Fernando:UCLA 24, USC 21. “UCLA is going to be tougher than USC.”

Pat Harlow, San Juan Capistrano JSerra: USC 35, UCLA 17. “I’m a USC alum and our run game is rolling and I love Sam Darnold.”

Lorenzo Hernandez, Garfield: USC 35, UCLA 17. “UCLA is playing with young players and doesn’t have the manpower of the Trojans.”

Dean Herrington, Lancaster Paraclete: USC 35, UCLA 24. “These are the dangerous ones. UCLA is the big underdog and crazy things happen. But USC is running the ball well and I can’t go against Steven Mitchell.”

Bob Johnson, Mission Viejo: USC 35, UCLA 20. “I think USC has too much power and is a lot better at the quarterback position.”

Matt Logan, Corona Centennial: USC 45, UCLA 35: “USC’s defense has been a little better, but I expect a wild game.”

Charles Mincy, Dorsey: USC 35, UCLA 17. “USC can run the ball and UCLA has been struggling against the run.”

Larry Muir, Valencia: UCLA 35, USC 27. “In Rosen we trust.”

Jason Negro, Bellflower St. John Bosco: UCLA 21, USC 17.“They carry Josh Rosen off on the shoulders of Bosco grads Jacob Tuioti-Mariner and Jaleel Wadood.”

Kevin Pearson, L.A. Cathedral: USC 49, UCLA 35. “Gotta go with my boys down the street in cardinal and gold. Ronald Jones vs. Bruin defense and Josh Rosen vs. Trojan pass defense equals a lot of points.”

Bruce Rollinson, Santa Ana Mater Dei: USC 36, UCLA 17. “What will happen is, in the second half, the emotions will settle down and the Trojans have more firepower than the Bruins.”

Tim Salter, Upland: USC 42, UCLA 21: “USC has a little too much firepower.”

eric.sondheimer@latimes.com

Twitter: @latsondheimer

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