The following are previews of the area's upcoming high school football games this week.
Through the years, Crescenta Valley High and Verdugo Hills have built a healthy rivalry. The schools are located less than 10 miles apart off Foothill Boulevard and there's been plenty of traffic on the field when the teams collide in high-scoring contests.
Crescenta Valley and Verdugo Hills will resume the rivalry when the teams meet in an intersectional contest at 7 p.m. Thursday at Glendale High's Moyse Field.
Count Crescenta Valley Coach Paul Schilling, whose team is ranked No. 8 in the CIF Southern Section Southeast Division preseason poll after finishing 8-2 last season, among those who believes the rivalry continues to blossom.
"We've done this game for a long time and there are a lot of good players who have been involved in the game," Schilling said. "Verdugo Hills likes to throw the ball a lot, so it will be a challenge for our defensive backs."
Crescenta Valley has won five straight against Verdugo Hills, including a season-opening 54-20 road win last year. Verdugo Hills last topped Crescenta Valley in 2006.
In last season's game, quarterback Brian Gadsby completed 13 of 23 passes for 174 yards and six touchdowns. Gadsby, a reigning All-Area pick in football and baseball, initially was uncertain to if he would play football in 2014. However, after returning from the 16-18 Babe Ruth World Series in Washington state, Gadsby decided to rejoin the football squad.
"It's great knowing we will have Brian back," Schilling said. "He's just a great competitor and the players always follow him.
"We have no significant injuries. We feel good and we are ready to go."
Verdugo Hills' main offensive target will be wide receiver Carter Otte, who caught 70 passes for 1,380 yards and 15 touchdowns last season.
"He's just phenomenal," Schilling said. "We definitely need to pay attention to him."
Chino at St. Francis, 7 p.m. Friday: Following a 10-win season and a trip to the semifinals for the first time since 2005, expectations will once again be high for the Golden Knights. For good measure, St. Francis enters its season-opening nonleague game as the top-ranked team in the CIF Southern Section Southeast Division preseason poll.
St. Francis has won six consecutive openers, including a 52-3 road win against Chino last season.
St. Francis will turn to senior Jeremiah Martin to handle the quarterback responsibilities following the graduation of Ty Gangi, the reigning All-Area Football Player of the Year. Some of Martin's likely targets will be wide receiver Dylan Crawford and tight end John Carroll.
Crawford caught 54 passes for 993 yards and 10 touchdowns and Carroll had 49 receptions for 694 yards and seven touchdowns last season. Crawford and Carroll secured All-Area first-team accolades.
Chino finished 5-6 last season and lost in the first round of the playoffs.
Glendale at San Gabriel, 7 p.m. Friday: The Nitros will make the short trek to the San Gabriel Valley for their season opener. Glendale posted a 41-3 win against San Gabriel in last season's opener at home. The Nitros are 2-1 in their last three opening contests.
It will be the first of three straight road games for Glendale, which won't play its first home game until Sept. 25 with a Pacific League-opening contest against Muir.
San Gabriel kicked off its campaign Friday with a 42-0 nonleague road loss against Montclair.
Brentwood vs. Flintridge Prep at Occidental College, 7 p.m. Friday: The Rebels will remain home for a second consecutive week after beginning their season Friday with a 45-0 nonleague win against Blair. Things will likely be more difficult for Flintridge Prep in facing Brentwood.(1-0). The Eagles began their season Friday with a 28-24 nonleague victory against Linfield Christian.
Brentwood quarterback Eli Stern completed 12 of 26 passes for 203 yards and one touchdown to help turn back Linfield Christian. Running back Isaiah Harrison had 60 yards rushing in 10 carries and one touchdown for the Eagles.
Flintridge Prep enjoyed a balanced offensive attack in sending Blair to its 30th loss in a row. Quarterback Andrew Tsangeos threw three touchdown passes, including a pair in the first quarter to wide receiver Riley Jones, and rushed for another. Running back Elliot Witter finished with 134 yards rushing in 20 carries in helping the Rebels win their first season opener since 2011
Flintridge Prep will look to begin a season at 2-0 for the first time since 2007, when it finished 7-3.
Sotomayor vs. Hoover at Glendale High's Moyse Field, 7 p.m. Friday: Hoover has lost nine consecutive games. However, if there's a bright spot for the Tornadoes, their last win came via forfeit against Sotomayor. Sotomayor, a member of the L.A. City Section which began its program last season, originally posted a 39-26 win against Hoover. But, the Wolves were deemed to have had an ineligible player, thus giving the Tornadoes the victory.
It will mark the second straight week that the Tornadoes will take part in an intersectional contest. They will hope for a better performance following a 35-7 home defeat against Hollywood on Thursday. Hoover mustered just 122 yards of total offense against Hollywood.
The Tornadoes avoided the shutout when running back Davit Nersisyan scored on a nine-yard run with 3:11 left in the game. Hoover running back Elijah Augustine rushed for 49 yards in 14 carries against Hollywood.
Sotomayor started its season Friday with a 22-6 nonleague road defeat against Monroe.