Never mind that Muir has already clinched the Pacific League football championship. When these fierce rivals meet in their annual Turkey Tussle at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, records can usually be tossed aside. Muir is 4-0 in league play and 8-1 overall and Pasadena 3-1 in league play and 6-3 overall heading into the 7:30 p.m. Saturday match-up. That should make Muir the favorite to retain the Victory Bell, which goes to the winner. The Mustangs won last year, 14-8.
But upsets have happened more often than not in this rivalry. For Pasadena to pull off an upset, it will have to contain Muir's outstanding junior tailback, Ricky Ervins, who has rushed for 1,206 yards and 14 touchdowns in 162 carries. The Mustangs also have a good passer in quarterback James Dunn, who has completed 58 of 92 passes for 929 yards and 7 touchdowns, and swift receivers in Cary Grant and John Hardy. Pasadena has played well on defense most of the season but the Bulldogs have struggled on offense. Two leaders on offense are quarterback Ray Murphy and running back W. C. Morrison.
Los Altos vs. West Covina
A week ago, it appeared that this game at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Los Altos in Hacienda Heights would decide the Sierra League champion. Little did anyone suspect that Los Altos would be defeated by Nogales (33-12) and West Covina would lose to Rowland (34-20) last week. That gives all four teams an opportunity to win the league title in the final game of the regular season this week. West Covina and Nogales are 3-1 in league play and Rowland and Los Altos are 2-1-1.
Los Altos enters its game against West Covina as the top defensive team in the league, having allowed only 90 points in building a 6-2-1 record this season. But it would be difficult to judge by the Los Altos loss to Nogales last week. Two leaders for Los Altos are quarterback Mark Smith and linebacker Ken Lopez.
For West Covina (7-1 overall), it will be one last chance to win the Sierra League title. The Spartans will move to the Montview League next season. West Covina has a balanced offense that features running back Leland Adams, quarterback Vince Aguilar, wide receiver Mike Culwell and 6-9, 260-pound lineman Joe Chadbourne.
Bishop Amat vs. St. Paul
After an impressive victory over Servite last week, undefeated Bishop Amat (9-0 overall, 4-0 in the Angelus League) had better guard against looking past St. Paul when the teams meet in their final regular season game at 7:30 p.m. Friday at St. Paul in Santa Fe Springs. While St. Paul is only 2-2 in the Angelus League and out of league title contention, the Swordsmen are 7-2 overall and regarded as one of the stronger teams in the CIF Southern Section.
St. Paul, which scored a 21-2 victory over Bishop Montgomery last week, is especially strong on defense and should provide a good test for the potent Bishop Amat rushing attack, which is led by junior tailback Eric Bieniemy. The 5-9, 175-pound Bieniemy rushed for 200 yards and 3 touchdowns in a 26-21 win over previously undefeated Servite last week. Bieniemy has rushed for a single-season school record of 1,398 yards and 23 touchdowns in 223 carries. Another standout for Bishop Amat is quarterback Rick Carter, who has passed for 983 yards and 11 touchdowns. The defense, which has allowed only 96 points, is led by linebacker Ramon Diaz and defensive back Sean Canova.
South Hills vs. Covina
South Hills has won the Valle Vista League title every season since the league was formed six years ago and the Huskies are one win away from making it seven in a row. The only team standing in the way of the Huskies is cross-town rival Covina, which faces South Hills in the Valle Vista League finale at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Covina District Stadium. South Hills enters the game with a 4-0 league record and 6-1-1 overall and Covina is 4-0 in league play and 5-3 overall.
South Hills has been led on offense by its option rushing attack that features quarterback Matt Kranz and running backs Jim Mire and Bobby Owens. The Huskies also are strong on defense, having allowed only 68 points. The Covina Colts were outscored 107-26 in their first four league games but have nearly reversed those figures since the start of league play, outscoring their opponents by a 100-37 margin. The Colts shut out Workman last week, 29-0, behind the play of running back Mike White and quarterback Mike Impastato.
San Gabriel Valley's Top Ten Prep Teams
Rank, School, League Record Opponent 1 Bishop Amat (Angelus.) 9-0-0 St. Paul 2 Diamond Bar (Hacienda) 9-0-0 Chino 3 Muir (Pacific) 8-1-0 Pasadena 4 Claremont (Baseline) 8-1-0 Alta Loma 5 Charter Oak (Montview) 9-0-0 Idle 6 Nogales (Sierra) 7-2-0 HH Wilson 7 S. Hills (Valley Vista) 6-1-1 Covina 8 West Covina (Sierra) 7-1-0 Los Altos 9 Rowland (Sierra) 6-2-1 Muir 10 Los Altos (Sierra) 6-2-1 W. Covina
Arroyo (8-1-0), Damien (5-4-0), Pasadena (6-3-0), San Dimas (6-2-0), San Marino (6-2-0)