HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL TODAY : Southern Section Playoffs : Big Five Conference


Alemany vs. Edison

At Huntington Beach High 7:30 p.m.

Alemany enters the Big Five Conference playoffs as an underdog to third-seeded Edison. The Indians tied with St. John Bosco for second place in the Del Rey League, while Edison won a share of the Sunset League title by beating Marina last week, 51-14. “We’re comfortable as underdogs,” Alemany Coach Enrique Lopez said. “We’ve been underdogs before and these kids have really come through.” The Indians (8-2) will need a strong performance from quarterback Sean Casey, who has thrown for 1,377 yards and 13 touchdowns. Edison (8-2) also depends on a strong passing attack. Quarterback Mike Angelovic has completed 100 of 164 passes for 1,658 yards and 18 touchdowns. He is the top-rated high school passer in Orange County. Running back Kalaeph Carter has rushed for 802 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Coastal Conference

Burbank vs. Muir

At Pasadena City College 7:30 p.m.

“We’re the Titanic,” Muir Coach Jim Brownfield said. “We’ve hit an iceberg.” The cause of Brownfield’s chagrin is not Burbank, which made the playoffs with a 4-6 overall record. It is an ankle injury to running back Rick Ervins, who gained 1,300 yards on 180 carries and scored 98 points for Muir. Now, Brownfield will rely on quarterback James Dunn, who has passed for 1,100 yards and nine touchdowns, and punter Don Lundy, who averages 44 yards a kick. Muir was champion of the Pacific League with a 5-0 record and was 9-1 overall. Burbank was 2-3 in the Foothill League but won its final two games to slip into the playoffs. Bulldog quarterback Sal Velasco has completed 117 of 206 passes for 1,211 yards. Running back Frank Valdivia has gained 609 yards on 88 carries and has caught 28 passes for 145 yards.

Newbury Park vs. Hart

At College of the Canyons 7:30 p.m.

Two of the hottest teams in the Valley meet in one of the best first-round playoff match-ups. After an 0-3-1 start, Hart has won six in a row, including all five of its Foothill League games. Newbury Park, also 6-3-1 this season, finished third in the Marmonte League with a 4-2 record. The Panthers have one of the top defenses around, which concerns Hart Coach Rick Scott, who used to be the offensive coordinator at Newbury Park. “All the time I was there,” Scott said, “a big deal was made about our opponents never outhitting us. We wore black and gold and called ourselves the Swarm.” The Panthers’ uniforms made them look like bumblebees, Scott said. This season, the Swarm has allowed just 90 points.


Rio Mesa vs. Thousand Oaks

At Thousand Oaks High 7:30 p.m.

Rio Mesa has been consistently inconsistent this season, which may have Thousand Oaks Coach Bob Richards wondering which Spartan team will show up. Will it be the one that defeated a Buena team that beat Thousand Oaks, or will it be the one that lost to a Camarillo team that was trashed by Thousand Oaks? Rio Mesa (6-2-1) finished in a three-way tie for the Channel League championship at 5-2. Thousand Oaks (5-1, 7-3) won a share of the Marmonte League title. Rio Mesa is led on offense by tailback Leonard Lee and quarterback Steve Carolan. Lee has 653 yards and five touchdowns rushing, while Carolan has thrown for 956 yards and 10 touchdowns. Thousand Oaks is led by sophomore running back Marc Monestime, who has rushed for 1,100 yards.

Arcadia vs. Simi Valley

At Simi Valley High 7:30 p.m.

Arcadia finished in a three-way tie for second in the Pacific League. The Apaches were originally out of the playoffs after losing a coin flip to decide the teams that would received the league’s second and third playoff bids. Arcadia (5-5 overall, 3-2 in league) was added to the playoff field on Thursday when it was announced that Hoover High would be eliminated from the playoffs because it had an ineligible player. Simi Valley (8-2 overall, 5-1 in league) is co-champion of the Marmonte League and coming off an impressive 24-14 win over Westlake in its last game. The Pioneers are led by running back M. J. Nelson, who has 1,028 yards and six touchdowns rushing and is also a threat returning punts, kickoffs and even interceptions. Nelson has returned two interceptions for touchdowns and he has 11 touchdowns overall.

Northwestern Conference

Serra vs. Canyon

At Canyon High 7:30 p.m.

Canyon, the Golden League champion, begins its march toward a possible third straight Northwestern Conference title. The Cowboys (10-0) will have to do it, however, without the services of starting quarterback John Watkins, who broke his left wrist last week against Antelope Valley. Junior Ken Sollom will step in and try to continue Canyon’s winning streak, which stands at 34 games. Sollom, who was the starting cornerback, has played little this season at quarterback. He has completed 13 of 28 passes for 220 yards and one touchdown. Serra (5-5), which finished fourth in the Camino Real League, enters the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Cavaliers have one of the state’s best linebackers in 6-4 1/2, 238-pound Rocen Keeton and two running backs with impressive averages. Tailback Daryl Singleton is gaining 12 yards per carry and fullback Daryl Thomas averages nine yards per carry.

Desert-Mountain Conference

Moorpark vs. Santa Clara

At Oxnard High 7:30 p.m.

Moorpark made the playoffs for the first time in the school’s history last season and Musketeer Coach Bob Noel expected this year’s team to be even better. The Musketeers had to squeeze into the playoffs as the at-large team in the Tri-Valley League, however, after going 2-3 in league and 5-5 overall. A backfield of Tim Rothanzl, Willie Gutierrez and Oscar Love poses a variety of threats, but Moorpark is not as strong on defense as it was last season. Santa Clara, the No. 1-ranked team in the Desert-Mountain Conference, is 9-1 after sweeping the Frontier League with a 5-0 record. The Saints have outscored their opponents 325-144. Quarterback David Duarte doesn’t complete many passes (66 of 167) but the throws have gone for 1,537 yards and 17 touchdowns. Halfback Tom Patrucci, who has gained 875 yards and scored 14 touchdowns on 150 carries, is the Santa Clara workhorse.

Bell-Jeff vs. Leuzinger

At Leuzinger High 7:30 p.m.

Bell-Jeff made the playoffs as the third-place representative of the Santa Fe League but has recorded three straight shutout victories. The Guards were 3-2 in league and 5-4-1 overall. Dave Lockwood, Nick Pavicic and Pete Vucurevic split the running duties for Bell-Jeff. Quarterback Keith Fitzgerald has completed 90 of 211 passes for 1,221 yards, with most of the completions going to Fernando Guana (28 for 550 yards) and Jeff Miljanich (27 for 300 yards). Guana also leads the defense with six interceptions. Leuzinger, located in Lawndale, tied for first in the Pioneer League with a 4-1 record and is 8-1-1 overall. Senior quarterback Mike Reddington leads the Olympians with 1,200 yards passing and 600 yards rushing. Top defenders are linebackers Dana Florence and Mike Ika, defensive back Sean Smith and defensive end Brandy Harris.

St. Bonaventure vs. Agoura

At Agoura High 7:30 p.m.

Agoura is the defending Desert-Mountain Conference champion, but Coach Frank Greminger doesn’t expect this year’s team to repeat easily. “We’re just happy to have made the playoffs,” Greminger said. The Chargers finished second in the Frontier League with a 4-1 record and were 7-3 overall. St. Bonaventure (6-4, 3-2) is the second-place representative from the Tri-Valley League. Middle linebacker Ron Kirkpatrick and end Mike Walsh lead a strong Seraph defense. Quarterback Larry Gonzales, a senior who did not play football last season, has completed 96 of 241 passes for 1,378 yards but has thrown 15 interceptions. “Larry gets better every week,” Seraph Coach Paul Spinner said. Chris Ybarra is St. Bonaventure’s leading ground-gainer, having rushed for 527 yards on 99 carries. Brock Hoffman has gained 1,111 yards and scored 11 touchdowns for Agoura. Charger quarterback Jon DeGennaro has completed 75 of 135 passes for 982 yards. He has thrown only three interceptions.


Carpinteria vs. St. Genevieve

At Birmingham High 7:30 p.m.

St. Genevieve’s fortunes may stand on the right ankle of running back Jeff De La Cruz. “Jeff is not 100%,” Valiant Coach Lindon Crow said. “I’m not sure how much he’ll play.” De La Cruz has gained 766 yards and scored 12 touchdowns on 141 carries. After last week’s 35-14 win over Chaminade, which decided the Santa Fe League title, Crow has had trouble motivating his team. “I’m disappointed over the way we are practicing this week,” Crow said. The Valiants (5-0 in league, 8-2 overall) have a six-game winning streak on the line. Carpinteria, which finished 3-2 in the Tri-Valley League and 6-4 overall, relies on the running of John Keiser. A 5-9, 175-pound sophomore, Keiser has gained 930 yards. Senior inside linebacker Mitch Ruiz is the leading tackler for Carpinteria.

Notre Dame (Riv.) vs. Chaminade

At Pierce College 7:30 p.m.

Chaminade must rebound from a 35-14 loss to St. Genevieve that decided the Sante Fe League title. The Eagles, who had not lost since the season opener, finished 4-1 in league and 7-2-1 overall. Chaminade will continue to hand the ball to running back Jang Kim, who has gained nearly 1,100 yards this season. Notre Dame finished third in the Sunkist League with a 3-2 record and was 8-2 overall. Coach Tony DiThomas said the secondary is his team’s strength, which won’t bother Chaminade too much since the Eagles have attempted less than 100 passes all season.

Harvard vs. Yucaipa

At University of Redlands 7:30 p.m.

Harvard was 5-5 overall, but was 4-1 in the Pioneer League and won its last two games. Andy Bell, Harvard’s leading ground gainer with nearly 800 yards, had an operation for appendicitis Monday and will be lost for the playoffs. He will be replaced by junior Dom Sandifer, who has started all season on defense. “We’ll probably throw more than usual,” Harvard Coach Gary Thran said. “Yucaipa plays a pressure defense and single covers wide receivers.” Last season, Yucaipa made it to the Desert-Mountain Conference finals before losing to Agoura.

Inland Conference

Bishop Union vs. Montclair Prep

At Valley College 7:30 p.m.

Before the season, Montclair Prep Coach John Hazelton said he would be surprised if his team did not reach the Inland Conference finals. After a 7-3 season and a 6-0 mark in the Alpha League, Hazelton is still confident of his team’s chances. “There is no team looming in the conference,” Hazelton said, “that we’ll be afraid to play.” Bishop Union (6-3 overall) finished third in the Desert-Inyo Large League.

L. A. Lutheran vs. Tehachapi

At Tehachapi High 7:30 p.m.

L. A. Lutheran scored just 56 points this season, but did go 4-2 in the Alpha League to finish second and qualify for the playoffs. The Lions were 4-5 overall. Tehachapi was 8-2 in the regular season and 4-1 in the Desert-Inyo Large League. The Warriors are led by tailback Patrick Snyder, a 5-10, 175-pound senior who rushed for 1,235 on 240 carries. Quarterback Bret Oberg passed for over 900 yards, while throwing just two interceptions in 121 pass attempts.

City Section Playoffs

4-A Division

El Camino Real vs. Carson

Gardena High School 7 p.m.

El Camino Real Coach Skip Giancanelli readily admits that his team doesn’t belong in the playoffs. The Conquistadores were outscored, 260-30, during a 1-8 season and were shut out seven times. But the Conquistadores did beat Cleveland, 23-7, to finish with a 1-4 record in the Valley 4-A League and qualify to play Carson, the defending City 4-A champion. The Colts (8-1) are ranked No. 1 entering the playoffs, their only loss coming to St. Paul, 9-7. Carson is led by the Alvin and Calvin backfield. Alvin Goree, a junior, has 600 yards rushing and eight scores on 89 carries. Calvin Holmes, also a junior, has 516 yards and six touchdowns on 82 carries. The Colts have won seven straight games.


Dorsey vs. Granada Hills

At Granada Hills High 7:30 p.m.

Last week Granada Hills not only lost the Valley 4-A League title when it fell to San Fernando, 40-12--it also lost five starters for the playoffs. The biggest blow is possibly the loss of All City wide-receiver Greg Fowble. The senior had averaged nearly 20 yards a catch on the season and had 13 touchdowns. But he is sidelined with a broken knuckle on his left hand suffered in the first half against the Tigers. The loss was Granada’s first of the season. The Highlanders were 7-1 overall and 3-1 in league. Dorsey (7-2) won its first six games before losing to Banning, 38-13. After beating Fremont, 28-6, the Dons fell to Carson, 34-18, to finish Pacific League play at 3-2.

Kennedy vs. Banning

At Long Beach Veterans Stadium 7:30 p.m.

“I think,” Kennedy Coach John Haynes said, “that we’ll play a lot better against them this time around.” Banning destroyed Kennedy, 49-6, in the season’s fourth game. “We know it’s a supreme challenge to try to beat them,” Haynes added. Kennedy (4-4) rallied from two defeats in the Valley 4-A League to finish at 2-2, good for third place. When Banning played the Golden Cougars the first time, the Pilots were struggling at 1-2. But they enter the playoffs with a 6-3 record overall and a 4-1 mark in the Pacific League. Banning’s only league loss was a 6-0 setback to top-ranked Carson.

San Fernando vs. Gardena

At San Fernando High 7:30 p.m.

San Fernando has firmly established itself as a contender for the City 4-A title. The Tigers (7-2) have won five in a row and six of their last seven. Last Friday, San Fernando pummeled Granada Hills, 40-12, to win the Valley 4-A League. During their winning streak, San Fernando has outscored its opponents, 185 to 26. Tiger tailback Lance Harper has been the team’s biggest weapon lately, compiling 364 yards rushing in the last two games. Gardena (4-5) finished fourth in the tough Pacific League with a 2-3 mark.

3-A Division

Palisades vs. Chatsworth

At Chatsworth High 7:30 p.m.

Chatsworth’s bench was hit with the C-average/no-fail rule--it lost 14 reserve players--but the Chancellors will go into tonight’s 3-A playoff game with all their starters. Chatsworth, ranked No. 10 in the Times City poll, won the Sunset League title with a 4-0-1 record. The Chancellors, after playing to a 14-14 tie against Monroe last week, are 6-2-1 overall.

Locke vs. Canoga Park

At Canoga Park High 7:30 p.m.

Canoga Park goes into tonight’s game with two strikes against it. After compiling a 7-2 overall record and finishing second in the Sunset League with a 4-1 record, the Hunters lost 10 players to the C-average/no-fail rule. Its star running back, Kenny Durr, was dismissed from the team for disciplinary reasons. Starters lost: Durr, junior safety Junior Delgado. linebacker Brian Hoffman and offensive guard Rick Smith. The Hunters also lost seven reserve players. Last week, Canoga Park disposed of Birmingham, 28-13, to end the regular season. Locke ended its regular season in convincing fashion by beating Franklin, 42-10. Locke finished second in the Freeway League with a 4-1 record. It is 5-4 overall.