Which San Gabriel Valley team was most impressive in the first week of the prep football season? It may have been Pasadena, which defeated highly regarded Damien, 24-13. That should give the Bulldogs momentum for another tough opponent, St. Francis (0-0-1), in a non-league game at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Pasadena City College. St. Francis was strong on defense in a 0-0 tie with San Gorgonio last week. The leaders are linebacker Ted Dawson and defensive end Kevin Egan. But the Knights, who managed only 83 total yards against San Gorgonio, will have to improve on offense to stay with the Bulldogs. That could be difficult because Pasadena has a big and fast defense that includes middle guard Lamar Watkins (6-1, 250) and lineman Willie Minor (6-5, 205). Then there's the offense, led by the running-back tandem of speedsters Anthony Wallace and W. C. Morrison. Wallace had a big game against Damien, rushing for 127 yards and two touchdowns in only six carries. Two other standouts on offense are linemen Brian Wright (6-1, 210), a junior, and Terry McDaniels (6-5, 230), a promising sophomore.
Ganesha vs. Claremont
It will be a match-up of traditional east San Gabriel Valley powers when these teams meet in a non-league game at 7 tonight at Citrus College in Glendora. Both won season openers, although neither generated much offense. Claremont defeated Burbank, 10-3, and Ganesha blanked Hesperia, 10-0. For Claremont's Wolfpack, two-time defending CIF Eastern Conference champion, it was the 28th victory in 29 games and the first since graduation of the all-everything passing combination of quarterback Dan McGwire and wide receiver Travis Watkins. This year's Wolfpack may feature more rushing by experienced backs Lamont Nash and David Swartz. The defense is strong as usual with lineman Denail Sparks, linebacker Erik Garcia and defensive back Jason Thomas. Ganesha, expected to contend for the Southeastern Conference title, has a strong offense that features tailback Terrell Thompson and wide receiver Tyrone Haynes. The defense boasts lineman Jody Crawford (6-4, 240) and defensive back Dana Hall.
Charter Oak vs. Colton
It is difficult to play Colton at any point of the season. And since the Yellowjackets lost last week to powerful Servite (28-21), they figure to be even more determined to win. That is the situation Charter Oak will discover when it plays host in a non-league game at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Covina. Charter Oak, which has won 14 games in a row and captured the CIF Southeastern Conference title last year, played well defensively in its opening 6-2 victory over Montclair. The problem is the inexperienced offense, which had its problems. One bright spot was junior quarterback John Strycula, the only starter from last season, who ran nine yards for the only touchdown. The Chargers also are led by fullback Ross Kanemoto, flanker Charles Gee and defensive back Joe Salvaggio. Charter Oak's defense may have its hands full against Colton's grind-it-out offense, which features consensus prep All-American running back George Hemingway and a big, strong offensive line. Hemingway, 6-3 and 210 and fast, rushed for 101 yards in 24 carries against Servite.
Duarte vs. Monrovia
It is always a heated match-up when these rivals play their annual non-league game, and when they meet at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Duarte there will be added incentive. Both teams, expected to be among the best in their conferences, will be trying to prove that they are better than they played in openers. Duarte defeated Murphy, 14-13, staving off a last-minute comeback. Monrovia was handily defeated by Muir, 35-12. There is certainly no shortage of talent for either. Monrovia has a solid wishbone backfield with quarterback Anthony Craft, halfback Ervie Barnes and fullback Jamal Jones (6-2, 240). The defense features linemen Troy Stevens (6-2, 235) and Mike Wilkins (5-10, 240), linebacker Aaron Flucker and Barnes at defensive back. Duarte will counter with a solid defense led by linebacker Anthony Porter, lineman Eric Helm (6-1, 235) and safety Eric Dorsey. The offense is headed by quarterback Tony Salter.
Diamond Bar vs. Miraleste
Diamond Bar will have to go a long way--off and on the field--to beat Miraleste on Friday. The Brahmas will travel to Rancho Palos Verdes for the 3 p.m. non-league game, and it figures to be tough. Miraleste, which reached the CIF Desert-Mountain Conference playoffs last year, rolled to a 37-13 triumph over Mira Costa in its opener while Diamond Bar struggled to a 21-13 victory over area rival Walnut. The game will feature run-oriented offenses. Miraleste is led by running back Mike Silane (5-6, 160), who rushed for 900 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, and offensive and defensive lineman Mark Comings (6-1, 215). Diamond Bar, which has moved to the Eastern Conference after reaching the Southeastern Conference finals the last three years, unveiled an outstanding running back in Shaun Trejo. The junior rushed for 144 yards and two touchdowns in 18 carries against Walnut. Diamond Bar is especially strong on defense with tackle Bascom Mellon (6-3, 240), linebacker George Spada and safety Frank Galindo.