Season-opening high school football games are generally low-scoring affairs filled with sloppy play, turnovers and penalties. So it was surprising to see Los Alamitos High School roll up a 47-0 victory over Los Amigos last week.
"I was just as surprised as everybody else," said John Barnes, the Griffins' coach. "I didn't know what to expect. I've never had a team score that many points in its first game or play that well."
The heralded passing combination of quarterback J. T. Snow to wide receiver Robbie Katzaroff is now preparing for college baseball. But the Griffins rolled up some big numbers thanks to the play of guards Chris Rose and Chris Spoden and center Steve Wood.
"Rose and Spoden are the two best guards we've ever had here," Barnes said. "A few times, we ran basic wedge plays and those guys opened up some big holes where we made 15 to 20 yards."
Tom Williamson, 6-feet 3-inches and 185 pounds, has replaced Snow at quarterback, and the newcomer was impressive in his varsity debut.
"He's really something," Barnes said. "He was 8 of 11 against Los Amigos and had two passes dropped."
The Griffins, ranked 10th in this week's Orange County Sportswriters' Assn. poll, should get a good test at 7:30 tonight when they play host to Tustin in Long Beach's Veterans Stadium.
Tustin (1-0) has had two weeks to prepare for the game after the Tillers defeated Kapaa, 26-0, in Kaui, Hawaii, Sept. 5. Coach Marijon Ancich will be trying for his 200th career victory.
In other games tonight:
Santa Ana Valley (0-1) vs. Mater Dei (1-0) in Santa Ana Stadium: Junior running back Matt Spence rushed for 225 yards and 2 touchdowns last week in the Monarchs' 26-14 victory over Fountain Valley. Santa Ana Valley's defense allowed 41 points in three quarters in a loss to Saddleback.
Westminster (0-0-1) at Irvine (0-1): The Lions fell from the No. 1 spot in the Orange County Sportswriters' Assn. poll after a 14-14 tie with Valencia. George Koutures caught a touchdown pass and also scored on an interception return in the Vaqueros' 34-20 loss to University.
Valencia (0-0-1) vs. Sonora (0-1) at La Habra High: Running backs Tony Goulet and Dorian Estes combined for 247 yards in the Tigers' 14-14 tie with Westminster. Sonora lost to Northview, 17-0, in Steve Silberman's debut as the Raiders' coach.
Troy (1-0) vs. El Dorado (0-1) in Placentia's Bradford Stadium: The Warriors piled up 320 yards rushing in a 34-12 victory over Bellflower. Todd Murdock (127 yards, 2 touchdowns) and Karl Hess (83 yards, 3 touchdowns) were impressive. El Dorado was defeated, 35-14, by La Quinta in its opener.
Savanna (1-0) vs. Rancho Alamitos (0-0-1) at Bolsa Grande High: Dana Coleman's first victory as Savanna's coach took a big effort from its special teams. Stephen Wagner returned a kickoff 67 yards to set up the Rebels' first score and then Artis Williams returned a punt 61 yards for another score. Rancho Alamitos tied Buena Park, 7-7, in its opener.
Walnut (0-1) at Brea-Olinda (0-1): Each team is looking for its first victory. Walnut lost to Diamond Bar, 21-13, in its opener. Brea had a bye last week after losing to Baldwin, 27-14, in Maui two weeks ago. Wildcat running back Mike Oziminski scored two touchdowns in the loss.
Estancia (0-1) vs. Laguna Hills (0-1) at Mission Viejo High: Laguna Hills will be out to snap the longest losing streak in the county. The Hawks have lost 14 straight spanning two seasons. Estancia passed for 188 yards but scored only 1 touchdown in a 26-6 loss to Costa Mesa.
Norco (1-0) vs. Orange (1-0) in Orange's Fred Kelly Stadium: The Panthers snapped an 11-game losing streak spanning two seasons in a big way with a 44-0 romp over Santiago last week. Running back Paul Maund rushed for 188 yards and 2 touchdowns. Norco opened with a 32-6 victory over Indio.
Villa Park (0-1) vs. Katella (1-0) in Anaheim's Glover Stadium: It has been 17 years since Katella had a winning season, but the Knights got off to a good start in 1986 with a 28-0 victory over Magnolia. Quarterback Jeff Yourstone threw two touchdown passes and ran for two more. Villa Park was defeated, 33-7, in its first game.