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The High Schools : Loss in the Cards for St. Genevieve’s Kane

Kevin Kane, the St. Genevieve football coach who doubles as a history teacher, pulled a sample from a stack of history fact cards on his desk. The date on the card was Sept. 10, 1813.

“The 10th was the anniversary of The Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812,” he said. “It was the first defeat the British Navy had ever suffered. That’s when (Capt. Perry) sent back the message, ‘We have met the enemy and they are ours.’ ”

Kane said he likes to relate history to his players.

“I read that right after the game,” Kane said, “and I said, ‘We have met the enemy and he is us. ‘ “

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The battle with Quartz Hill last Saturday was the first defeat Kane had suffered as a head football coach. Of course, it was Kane’s first game as a head coach and the debut of the Valiants’ Delaware wing-T offense. Kane painstakingly spent the summer refining it. And, in the beginning, it looked like his work would pay off.

“On our first possession, we were just reeling off yardage,” Kane said. “We ran this beautiful little counter play and our halfback, Chris Andrews, ran about 15 yards before the ball squirted out of his arms and we lost it. Everybody ran off the field yelling, ‘It works! It works!’ ”

But not for long. St. Genevieve followed with three more fumbles and two interceptions. “And about 60 yards in penalties,” Kane said. Soon, the Valiants were on the wrong end of a 34-0 massacre.

But, to paraphrase another famous military commander, Kane and the Valiants shall return.

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“It’s just a matter of getting used to a new system,” Kane said, “and getting the kinks out of it.”

Down and out for Beverly Hills?: A year ago Harvard’s Marty Holly ran the ball almost exclusively in the Saracens’ single-wing offense and managed to avoid injury despite carrying 194 times in 10 games. He seemed to absorb a season’s worth of punishment in every game.

Holly started strongly in last weekend’s opener against South Pasadena, ripping off 105 yards by the midway point of the second quarter. But just before halftime Holly had to be helped from the field because of a severely pulled right hamstring. Coach Gary Thran said Holly is “doubtful” for Friday’s game against Beverly Hills.

“When he walked from the locker room on Friday night, I discounted him completely,” Thran said. “He couldn’t even straighten his leg.”

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Off the mark: Burroughs senior quarterback Marco Arcipreste started slowly in the first quarter of Thursday’s 22-21 win over St. Francis. His first pass, in fact, was intercepted and returned 35 yards for a touchdown. On Burroughs’ following possession, Arcipreste--working with a backup center--fumbled the next two snaps.

Of course, he had every reason to be nervous. He is replacing Jeff Barrett, who ranks fifth on the Southern Section career passing list with 6,083 yards.

“He’d been pretty jittery all week in practice, just trying to rush things,” Burroughs Coach Butch McElwee said of Arcipreste. “I just told him to settle down.”

Presto! Arcipreste later connected with receiver Steven Hubbell for a 39-yard strike that set up the game-winning touchdown. He finished with 158 yards on 9 of 15 passing. In the second half, he completed 6 of 9 passes for 133 yards and had a pass dropped.

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Life without Brian: When Coach Pat Blackburn brought along tailback Tyler Robuck when he moved from Montclair Prep to Alemany, he predicted few problems in making the transition. The Alemany offensive line, Blackburn said, would help see to that.

Robuck rambled for 156 yards in Friday’s 17-7 win over Notre Dame, even though tackle Brian Swanson--a 6-foot, 4-inch, 240-pound senior regarded as one of the area’s best prospects--missed the game because of a calcium buildup near his left knee.

“For us to play that well without Brian is a real plus,” Blackburn said.

Alemany was the only Del Rey League team in the Valley area to win its opener. Crespi and St. Francis both lost.

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Not-so-triumphant return: Montclair Prep didn’t exactly roll out the red carpet in welcoming back George Giannini as the school’s football coach in last Saturday’s 21-7 loss to Palm Desert. Quarterback Keyaan Cook and tailback Michael Jones failed to connect on pitches on the team’s first two offensive plays, both of which resulted in turnovers inside the Mounties’ 20-yard line. Palm Desert converted both mishaps into touchdowns and Montclair Prep trailed, 14-0, five minutes into the first game of Giannini’s third stint as head coach at the school.

“We outplayed them after that,” Giannini said. “They sustained one long drive against us, but we moved the ball through the air.”

When the score was still only 14-7, Montclair Prep’s Ennis Howard took a pass to the 18 but fumbled.

“That took the air out of us,” Giannini said.

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Jones, whom Giannini describes as a Division I prospect, scored Montclair Prep’s only touchdown on a three-yard run. Jamal Swinton earlier was credited with the score.

Staff writers Vince Kowalick, Steve Elling and Steven Fleischman contributed to this notebook.

FOOTBALL TOP 10

Selected by sportswriters of The Times

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Last Rk Wk Team League Record 1 3 Hart Foothill 1-0 2 1 Crespi Del Rey 0-1 3 6 Thousand Oaks Marmonte 1-0 4 2 Canyon Golden 0-1 5 4 San Fernando North Valley 0-1 6 6 Taft West Valley 0-0 7 5 Channel Islands Marmonte 0-1 8 NR Granada Hills North Valley 1-0 9 10 Reseda Mid-Valley 0-0 10 NR Alelmany Del Rey 1-0


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