El Camino Real Starts New Streak

After 3 weeks of play, 11 City football teams still are looking for their first victories. Some familiar subpar teams, such as Narbonne, Hollywood and Jefferson are on that list, but the City doormat of the 1980's, Woodland Hills El Camino Real, is not.

With their 6-3 victory over Westchester last Friday, the Conquistadores ended their 24-game winless streak. The victory was their first since Oct. 25, 1985.

"The biggest thing about the win is that we don't have to answer the question of when are we going to win a game, anymore," said Ralph Stam, co-coach of the team with Mike Maio.

The Conquistadores won largely on the running of 5-foot 5 1/2-inch tailback Leo Matsuda, a junior who gained 90 yards in 29 carries. Matsuda set up El Camino's winning touchdown in the third quarter, a 3-yard run by senior quarterback Steve Smith. Senior defensive back Pete Pistone's interception late in the game sealed the victory.

Former assistants under Skip Giancanelli, Stam and Maio are 1-1 in their first season.

Despite recent bad times, the Conquistadores have not always been considered an easy mark. Under Giancanelli, who retired after 18 seasons, El Camino was a mini-powerhouse from 1977-81, with an offense led by All-City tailback Tony Lewis and former USC quarterback John Mazur.

The Conquistadores made the playoffs 5 straight seasons, reaching City 4-A championship games before losing to Stanley Wilson-led Wilmington Banning in 1977 and to Michael Alo's and Danny Andrews' Banning team in 1980.

"In the past, we had a lot of neighborhood (students) playing, but then they just stopped coming out for football," said Stam, who has been at El Camino since the school's opening in 1969. "Now, it seems like they are coming back because we have 15 more kids than we had last year."

With perennial powers Carson and Banning having lost already, there are only seven undefeated teams left in the City: Dorsey, South Gate, Washington, Franklin, University, Reseda and Fairfax.

Dorsey is off to an impressive start, with lopsided wins over Los Angeles, 49-0 (called in the third period because of power failure) and Eagle Rock, 68-0.

"The key to our success so far has been our defense," said co-coach Paul Knox, who has been at Dorsey since 1982. "The defense has scored a lot of points (3 touchdowns and a safety) and has put the offense in great position to score more, along with the fact that they haven't given up any points."

The defensive catalyst has been all-league returnee Shawn Miller. From his inside linebacker postion, Miller has intercepted 4 passes, returning 2 for touchdowns. His sidekick at linebacker, Ronell Blackwell, has also returned an interception for a touchdown.

The key to South Gate's early season success has been Ivan Wilson. South Gate has outscored opponents, 112-14, and the 5-10 tailback has accounted for 66 of those points himself. Wilson has rushed for 563 yards in 50 carries with 9 touchdowns and is 2 for 2 passing for 60 yards and 2 touchdowns. In last Friday's 35-0 victory over Garfield, Wilson ran for 202 yards in 12 carries.

Washington is 3-0 after an 8-0 win over Manual Arts last Friday. The Generals have outscored opponents, 68-6, in the last 10 quarters.

The Generals' defense, which has consecutive shutouts, will be tested Friday against Crenshaw (1-1) and Shawn Ellerbe. In Crenshaw's 33-12 win over Inglewood last Friday, Ellerbe, a senior, carried the ball 11 times for 164 yards and scored 3 touchdowns.

Prep Notes

Franklin and Loyola continue as the top teams in the Southern and City sections, respectively. Loyola defeated Rialto Eisenhower, 14-7, with running back Johann Fuller scoring twice. Franklin defeated Gardena, 12-0, as junior safety Lamar Lovett had 13 tackles. . . . San Marino routed Jackson Academy of Jackson, Miss., 21-0, Friday night. It was Jackson's first game against a public school. In Mississippi, private schools do not compete against public schools. . . . Compton Centennial defeated hometown rival Compton High, 13-0. It was the Apaches' first win over Compton since 1976.


Southern Section

No. School, League Record

1. Loyola, Del Rey 3-0-0

2. Long Beach Poly, Moore 2-0-0

3. Servite, Angelus 3-0-0

4. Fontana, Citrus Belt 3-0-0

5. Crespi, Del Rey 2-1-0

6. Mission Viejo, South Coast 3-0-0

7. Bishop Amat, Angelus 2-1-0

8. Antelope Valley, Golden 3-0-0

9. Santa Barbara, Channel 3-0-0

10. Edison, Sunset 3-0-0

11. Valencia, Orange 3-0-0

12. Eisenhower, Citrus Belt 2-1-0

13. Fountain Valley, Sunset 2-1-0

14. Redlands, Citrus Belt 2-1-0

15. Muir, Pacific 2-1-0


No. School, League Record

1. Franklin 2-0-0

2. Carson 2-1-0

3. Banning 2-1-0

4. University 2-0-0

5. Washington 3-0-0

6. Granada Hills 2-1-0

7. Dorsey 2-0-0

8. Reseda 2-0-0

9. South Gate 3-0-0

10. Fairfax 2-0-0

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