STATWATCH : Ground Game Takes Root at Granada Hills

Granada Hills won the City Section 4-A Division title last season after struggling to a 2-3 start. This year’s team, expected to struggle by comparison, is 4-1 and cruising.

The Highlanders have outscored their opponents, 130-35, and have scored 30 or more points in each of their past 3 games. However, the team has used a dramatically different attack than it employed last year.

Led by quarterback Jeremy Leach, the 4-A Player of the Year, the 1987 Highlanders averaged 222.2 yards and 3 touchdowns a game through the air and routinely overwhelmed secondaries with a squadron of talented receivers. A year later, Granada Hills is averaging 213.4 yards a game on the ground and has 2 players listed among the top 8 City running backs in the Valley--senior Marrio Walker (385 yards) and sophomore Brett Washington (374).

The passing game is beginning to take shape, however. Last week, junior quarterback Chris Gadomski completed 13 of 14 passes for 230 yards and a touchdown in a 31-0 victory over El Camino Real.


Defense: San Fernando inside linebacker Dave Willingham leads the team in tackles after 5 games with 36 unassisted tackles and 49 overall. Willingham also has the best Scholastic Aptitude Test score on the team with 1,170. The highest possible score is 1,600. . . . In 5 games, Oak Park has 4 shutouts. The Eagles’ backfield duo of Jason Stein and Jess Garner has combined for 130 points.

Records: San Fernando quarterback Michael Wynn’s 5 touchdown passes in Friday’s 39-0 win over Canoga Park set a school record. Receiver Sean Williams caught 4 scoring passes, which also established a school single-game record.

Reggie Dominique’s 5 interceptions are a Notre Dame record--probably. Kevin Rooney said no one has intercepted 5 passes in a season since 1980, the year he became coach. Records from previous years were not kept.