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A Look at tonight’s key matchups


* VALLEY (1-1) vs. BAKERSFIELD (2-0)

At Bakersfield, 7 p.m.

This Western State Conference interdivisional game pits the preseason favorites to win the Northern (Bakersfield) and Southern (Valley) divisions, but Valley has stumbled off the blocks and might be hard-pressed to defend its title. Valley lost to Santa Barbara City, 32-26, last week and has slipped from fourth to 19th in the state poll. Bakersfield, ranked second, is coming off a 40-22 victory over Moorpark.

Valley’s main problem has been a defense that has allowed 989 yards.

Sophomore David Lins ranks second in the conference with 485 yards passing and freshman Joey Orlando leads in receptions with 15 for 160 yards. Bakersfield averages 243.5 yards a game rushing. Bakersfield holds a 35-5 series advantage over Valley, which won last year, 33-30.


* No. 4 HART (1-1) vs. No. 1 WESTLAKE (2-0)

At Westlake High, 7:30 p.m.

After allowing 28 points in the fourth quarter of a 36-35 loss to Thousand Oaks last week, Hart was replaced by Westlake as the top-ranked team in The Times’ regional poll. Westlake quarterback Casey Preston has passed for an area-high 623 yards and Jon Weems gives the Warriors a game-breaking running threat. Westlake’s defense--led by middle linebacker Bobby DeMars, lineman Scott Nessel and safety Jeremy Golden--will be challenged by Hart, which has scored 80 points. Cody Joyce is among the area’s most versatile and dangerous players, alternating at wide receiver and running back. He has 15 receptions for 210 yards and three touchdowns, and has rushed for two touchdowns. Quarterback Travis Carroll is another dual threat, having completed 69% of his passes for 509 yards and five touchdowns and running for two touchdowns.


* No. 3 ANTELOPE VALLEY (2-0) vs. SYLMAR (1-1)

At Sylmar High, 7:30 p.m.

This long-awaited match between local City Section power Sylmar and Southern Section bully Antelope Valley might be coming a year late after the graduation of running backs Durell Price and Jermaine Lewis, both at UCLA. Spartan Coach Jeff Engilman said the Antelopes will be the fastest group his team has faced since Sharmon Shah-led Dorsey in 1991. Antelope Valley’s top backs--Eric Mobley, Lorenzo Moore and Tony Walker--average 9.7 yards per carry. Both teams allow fewer than 100 yards a game rushing. Engilman returns from a two-week suspension.

* No. 7 TAFT (2-0) vs. DORSEY (1-1)

At Jackie Robinson Stadium, 7:30 p.m.

The Toreadors and Dons meet for the first time since Dorsey eliminated Taft in memorable fashion from the 1994 City Section 4-A playoff quarterfinals. Taft led, 20-7, midway through the fourth quarter before the Dons tied the score. Taft was driving for a game-winning score when Antwain Wilson returned an interception 65 yards for a touchdown as time expired. Under Coach Paul Knox, Dorsey has produced several skill-position stars, including Keyshawn Johnson, Sharmon Shah (Karim Abdul-Jabbar), and Lamont Warren, and three City Section titles, including a 10-8 victory over San Pedro last year. The Dons have quarterback Marrill(cq) Hammick, an effective runner and passer. But Dorsey will be missing tailback Antonio Chatman, sidelined by a leg injury. The Toreadors have been impressive in victories over Sylmar and Fairfax, and boast speed with tailback Sedric Hurns and wide receivers Damon Coleman and Ryan Long. The defense, led by linebacker Donte Morgan, has allowed 123 yards in two games.


At North Hollywood High, 7:30 p.m.

The Golden Cougars, off to a disappointing start following an undefeated regular season in 1995, face a third straight powerful running attack. Kennedy, which has allowed 495 yards rushing, must find a way to slow senior Dante Clay, who leads the area with 496 yards rushing. Kennedy held the Huskies to 90 yards rushing in a 39-6 victory last year. Kennedy has an effective running game with Jaret Harris and Waking Bailey but quarterback Calvin Zinck needs to rediscover his touch. The Huskies’ unconventional double-wing offense keeps defenses honest.

Other games

Southern Section: At 7:30 p.m., Loyola vs. Saugus at College of the Canyons, Thousand Oaks at Chaminade, Newbury Park vs. Buena at Ventura High, St. Francis at Alemany, Franklin vs. Crespi at Pierce College, Burroughs Ridgecrest at Canyon, Harvard-Westlake at San Marino, Victor Valley at Highland, Hueneme at Camarillo, Channel Islands at Oxnard, Ventura vs. Royal at Moorpark College, Santa Clara at Rio Mesa, Santa Barbara at Agoura, Beverly Hills at Notre Dame, Crescenta Valley vs. Burbank at Burroughs, Burroughs at La Canada, Glendale at South Pasadena, Blair vs. Hoover at Glendale High, Kilpatrick at Moorpark, Santa Paula at Carpinteria, Fillmore at El Segundo, Oak Park vs. Mary Star at Daniels Field (San Pedro), Bell-Jeff vs. Paraclete at Antelope Valley College, Vasquez at Sherman Indian, Quartz Hill vs. Hesperia at Sultana High, Littlerock at Barstow.

City Section: At 3 p.m., Monroe at Eagle Rock, San Fernando at Grant. At 7 p.m., Chatsworth at Poly, El Camino Real at Canoga Park. At 7:30 p.m., Birmingham at Reseda, Fairfax at Cleveland.

Intersectional: At 7:30 p.m., Montclair Prep at Van Nuys, Verdugo Hills at Calabasas, Granada Hills at Simi Valley.


8-man: At 3:30 p.m., South Bay Lutheran at Campbell Hall.