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Johnson Gives Canyon Big Boost on Defense

Canyon High linebacker David Johnson continues to impress.

He had 13 tackles Friday in a 21-10 victory over Crescenta Valley, adding to his 28 tackles in the first two games.

The Johnson-led defense held the Falcons to four first downs in the second half. Johnson, a 5-foot-11, 209-pound, three-year starter, stopped Crescenta Valley running back Bryan Henry for no gain on fourth down at the Falcon 44 late in the third quarter to set up the go-ahead touchdown for Canyon (3-0).

“We put our best players on defense,” Coach Larry Mohr said.

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Led by speedster Julio DeLeon and Justin Davis, who has two interceptions, Canyon held Crescenta Valley to 39 passing yards.

The Cowboy defense will be tested this week against Westlake. The Warriors (3-0) average 421 yards a game in offense, third in the region behind Hart (510) and Newbury Park (445).

“They’ve got three or four stars,” Mohr said. “And one thing that hasn’t been mentioned is their defense is pretty good too.”

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The helmet decals have been changed at Crespi, with the scripted ‘Celts’ being nudged aside in favor of Michigan-type stripes.

Crespi players and coaches voted for the white Wolverine stripes instead of a block ‘C’ on the Celts’ brown helmets.

Michigan, defending national co-champ, started 0-2.

“We’re still living on their glory from last year,” Crespi assistant coach Richard Fong said.

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Taft is making a habit of turning backup running backs into quality defensive linemen.

Last year, the Toreadors made Larry Jones a defensive end. Jones, one of the fastest players in the Northwest Valley Conference, returned a fumble for a touchdown in a victory over Kennedy.

Now Michael Adams has made the same transition.

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The third-string tailback behind Marquis Brignac and Jones last year, Adams has moved to defensive end. He had six sacks and recovered a fumble in Taft’s 21-0 victory over Dorsey.

“He’s still learning a new position,” Taft Coach Troy Starr said. “But he’s doing very well.”

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Crescenta Valley coaches, who entered the season with high hopes for the passing attack, have decided to abandon the quarterback platoon of Seth Santoro and Scott Vossmeyer after three weeks of inconsistent results.

A decision on the starter against La Canada on Friday will be made later this week, but whoever starts will finish.

“We want them to push each other as long as possible this week before we make a decision,” quarterback coach John Shea said.

The Falcons entered the season with Santoro, last year’s starter, and Vossmeyer, who led the junior varsity to an undefeated season, battling for the job.

Neither won it outright in passing leagues or the preseason, so a platoon was initiated.

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Neither has been overwhelmingly effective.

Santoro, a senior, has completed 15 of 28 passes for 167 yards. Vossmeyer, a junior, is 16 of 30 for 123 yards. Neither has thrown a touchdown pass for the Falcons, who have scored only 52 points.

“We got a little off track with [our passing game],” Shea said. “We have not given up on throwing. I think over the next couple of weeks you’ll see some more of it.”

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Hart linebacker Scott Hunt, who left the game against Sylmar on Thursday with a pulled hamstring just before halftime, has not had full-contact practice this week but coaches are optimistic he will play Friday against Palmdale.

“He’s doing a little better,” said Dean Herrington, Hart’s offensive coordinator. “He was out there running around a little bit and there’s a better chance he can play this weekend.”

Hunt, an All-Southern Section selection last year and the Indians’ leading tackler, was on crutches this weekend before undergoing three days of therapy.

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It was not the best of weeks for Palmdale.

First, standout linebacker and long snapper Mark Hendricks was suspended for Friday’s game against Verbum Dei after an on-campus altercation earlier in the week.

Hendricks’ replacement fired two punt snaps out of the end zone for safeties during Palmdale’s 25-24 loss.

On Saturday, Langston University lost to Prairie View A&M;, 14-12, ending the nation’s longest losing streak at 80 games. Former Palmdale players Jason Anderson, Shaun Perez, Steve Anderson and Horacio Diaz play for Langston, a small Oklahoma college.

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Notre Dame inside linebacker Steve Velligan likely will not play Friday at Alemany.

Velligan, a 6-foot, 200-pound junior, suffered a concussion at practice on Monday.


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