When Edison and Servite last clashed on the gridiron, that meeting was played in less than ideal conditions.
On a soggy night and sloppy field last December at Angel Stadium, the two prominent football programs faced off for the biggest of prizes: a CIF Pac-5 Division championship. In the end, the Friars sloshed their way through for a 16-6 victory against a Chargers team they had lost to, 23-9, earlier in the season.
No rain is in the forecast Friday, but expect some heated moments when the teams collide at 7:30 p.m. at Cerritos College in Norwalk.
Edison and Servite — ranked fifth and second, respectively, in the CIF Pac-5 Division ??? have met annually during the regular season for the past decade and went on to meet up three times in postseason play in three of those years. The Chargers hold an 8-5 edge in head-to-head meetings during that span.
"It's become a really great rivalry through the years," Edison Coach Dave White said. "Friday should be another great game. We'll be the underdog."
Both teams head into Friday's showdown sporting 3-0 records and both picked up key nonleague wins a week ago: Servite shut out La Habra, 23-0, at Cerritos College and Edison held off a late-charging Dana Hills team, 27-21, at Huntington Beach High.
The Friars got by a La Habra team, ranked No. 1 at the time in the CIF Southwest Division, that was playing without injured quarterback Cody Clements, a Washington State commit. Servite quarterback Cody Pittman threw for just 99 yards with a touchdown pass to Jon Ramos, Sean DeRosa had a one-yard touchdown run and Butch Pauu put the game away with a 13-yard interception return for the game's final score in the fourth quarter.
The Friars defense has given up just two touchdowns in three games.
"Servite's defense is probably as good as anybody's in the (Orange) county," White said. "They are big and they are physical. It will be a challenge for us."
Edison seemed in control of its Sept. 16 game against Dana Hills by breaking out to a 27-7 lead in the third quarter. But a few crucial penalties, and the play of talented quarterback Trent Mason, allowed the Dolphins to climb back into the game. In the end, Edison's defense ??? which gave up its first points of the season in the game ??? came up with a huge stop to end the comeback when lineman Robert Maseand end Charles Burks dragged down Mason on fourth down at the Edison 41 with 48 seconds left to play. The Chargers then ran out the clock.
It was just one of several big plays by the Edison defense, which dominated in the first half. First, Dejean King intercepted Mason on the game's second play from scrimmage. On the Dolphins' next possession, Gavin Perdomo scooped up a fumble by the Dolphins' Tyler Shirozono and raced nine yards to the end zone for the game's first score. Roland Blackiston also recovered a Mason fumble to kill a Dana Hills drive at midfield in the second quarter.
"I thought out defense did a great job, especially in the first half," White said. "We had that offsides call on defense in the second half that kept their one drive alive and they were able to get back in the game. But our defense stiffened with the game on the line.
"That No. 5 (Mason) is a heck of an athlete. He has a strong arm and can really run the ball."
Edison quarterback Chase Favreau also showed his talents as a dual threat. The junior had several impressive keepers go for big yardage, including a 19-yard touchdown run three minutes into the second quarter that extended the Chargers' lead to 14-0. Two minutes later, he treaded a perfect strike to receiver Troy Baljeu for a 31-yard score that increased the lead to 21-0. Favreau, who White said was "really amped" at the start of the game and missed his first four attempts, went on to throw for 185 yards and rushed for 91 more on 14 carries.
Running back Nick Masaniai rushed for 88 yards and scored on an 11-yard run in the third quarter for Edison.
Favreau, for one, is eager to take on the Friars. Two years ago, when he was at Mater Dei, he played on the Monarchs' undefeated freshman team that beat Servite during league play.
"I watched them on film and they're a good team," he said. "It's going to be my biggest challenge yet. From the first snap to the last, we need to be on top of things. We need to play hard the entire game and know our assignments. I'm excited about the game, and I know my teammates are, too."
White said he has seen improvement from his team with each successive game and knows what it will take in order for his troops to have success Friday.
"Our goal is to get a little better each week, and we did that again against Dana Hills," White said. "I think we're playing well heading into the Servite game. In order to beat them, we'll need to control the clock and not turn the ball over. It's that simple. And, we'll have to play our Edison break-but-don't-bend defense."
In other games:
Aliso Niguel (2-1) vs. Huntington Beach (1-1), 7 tonight at Huntington Beach High: Huntington Beach picked up win No.1 of the season Friday by handling former Sea View League foe Foothill, 17-6. The Oilers never trailed, taking a 10-0 halftime lead on Max Talbert's 25-yard field goal and a three-yard scoring run by quarterback Michael Chislock. They led, 17-6, at the half after Noah Biegel scored on a 12-yard run. Chislock threw for 144 yards.
Aliso Niguel improved to 2-1 last week by defeating University, 39-17. The Wolverines did their damage through the air as quarterback Andrew Ossola ran for a score and threw for 335 yards and had three touchdown passes to Andrew Dimond, who finished with 243 receiving yards.
Saddleback Valley Christian (1-1) vs. Brethren Christian (1-2), 7 tonight at Clark Field, Long Beach: Brethren Christian played Century tough last week, but the Centurions used second-half touchdown runs by Hugo Landeros to pull away to a 26-10 win. Brandon White rushed for 144 yards and a touchdown and Levi Duren had a 31-yard field goal for the Warriors.
Saddleback Valley Christian hasn't played since it routed Fulton, 62-12, on Sept. 10.
Marina (1-1) vs. Warren (1-2), 7 p.m. Friday at Warren High: Marina gave George Pascoe his first victory as Vikings head coach last week by holding off Westminster, 28-26, in an exciting Black & Blue game between the two friendly rivals. Alex Waked rushed for a game-high 150 yards with two touchdowns and Brayde Hill had a pair of big scores, one on an 87-yard punt return and the second on a five-yard pass from quarterback Nick Marshall.
The Vikings won despite having just 49 snaps from scrimmage in the game, including 12 in the second half, to Westminster's 70 snaps, Pascoe said.
"Westminster's a good team and it's a good, healthy rivalry, so this is a big win for us," he said. "This will give us something to build on.
"I thought Brayde Hill had a terrific game. Our special teams had more than 200 yards and that was great to see. Alex Waked ran really well and our offensive line did a great job. It was a great win for us."
After opening the season with consecutive losses to Burbank and Santa Fe, Warren ??? a team that favors the run ??? earned its first win Friday by defeating Long Beach Jordan, 20-14. Running back Jamill Magee rushed for 145 yards and a touchdown for the Bears.
Long Beach Millikan (1-2) vs. Fountain Valley (1-2), 7 p.m. Friday at Huntington Beach High: It's Teacher Appreciation and Jr. Baron Night Friday for the Barons on Friday in their nonleague matchup. Fountain Valley broke into the win column last week by taking down Temescal Canyon, 21-14, in its first home game of the season.
Ryan Balzer and Montana Merhoff rushed for touchdowns and Phillip Choi broke a 14-14 tie in the third quarter by returning an interception 67 yards for the winning score. Now the Barons face a Millikan team that last week fell at home to Redondo Union, 28-7. The Rams' lone victory came two weeks ago, a 46-7 defeat of Artesia.
Ocean View (2-1) vs. Costa Mesa (0-3), 7 p.m. Friday at Estancia High: Ocean View is on a two-game winning streak, thanks to last week's 36-14 comeback victory against Laguna Beach. In that game, the Seahawks trailed, 14-0, in the first quarter before storming back for the win. Timmy Robinson rushed for 148 yards and two touchdowns, his path paved up the middle all night by linemen Jon Graham, Tyren Hudson, Michael Congelliere, Carlos Islas and Eric Hernandez.
"We know he's a horse and I said 'we gotta give the horse the ball,' " Ocean View Coach Harold Eggers said of Robinson. "He really hit the middle hard and was tough to bring down."
Receiver/defensive back Blake Walker scored on a 50-yard pass play from Nolan Tippy and capped the night's scoring with a 20-yard interception return, Travis Sparks-Jackson scored on a 30-yard interception return and Brian Hernandez connected on a 36-yard field goal for the Seahawks. Tippy threw for 161 yards on eight of nine passing.
Costa Mesa's defense is yielding an average of 33 points per game in three losses. That bodes well for an Ocean View offense that has averaged 32 points the past two weeks and 27 points for the season.
The Mustangs have lost two close games the past two weeks, falling to Santiago by five and last week, failed on a two-point conversion in overtime and fell, 35-34, to Katella. Tyler Sheffner rushed for three touchdowns for the Mustangs in the loss.