The Edison Chargers are sitting where most teams hoped to be in the final week of the regular season.
Right there, too, are the Ocean View Seahawks.
And waiting in the wings, watching with a keen interest as to what transpires Thursday night, are the Huntington Beach Oilers.
Edison clinched a share of the Sunset League football championship last week by defeating Fountain Valley and can claim an outright title Thursday with a victory at Newport Harbor. Should the Chargers slip up, Newport Harbor would earn a portion of that title. Huntington Beach can make it a three-way tie for the crown by getting past Fountain Valley on Friday
"There's a lot riding on this game," Edison Coach Dave White said of the Chargers-Sailors matchup at Davidson Field. "We've already got a piece of the title, but it's still nervous time. We don't want to lose and have there possibly be a three-way tie for first place and a coin flip to see who goes as the No. 1 team from our league. This is a big game for both teams."
In Santa Ana on Thursday, Ocean View has a chance to move into the Golden West League penthouse. Actually, should the Seahawks defeat defending-champion Segerstrom, they'd move into a first-place tie and have a have a roommate at the top in the Jaguars, who have a one-game lead on Ocean View and already own a piece of a repeat title.
Edison (8-2, 4-0) vs. Newport Harbor (5-4, 3-1), 7 p.m., Newport Harbor High: The Chargers tied for the Sunset League championship last week by rallying to defeat rival Fountain Valley, 14-10, a win that allowed Edison to retain the Bell for the seventh straight year. The prize wasn't secured until Bryce Campbell took in an 18-yard touchdown pass from Chase Favreau midway through the fourth quarter in what turned out to be the game's final score.
Edison rallied from a 10-0 deficit to get the win. The Chargers now face a revved-up Newport Harbor team that has won four of its last five games, including a 24-7 win last week over Marina.
"They are playing hard and well and now are playing for a league championship," White said of the Sailors. "They are talented and well-coached and no doubt we'll be getting their best shot.
"They are a run-first, play-action team and like us, they have a bend-but-don't-break defense."
Newport Harbor scored 14 points in the fourth quarter last week to pull away from Marina. Running back Titus Hasson rushed for 153 yards and scored once and Sailors quarterback Cole Blower threw for 144 yards and two scores. Hasson's effort came one week after he galloped for 255 yards and three touchdowns in a 35-21 win over Los Alamitos.
Edison used the Favreau-to-Campbell game-winning pass, and a 25-yard touchdown pass in the final minute of the first half from Favreau to Sedric Hill to slip past Fountain Valley.
"The kids hung in there and I was pleased that we shut them out in the second half," White said of last week's win. "For some reason, we're not really consistent on offense. Our defense, however, has been really consistent and has won some games for us."
Newport Harbor is 0-5 against Edison since rejoining the Sunset League in 2006.
Ocean View (5-4, 3-1) vs. Segerstrom (7-2, 4-0), 7 p.m., Segerstrom High: The Seahawks have the chance to tie for the Golden West League championship when they travel to face the Jaguars.
"We are very excited about the position we are in but at the same time, this is where we expected to be at the beginning of the season," said Ocean View offensive coordinator Eli Atol, who noted that an Ocean View team last won a league championship when its shared the 1989 Sunset League title. "We knew we would have a chance at league this year, and now we have to go out and show we deserve to be there."
Ocean View is coming off a 47-7 homecoming game victory over winless Santa Ana. Quarterback Timmy Robinson ran for two scores and thew a 12-yard touchdown pass to Tua Faleaulii. Colton Johnson ran 55 yards for a score and the Seahawks had defensive and special team scores, as well, with Speiser Alani returning an interception for six points and Travis Sparks scoring on an 85-yard kickoff return.
Both Robinson (1,410) and Sparks (1,057) have rushed for more than 1,000 yards. Atol said that Robinson has set Ocean View single-game records for solo tackles (13), touchdowns (six) and points (38), has established single-season records for rushing yards, rushing touchdowns (23) and points (146), and is adding to career records for rushing yards (3,542), carries (489), rushing touchdowns (48) and solo tackles (164). Earlier this year, Sparks set the school record for rushing yards in a game (298).
The Seahawks have won four of the last five outings and in the past two weeks have outscored Loara and Santa Ana by a combined 89-14.
Segerstrom is on a five-game win streak and really hasn't been challenged in its four previous league games. Last week the Jaguars used a run game that netted more than 300 yards to win a share of the league title by disposing of Loara, 35-13. Junior running back Sonny Roa leads the Jaguars in rushing with 867 yards with six touchdowns.
FOR THE RECORD:
An earlier version of this story incorrectly said the Marina/Los Alamitos game was at Veterans Stadium.
Marina (1-7-1, 0-4) vs. Los Alamitos (5-4, 1-3), 7 p.m., Westminster High: Marina can avoid a winless Sunset League season by defeating a Los Alamitos squad that has been on a downward spiral in the past month.
The Vikings played Newport Harbor tough last week before being outscored, 14-0, in the fourth quarter in an eventual loss where senior Alex Waked ran for a game-high 165 yards and a score.
Defending league champion Los Alamitos was torched in the second half last week by Huntington Beach in a 58-28 loss. The Griffins are led on offense by senior running back Cody Paul and quarterback Dylan Lagarde.
Los Al, which began the season 4-1, will miss the postseason for the first time since 2007.
FOR THE RECORD:
An earlier version of this story incorrectly said the Huntington Beach/Fountain Valley game was on Friday. It is at 7 p.m. Thursday.
Huntington Beach (7-2, 3-1) vs. Fountain Valley (4-5, 1-3), 7 p.m., Huntington Beach High: Playoff-bound Huntington knows what's at stake against a Fountain Valley team that is coming off an emotional loss to Edison and is looking to end its season on a high note on Senior Night.
Fountain Valley had Edison on the ropes last week. The Barons took a 10-0 lead late into the first half, were on top, 10-7, at the half, and maintained that lead until giving up the go-ahead score on a touchdown pass with 6:13 left in the game. Derek Huynen connected on a 43-yard field goal and quarterback Chris d'Entremont hit Wyatt Christensen with an 18-yard touchdown pass in the first 14:30 of the game.
"Our defense played its best game of the season, by far," Fountain Valley Coach John Shipp said. "Our coaching staff did an excellent job of preparing our kids for this game, and they should be commended.
"It was like a chess match out there. They had their moves, and we had ours."
Huntington Beach was impressive last week against Los Alamitos. The Oilers bounced back from a frustrating loss the week before to Edison to rally and rout the Griffins, 58-28. They did it by producing 45 second-half points, including two defensive scores, to wipe out 13-0 first-quarter and 16-13 halftime deficits.
"It was a really great win for us," Huntington Coach Eric Lo said as the Oilers, who also trailed, 22-13, early in the third quarter beat a John Barnes-coached Los Al team for the first time. "We came back several times and that shows the type of character our kids have. They aren't intimidated whatsoever."
"This is a huge game for us. We're in the playoffs and depending what happens between Edison and Newport (Harbor), there's a possibility of getting a piece of the (league) championship. Our kids know what's on the line."
Ramon Vargas scored three times for the Oilers against Los Al. The senior scored on 45- and 10-yard passes from quarterback Michael Chislock and later scored one a 16-yard fumble return. Chislock (189 yards, three passing touchdowns) also threw a touchdown pass to Austin Simpkins and ran for two more scores. Zach Hadlock scored on an interception return in the third quarter, Thomas Harer hit a 32-yard field goal and Bowen Bruenig scored on a short run late in the game to complete the scoring rampage.
Brethren Christian (5-4, 1-1) vs. Sage Hill (3-6, 1-1), 7 p.m., Sage Hill High: A CIF playoff berth and a possible share of the Academy League crown hang in the balance for both teams.
Brethren Christian enjoyed a 47-8 homecoming victory Saturday over Crean Lutheran. Quarterback Sam Franklin led all rushers with 138 yards, with touchdown runs of 83 and 35 yards, and also threw a 64-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Moore. Brandon White rushed for 67 yards and two touchdowns and William Martin and Cameron Smith also ran for scores.
Both the Warriors and Lightning have lost league games to defending-champion St. Margaret's. Last week, the Lightning was handed a 38-3 defeat by the Tartans, who lead the league with a 2-0 record and can win an outright league title with a win Friday against Crean Lutheran.