Sunset League title could be at stake

It's only the second week of the five-week Sunset League season, but already a front runner for the title could emerge Friday.

A 5-1 Edison team takes on a 5-1 Los Alamitos squad Friday in a showdown between two of the CIF Southern Section Southwest Division leaders at 7 p.m. at Veterans Stadium in Long Beach. It's the No. 1-ranked Chargers versus the No. 3 Griffins, both looking to move to 2-0 in league play.

Friday's prep football slate is full of other key games. Huntington Beach, the other undefeated team in the Sunset League, travels to face city rival Marina. Fountain Valley hosts Newport Harbor in a game where the victor will stay alive in the hunt for both the league title and a CIF playoff berth. Ocean View returns home after two weeks on the road and will attempt to derail undefeated Segerstrom. Brethren Christian heads down south for its final tuneup before league play to take on Monte Vista.

The Edison-Los Alamitos series annually goes a long way in determining the Sunset League champion and this year it's no different.

"Obviously, it's a big one," Edison Coach Dave White said. "It seems like this game goes a long way in determining who will win league. It should be another good one."

Edison has rolled in consecutive weeks after suffering its only loss of the season Sept. 21 to Mater Dei (20-14). The Charger defense has three shutouts to its credit, including last week's league-opening win against Newport Harbor (35-0). The Chargers have held five of six opponents to a touchdown or less, and haven't given up a touchdown in 10 quarters.

Los Alamitos gave Coach John Barnes his 300th career victory last week by blanking Marina, 46-0. The Griffins started the season slowly. They survived an opening game against Paramount (29-26), then lost the following week, 22-14, to Charter Oak (No. 4, Inland Division). Since that loss, they have posted two shutouts and have outscored four opponents, 176-14.

Senior quarterback Cody Marshall threw three touchdown passes, two to receiver Josh Davis, in the win over Marina. Marshall is 68 yards shy of hitting 1,000 yards in passing.

"They really are a balanced team," White said. "They had some injuries early in the season but are getting healthier and better each week. They always have athletes, quickness and speed. They're getting their mojo back."

Edison racked up nearly 500 yards of offense last week against Newport Harbor. The Chargers got rushing touchdowns from quarterback Aleksander Torgersen, two from Donald Rice, Elijah Herrera and Marcus Swanigan.

The Chargers won impressively despite not having the services of offensive guard Miah Frost, corner Kiante Goudeau and tailback Marquis Ross for the game. White said the trio "hopefully" will be ready to play Friday.

"We had a lot of positive things happen against Newport," White said. "Defensively, we played great again. I thought our offensive line, our fullbacks and our tight ends did a great job blocking. We ran the ball really well, controlled the clock and didn't turn the ball over. We got better and that's what counts."


Other Friday games

Huntington Beach (3-3, 1-3) vs. Marina (3-3, 0-1), 7 p.m., Westminster High: A long standing city rivalry renews when the Oilers battle the Vikings in Marina's homecoming game.

The teams enter the showdown coming from opposite directions. Huntington rallied in the final minutes to upend Fountain Valley, while Marina was shut out at Los Alamitos.

The Oilers came back from a 10-0 halftime deficit and used a second-half shutout to pull out a 13-10 win over Fountain Valley. Junior quarterback Kai Ross hit junior wide receiver Marco Valenzuela on a slip route, and Valenzuela turned the play into a 66-yard touchdown with 2:35 left.

Senior Wyatt Marlow, who was wide right on two attempts in the first half, hit field goals of 25 and 45 yards in the third quarter to begin the comeback.

"Our kids played hard," Huntington Coach Eric Lo said. "Our defense played well the entire game, our special teams did a great job and we had a couple of plays. It's a nice win for us."

Marina will try to bounce back from the 46-0 defeat to Los Alamitos.

"We didn't play very well and against a good team, things got out of hand very fast," Marina Coach George Pascoe said. "Los Al was well coached and very physical. We did not match their intensity."

The Marina-Huntington Beach rivalry began in 1965. The Oilers currently possess the perpetual Victory Trophy that goes to the winner of the big game.

Huntington, which this week moved into the Top 10 in the Southwest Division poll at No. 10, has won three straight in the series.

Newport Harbor (2-4, 0-1) vs. Fountain Valley (3-3, 0-1), 7 p.m., Huntington Beach High: Fountain Valley will try to regroup from a tough loss to Huntington Beach against a Newport Harbor crew that also dropped its Sunset League opener last week.

The Barons scored at the end of their first drive of the game when Derek Huynen connected on a 36-yard field goal. They increased their lead to 10-0 on a seven-yard run by Wyatt Christensen in the second quarter.

The Barons, who had been efficient on third-down conversions in the opening half, couldn't find their rhythm in the second half.

"We did not play well offensively, at all, and penalties just killed us," Fountain Valley Coach John Shipp said. "Our defense played their butts off all game. As a whole, though, we didn't get the job done. It was a tale of two halves."

Newport Harbor has lost two straight games, the Sailors' most recent defeat coming last week to Edison. They lost leading rusher Tala Teapua and back-up running back Chance Siemonsma to injury in the loss.

Segerstrom (6-0, 1-0) vs. Ocean View (3-3, 1-0), 7 p.m., Ocean View High: Ocean View faces its stiffest challenge of the season when it hosts Segerstrom in a key Golden West League game.

The Jaguars are the top-ranked team in the Southern Division. They favor the run game, which is led by David Perkins. The senior back has rushed for 899 yards and 14 touchdowns. Senior Sonny Roa has 643 yards and 10 TDs in six games.

The Jaguars are averaging 46 points a game.

Ocean View won its league opener last week by rallying to take down host Santa Ana, 31-28. Reo Washington put the Seahawks on the scoreboard in the first quarter by returning a kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown. Nate Kwon scored on a 13-yard run and Daniel Valencia ran for a score and took in a six-yard TD pass from quarterback Dallas Broge.

Cristian Negrete hit the game-winning field goal with 17 seconds to play.

"I'm proud of how the team responded to adversity," said Nunez, whose Seahawks were down 14 points heading into the final quarter. "Santa Ana threw out the kitchen sink at us in the first half and our defense was able to settle in. I have been telling the kids all year that we will have to pass to win sometime this year, and we did Saturday night."

Brethren Christian (4-2) vs. Monte Vista (2-4), 7 p.m., Monte Vista High: Brethren Christian closes out nonleague play with a trip to San Diego County to take on Monte Vista of Spring Valley.

BC ended a two-game losing streak last week by winning its homecoming game, 40-28, over Fairmont Prep of Anaheim. In his debut at running back, Jared Fuga rushed for 217 yards and two touchdowns.

"We were pleased with our victory over Fairmont Prep," BC Coach Pat McInally said. "We were able to play a number of our younger players, and were really tested by their outstanding quarterback (Bobby Varnadoe)."

BC junior quarterback Jack McInally threw two TD passes in the win to set a school single-season record for touchdown passes at 25. The old record was 23, set in 1986.

"This is a tribute not only to Jack's outstanding play, but to great play design and play calling by offensive coordinator Ryan O'Hara, consistent protection up front, and a very talented group of receivers," Pat McInally said.

Monte Vista has dropped three straight games. The Monarchs last week fell, 24-7, to Spring Valley rival Mount Miguel. They are led by senior running back/linebacker Sam Taylor, and senior quarterback Ricardo Hernandez.

Twitter: @MikeSciacca

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