It's only two weeks into the 2013 prep football season but already, the CIF Southwest Division top 10 poll is top-heavy with Sunset League teams.
Defending division champion Edison High still rides atop the poll but Huntington Beach and Fountain Valley have quickly made their presence felt. The Oilers started the season tied for the No. 6 position, but now rank at No. 5. The Barons, meanwhile, were not included in the preseason rankings but have climbed their way to the No. 6 slot.
Throw in Los Alamitos at No. 4, and Newport Harbor, despite a season-opening loss Friday to Trabuco Hills, at No. 10, and five of the six Sunset teams are included in this week's poll.
Edison, Huntington Beach and Fountain Valley each has begun the season 2-0. The Chargers are in the midst of a bye week but both the Oilers and Barons are preparing for big contests Friday.
The outcomes of those games again will affect next week's Southwest poll.
Ocean View kicks off this week's schedule for the locals with a Thursday game at Estancia. Marina, which defeated Ocean View last week, goes after win No. 2 in a Friday showdown with rival Westminster.
Like Edison, Brethren Christian is idle.
Ocean View (0-1) vs. Estancia (0-1)
(7 p.m., Estancia High)
Two teams who fell short in their season openers a week ago will vie Thursday for that first victory.
Ocean View dropped its opener, 33-14, to Marina Friday. The Seahawks were led by offensive workhorse, senior running back Daniel Valencia, who rushed for a game-high 144 yards and a touchdown. Sophomore quarterback Blake Meyer threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to junior receiver Tyler Clay in the third quarter to draw the Seahawks to within 24-14.
Junior Jerred Vogt made some nice runs at fullback and finished with 68 yards rushing.
The Seahawks turned the ball over four times, all interceptions.
"This is our first game and it's [Marina's] second, so they got to work out some kinks," Ocean View Coach Luis Nunez said. "Hopefully, we can work out our kinks and learn from this game."
Estancia returns only one starter from last year. The Eagles are playing for the first time in four seasons without its leading rusher, running back Robert Murtha who graduated in June. Murtha, who holds numerous rushing records at Estancia and is the all-time career rushing leader in the Newport Mesa Unified School District, was the Offensive Player of the Year the past three years in the Orange Coast League.
The Eagles last week were shut out, 35-0, in their season opener against Loara.
Trabuco Hills (2-0) vs. Fountain Valley (2-0)
(7 p.m., Huntington Beach High)
Fountain Valley goes after its third win against a Trabuco Hills team that is in the midst of a three-game swing against Sunset League schools.
The Mustangs beat mistake-prone Newport Harbor, 35-20, last week. Senior quarterback Tommy Kelley thew two touchdown passes and senior defensive back Sam Smith returned an interception 60 yards in the final minute to secure the win.
Following Friday's meeting with Fountain Valley, the Mustangs next week go up against Huntington Beach.
"They are an outstanding team," Fountain Valley Coach Ray Fenton said of the Mustangs. "They don't do anything exceptional, but they do everything well. They are a really good football team."
Fountain Valley, which never trailed, held on Friday for a 24-21 win over visiting Dana Hills. Senior quarterback Travis Hood rushed for two touchdowns and, with the score knotted at 21-21, connected on a 46-yard pass play with senior receiver Noah Rivard to put the Barons at the Dana Hills 21-yard line in the final minute. The play set up a game-winning, 38-yard field goal by senior Jonah Mack with 19 seconds to play.
Hood and Rivard also teamed for a big pass play in the Barons' season opening win over Foothill Aug. 30.
Senior Isaiah Davis returned a kickoff 85 yards for a score in the third quarter that took the Fountain Valley lead to 21-7.
"Our defense played extremely well, and was extremely fast, in the first half," Fenton said. "I think [Dana Hills] went three-and-out five or six times in the half.
"Looking at our goals for the game, we only met one on offense and on defense, also met one. But, on special teams, we were nine for nine in goals met. We used a fake punt to extend one drive, had a kickoff return for a touchdown, and our punts and kickoffs pinned them deep. That's the difference in this game for us."
Both Trabuco Hills and Fountain Valley have played a common opponent, Dana Hills. The Mustangs started their season Aug. 30 with a 31-10 win over the Dolphins.
Huntington Beach (2-0) vs. JSerra (1-0)
(7 p.m., Saddleback College)
Huntington's final nonleague road game comes against JSerra which last week was idle.
The Lions won their only game, a 44-0 win over Las Vegas Centennial in their opener Aug. 31. Senior Casey Eugenio led the Lions' run game with 131 yards and accounted for three touchdowns. Junior quarterback Nick Robinson threw for 140 yards with three touchdown and the Lions defense scored by safety and interception return.
"That's a very talented football team," Huntington Beach Coach Eric Lo said. "They have a good quarterback (Robinson), a really good running back (Eugenio), and two really good wide receivers (Dante Pettis, Ethan Aguayo). They're also really good in the defensive backfield. This will be a big test for us."
Pettis is the son of former Angels outfielder Gary Pettis.
Huntington used a big second half to roll away with a 49-14 road victory Friday over Magnolia. The Oilers scored 28 points in a five-minute span of the third quarter to pull away.
"We kind of got our act together," Lo said of the Oilers' second-half surge.
Senior quarterback Kai Ross (142 yards) threw four touchdown passes and ran for two scores, and junior quarterback Chad James had one TD pass. Senior Tucker deCamp and junior Maurice Barber both had two TD receptions and junior Nolan Thompson caught a scoring pass.
Running back Hunter Simmons rushed for a team-high 109 yards. It was the first 100-yard rushing game for the sophomore, Lo said.
Despite the lopsided score, Lo said there's work to be done.
"We need to improve our effort," he said. "We had turnovers early in the game and we didn't play as well as I would have hoped. We did wake up in the second half and I thought Hunter [Simmons] played pretty well."
Marina (1-1) vs. Westminster (0-1)
(7 p.m., Westminster High)
What's Black and Blue and has been played every year for the past 50 falls? The annual clash between neighboring schools Marina and Westminster.
Marina comes into the game, which has been played annually since 1963, having claimed its first victory of the season, a 33-14 win at Ocean View Friday. The Vikings used a quick-start offense to grab a quick two-touchdown lead on the Seahawks, then scored the last nine points of the game to win the first meeting between the schools in 20 years.
Senior quarterback Daylan Harmeyer threw for 282 yards on 27-of-32 passing with touchdown passes to seniors Dawayne Jackson and Cooper Davies.
Senior Landon Marshall connected on field-goal attempts of 43 and 29 yards for the Vikings.
The Marina defense also figured prominently and came up with four interceptions, one each by juniors Nolan Winks and Jacob Lopez, and seniors Scott Phillips and Clay Fischer.
Marina used the short pass early and scored on its first two possessions of the game. Peppering the Seahawks defense with the quick pass was what Marina Coach George Pascoe had wanted.
"If we were to be successful, we had to do that," Pascoe said. "Our offensive line is really young and [short passes] helped us get going.
"I thought our kids came out and did a nice job. "We executed, played offense and defense. We were focused and on a mission."
Westminster played its first game of the season Friday and lost, 38-15, to Garden Grove. The Lions had touchdown runs from quarterback Daniel Thomsen and running back David Guzman. Junior Josh Gordon had a big game offensively and led the Vikings in receiving with 119 yards on nine receptions. Gordon, along with senior Zach Blair, also scored a rushing touchdown.
Last year on Bill Boswell Field, Marina took a 21-14 victory from Westminster.
The field at Westminster High, also the home stadium for Marina, is named in honor of the first head football coach at Westminster High. Boswell served as varsity football coach for 19 years.
A 1953 graduate of Huntington Beach High, Boswell, died in May at age 78.
Idle: Edison (2-0); Brethren Christian (0-1).
The Chargers, the top-ranked team and defending champion in the CIF Southern Section Southwest Division, improved to 2-0 Sept. 5 with a 14-0 victory over Los Angeles Garfield (0-2).
Coming off a nine-point win at Compton Centennial to start the season Aug. 30, the Chargers opened their home schedule Garfield. They scored on their first possession of both halves, and rode their first defensive shutout of the season at Cap Sheue Field.
Junior quarterback Matt Gane keyed Edison's opening possession of the game. He carried the ball on four of the first six plays of the drive which included an 18-yard first-down run on the first play from scrimmage. He ended an eight-play, 74-yard drive by throwing a nice, 26-yard touchdown pass in the end zone to wide open senior receiver Jeremy Maxwell.
Edison's other touchdown drive of the game mirrored its first. Running back Marcus Swanigan ripped off a 15-yard run around right end on first down to start the second half . Two more runs by the senior, plus a personal foul flag against Garfield, put the ball at the Bulldogs' 32. Two plays later, Gane threw to the end zone where senior receiver Kiante Goudeau came back to make the catch for a touchdown.
Coach Dave White felt his team showed improvement from its season-opening, 27-18 win at Centennial.
"We had some good things happen on offense but we need to be a little more consistent," White said. "We'd have a good play, then we'd stall. We'd drive downfield, then fumble. But, I thought we got better from last week."
The two wins gives Edison some momentum heading into a bye week. And that's a good thing, as consecutive nonleague games against Servite, Mater Dei and San Clemente, await the Chargers.
The Chargers get back into action Sept. 19 when they play host to Servite at 7:30 p.m. at Orange Coast College.
The Friars (1-1) last Friday surprised Long Beach Poly, 31-24.
The Warriors are idle for the second-straight week. They return to play Sept. 20 when they travel to Simi Valley to meet Grace Brethren.
Weekly CIF Football Rankings
Edison: No. 1, Southwest Division.
Huntington Beach: No. 5, Southwest Division.
Fountain Valley: No. 6, Southwest Division.