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High School Sports

No rush to judgment, but Santee’s Joseph Todd can pick up the yards

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Joseph Todd of Santee, who was tabbed as the top returning running back in the City Section, has close to 1,500 yards rushing in seven games.
(Marc Lo)

All-City running back Joseph Todd of Los Angeles Santee High has been given the green light to start piling up yards en masse, and the rest of the teams in the Exposition League could be in trouble.

In his latest performance, Todd carried the ball 27 times for 346 yards and three touchdowns in a 36-25 win over Jefferson on Friday night. Santee improved to 6-1 overall and 3-0 in league.

“He’s so patient,’’ co-coach John Petty said of Todd, who has been a four-year starter. “We have four guys on the line over 300 pounds. We run a lot of counters and traps and it’s him being patient finding his own holes.”

The previous week, Todd rushed for 360 yards against Rivera. He’s closing on 1,500 yards rushing in seven games. Last season, he gained 1,873 yards.

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Not bad for someone who was a defensive back as a freshman before switching to running back. Santee plays at Manual Arts on Friday in a 3 p.m. league showdown.

Here come the Knights: The fourth consecutive victory by Sherman Oaks Notre Dame (4-2, 1-0) came in a 38-7 thumping of Gardena Serra, opening some eyes and making the Knights a legitimate contender in the Mission League.

“We’re better than we were,” said coach Kevin Rooney, in his 39th season. “We’ll see if we can keep improving. It’s a good win and a confidence builder and there’s a lot more to come.”

Leading the Knights’ surge are two sophomores, quarterback Cooper Meek and linebacker Jacob Moore. Meek passed for two touchdowns and ran for two against Serra. Moore has become a big-time pass rusher.

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Another major contributor has been senior running back Christian Grubb, the fastest player in the Mission League.

Serra played without two key defensive players.

Hawthorne star: Joseph Taylor of Hawthorne has rushed for more than 100 yards in six consecutive games. He rushed for 164 yards in a 41-28 win over El Segundo.

Coach Derwin Henderson, in his second season, said Taylor was a linebacker until Henderson switched him to running back. “He’s one of a kind,” Henderson said. “He just has really good feet.”

Clutch kick: Logan Loya, Orange Lutheran’s standout receiver, came through with a 27-yard field goal on the game’s final play to give the Lancers a 39-37 win over Santa Margarita in its Trinity League opener.

Calabasas rising: Calabasas (5-1) keeps taking on tough opponents and winning. The latest was a 20-14 victory over Westlake Village Westlake in which junior quarterback Jaden Casey threw two third-quarter touchdown passes to rally the Coyotes. Next up is a Friday showdown against Chatsworth Sierra Canyon.

Sit-out period standout: Players who sat out the first month of the season after transferring without moving became eligible on Friday, and no one made a more impressive debut than Larenzo McMillan of San Bernardino Cajon.

He caught three touchdown passes in a 48-38 win over Redlands East Valley. McMillan transferred from San Gorgonio. He’ll get to team with 6-foot-8 Darren Jones to catch passes from quarterback Jayden Daniels.

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eric.sondheimer@latimes.com

Twitter: @latsondheimer


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