High School Sports

USC vs. UCLA: High school coaches make their picks

Jason Negro

Like many Southland high school football coaches, St. John Bosco’s Jason Negro is torn in picking a UCLA-USC winner, but sides with the school that has the most Braves.

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Some of them have natural rooting interests, having attended one school or the other. A few have players they helped produce on the current rosters. Whatever the reasons for their choices, selected Southland high school football coaches have offered their predictions on Saturday’s USC vs. UCLA — or is it UCLA vs. USC? — game at the Coliseum:

Matt Bechtel, Chino Hills; USC 31, UCLA 27; “USC will have a chip on their shoulders because they’ve lost the last three in a row.”

Jim Bonds, La Canada St. Francis; UCLA 31, USC 17; “Devin Fuller is going to have an historic game. His mom is a backup singer for Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band.”

Coley Candaele, Vista Murrieta; UCLA 31, USC 17; “I’m a big Su’a Cravens fan. However, my wife bleeds blue and gold. Sua’s going to hate me but my wife is going to continue loving me.”


Chuck Chastain, Norco; USC 31, UCLA 28; “Even though I was a UCLA fan growing up, I’m going have to support Norco alum Scott Felix in his senior year at USC.”

Casey Clausen, Calabasas; USC 31, UCLA 28; “I think USC will make plays on offense and slow UCLA down just enough to win.”

Ed Croson, West Hills Chaminade; UCLA 35, USC 32; “UCLA’s defense matches up with USC, especially up front. UCLA is doing a great job letting Josh Rosen develop.”

Manuel Douglas, Narbonne; USC 28, UCLA 17; “I see Olajuwon Tucker (Serra), John Houston (Serra), Uchenna Nwosu (Narbonne), Adoree’ Jackson (Serra). Those kids are winners. None are used to losing. I believe they are going to bounce back and beat UCLA.”


Lou Farrar, Covina Charter Oak; USC 31, UCLA 28; “I think it’s going to come down to a field goal. USC has more to fight for. They’re fighting for their coach.”

Aaron Flowers, San Juan Capistrano San Juan Hills; USC 38, UCLA 34; “With everything they’ve gone through this year, USC is going to pull this off.”

Adam Guerra, Ventura St. Bonaventure; USC 35, UCLA 31; “Coach Helton will get them going. Both teams have been decimated by injuries but USC’s new guys will play better and figure it out.”

Steve Hagerty, Bishop Amat; USC 31, UCLA 30; “I’m pulling for the Trojans to win because I like Clay Helton.”

Tony Henney, Westlake Village Westlake; UCLA 49, USC 35; “UCLA wins by 14 points, the number of Theo Howard, my receiver going to UCLA.”

Lorenzo Hernandez, Garfield; USC 31, UCLA 24; “It might be a little too big a game for Josh Rosen at the Coliseum.”

Bob Johnson, Mission Viejo; USC 33, UCLA 24; “I’m taking USC because they’re playing at home.”

Matt Logan, Corona Centennial; UCLA 31, USC 28; “I think the ability to run the ball with Paul Perkins and hit big plays off play action will be the difference. USC, with its injuries, is a little depleted.”


Frank Mazzotta, La Habra; UCLA 42, USC 35; “If Toa Lobendahn [a La Habra High product] wasn’t hurt, it would be a USC victory.”

Jason Negro, Bellflower St. John Bosco; UCLA 35, USC 34; “We have three starters at UCLA and one starter at USC. Plus UCLA has better hot tubs.”

Chuck Petersen, Orange Lutheran; UCLA 38, USC 35; “I’m taking UCLA over USC because they have more Trinity League kids and Keisean Lucier-South would never forgive me for picking USC.”

Bruce Rollinson, Santa Ana Mater Dei; USC 36, UCLA 28; “As its Thanksgiving and tradition, I’m going to stay with my alumni and USC is going to rise up and pull it out at home.”

Jack Willard, Camarillo; USC 34, UCLA 31; " My PE partner is a big USC fan, and I don’t want to get him mad.”

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