A look at two of the top high school football games in the Southland on Friday night:
Corona Centennial vs. Santa Ana Mater Dei at Santa Ana Stadium, 7:30 p.m.
Neither team could find a nonleague opponent, so Mater Dei, which is ranked No. 1 in the Southland, and No. 3 Centennial decided they’d face off in a season opener that should immediately expose strengths and weaknesses. Centennial still has a bad taste from having four passes returned for touchdowns in a 48-14 semifinal playoff loss to the Monarchs last season. To be successful this time, Centennial’s offensive line must create opportunities to run the ball. The Huskies’ defense, led by defensive end Korey Foreman, should be a good test for a Mater Dei team that will be breaking in a new group of receivers for quarterback Bryce Young. The pick: Mater Dei.
Downey vs. Corona del Mar at Newport Harbor, 7 p.m.
The Corona del Mar trio of quarterback Ethan Garbers, receiver John Humphreys and tight end Mark Redman begin their fourth and final year together in pursuit of a Southern Section championship. Downey is breaking in a new quarterback and its secondary better be in midseason form. The pick: Corona del Mar.