Friday’s top high school football games: Narbonne goes for fourth straight City title
Friday’s championship football games
Open Division: Crenshaw (10-2) vs. Narbonne (9-3) at El Camino College, 7 p.m.
Since 2008, Narbonne has won six City titles. Crenshaw has won three. Narbonne is going for its fourth in a row. The closest any City opponent has come to Narbonne was San Pedro in a 48-14 defeat. Quarterback Jalen Chatman and running back Jermar Jefferson lead the offense. Linebackers Raymond Scott, Darien Butler and Julian Lewis lead the defense.
Crenshaw quarterback Isaiah Johnson will try to get the ball to standout receiver Rayshawn Williams. And Crenshaw’s defensive line, led by Ahmir Crowder, will try to put pressure on Chatman.
The pick: Narbonne.
Division 2: Westlake Village Oaks Christian (11-2) at Valencia (12-1), 7:30 p.m.
Oaks Christian has created its own “luck” by rallying the last two weeks, including a monumental upset of No. 1-seeded Upland on a 95-yard interception return in the closing seconds. Quarterback Josh Calvert took over as the starter in the final regular-season game and has been flourishing, as has running back Zach Charbonnet.
Valencia has an outstanding defensive line that can cause big problems. Quarterback Connor Downs is showing running skills. The winner of this game will get one of the top state bowl berths.
The pick: Valencia.
Quarterback Darius Perrantes and running backs Kevin Armstead and Elijah Washington have gotten hot in the playoffs. Rancho Verde, though, has similar speed to Cathedral, which is the only team to have beaten St. Francis. Xavier Ugorji has rushed for 1,195 yards.
The pick: Rancho Verde.
Division 5: Lancaster Paraclete (12-1) at Moorpark (11-2), 7 p.m.
Paraclete quarterback Brevin White is headed to Princeton and he’s smart enough to know the key to victory is getting the ball to his playmakers. Moorpark has relied on quarterback Blake Sturgill.
The pick: Paraclete.
Division 6: Santa Barbara Bishop Diego (12-1) vs. Santa Clarita Golden Valley (8-5) at Canyon, Friday, 7 p.m.
The Cardinal have a strong rushing attack, led by John Harris, who has gained 1,811 yards. Golden Valley has never appeared in a championship game and went 10 years without winning a league game. Cameron Ravenell has 13 sacks and junior De’Gabriel Floyd is a USC commit.
The pick: Bishop Diego.
Division 8: Simi Valley Grace Brethren (11-2) at Antelope Valley (11-2), 7 p.m.
The combination of quarterback Michael Zele and running back Lontrelle Diggs has led Grace Brethren. Antelope Valley is making its first championship appearance since 1985. Jermaine Marshall has scored 25 touchdowns.
The pick: Grace Brethren.
All eyes are on running back Branden Rankins of Aquinas. He’s San Bernardino County’s career rushing leader. He has gained 2,293 yards and has 38 touchdowns this season. Quarterback Austin Griffin leads Burroughs with 31 touchdown passes.The pick: Aquinas..
Division 11: Anaheim Katella (12-1) vs. Covina (11-2) at Covina District Field, 7 p.m.
Sophomore Erik Cuellar has been Covina’s big surprise, rushing for 2,145 yards and 19 touchdowns. He had 303 yards rushing last week against Culver City. Katella has never won a championship but has a 12-game winning streak.
The pick: Covina.