Birmingham Coach Jim Rose said after an 0-5 start, Friday's West Valley League opener against El Camino Real would be the most important game of the season because it would tell plenty about his team.
What he learned is that the Patriots have plenty of fight left. Down, 14-0, Birmingham rallied in the second half for a 19-14 victory. Junior running back Sterling Salguero rushed for 287 yards and two touchdowns.
Chatsworth knocked off unbeaten Cleveland, 38-21. Terrell Funches rushed for 178 yards. Chris Duncan passed for 179 yards and three touchdowns in Taft's 28-0 win over Granada Hills.
South Gate, the City Section Division II title favorite, kept rolling in Eastern League play on Friday night, getting 304 yards passing and four touchdowns from quarterback Andrew Toro in a 49-3 victory over Huntington Park. He completed eight of 12 passes.
Lavell Thompson rushed for 162 yards and two touchdowns. James Shaw caught three TD passes. South Gate is 5-1 overall (6-0 on the field), and the Rams have a big game next week against Division I opponent Roosevelt.
In the Marine League, Narbonne rallied for a 28-24 win over San Pedro. Lewis Citizen caught a game-winning 83-yard touchdown pass. Roman Ale was 16 of 21 passing for 219 yards and three touchdowns. Chris Alvidrez rushed for 127 yards for San Pedro, which suffered its first defeat.
In the Western League, University handed Venice its first league defeat since losing to Fairfax, 19-14, on Oct 21, 2005, with a 14-7 victory. The Gondoliers had won 43 consecutive games. Tyrone Nelson scored both touchdowns and rushed for 217 yards.