Here are this week's top five games in south Los Angeles County:
No. 1 Servite at No. 16 St. John Bosco, Friday, 7:30 p.m. -- A year older, wiser and better, the St. John Bosco Braves (6-1, 2-0 Trinity) hope they can pull off the shocker this time around. They held a brief lead against Servite (6-1, 2-0) last season before the Friars' experience -- and the Braves' inexperience -- took over. Junior tailback DaVonte Young's spectacular performance against Mater Dei last week was proof that Bosco has another wrinkle to its prolific spread offense. And the Braves were great on defense too, limiting the Monarchs to only a field goal. A Cody Pittman-led Servite attack is an entirely different test, though.
No. 15 Loyola at No. 14 Bishop Amat, Friday, 7 p.m. -- Apparently, the return of hybrid receiver/tailback Zachary Shay (concussion) was exactly what Bishop Amat (6-2, 1-1 Serra) needed to rejoin the league race. After missing the previous five games, the senior had eight catches for 83 yards and a touchdown run in the Lancers' rather surprising 28-14 win at Crespi. If Shay can stay healthy, and if the defense holds up the way it did against the potent Celts, Amat can be a scary team. The Loyola Cubs (6-1, 1-0), meanwhile, haven't won a league road game since 2008, which also marks the last time they beat Amat. The game will be televised by Time Warner Cable on Channel 101 at midnight.
No. 22 San Pedro at Carson, Friday, 7 p.m. -- Undefeated San Pedro (7-0, 2-0 Marine) finally gets to show that its record is no fluke. The Pirates have won their games by an average of 26 points behind senior quarterback Kenny Potter's 25 total touchdowns, but the combined record of their seven opponents is a woeful 16-33. That obviously hasn't earned them much respect. Carson (3-4, 1-1) comes in on the other side of the spectrum, having played a mini Pac-5 Division series against the likes of Mater Dei, Long Beach Poly, Santa Margarita and Mission Viejo. The Colts are motivated following last week's last-minute loss to rival Narbonne. Quarterback Kevin McMahon has to find a way to get the ball to top playmaker Darreus Rogers more consistently.
Gardena Serra at St. Paul, Friday, 7 p.m. -- Yeah, the Serra Cavaliers (5-2, 2-0 Mission) are young and depleted, but they're still dangerous and a legitimate league contender. Just ask previously unbeaten St. Francis, which fell victim to the young Cavs and standout junior running back Anterio Bateman. St. Paul's only loss came to Chaminade, the league favorite and top-ranked team in the Western Division. "I know this league is awesome from top to bottom," Serra coach Scott Altenberg told the Daily Breeze following last week's victory against St. Francis. "We know how tough it's going to be week to week, and now we know how tough it's going to be half to half."
Gahr at Dominguez, Friday, 7 p.m. -- These teams are heading in opposite directions. Gahr (5-2, 0-2 San Gabriel Valley) has dropped two straight after winning its first five; Dominguez (5-2, 2-0) lost its first two in lopsided fashion -- albeit to Crespi and Redlands East Valley -- but has since won five in a row.