No. 9 San Clemente (8-0, 2-0) at No. 8 Mission Viejo (5-2, 1-0), Friday, 7 p.m.
The last time San Clemente beat Mission Viejo was 1999, but this is the Tritons' best chance since. They have a terrific quarterback in Utah-bound Travis Wilson (12 TDs, 5 int.), and strong running game led by Mike Elespuru (136.9 per game, 11 TDs) behind a physical offensive line led by Kyle Murphy. Mission Viejo has been banged up this season, and coach Bob Johnson hoped the injured -- including RB Buzzy Yokoyama (knee) -- would be ready for this game. Even if the Diablos are at full strength, they still might be a little rusty, especially the offense coming off a bye week. Nevertheless, a team with Alex Bridgford (14 TDs, 11 int.) and USC-bound Jahleel Pinner (ankle) in the backfield has the potential to beat anybody -- if Pinner is back in the lineup; he has missed the last couple of games. Seriously, Mission Viejo is full of question marks health-wise, but one thing that can't be doubted is its history -- it knows how to beat San Clemente, and it's the Tritons who have to prove themselves.
No. 1 Servite (6-1, 2-0) at No. 16 St. John Bosco (6-1, 2-0), Friday, 7:30 p.m.
This is for undisputed possession of first place in the Trinity League. Servite has won a share of six consecutive league titles, and Bosco is in the position of having to prove it can beat a marquee team. It defeated Mater Dei last week, 24-3, but Servite is a step up. The pressure is on the capable Servite defense led by Butch Pauu to keep Bosco WR Bryce Treggs and RB Davonte Young out of the end zone, but that's where Servite is most comfortable having the pressure -- on its defense. Servite has put together a couple of complete games, and may be hitting its stride. That means QB Cody Pittman (10 TDs, 2 int.) and RB Mana Pauu, who had his first start two weeks ago, could be a handful for the Bosco defense. Servite is used to winning big games but Bosco isn't, so one key area is composure; will Bosco keep it given its opportunity at home in front of a rocking crowd, or will it self-destruct as it did the last time it played a team of this basic caliber, Loyola?
No. 23 Orange Lutheran (5-2, 0-2) vs. Mater Dei (3-4, 1-1) at Santa Ana Stadium, Friday, 7:30 p.m.
If Mater Dei can win this game, it will probably qualify for one of the Trinity League's three playoff berths in the Pac-5 Division. But winning this game won't be easy. Though Mater Dei has shown flashes of brilliance this season and junior QB Ryan McMahon (57.6 percent, 7 TDs, 5 int., 197 yards/game) appeared to be coming into his own, the Monarchs have been inconsistent and mistake-prone. That will get them beaten against an Orange Lutheran team that is backed into a corner after losing to the league's top-ranked teams, Servite and Santa Margarita. The Lancers are fighting for their playoff life. They'll need to finish drives -- which they haven't done recently -- and get an error-free game by QB Conner Sullivan (74.1 percent, 12 TDs, 5 int., 202 yards/game) against the Ricky Ortiz-led defense. They will also need to win the battle up front as both teams hope to run effectively. The team that has the fewest mistakes will likely win. Although Mater Dei has a victory over Santa Margarita and OLu has a loss, one thing is certain about these Trinity League games: anything can happen, and what happened last week has no bearing on this week.
Los Alamitos (5-2, 1-1) at Newport Harbor (3-4, 1-1), Friday, 7 p.m.
If Newport Harbor hopes to make the Pac-5 playoffs, this is a must-win game. The Sailors will be looking to bounce back after a 35-7 loss to Huntington Beach, its first loss to the Oilers since 1991. It won't be easy, though, as Los Alamitos RB Cody Paul and QB Dylan Lagarde give the Griffins good balance. Defense will definitely be the key as Newport tries to win a low-scoring game.