Orange County: Five things from the weekend

November, 15, 2010
11/15/10
9:50
PM PT
1. You don't have to play at a high-profile school to have a great high school career. Chris Paul caught eight passes for 191 yards and five touchdowns in a 49-39 Orange Coast League victory over Saddleback and ended his career as Orange County's all-time leader in touchdown receptions. Paul was on the receiving end of 42 scoring passes, giving him three more than Jeremy Childs, who caught 39 for Los Alamitos before graduating in 2005.

2. In his fourth consecutive week as a starting tailback, Malik Felton is making a bid for offensive player of the year honors in Orange County. He broke off a 70-yard TD run against Orange Lutheran, so six of his seven scores in that span are from 11 yards or more, and three are from at least 37. He has 83 carries for 682 yards (8.2 per carry) against St. John Bosco, Mater Dei, Santa Margarita and Lutheran. No easy marks there. Before Sean DeRosa was hurt, Felton had been a wide receiver who carried six times for 79 yards. He has reeled off consecutive games of 196, 185, 163 and 138 -- the latter against Orange Lutheran on 12 carries in a 31-13 victory. He has had TD runs of 11, 11, 87, 6, 37, 70 and 15 yards. It's a short, but impressive, resume.

3. Cypress got a raw deal in the football playoffs, but it's not the fault of the Southern Section commissioner's office that made the brackets. It's the fault of the leagues who have established the rules that must be followed to seed those brackets, and the rankings that serve as the guideline. If Cypress wants a fair bracket, it needs to begin the process of changing the rules. It can begin by having the Empire League propose a plan that is better (may I suggest automatic berths for league champions, the rest of the field filled with at-large teams taking into account strength of schedule, and then ranking 1-16?). It's one of the quirks of the existing system: The No. 4 team in the division (Cypress) playing the No. 3 team (La Habra) in the second round, while last week's No. 9 (Villa Park) got bumped up all the way the the fourth-seeded position after teams ranked 5,6, 7 and 8 all lost. Change it!

4. As impressive as Luis Soto's performance for Saddleback (reportedly 67 carries, 469 yards in a 49-39 loss), Brandon Perez of Santa Ana Calvary Chapel was just as valuable. In a 47-35 victory over Godinez that put the Eagles into the Southern Division playoffs, Perez rushed for 328 yards and two touchdowns (47, 80), and had 185 yards receiving for three more scores of 45, 65 and 61 yards. His team was in a do-or-die situation, and he did.

5. It's going to be a hard sell to other coaches -- it was discussed among them at Sunday's release of the playoff pairings -- that Buena Park coach Anthony White isn't Orange County's coach of the year. The Coyotes won their first six games, finished 6-4 overall, and qualified for the playoffs. What they find so impressive is that White, with his players facing many life challenges, has changed the culture there. Yet in truth, a bigger on-field turnaround came at Santa Margarita under the guidance of first-year coach Harry Welch, whose trophy case is full. Santa Margarita went from being 3-7 the past two seasons with only one league victory to being 8-2 in the Trinity League and winning four league games -- as many as it has won the past three seasons. If Buena Park's struggles outside of football had never come to light -- and this year is no different than any other year -- then Welch's selection is a no-brainer. One of White's biggest supporters? Myron Miller of top-seeded Tustin, which plays host to Buena Park in the first round of the Southwest Division playoffs on Thursday.

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