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Monday, October 11, 2010
Orange County: Five things from the weekend

By Martin Henderson

1. Maybe it takes a little investigation to find the real meat and potatoes, but JSerra's uber-convincing victory over Damien definitely makes one take pause. The reason? The 42-7 victory by JSerra is the exact same score that Damien had when it lost its other game this season – to highly touted Bishop Amat. If JSerra QB Jake Hall, RB Joey Kimpler and the rest of the offense – not to mention the defense – are posting Amat-type performances, then JSerra has transcended into the category of formidable. Bishop Amat led Damien at halftime, 35-0; JSerra led at halftime, 28-0, and also held a 35-0 lead. It provides added interest to the Lions' Trinity League opener against Servite, which figures to be far more revealing than beating another team by a comparable score.

2. Mission Viejo looked very good against Redlands East Valley. They have a lot of offensive weapons – Alex Bridgford, Dallas Kessman, Jahleel Pinner, Bryan Keller, Austin Reuland – and they are a load for any team facing its defense as well. But fair warning: Servite, even though it has been far more modest this season in its scoring, will get plenty of ideas from watching that game film against REV. And don't forget – Mission had more talent than the Friars last season, too, before losing that epic Pac-5 semifinal, 19-18. Mission might be the best team around, but as good as it looked, someone out there will test the Diablos before it's over.

3. Can you believe what's happened to Newport Harbor? Losing a running back to injury is part of football. Injuries happen. You hate to see it, but it's a fact of life. Buzzy Yokoyama, who now may be lost for the season, was a converted wide receiver who made the switch because Cedric Whitaker didn't return to the team for his senior season. Yokoyama was the county's second leading rusher. Now, gone. He has had to be replaced by Drew Diller. But then on Friday in a loss to Mira Costa, quarterback Austin Rios went down with a concussion. He may or may not be back next week (I'd bank on not). Tough as it is, a team can deal with an injury to a running back. But an injury to a running back and a quarterback? That's a disaster.

4. Much is being made of the success of Buena Park (5-0), a program that has been hurting for a long while, and the job that first-year coach Anthony White has done at the school. The story of adversity faced by those players has been a lightning rod within the community, but there are often excellent coaching performances that go unnoticed because it doesn't equate to victories. Over at Century, under the guidance of Ted Crego, the Centurions have split their last four games after losing 17 in a row dating to 2008. Most recently, Eduardo Garcia caught two touchdown passes of 18 and 35 yards, ran 30 yards for a TD, and with the score tied at 28-28 returned a kickoff 82 yards for a touchdown in a 48-28 victory over Sage Hill. He also kicked five of six extra-point attempts, and had two interceptions. Century hasn't won  more than two games in a season since 2004 when it went 5-6. If it gets more contributions like that from Garcia, the Centurions have a chance to match 2004's success.

5. Irvine water polo player Zack Kamai is apparently OK, but he alleged he was choked underwater in his team's loss to Corona del Mar. It's a tough sport – maybe the toughest in high school, along with wrestling – and it's as dirty as it can be under the water. But if Kamai's allegations are true – and he probably didn't stop breathing on his own – then the offending party should be suspended for the remainder of the season. Choking a guy above water is bad enough. Under water? That's life and death.