Los Angeles Preps: Birmingham

Sementelli promoted to college varsity

April, 13, 2012
4/13/12
5:05
PM PT
Birmingham High of Lake Balboa graduate Marti Sementelli is making headlines in North Carolina as a member of the Montreat College baseball team.

She is 0-1 with a 5.22 ERA in nine appearances for Montreat and was recently promoted to the school's varsity team.

Umpire Porky Spencer told the Asheville Citizen-Times, "Pound for pound, I've never seen any pitcher that's tougher than Marti."

She has five strikeouts and two walks in 11 2/3 innings with the varsity team.

Taft knocks off Birmingham

February, 22, 2012
2/22/12
11:09
PM PT
WOODLAND HILLS – The Taft boys' basketball team is one step closer to repeating as City Section Division I champion after a convincing, 78-56, win over Birmingham on Wednesday night.

Anthony January scored a game-high 26 points for Taft, Brandon Perry had 21 (11 in the fourth quarter), but it was the aggressive play of Kris Yanku that set the tone in the first half as Toreadors built a nine-point halftime lead in the quarterfinal game.

[+] EnlargeBrandon Perry
Tim Haddock/For ESPNLA.comBrandon Perry was one of two Taft players to score at least 20 points in Wednesday's win over Birmingham.
Yanku scored 13 of his 17 points in the first half. Taft coach Jason Hart said he was impressed with the way Yanku took control of the offense and created plays for himself and his teammates.

“It’s not surprising,” Hart said. “Chris was our leading scorer before Anthony came on to the team. It makes us a tougher team.”

January transferred to Taft from Compton and wasn’t eligible to play until December. He has become the go-to scorer for Taft since his arrival. Yanku’s emergence as a scoring threat adds another layer to the tough Taft offense.

“It’s a balance,” Hart said. “He’s aggressive and he needs to learn to make better decisions.”

Yanku didn’t make many mistakes in the first half. He matched the Birmingham offensive output in the first quarter, scoring seven points as Taft jumped out to a 17-7 lead.

He scored another six points in the second quarter and was a perfect 5-for-5 from the free-throw line in the first half.

Despite Taft’s hot start, Birmingham kept pace. Iseah Rodgers hit two 3-pointers to start the second quarter to cut the Taft lead to four points, 17-13.

(Read full post)

Five first-round playoff games to watch

February, 13, 2012
2/13/12
1:40
PM PT
The CIF boys basketball playoffs begin Wednesday. The teams from the L.A. North region in the Southern Section Division 1AA playoffs will have a tough time getting past the quarterfinals.

However, in Division 3A and 3AA, the L.A. North teams should dominate.

In the City Section, Woodland Hills Taft is the overwhelming favorite. But the three other teams from the San Fernando Valley might not make it out of the first round in the City Section Division I playoffs.

Here is a look at the best first-round games in the Southern Section and City Section playoffs:

(Read full post)

Taft earns No. 1 seed in City

February, 11, 2012
2/11/12
1:05
PM PT
Woodland Hills Taft earned the No. 1 seed in the CIF City Section Division I boys basketball playoffs and will open against West Adams Prep on Friday night.

Taft (23-3) has a 14-game winning streak and won the West Valley League championship with a 10-0 record.

West Adams (3-15) finished in last place in the Coliseum League, but won its league finale, 68-67, over View Park.

Sylmar (15-15), the 12th-seeded team, opens against No. 5 Crenshaw (22-4).

Birmingham (12-13) has one of the more interesting match-ups in the first round. The eighth-seeded Patriots play University (18-13), the ninth-seeded team and the fourth-place team from the Western League. University was 6-6 in Western League play and lost to Fairfax, Westchester and Palisades.

Birmingham won four of its last five games, its only loss to El Camino Real.

Here is a look at the City Section Division I playoff pairings:

(Read full post)

Birmingham wins on half-court shot

February, 2, 2012
2/02/12
9:48
AM PT


With the score tied 61-61, Birmingham's Andrew Estes launched a half-court shot for Birmingham that banked in to beat Chatsworth in a West Valley League game Wednesday night.

In other West Valley League games, Woodland Hills Taft beat Granada Hills, 69-52. Steve Jones scored 14 points for Taft.
El Camino Real beat Cleveland of Reseda, 62-52. Julian Richardson scored 25 points and had 10 rebounds for El Camino Real.

L.A. North: Pick six games of the week

November, 23, 2011
11/23/11
7:59
PM PT
No. 2 Westlake (11-0) vs. Hart (8-3) at College of the Canyons, Friday (7 p.m.)
Hart is back in the quarterfinals of the playoffs, but the Indians are about to get a taste of what it will take to start winning CIF championships again. Westlake hasn’t really been tested since Week 1, an overtime win over Del Oro in Loomis in Northern California. This game could be over by halftime and a feast of sacks for Justin Solis and Johnny Stuart. Westlake will be able to rest up its starters before the Northern Division semifinals.

No. 9 Oaks Christian (9-2) vs. Highland (9-1), Friday (7:30 p.m.)
Oaks Christian has rattled some of the top quarterbacks in the Marmonte League, but Highland has a special one in Christian Tago. The senior has thrown for 2,323 yards and 25 touchdowns. He is headed to San Jose State next fall. Oaks Christian has a good quarterback in sophomore Brandon Dawkins, who has thrown for 1,927 yards and 21 touchdowns in addition to rushing for 176 yards and three touchdowns. There should be lots of scoring in this one.

Canyon (9-2) vs. No. 11 St. Bonaventure (9-2) at Ventura High School, Friday (7 p.m.)
This is a rematch of last year’s Northern Division quarterfinals. St. Bonaventure won, 45-21, before losing in the semifinals. Canyon is coming off a 21-0 shutout over Palmdale in the first round. Junior receiver Drew Wolitarsky had a nice game with four catches for 117 yards and two touchdowns. St. Bonaventure escaped a first-round scare, 19-10, over Redondo. It took nearly a half before the Seraphs woke up and erased a 10-0 deficit. Running back Zack Green rushed for 137 yards and Marcus Chambers gained 47 yards in 10 carries, scoring the first touchdown for St. Bonaventure in the second quarter. Shaun Wick, St. Bonaventure’s leading rusher with 885 yards and 11 touchdowns, did not play against Redondo.

Birmingham (9-2) vs. No. 16 Dorsey (10-1), Friday (7 p.m.)
Birmingham needed a fourth-quarter touchdown to beat Arleta, 21-18, in the first round of the City Section Division I playoffs. Quarterback Trae Smith passed for 115 yards and two touchdowns and scored the winning touchdown on a three-yard run with a little over a minute to play. Dorsey is the third-seeded team in the City Section playoffs and clobbered Fairfax, 35-13, in the first round.

No. 22 Chaminade (9-2) vs. San Luis Obispo (8-3), Friday (7:30 p.m.)
Chaminade receiver Elijah Dunston caught two passes for 74 yards and scored two touchdowns in his team’s 45-15 win over Inglewood in the first round of the Western Division playoffs. He wasn’t the only Chaminade player who made the most of his touches. Running back Terrell Newby scored three touchdowns in 12 carries and gained 70 yards. San Luis Obispo won a shootout, 54-28, against Camarillo in the first round of the playoffs. The Tigers exploded for 28 points in the third quarter and extended a 13-point halftime lead to 41 points in the fourth quarter.

St. Francis (9-2) vs. Arroyo Grande (10-1), Friday (7:30 p.m.)
Arroyo Grande is the team no one wants to face in the Western Division playoffs. The Eagles made it to the championship game and lost to Serra last season. Arroyo Grande has won 10 games in a row and hasn’t lost since opening night against Lompoc. The Eagles won convincingly, 41-6, over Dos Pueblos in the first round of the playoffs. St. Francis is a tough team too. The Golden Knights have won three games in a row, including, 45-28, over Paramount in the first round of the playoffs. Quarterback Jared Lebowitz threw for 156 yards and three touchdowns. Running back Luke Anderson rushed for 44 yards in nine carries and scored three touchdowns.

L.A. North: 5 things from the weekend

November, 21, 2011
11/21/11
4:28
PM PT
  1. Not only is the Ventura football team undefeated through 11 games and the first round of the playoffs, they haven’t trailed in a game since Week 1. The Cougars were down 16-15 in the third quarter against Pacifica in the season opener. Ventura scored the final 19 points of the game to win, 34-16. Coach Brad Steward was looking through Ventura’s first 10 games in preparation for the opening of the Southern Section Western Division playoffs against Dominguez and discovered his team’s streak in leading games. The Cougars have been on quite a roll since the start of the season. Teams are scoring only 8.7 points against Ventura. The Cougars are coming off a 41-14 win over Dominguez in the first round of the Western Division playoffs. They play Santa Monica (10-1) in the quarterfinals on Friday night. The Vikings are on a bit of a roll of their own, with seven wins in a row and their loss only coming against Valencia on Sept. 30.
  2. The Marmonte League went a perfect 5-0 in the first round of the Northern Division playoffs. The biggest blowout, Westlake over Eastside, 59-12. The closest game, surprisingly, St. Bonaventure, 19-10, over Redondo. Quarterbacks were the difference for Oaks Christian and Moorpark. Sophomore Brandron Dawkins threw for 242 yards and two touchdowns in Oaks Christian’s impressive 43-10 win over Mira Costa. He could have had more, but only played in the first half. Moorpark’s Grant Rohach passed for 176 yards and a touchdown, but every one of his passes were crucial in a 17-10 win over fourth-seeded Valencia. He threw a touchdown pass to Kenny Feyh in the fourth quarter to give Moorpark a 15-10 lead. Rohach also connected with Alex Tolliver for an important two-point conversion pass for a seven-point lead in the final minutes of the game. Not to be forgotten was a tough road win for Thousand Oaks, 20-7, over Quartz Hill. The Lancers erased a 7-0 deficit and scored 20 unanswered points to win going away. Moorpark and Thousand Oaks will play each other in the quarterfinals in a rematch of their Marmonte League opener. Thousand Oaks won that game, 27-24, on a last-second field goal.
  3. The San Fernando Valley went 1-4 in the first round of the City Section Division I playoffs. Birmingham was the only team to advance to the quarterfinals. El Camino Real, Arleta, Woodland Hills Taft and Reseda all lost in the first round and were eliminated. Arleta running back Dejon Coleman rushed for 156 yards and scored a touchdown in his team’s 21-18 loss to Birmingham. He broke the City Section record with 47 touchdowns this season. Birmingham scored the winning touchdown with a little over a minute to play in the game. The lone remaining team from the San Fernando Valley plays No. 3 Dorsey in the second round.
  4. The magic ran out for Camarillo and quarterback Travis Valdez. The junior threw for 362 yards and four touchdowns, but Camarillo lost to San Luis Obispo, 54-28, in the first round of the Western Division playoffs. Valdez threw for 2,594 yards and 35 touchdowns in eight games. He took over the starting quarterback job on Oct. 6 and won his first six starts. Receiver Jake Maulhardt caught 10 passes for 164 yards and a touchdown for Camarillo. He ends his high school career with 119 catches, second most in Southern Section history. Richard Mullaney from Thousand Oaks set the Southern Section record last year with 122 catches over his high school career.
  5. A week after losing a share of the Foothill League championship for using an ineligible player and having to forfeit a game, Canyon won impressively in the first round of the Northern Division playoffs, 21-0, over Palmdale. Quarterback Jonathan Jerozal threw for 224 yards and two touchdowns. Receiver Drew Wolitarsky caught four passes for 117 yards and two touchdowns. The Canyon defense came up with some huge plays. Juan Rodriguez blocked a 30-yard field-goal attempt. Mikey Hager had an interception just before halftime and set up Wolitarsky’s second touchdown catch, a 77-yarder as time expired. Canyon moves on to face St. Bonaventure in a rematch of last year’s Northern Division quarterfinal game. St. Bonaventure won that game, 45-21.

L.A. North: Pick six games of the week

November, 17, 2011
11/17/11
3:52
PM PT
Eastside(4-6) vs. No. 2 Westlake (10-0), Friday (7 p.m.)
The top-seeded team in the Southern Section Northern Division playoffs eases into postseason with a first-round game against Eastside, the fourth-place team from the Golden League. The Lions have lost three games in a row. They don’t run the ball well -- the Lions' leading rusher is Kevin Teate with 691 yards and two touchdowns. They don’t pass the ball well, averaging a notch over 31 yards per game. They don’t score many points, averaging 16.6 points and were shut out in three of their last five games. Westlake is undefeated, averaging 45.5 points and coming off a 35-14 win over St. Bonaventure, the No. 11 team in the ESPN Los Angeles prep football Top 25 rankings.

Mira Costa (4-6) vs. No. 9 Oaks Christian (8-2), Friday (7:30 p.m.)
Oaks Christian, the reigning Northern Division champion and the second-seeded team in the Northern Division playoffs, opens against the third-place team from the Bay League. Mira Costa is another team that hasn’t scored much, only 17.7 points per game, and lost its league finale, 21-7, against Redondo Union. Oaks Christian stumbled a bit into the playoffs, playing two close games in the final three weeks of the Marmonte League season. Both of Oaks Christian’s running backs, Carlos Mendoza and Ishmael Adams, were nicked up in the final weeks of the season. Still the Lions are averaging 35.3 points and should be in good position to make another run at a CIF championship.

No. 11 St. Bonaventure (8-2) vs. Redondo Union (5-5), Friday ( 7:30 p.m.)
The Sea Hawks finished in second place in the Bay League and won four of the last five games of the season. Two of their toughest games were a 21-0 loss to Gardena Serra in Week 2 and a 33-13 loss to Orange Lutheran in Week 5. St. Bonaventure, the No. 3 seed in the Northern Division playoffs, has been ranked higher than Serra and OLu all season in the ESPNLA rankings. The Seraphs might be playing with some chips on their shoulders, too. Coach Todd Therrien was definitely not happy with the way his team lost to Westlake in the Marmonte League finale. Don’t get him started on how his team lost to Oaks Christian.

Inglewood (5-5) vs. No. 24 Chaminade (8-2), Friday (7 p.m.)
Chaminade Coach Ed Croson said his players were “disheartened” after losing to Gardena Serra in the Mission League finale and, as a result, dropping from the No. 1 to No. 3 seed in the Western Division playoffs. The Eagles run the ball well and can score against any team. Running back Terrell Newby has 1,533 yards and 24 touchdowns. Quarterback Logan Scott is efficient, passing for 1,490 yards and 11 touchdowns at a 65 percent completion rate. The wild card in the Chaminade offense is speedster wideout Elijah Dunston. He caught 34 passes for 412 yards and a team-high five touchdowns among the receivers. Inglewood, the second-place team from the Ocean League, has won four games in a row. The Sentinels also lost five of their first six games. Two of those losses were to Palos Verdes and Mira Costa, the top two teams from the Bay League. It could be a long night for Inglewood.

Birmingham (8-2) vs. Arleta (9-1), Friday (7 p.m.)
Birmingham is the No. 6 seed in the City Section Division I playoffs and takes on Arleta in the first round. It is East Valley vs. West Valley. Birmingham was the surprise champion of the West Valley League after upsetting El Camino Real in the second to last game of the season. Arleta won the East Valley League championship with an undefeated record. The only loss for the Mustangs was against Chatsworth, 28-12, in the second week of the season. It was also be a matchup of two of the best running backs in the San Fernando Valley. Arleta’s Dejon Coleman is one touchdown away from setting the City Section for touchdowns in a season. Birmingham’s Isaiah Hastings has outplayed the top tailbacks in the West Valley League all season.

Cresnshaw (5-4) vs. El Camino Real (8-2), Friday (7 p.m.)
El Camino Real opens the City Section Division I playoffs against the reigning champs. This is a winnable game for El Camino. Crenshaw is the No. 8 seed in the playoffs. El Camino is No. 9 and home for the playoff opener. The Conquistadores won four of their last five games but stumbled a bit into the playoffs. They lost to Birmingham and, as a result, lost the West Valley League championship. In the West Valley League finale, they narrowly beat Granada Hills, 35-34, and had to erase a 20-point halftime deficit. Crenshaw finished in third place in the Coliseum League and lost its last two games of the season.

L.A. North: Coaches react to brackets

November, 14, 2011
11/14/11
8:34
PM PT
Coaches react and respond to the CIF-Southern Section and City Section football playoff brackets released over the weekend.
  1. Alemany coach Dean Herrington agreed there are no easy roads through the Pac-5 Division playoffs. Alemany is the No. 4 seed and plays St. John Bosco in the first round. “We’re at home. It’s going to be a big, big test. It’s going to be a tough one for us,” Herrington said. St. John Bosco finished in third place in the Trinity League, behind Servite, the No. 1 seed in the Pac-5 Division playoffs, and Santa Margarita. The Braves won their Trinity League finale, 48-28, over Orange Lutheran. Senior running Royce Moore rushed for 179 yards and four touchdowns. Junior DaVonte Young has 829 yards rushing and six touchdowns on the season. “They run the ball great,” Herrington said. “We gotta slow down their run game.” Alemany is coming off a 21-14 win over Sherman Oaks Notre Dame in the Serra League final. Herrington had to play his starters a little longer than he wanted, but he said his players are healthy and ready for playoffs. The Warriors are in the same half of the bracket as San Clemente, Lakewood and top-seeded Servite. “They all worry you,” Herrington said. “San Clemente’s only lost one game. Lakewood, they’re a solid team. Survive and advance is all you can do. We’re definitely not looking ahead, that’s for sure.”
  2. At first glance, Oaks Christian’s first-round opponent, Mira Costa, doesn’t look all that tough. The Mustangs have a losing record at 4-6 and finished in third place in a weak Bay League. But Oaks Christian Bill Redell is not taking Mira Costa lightly. “I would say, they’re a 4-6 team, but they’ve had a lot of injuries. They’re getting players back,” Redell said. “They’re a really good team, big. If they all come back, I categorize them physically with Bellevue. It’s not a cakewalk.” Oaks Christian lost to Bellevue, the defending Washington state Division 3A champion, to open the season. Oaks Christian won the Northern Division championship last year and the Lions are looking to make a CIF playoff final for the ninth time in school history. Redell said his half of the bracket is fair. “I’m glad we’re not having to play any Marmonte League teams until the semis,” he said. St. Bonaventure, the No. 3 seed in the Northern Division playoffs, is the only other Marmonte League team in the bottom half of the bracket. Oaks Christian beat St. Bonaventure, 36-24, during Marmonte League play. Another bit of good news for Oaks Christian: Running back and linebacker Carlos Mendoza, an Arizona State commit, is expected to play after missing the last two games because of a shoulder injury.

(Read full post)

Football: City Section Div. I seedings

November, 12, 2011
11/12/11
11:29
AM PT
To no surprise, Marine League champion San Pedro (10-0) on Saturday received the top seeding for the CIF Los Angeles City Section Division I football playoffs. Marine League runner-up Narbonne (7-3) is seeded No. 2, Coliseum League champion Dorsey (9-1) is No. 3 and Western League winner Venice (6-4) is No. 4.

First-round play begins Friday -- either at 2 p.m. or 7 p.m. -- at the higher seeded team's field. The quarterfinals are scheduled for Nov. 25, the semifinals for Dec. 2 and the championship for Dec. 10 at East Los Angeles College.

San Pedro's toughest regular-season test came on Nov. 4 against Narbonne, a game the Pirates won 49-42. Carson (5-5), a team San Pedro beat 21-0, is seeded No. 5. The Pirates could face two-time defending City Section champion Crenshaw in the second round. The Cougars finished third in the Coliseum League and are seeded No. 8.

Here's the entire Division I bracket:

No. 16 Gardena (3-7) at No. 1 San Pedro (10-0)

No. 9 El Camino Real (8-2) at No. 8 Crenshaw (5-4)

No. 12 Garfield (5-5) at No. 5 Carson (5-5)

No. 13 Taft (4-6) at No. 4 Venice (6-4)

No. 14 Fairfax (6-4) at No. 3 Dorsey (9-1)

No. 11 Arleta (9-1) at No. 6 Birmingham (8-2)

No. 10 Westchester (7-3) at No. 7 West Adams (5-5)

No. 15 Reseda (8-2) at No. 2 Narbonne (7-3)

L.A. North: Thursday night specials

November, 9, 2011
11/09/11
11:16
PM PT
No. 11 Oaks Christian (7-2) vs. Newbury Park (3-6), Thursday (7 p.m.)

Oaks Christian still has a shot at the Marmonte League championship and perhaps the No. 1 seed in the Southern Section Northern Division playoffs. The Lions need to beat Newbury Park and hope that St. Bonaventure knocks off Westlake. Oaks Christian has not been winning convincingly in recent weeks though. The Lions are coming off a 17-14 win over Moorpark. Newbury Park has lost two in a row, including 42-14 to Royal last week.

Simi Valley (6-3) vs. Moorpark (5-4), Thursday (7 p.m.)


With a win, Simi Valley makes the CIF Southern Section Northern Division playoffs. With a loss, it might get a little dicey for Simi Valley. Moorpark needs a win, and an unlikely loss by Thousand Oaks to Calabasas, to keep its playoffs hopes alive. Even with a loss, Moorpark might get in with a wild-card berth. Playoff implications abound in this one.

Lancaster (1-8) vs. Highland (7-1), Thursday ( 7 p.m.)


Highland can wrap up at least a share of the Golden League championship with a win over Lancaster, which hasn’t won a league game all season. The Bulldogs can win the Golden League title outright if Quartz Hill loses to Antelope Valley. That’s unlikely though. Antelope Valley has won only one league game, against Lancaster in the Golden League opener.

Birmingham (7-2) vs. Cleveland of Reseda (1-8), Thursday (7:15 p.m.)


Birmingham has emerged as the surprise leader in the West Valley League standings with an upset win over El Camino Real last week. The Patriots can wrap up the West Valley League title with another win over Cleveland, winless in four league games this season. Birmingham quarterback Tre Smith is coming off one of his best games of the season, passing for 259 yards and three touchdowns in a convincing 48-7 win over El Camino.

Birmingham-Venice: water polo clash

November, 8, 2011
11/08/11
2:57
PM PT
The Birmingham boys water polo team will play Venice in the City Section championship match on Wednesday.

Birmingham beat El Camino Real, 23-8, in the semifinals to advance to the championship match.

Venice upset Cleveland of Reseda, 14-8, in the other semifinal match. Cleveland won the City Secti0n water polo championship last year.

L.A. North: Five things from weekend

November, 7, 2011
11/07/11
6:17
PM PT
  1. Let’s try to make sense of some of the league standings and playoff possibilities on this all-important week of regular season finales. First, the Serra League. Alemany, with a 28-14 win over Loyola, already has at least a share of the league title. The Warriors have yet to lose a Serra League game since joining last year. They are in the Southern Section Pac-5 Division playoffs regardless of what happens Friday night. The other two teams from the Serra League that will make the playoffs is anyone’s guess. Sherman Oaks Notre Dame and Loyola actually control their destiny. If Loyola beats Crespi, the Cubs are in the playoffs and the Celts are out. If Notre Dame beats Alemany, the Knights are in and Crespi and Bishop Amat are out. “Notre Dame is a solid team,” Alemany coach Dean Herrington said after the Loyola game. “They might be playing for a playoff spot. We gotta come ready to play.” Amat is on a bye and needs a lot of help to make the playoffs. The Lancers are 1-3 in league but can still get in if Notre Dame and Crespi lose. Amat, Crespi and Notre Dame would each have 1-3 records in league and coin flips would decide which team makes the playoffs. The Pac-5 Division has no wild-card berths, which means some very good teams are going to see their seasons end prematurely.
  2. The playoff picture in the Marmonte League is a little more clear but not by much. Westlake heads into its season finale with St. Bonaventure with an 8-0 league record and all alone in first place. St. Bonaventure is tied for second place with Oaks Christian at 7-1. Believe it or not, Oaks Christian still has a chance to win a share of the Marmonte League title if the Seraphs, at home at Ventura High School on Thursday night, can beat Westlake. Whichever team wins the Marmonte League title will most likely earn the top seeding in the Southern Section Northern Division playoffs. The last guaranteed playoff spot from the Marmonte League will go to either Moorpark or Thousand Oaks. Both teams are tied for fifth place with 4-4 records. Moorpark is home against Simi Valley, the surprise of the Marmonte League and sitting comfortably in fourth place. Thousand Oaks ends the Marmonte League schedule at home against Calabasas, a team that hasn’t won a league game all season.

(Read full post)

L.A. North: Five things from the weekend

October, 17, 2011
10/17/11
6:32
PM PT
  1. Even though Sherman Oaks Notre Dame lost its Serra League opener, 28-26, to Crespi, the Knights can look to some positives from the game. First off, Notre Dame outgained Crespi in total offense, 212 yards to 164 yards. Neither team was able to move the ball much on offense, but Notre Dame running back Khalfani Muhammad made his presence felt. He rushed for 92 yards in 26 carries but didn’t find the end zone. Secondly, Notre Dame picked off two passes and turned them into touchdowns. Kevin Carrasco’s interception return in the second quarter gave Notre Dame a 10-point lead, 17-7. Nick Holland’s pick six in the fourth quarter put Notre Dame up 24-21. Finally, Notre Dame’s Sam Robinson matched Crespi’s Chris Harper for most acrobatic touchdown catch of the game. Robinson made a diving catch for a touchdown that tied the score, 7-7, in the second quarter. Unfortunately, Notre Dame doesn’t win games with style points. Now, the Knights find themselves in a must-win situation against Loyola on Friday night at L.A. Valley College. Notre Dame needs a win to get back in the Serra League championship hunt. Loyola is playing its Serra League opener after having a bye last week. It will be another tough one for Notre Dame. Crespi, meanwhile, plays Bishop Amat, which lost its Serra League opener to Alemany.
  2. Two school passing records were broken over the weekend. Canyon quarterback Jonathan Jerozal set the school mark for career touchdown passes in the Foothill League opener against Saugus. Oaks Christian quarterback Brandon Dawkins broke the school record for passing yards in a game in a 50-0 shutout against Royal. Jerozal threw three touchdown passes in his team’s 51-28 win over Saugus. He has 62 career touchdown passes and broke the record set by Nate Longshore, who went on to play at Cal. Dawkins passed for 387 yards against Royal and broke the record set by Jimmy Clausen, who passed for 367 yards against Santa Paula in 2006, and went on to play in college at Tennessee. It might be the first of many school records for Dawkins, who is only a sophomore.
  3. Some of the biggest rushing games on Friday night came out of the City Section. Kawan Rally from El Camino Real rushed for 319 yards and four touchdowns in his team’s 48-7 win over Woodland Hills Taft. It wasn’t only a huge night for Rally, but for the El Camino Real program. The Conquistadores beat Taft for the first time since 1991. Birmingham’s Isaiah Hastings rushed for 248 yards and two touchdowns in his team’s 35-16 win over Chatsworth. Both his touchdowns came in the second half, one on an 86-yard run in the third quarter. Arleta’s Dejon Coleman didn’t have eye-popping numbers on the ground, but he scored four touchdowns in his team’s 49-6 win over Poly. He scored two rushing touchdowns, caught a touchdown pass and intercepted a pass for a touchdown. Coleman gained 91 yards on nine carries and caught five passes for 75 yards. Brian Sanchez from Granada Hills rushed for 213 yards and scored three touchdowns in his team’s 38-13 win over Cleveland of Reseda.
  4. Another game, another rushing record for Zander Anding from Burroughs of Burbank. He rushed for 394 yards and scored six touchdowns in his team’s 70-34 win over Glendale. It was Anding’s third 300-yard rushing game in a row and the third time he has broken his own school record for rushing yards in a game. He scored on runs of 39, 75, 5, 47 and 41 yards and caught a touchdown pass. Way out in the high desert, Quartz Hill’s Osirus Burke rushed for 242 yards and scored four touchdowns in the Rebels’ 27-21 win over Palmdale. Burke scored on runs of 6, 1, 13 and 11 yards.
  5. Pasadena Poly won the Oxnard water polo tournament, beating Rio Mesa, 15-7, in the championship match. Rio Mesa reached the final of the Oxnard tournament for the third year in a row. The Spartans won the tournament in 2009 by beating Pasadena Poly. Rio Mesa lost to Crescenta Valley in last year’s championship match. Rio Mesa beat Malibu, 13-9, in the semifinals. Rio Mesa’s Joe Yamamoto scored five goals against Malibu and had four goals in the championship match against Pasadena Poly.

L.A. North: Games of the week

September, 21, 2011
9/21/11
7:08
PM PT
Shaun WickJohn Lazar/Special to ESPNLosAngeles.comShaun Wick was a key component for St. Bonaventure in 2010 and now he's back for his senior year.

Two days before the biggest game of the year for Oaks Christian, coach Bill Redell is still evaluating who he will start at quarterback against St. Bonaventure on Friday night.

St. Bonaventure (2-0) comes in as the No. 5-ranked team in the ESPN Los Angeles prep football rankings with an impressive win over Corona Centennial to open the season.

Oaks Christian (1-1) is the No. 8 team according to ESPNLA and the reigning CIF Southern Section Northern Division champion. The winner of this game will have the early edge for the Marmonte League title.

Luke Falk started the season opener for Oaks Christian against Bellevue (Wash.) and passed for 235 yards and a touchdown in a 31-21 loss.

Oaks Christian sophomore Brandon Dawkins played well against Agoura, going 6-for-6 passing for 121 yards and three touchdowns, in a 50-11 blowout in the league opener last week.

Falk started the game against Agoura but was replaced by Dawkins in the first quarter. Dawkins engineered four touchdown drives in a row to give the Lions a 29-3 lead in the second quarter.

“Both are very talented,” Redell said. “It’s a tough decision.”

St. Bonaventure coach Todd Therrien, meanwhile, is using last year’s 33-32 overtime loss to Oaks Christian as motivation to prepare his team for Friday night’s game.

St. Bonaventure had a 19-0 lead in the third quarter before Oaks Christian rallied back and scored two touchdowns in the final 1:30 to tie the game and send it into overtime.

“We made a crazy amount of mistakes,” Therrien said. “When you get someone down, you need to step on their throat and pull their heart out. We didn’t do that last year.”

Redell said of all the games he has won over the years, last year’s win over St. Bonaventure is one that his team didn’t deserve.

“(St. Bonaventure) gave it away,” Redell said. “They dropped three or four interceptions. They should’ve won the football game. I told Todd after the game that I should have lost. I’m sure Todd is using that as motivation. I’m using it.”

The game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. at Oaks Christian High School.

Here’s a look at some of the other top games in the LA North:

(Read full post)

SPONSORED HEADLINES