Los Angeles Preps: Brad Kaaya

No. 13 Alemany 30, No. 18 Crespi 28

October, 29, 2011
10/29/11
12:16
AM PT


MISSION HILLS -- When Devon Dunn plays well, so does Alemany. And on Friday night, the junior quarterback played about as well as he has all season.

Dunn completed 18-of-25 passes for 259 yards with a touchdown. Wait, there's more. He also carried the ball 14 times and gained 75 yards on the ground with another two scores. The end result: A 30-28 Serra League victory over visiting Encino Crespi.

“How Devon goes is how we go, most times,'' Warriors coach Dean Herrington said. “He played some darned near perfect football for us tonight. He is getting better and better every week. I think that bodes well for this team the rest of the season.

It was an important win for the Warriors (6-2, 2-0), No. 13 in the ESPNLosAngeles.com rankings. They remain in the hunt for the league title with two games left in regular season. Crespi (7-2, 1-2), No. 18 in most recent poll, could be in trouble.

“This was big, Crespi is our rival, we played our buts off, gave it 150 percent,'' Dunn said. “There was no way we were going to lose at home.''

Following a penalty in the fourth quarter, John Sanchez booted a 41-yard field goal to give Alemany a 30-28 lead with 7:37 remaining in the game.

Chris Harper made a diving catch, a 37-yarder, to move the ball into Alemany territory. On the next play, in the wildcat formation, Mike Davison took the snap and scored on a 27-yard run to give Crespi a 28-27 lead with 1:10 left in the third quarter.

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No. 16 Bishop Amat 28, No. 14 Crespi 14

October, 21, 2011
10/21/11
11:01
PM PT
ENCINO -- Rio Ruiz is known as a baseball player, first and foremost. More than a few scouts project him as a first-round draft pick in the 2012 MLB Draft.

Friday night, however, the senior from La Puente Bishop Amat played the part of football player. And then some. Ruiz completed 19-of-25 passes for 236 yards and pair of touchdowns to guide the visiting Lancers to a 28-14 Serra League victory over Crespi.

“Every week, this is what we get from Rio, he's a gamer,'' Bishop Amat coach Steve Hagerty said. “We know baseball is his first priority, we have no problems with that. We're just happy to have him around during football season. We'll go as far as he takes us.''

That was apparent from start to finish against the Celts (6-2, 1-1), no. 14 in the ESPNLosAngeles.com rankings. Ruiz was on point for the No. 14 Lancers (6-2, 1-1).

“Baseball is my first love, but I'm a competitor, that's why I play football,'' Ruiz said. “Tonight, I would not have been able to do anything without my offensive line. They rewarded me with time, I rewarded them with touchdowns. Things worked out good for all us.''

The fact the Celts had four turnovers didn't help their cause.

Crespi's Corey Peoples suffered what appeared to be a stinger at the 5:49 mark of the fourth quarter. A 30-minute delay followed because of the injury. He had use of his lower extremities, but was taken in an ambulance to a nearby hospital as a precautionary measure.

Once play resumed, Bishop Amat scored again. Jalen Moore took off on an 18-yard touchdown run to extend the advantage to 28-14 with 5:14 remaining in the game.

When all was said and done, Moore had 157 total offensive yards.

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Football: No. 11 Crespi

August, 26, 2011
8/26/11
1:25
PM PT
Encino Crespi lost several key players from a season ago. Then again, the Celts are no different from any other team in the Southland. Perhaps the thing separating them from other programs is the fact this group returns a solid foundation as coach Jon Mack enters his second year at the helm.

Senior Chris Harper takes over as the No. 1 option at receiver in the high-powered Crespi offense following the departure of Devin Lucien, who is playing at UCLA. Fellow wideout Mike Davison, also an upperclassman, figures to assume a larger role as well.

Here's a closer look at the Celts:

Team: Encino Crespi.

Coach: Jon Mack, second season.

2010 Record: 8-4, lost in quarterfinals of CIF Southern Section Pac-5 Division playoffs.

Returning starters: 15 total. Eight on offense. Seven on defense.

Key players on offense: OL Jordan Simmons, WR Chris Harper, WR Mike Davison, TE Trevon Callahan, TE Jack Vonarb, RB Terry Williams.

Key players on defense: DB Noah Ciccel, DB Nathan Walker, LB Sebastian Edwards, LB Corey Peoples, LB LJ Wilkerson, DL Khorey Gabriel, DL Sean Lomoto.

Difference maker: Simmons, no question about it. The 6-foot-5, 325-pound senior is a superb pass-protector. He is is also a force in the rushing attack, agile enough to get out in space and make a clear path. Accordingly, Simmons is being recruited by most every powerhouse program in the country. He keeps Paul Rawate, Crespi's director of marketing and public relations, busy week in and week out with phone calls from prospective schools. Where Simmons ends up is anyone's guess. One thing is certain: He will be playing on Saturdays in the very near future.

Newcomers: OL Jacob Speer (Granada Hills transfer), OL Colin Prestesater (Glendora transfer), OL Wes Hewitt (Humbolt transfer), QB Cody Cordell (Oaks Christian transfer), LB Sklyer Stone (Westlake transfer), QB Brad Kaaya, WR Jabarian Blackwell.

Not to be missed: at Mission Hills Alemany, Friday, Oct. 28. The host Warriors figure to be ranked among the top 10 teams in the ESPNLosAngeles.com poll at this stage of the season. Crespi might be as well. This game should be for all the marbles, a showdown with Serra League title implications. Clear your schedules now, this one could be a classic.

Coach’s comment: “What a difference a year makes. This time last year we were struggling to teach the language, the fundamentals and the techniques of the game. Now, we are working on perfecting things. I am very pleased with the attitude and effort of this team and cannot wait for fall ball to start.”

Final analysis: Once the Celts determine who the quarterback will be -- Cordell is currently leading Kaaya in the race for the starter's role -- they could possibly be on their way to big things. Harper, Davison and Callahan are reliable targets. And with Simmons in the mix, watch out. Crespi will likely compete for a league title and appears poised for a deep postseason run.

Sean Ceglinsky covers preps for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.

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