Los Angeles Preps: Brock Dale

L.A. South: The Top 10

October, 16, 2011
Tough losses by Bishop Amat and Lakewood paved the way for some changes in our south Los Angeles County top 10 rankings heading into Week 7. (Note: Last week's rankings are in parentheses.)

1. (1) Long Beach Poly (6-1)
It wouldn't be Poly without a little controversy, but the two-quarterback system seems to be working for coach Raul Lara. Starter Chaiyse Hales and backup Nick Pope combined for 219 passing yards in an important Moore League win. Last week: Beat Lakewood, 38-21. Next: at Millikan, Oct. 28.

2. (3) Loyola (5-1)
No game for the Cubs last week, but they move up a spot thanks to Bishop Amat's loss to Alemany in the Serra League opener. Loyola begins the Serra against Notre Dame, which is coming off a stinging loss to Crespi. Last week: Idle. Next: vs. Sherman Oaks Notre Dame at L.A. Valley College, Friday.

3. (4) St. John Bosco (5-1)
Four more touchdown passes for Rene Medina, who is the top statistical quarterback in the Trinity League. The electrifying Bryce Treggs had a 90-yard touchdown catch and returned a punt for another score. Last week: Beat JSerra, 48-14. Next: vs. Mater Dei, Friday.

4. (2) Bishop Amat (5-2)
The troubled defense couldn't come up with a stop late in Friday's game and time simply ran out on the Lancers. Workhorse Jalen Moore had 112 yards rushing but there weren't enough big plays in important moments. Last week: Lost to Alemany, 26-21. Next: at Crespi, Friday.

5. (6) Charter Oak (5-1)
OK, who's controlling the joystick? Quarterback Travis Santiago passed for 325 yards, ran for 54 more and had five total touchdowns to open Sierra League play in fine fashion. Try doing that in a video game. Last week: Beat South Hills, 63-28. Next: vs. Ayala, Friday.

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No. 6 L.B. Poly 38, No. 19 Lakewood 21

October, 15, 2011

LONG BEACH -- A second straight Moore League championship appears to be heading Long Beach Poly's way.

The Jackrabbits reached the end zone on three consecutive possessions to start the second half, erasing a four-point deficit and beating rival Lakewood, 38-21, Friday night at Veterans Stadium. Backup quarterback Nick Pope put Poly in front with a 29-yard touchdown pass to Arizona State-bound Richard Smith and, after the defense came up with an interception, Gerard Wicks found a gaping hole for a 19-yard scoring scamper. A few minutes later, Chaiyse Hales sneaked in from a yard out to basically seal it.

"We were playing lackadaisical, like we're not here," Poly coach Raul Lara said. "It seemed like guys were afraid to make plays. We had a nice little speech for our offense at halftime."

The Lancers pulled to within 10 with 4:52 remaining but John Smith returned the ensuing onside kick for a touchdown.

Lakewood’s upset bid looked promising early. Jaleel Wadood bullied Hales, stripping him of the football and returning it 64 yards for the score. A sophomore taking the ball from a senior? Clearly, there were no rivalry jitters for Wadood, who, in the second quarter, also saved a sure touchdown by nearly intercepting a pass intended for the much taller Josiah Blandin.

A 47-yard field goal by Hayden Hunt put Poly (6-1, 3-0 Moore) on the board and the Jackrabbits took the lead, 10-7, after Jaylen Massengill recovered a blocked punt in the end zone.

But stellar plays on special teams were followed by blunders.

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Lakewood's Vince Lobendahn believes

October, 11, 2011
The Lakewood Lancers snapped a 27-year losing streak to Long Beach Poly in 2009, winning a game that secured a Moore League championship and gave them serious credibility in the Pac-5 Division. Not so fast, said Poly last season. The Jackrabbits regained league supremacy by beating Lakewood, 27-14.

Question is, can the Lancers (5-1, 2-0) respond Friday night at Veterans Stadium? Can lightning strike twice in three years after a drought of nearly three decades? First-year coach Vince Lobendahn is a believer.

"We left a summer passing league smiling," Lobendahn said. "Athletically, we're even [with Poly] on each side of the ball. ... Poly is as fast as anybody in the nation. Hopefully we can compete with some of that speed."

Lakewood has won four straight since losing to St. John Bosco, 35-31, on Sept. 9. Senior quarterback Brock Dale, who over the summer transferred from Palos Verdes Peninsula, has 1,006 passing yards, 13 touchdowns and only four interceptions. Poly (5-1), though, has one of the most active defenses in the region.

It's shaping up to be another fun one in Long Beach.

Blair Angulo covers preps for ESPN Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter.

ESPNLA prep football Top 25: Week 4

September, 26, 2011
In arguably the biggest week of the season in terms of matchups, there were major shifts in the latest ESPN Los Angeles prep football Top 25 rankings, including a couple of newcomers and a few who dropped out. In all, there were six matchups involving top 25 teams and seven teams from the list who lost. Here are our rankings heading into Week 4:

1. Servite (4-0)
All the Friars do is keep winning, making it 30 in a row over teams from the Southland, including a victory last week over the last team from this region to hand them a loss -- Edison in 2009. Last week: beat Edison, 27-14. Next: at Bishop Gorman, Fri., 7 p.m.

2. Santa Margarita (4-0)
Junior QB Johnny Stanton shows his value with his arm and his legs by surpassing 100 yards in both passing and rushing, including three TDs on the ground in a rout of a good Carson team. Last week: beat Carson, 39-21. Next: vs. Los Alamitos at Veterans Stadium, Thu., 7:30 p.m.

3. Mission Viejo (3-1)
Prep football Twitter wars? Well, not exactly, but the Diablos responded to Snoop Dogg's disparaging tweets during the week in the best way any team can, by being able to point to the scoreboard.
Last week: beat Long Beach Poly, 17-12. Next: at Carson, Fri., 7:30 p.m.

4. Crespi (4-0)
The Celts take advantage of all the week's power matchups by doing what they're supposed to do: overpower an overmatched opponent to jump up three spots in the rankings. Last week: beat Palisades, 40-0. Next: vs. Vista Murrieta, Fri., 7 p.m.

5. Oaks Christian (2-1)
The night the lights went out in ... Westlake Village? The Lions take the early lead in the Marmonte League race after a contentious victory over the league's other private school power. Last week: beat St. Bonaventure, 36-24. Next: vs. Calabasas, Fri., 7 p.m.

6. St. Bonaventure (2-1)
The Seraphs had all the momentum when a power outage at Oaks Christian stalled the game in the fourth quarter for nearly 25 minutes. In the end, Bonny dug too deep a hole. Last week: lost to Oaks Christian, 36-24. Next: vs. Simi Valley at Ventura HS, Fri., 7 p.m.

7. Corona Centennial (2-1)
We know on the surface it seems unfair for the Huskies to have dropped a spot after a one-sided win, but we couldn't in good conscience rank them ahead of a team -- St. Bonaventure -- they already had lost to. At least not yet. Last week: beat Chaparral, 49-14. Next: vs. Riverside Poly at Riverside Ramona HS, Thu., 7 p.m.

8. Long Beach Poly (3-1)
If it wasn't clear already, the defense is going to keep the Jackrabbits in every game this season. But the offense will need to catch up if a sustained postseason run is in order. Last week: lost to Mission Viejo, 17-12. Next: at Compton, Fri., 7 p.m.

9. Alemany (3-1)
So was the loss to J.W. North an aberration? The Warriors answer in a most definitive way with an impressive display against a strong Chaminade team behind Steven Mitchell's two touchdown catches.
Last week: beat Chaminade, 38-14. Next: vs. Dorsey, Fri., 7 p.m.

10. Bishop Amat (3-1)
It was the Jalen Moore show for the second week in a row. A week after rushing for 303 yards, the senior gets 191 and two touchdowns to lift the Lancers to a big second half. Last week: beat Damien, 28-7. Next: vs. Cathedral, Fri., 7 p.m.

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ESPNLA prep football Top 25: Week 3

September, 19, 2011
Alemany and Mater Dei were the only ranked teams to lose last week, so there aren't any newcomers to the latest ESPN Los Angeles prep football 25. There are six matchups between ranked teams this week, making for an intriguing slate of games as nonleague action winds down across the Southland. Here are our rankings heading into Week 3:

1. Servite (3-0)
Cody Pittman had 230 passing yards -- 147 going to favorite target Sam Hunt. But not all went well for the Friars, who will be without running back Charlie Etiaki (collarbone) for over a month. Last week: Beat La Habra, 24-16. Next: vs. Edison at Huntington Beach HS, Fri., 7 p.m.

2. Long Beach Poly (3-0)
The crowd's exhale at Veterans Stadium was clearly audible after the Jackrabbits survived a late charge by a City Section favorite Friday night. Coach Raul Lara had his defense to thank. Last week: Beat Narbonne, 19-16. Next: at Mission Viejo, Fri., 7:30 p.m.

3. Santa Margarita (3-0)
Ryan Wolpin carried 20 times for 133 yards and scored four touchdowns, and the Eagles picked off four passes to beat a neighboring school for the second straight week. Last week: Beat Trabuco Hills, 35-14. Next: at Carson, Fri., 7 p.m.

4. Mission Viejo (2-1)
The Diablos were obviously glad to be back in town following their humbling trip to New Jersey. Alex Bridgford, Jahleel Pinner and D.J. Wilson got the explosive offense back on track. Last week: Beat La Quinta, 47-21. Next: vs. Long Beach Poly, Fri., 7:30 p.m.

5. St. Bonaventure (2-0)
Give the Seraphs credit for not lollygagging through their Marmonte League opener. They could have easily overlooked Royal, instead setting their sights on this week's highly anticipated game. Last week: Beat Royal, 59-0. Next: at Oaks Christian, Fri., 7 p.m.

6. Corona Centennial (1-1)
There's no questioning the Huskies' heart, that's for sure. Hayden Gavett led a late charge to erase two-touchdown deficit, helping Centennial avoid what would have been a demoralizing 0-2 start. Last week: Beat Mater Dei, 28-20. Next: vs. Chaparral, Fri., 7 p.m.

7. Crespi (3-0)
Serra League coaches might have been jumping for joy after the graduation of Kenny Stenhouse, but Cody Cordell might cause some headaches this fall. The junior threw for five touchdowns in Fresno. Last week: Beat Clovis West, 42-28. Next: at Palisades, Fri., 7 p.m.

8. Oaks Christian (1-1)
Sophomore Brandon Dawkins threw the ball only six times in his varsity debut but half went for scores. Ishmael Adams added 121 rushing yards to help the Lions bounce back from their season-opening loss. Last week: Beat Agoura, 50-11. Next: vs. St. Bonaventure, Fri., 7 p.m.

9. St. John Bosco (3-0)
As expected, the Braves are spreading the ball around on offense, averaging nearly 38 points through three games. Cal-bound Bryce Treggs either beats defenses by himself or serves as a decoy. Last week: Beat Santa Fe, 51-0. Next: vs. Loyola at L.A. Valley College, Fri., 7 p.m.

10. Alemany (2-1)
In the biggest shocker so far, the Warriors blew a 14-point lead on the road Friday and lost, snapping their 15-game regular-season winning streak. The schedule doesn't get easier, either. Last week: Lost to J.W. North, 36-35. Next: at Chaminade, Fri., 7:30 p.m.

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L.A. South: The Top 10

September, 18, 2011
The top seven teams held their ground in our latest south Los Angeles County rankings. Defending Mid-Valley Division champion Monrovia fell off after losing to rival Arcadia, opening the door for a newcomer from the Western Division. Our top three teams hit the road Friday, so there could be movement next week. (Note: Last week's rankings are in parentheses.)

1. (1) Long Beach Poly (3-0)
The Jackrabbits bent but didn't break, holding on against a gritty City Section contender. Afterward, coach Raul Lara stressed how important it was to maintain the momentum they've built. Last week: Beat Narbonne, 19-16. Next: at Mission Viejo, Friday.

2. (2) St. John Bosco (3-0)
Senior quarterback Rene Medina threw for two touchdowns and ran for another and Royce Moore had 150 yards rushing in a rout. Now, the Braves and their high-powered offense hit the road. Last week: Beat Santa Fe, 51-0. Next: vs. Loyola at L.A. Valley College, Friday.

3. (3) Bishop Amat (2-1)
Talk about bouncing back. Playing big, bad Servite seems to have paid immediate dividends. Senior tailback Jalen Moore broke out for 303 rushing yards and five touchdowns. Last week: Beat La Mirada, 49-13. Next: at Damien, Friday.

4. (4) Carson (1-1)
Rested and refocused following a humbling loss to Long Beach Poly, the Colts begin the latter half of their rigorous nonleague schedule. The bye might have come at the right time for coach Elijah Asante's bunch. Last week: Idle. Next: vs. Santa Margarita, Friday.

5. (5) Lakewood (2-1)
The "Milk Bucket" trophy stays in Lakewood for at least another year, as the Lancers came back from a halftime deficit to beat their rivals from the north. Brock Dale threw for three scores. Last week: Beat Mayfair, 42-29. Next: vs. Leuzinger, Friday.

6. (6) Narbonne (1-1)
Dual-threat quarterback Troy Williams had only 102 passing yards and eight on the ground, and the Gauchos still nearly pulled off a shocker at Veterans Stadium. Last week: Lost to Long Beach Poly, 19-16. Next: at Tesoro, Thursday.

7. (7) Serra (2-1)
The young Cavaliers overcame the absence of Anterio Bateman (ankle) and Raymond Ford (ankle), with tailback Ronnie Vaughn shouldering a heavier load. Sophomore Jalen Greene keeps showing progress at quarterback. Last week: Beat Mira Costa, 33-0. Next: at Banning, Friday.

8. (10) Charter Oak (3-0)
This offense is supercharged. Senior quarterback Travis Santiago accounted for six touchdowns, throwing for 336 yards on 18 of 24 passing and adding 72 rushing yards. Last week: Beat Esperanza, 54-28. Next: vs. Rancho Cucamonga, Friday.

9. (8) West Covina (2-1)
More proof the Bulldogs are more than just a one-man team. Top player Chris Solomon (ankle) isn't 100 percent but it didn't matter, as Jimmy Frazier ran for 242 yards and four touchdowns. Last week: Beat South Hills, 35-33. Next: vs. Glendora, Friday.

10. (NR) St. Paul (2-0)
The Swordsmen showed why they're ranked No. 2 in the CIF Southern Section Western Division poll, steamrollering a helpless Norwalk team to the tune of nearly 300 yards rushing. Last week: Beat Norwalk, 48-6. Next: at Garfield, Friday.

Dropped out: Monrovia (9)

Five more, in alphabetic order: Cathedral, Claremont, Crenshaw, Gahr, St. Francis.

Agree or disagree with the "L.A. South" top 10? Did your favorite school get snubbed? Leave a comment on this post or contact ESPNLosAngeles.com preps writer Blair Angulo directly on his Twitter page.

L.A. South: The Top 10

September, 12, 2011
A handful of games involving ranked teams last week made for some movement in our latest south Los Angeles County top 10. Three of our top five teams stumbled, though two of those came against teams ranked ahead of them. Long Beach Poly held its ground against City Section favorite Carson, Bishop Amat received a wake-up call from Pac-5 powerhouse Servite and Trinity League sleeper St. John Bosco overcame some sloppiness at Lakewood. (Notes: Last week's rankings are in parentheses.)

1. (1) Long Beach Poly (2-0)
Coach Raul Lara has got to be happy with his defense. The Jackrabbits returned two interceptions for touchdowns and recovered a crucial fumble to pull away from a good Carson team. Last week: Beat Carson, 38-18. Next: vs. Narbonne at Veterans Stadium, Friday.

2. (4) St. John Bosco (2-0)
Cal-bound Bryce Treggs' supporting cast played a lead role, with Rene Medina throwing for four touchdowns, DaVonte Young amassing 106 rushing yards and Dalis Bruce hauling in nine catches. Last week: Beat Lakewood, 35-31. Next: vs. Santa Fe, Friday.

3. (2) Bishop Amat (1-1)
Uh-oh. Coach Steve Hagerty's preseason concerns were on full display against the area's top-ranked squad. The defense was helpless, appearing weak against the run and slow against the pass. Last week: Lost to Servite, 49-14. Next: vs. La Mirada, Friday.

4. (3) Carson (1-1)
Another impressive week for USC-bound Darreus Rogers, who had 210 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns. The problem? Only 18 of those yards came after the break. Last week: Lost to Long Beach Poly, 38-18. Next: vs. Santa Margarita, 9/23.

5. (5) Lakewood (1-1)
The Lancers can at least keep their heads high after hanging with a talented Trinity League team. Brock Dale threw for 253 yards even with the absence of injured Darius Powe. Last week: Lost to St. John Bosco, 35-31. Next: vs. Mayfair at Bellflower High, Friday.

6. (6) Narbonne (1-0)
Gauchos quarterback Troy Williams, one of the top junior prospects in the area, ran for two scores and threw for another as Narbonne opened with a hard-fought win. Last week: Beat Palos Verdes, 34-32. Next: vs. Long Beach Poly at Veterans Stadium, Friday.

7. (7) Serra (1-1)
A positive sign for these young, inexperienced Cavaliers, who rebounded well from the opening upset loss that ended their 36-game regular-season win streak. Last week: Beat Redondo Union, 21-0. Next: vs. Mira Costa, Friday.

8. (8) West Covina (1-1)
The injuries are piling up fast for the Bulldogs, whose 14-game win streak ended. Reigning Southeast Division player of the year Chris Solomon (ankle) and quarterback Jon Najera (concussion) sat out. Last week: Lost to Loyola, 35-7. Next: vs. South Hills, Friday.

9. (10) Monrovia (1-0)
The defending Mid-Valley Division champs kicked it into high gear after a sluggish start. Defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy gets most of the pub but linebacker George Frazier is just as important. Last week: Beat Glendora, 29-16. Next: at Arcadia, Friday.

10. (NR) Charter Oak (2-0)
Quarterback Travis Santiago, who threw for 2,418 yards as a junior in 2010, might not be blowing out opponents but he's buckling down in crunch time. Last week: Beat Corona Roosevelt, 35-28. Next: at Esperanza, Friday.

Dropped out: Dominguez (9)

Five more, in alphabetic order: Crenshaw, Gahr, Mira Costa, St. Paul, Venice.

Agree or disagree with the "L.A. South" preseason top 10? Did your favorite school get snubbed? Leave a comment on this post or contact ESPNLosAngeles.com preps writer Blair Angulo directly on his Twitter page.

Lakewood reportedly going with Brock Dale at QB

August, 31, 2011
Thadd MacNeal and Tyler SchultzAlex Gallardo/For ESPNLA.comLakewood is moving on this season without former coach Thadd MacNeal, right, and quarterback Tyler Schultz (14).

Lakewood coach Vince Lobendahn has picked senior transfer Brock Dale to start at quarterback Friday night against Locke, according to the Long Beach Press-Telegram. Dale, who landed at Lakewood early in the summer, threw for 1,149 yards and four touchdowns at Palos Verdes Peninsula last year. He beat out junior Chris Bell, who backed up Tyler Schultz last season.

"Chris was another kid that was hurt by [coach Thadd MacNeal] leaving," Lobendahn told ESPNLA.com before making the decision. "These young guys were waiting for him to teach them the way he taught others. I think [Bell] went through some emotional things during the transition from Mac to me."

Bell completed 10 of 13 passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns last season as the primary backup to Schultz, who threw for 2,250 yards and 33 scores. Schultz proved to be an effective replacement to former prep All-American Jesse Scroggins (USC).

Dale will have plenty of options on the offense, with standout receivers Darius Powe and Malik Gilmore on the edges. Powe has offers from Michigan, Oregon State, UCLA, Utah and Washington and might be the best wideout in the Moore League. Gilmore is committed to Oregon State.

"Our receiving corps will be a strength of our offense," Lobendahn said.

Lakewood is No. 15 in ESPNLA.com's preseason rankings.

Blair Angulo covers preps for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.

Football: No. 15 Lakewood

August, 24, 2011
Lakewood was already in reloading mode last spring when popular coach Thadd MacNeal left town to take the same position at Carlsbad. Suddenly, the Lancers weren't just looking to replace their two leading rushers, their quarterback and an entire defensive line, but also scrambling for a new coach.

As it turns out, Lakewood didn't have to search far, hiring Vince Lobendahn, who had served as MacNeal's defensive line coach for two years. Replacing MacNeal from within made sense, if only for the fact that the Lancers were 45-15 in MacNeal's five years at the helm. Continuity and familiarity figure to be important for a team that, in recent years, has raised expectations.

Big Red might not be as publicized, or feared, as it has been but there is enough talent coming up from the lower levels for Lakewood to be a dark horse pick in the Pac-5 Division.

Team: Lakewood.

Coach: Vince Lobendahn, first season.

2010 Record: 10-2, lost in the CIF Southern Section Pac-5 Division quarterfinals.

Returning starters: Seven total. Three on offense, four on defense.

Key players on offense: WR Darius Powe, WR Malik Gilmore (Oregon State commit), WR X'avier Shepherd, K Alex Boy

Key players on defense: DB Darius Powe, DB Daylon Cason, DL Anthony Davis

Difference maker: The spotlight figures to shine bright on Powe after the Lancers' loss of tailback Rashad Wadood (Arizona State) and tight end/defensive tackle Todd Barr (California) to graduation. Powe, the No. 13-ranked receiver in the 2012 class according to ESPNU, caught 43 passes for 822 yards and six touchdowns last season, garnering first-team All-Moore League honors.

Newcomers: QB Brock Dale (transfer from Peninsula), DL Anthony Davis (up from junior varsity), RB Kendall Rodgers (up from junior varsity), DB Jaleel Wadood (up from freshmen team)

Not to be missed: vs. St. John Bosco, Friday, Sept. 9. Matching up against a highly-regarded Trinity League contender might allow us to gauge the Lancers' 2011 capabilities. In fact, you could make the case that even a small-margin defeat would be viewed in a positive light, given the Braves' potent offensive attack and deep stable of returning players. Either way, Lakewood's John Ford Stadium promises to be electric on this night, as Bosco looks to avenge last season's loss.

Coach’s comment: "We want to show everybody that we didn't just drop off the map. We want to capture that Moore League and work our way through the CIF playoffs."

Final analysis: A running game that lost more than 60 percent of yardage gained will rely on the inexperienced duo of Keith Franklin and Rodgers, a 5-foot-10 tailback who averaged 10 yards on 32 carries as a sophomore last year. If opposing defenses concentrate on stopping the two-headed monster that is Powe and Gilmore, then it isn't too farfetched to think that the Lancers can have success on the ground. The big key will be line play, both defensively and offensively. And as far as Moore League aspirations go, Lobendahn thought his squad held its own against defending champion Long Beach Poly during the summer 7-on-7 passing circuit. The Lancers would like nothing more than to take back what they captured in 2009.

Blair Angulo covers preps for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.