Los Angeles Preps: Charter Oak

Kurt Scoby transfers to St. Paul

May, 3, 2012
5/03/12
7:16
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Running back Kurt Scoby, who had a stellar sophomore season at Charter Oak last fall, has transferred to St. Paul.

The junior-to-be rushed for 1,572 yards and 21 touchdowns last season at Charter Oak. He transferred to Duarte from Charter Oak last month.

According to new St. Paul coach Elijah Asante, Scoby's legal guardian enrolled him at St. Paul due to the faith-based institution's family environment and spiritual emphasis.

"He's got a Walter Payton stiff arm," Asante said. "He's the real deal. His body is strong, and he's a tough kid with a strong will to win. He's got that look in his eye."

Scoby gives Asante, who coach at Carson last season, an offensive weapon to build around. The San Gabriel Valley Tribune earlier reported the news.

Citrus Belt, Sierra and Sunkist previews

January, 10, 2012
1/10/12
4:04
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CITRUS BELT LEAGUE

League openers: Wednesday night – Fontana @ Redlands; Yucaipa @ Eisenhower; A.B. Miller @ Redlands East Valley.

Last year’s finish: Eisenhower (10-0); Redlands East Valley (8-2), Redlands (6-4); Yucaipa (4-6); A.B. Miller (2-8); Fontana (0-10).

Players to watch: Marvelle Harris (Eisenhower), 6-3, Sr. G; Terrance Sims (Eisenhower), 5-10, Sr., G; Toriano Harris (Eisenhower), 6-1, Sr., G; Evan Pea’Ches (Redlands), 6-7, Sr., F; Jamal Ellis (Redlands East Valley), 5-11, Sr., G; Daylin Billingsley (Yucaipa), 6-6, Sr., F; Adam Stanford (A.B. Miller), 6-3, Jr., F.

Predicted order of finish: Eisenhower, Redlands, Redlands East Valley, Yucaipa, Fontana, A.B. Miller.

SIERRA LEAGUE

League openers: Wednesday night – Ayala @ Chino Hills; Damien @ Claremont; Charter Oak @ South Hills.

Last year’s finish: Damien (9-1); Chino Hills (7-3); Ayala (7-3); Claremont (5-5); South Hills (1-9); Charter Oak (1-9).

Players to watch: Chris Reyes (Damien), 6-7, Sr., F; Clayton White (Damien), 6-0, Sr., G; Jared Dizon (Damien), 6-3, Jr., G; Josh Ramirez (Ayala), 6-4, Sr., G; Jared Ponce (Ayala), 6-2, Sr., G; Matt Ponce (Ayala), 5-10, Sr., G; Tyler Ponce (Ayala), 6-2, Sr., G; Mike Navar (Chino Hills), 6-7, Sr., C; Deion Page (Chino Hills), 6-1, Sr., G; Deandre Page (Chino Hills), 6-1, Sr., G; Bishop Mency (Chino Hills), 6-4, So., F; Kyle Maloof (Claremont), 6-1, Sr., G; Korey Serna (South Hills), 6-9, Sr., C; Kody Brown (Charter Oak), 6-7, Sr., F.

Predicted order of finish: Damien, Chino Hills, Ayala, Claremont, South Hills, Charter Oak.

SUNKIST LEAGUE

League openers: Wednesday night – Jurupa Valley @ Summit, Patriot @ Bloomington; Norte Vista @ Kaiser.

Last year’s finish: Summit (10-0); Patriot (8-2); Jurupa Valley (5-5); Bloomington (3-7); Kaiser (2-8); Norte Vista (0-10).

Players to watch: Devon Alexander (Summit), 6-1, Sr., G; Darrick Arnold (Summit), 6-3, Sr., F; Isaiah Taylor (Summit), 6-1, Sr., G; Thomas Folsom (Patriot), 6-10, Sr., C; Stephon Bryant (Jurupa Valley), 6-2, Jr., F; Sam Parks (Jurupa Valley), 6-1, So., F; Steven Avila (Jurupa Valley), 5-10, Jr., G; John Moss (Bloomington), 5-10, Sr., G

Predicted order of finish: Summit, Jurupa Valley, Kaiser, Patriot, Bloomington, Norte Vista.

Previously:

Baseline, Mountain Pass, Southwestern and Sunbelt leagues

Big VIII, Mojave River and Mt. Baldy leagues

Desert Valley, Inland Valley and San Andreas leagues

L.A. South: The final Top 10

December, 19, 2011
12/19/11
12:19
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There were no south Los Angeles County schools involved in the state bowls, so the rankings remain as they did last week. The area's sectional champions were Narbonne (City Section Division I), West Covina (Southeast Division), Monrovia (Mid-Valley Division) and South East (City Section Division II). The final top 10 rankings:

1. (1) Narbonne (11-3)
The City Section Division I champions are favored to repeat in 2012, if only because they’ve got the section’s leading passer in Troy Williams (3,247 yards and 34 touchdowns).

2. (2) Long Beach Poly (10-2)
The Jackrabbits got their second straight Moore League championship but will have a lot of offensive talent to replace.

3. (3) St. John Bosco (8-4)
The third-place team from the Trinity League made its first playoff appearance since 2006, and leading running back DaVonte Young returns next season.

4. (4) Charter Oak (10-2)
The Chargers won the Sierra League and have a dynamic talent in tailback Kurt Scoby for the next two years.

5. (5) Carson (8-6)
The Colts lost in the City Section Division I title game for the second straight year. And, according to reports, they’ll have to replace energetic coach Elijah Asante.

(Read full post)

L.A. South: The Top 10

December, 11, 2011
12/11/11
11:45
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With no south Los Angeles County schools heading to the state bowls, we can label this a collective down year in the region. Narbonne (City Section Division I), West Covina (Southeast Division), Monrovia (Mid-Valley Division) and South East (City Section Division II) are champions. The top 10 rankings heading into the final week of play:

1. (1) Narbonne (11-3)
Emotional leader Tray Boone usually talks the talk, but he backed it up Friday with six touchdown runs and 316 total yards to lead the Gauchos to the City Section Division I title. Last week: Beat Carson, 48-32.

2. (2) Long Beach Poly (10-2)
A quick exit from the Pac-5 bracket but at least order appears to have been restored for the back-to-back Moore League champions.

3. (3) St. John Bosco (8-4)
The third-place team from the Trinity League made its first playoff appearance since 2006, and leading running back DaVonte Young returns next season.

4. (4) Charter Oak (10-2)
The Chargers won the Sierra League and have a dynamic talent in tailback Kurt Scoby for the next two years.

5. (5) Carson (8-6)
For the second straight year, the Colts stumbled in the City Section Division I title game when mistakes turned costly. Last week: Lost to Narbonne, 48-32.

(Read full post)

L.A. South: The Top 10

December, 4, 2011
12/04/11
11:12
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The Narbonne Gauchos gain a stranglehold of the top spot after an eye-opening semifinal victory. Of course, a little help from rival Carson didn't hurt. The Colts return the rankings following their shocking upset of top-seeded and previously unbeaten San Pedro. Ocean League champion Santa Monica falls out after its lopsided loss to underdog Culver City. The south Los Angeles County top 10 rankings heading into the championship round:

1. (3) Narbonne (10-3)
The Gauchos made easy work of a very good defense to secure a spot in the title game for the third time in four years. Quarterback Troy Williams is hungry. Last week: Beat Dorsey, 41-7. Next: City Section Division I championship vs. Carson at East L.A. College, Friday.

2. (2) Long Beach Poly (10-2)*
Order appears to have been restored for the back-to-back Moore League champions.

3. (5) St. John Bosco (8-4)*
The third-place team from the Trinity League made its first playoff appearance since 2006.

4. (6) Charter Oak (10-2)*
The Chargers won the Sierra League and have a dynamic talent in tailback Kurt Scoby for the next two years.

5. (NR) Carson (8-5)
The Colts leap back into the rankings following a rather surprising upset of top-seeded San Pedro. They were expected to make it back to the title game, but they took a difficult route to get there. Last week: Beat San Pedro, 24-19. Next: City Section Div. I championship vs. Narbonne at East L.A. College, Friday.

(Read full post)

ESPN LA prep football Top 25

November, 27, 2011
11/27/11
11:25
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LA PrepESPN.com Illustration

Servite's stunning second-round loss opened the door for a new No. 1 in the ESPN Los Angeles prep football Top 25. The Friars, who spent the entire season at the top spot, were one of eight ranked teams to lose Friday. Our rankings heading into Week 3 of the playoffs:

1. Westlake (12-0)
The Marmonte League champions slide into the No. 1 spot following Servite's loss. The Warriors are more than worthy of the ranking, touting an average margin of victory of nearly 33 points. Last week: Beat Hart, 42-14. Next: semifinals vs. Thousand Oaks, Friday.

2. Corona Centennial (11-1)
Running back Romello Goodman was unstoppable Friday, setting a school record with eight rushing touchdowns and accumulating 335 yards in 24 carries (14-yard average). Last week: Beat Chaparral, 56-21. Next: semifinals at Rancho Cucamonga, Friday.

3. Mission Viejo (10-2)
The second-seeded Diablos are the only seeded team remaining in the Pac-5 Division playoffs. Tailback Buzzy Yokoyama, who had four rushing touchdowns Friday, has been key down the stretch. Last week: Beat Huntington Beach, 41-31. Next: semifinals vs. Santa Margarita, Friday.

4. Vista Murrieta (7-5)*
Is there any debate on who the area's top junior is? Right now that title belongs to the versatile Su'a Cravens, who added to his lore Friday with three touchdowns and 205 rushing yards in only 10 carries. Last week: Beat J.W. North, 58-14. Next: semifinals vs. Upland, Friday.

5. Upland (12-0)
Lost in the continued success of running back Donta Abron and receiver Kenny Lawler is quarterback Nate Romine's efficiency. The junior passed for 291 yards in only 15 attempts in Friday's blowout. Last week: Beat Charter Oak, 51-13. Next: semifinals at Vista Murrieta, Friday.

6. Santa Margarita (10-2)
Quarterback Johnny Stanton took to the ground to help his team advance Friday. The Eagles, the only remaining Trinity League team, can avenge last year's second-round loss to the Diablos. Last week: Beat Long Beach Poly, 49-16. Next: semifinals at Mission Viejo, Friday.

7. Oaks Christian (10-2)
After seven touchdown passes from quarterback Brandon Dawkins on Friday, it's safe to say the Lions offense has a star in the making behind center. Dawkins, only a sophomore, is playing beyond his years. Last week: Beat Highland, 55-21. Next: semifinals at St. Bonaventure, Friday.

8. St. Bonaventure (10-2)
The quick-striking Seraphs scored two touchdowns in a 10-second span Friday to earn a rematch with Marmonte League runner-up Oaks Christian. They lost to the Lions by 12 on Sept. 23. Last week: Beat Canyon Country Canyon, 38-17. Next: semifinals vs. Oaks Christian, Friday.

9. San Clemente (11-1)
Utah-bound quarterback Travis Wilson ran for three scores and had 125 yards passing on the road, and the Tritons get another look at a familiar South Coast League foe. S.C. beat Tesoro by 25 on Nov. 10. Last week: Beat St. John Bosco, 42-24. Next: semifinals at Tesoro, Friday.

10. Rancho Cucamonga (11-1)
A safety and a short touchdown on a sneak by quarterback Dimitri Morales was all the Cougars needed Friday because, for once, it was the defense making the big plays. Last week: Beat Redlands East Valley, 9-6. Next: vs. Corona Centennial, Friday.

(Read full post)

L.A. South: The Top 10

November, 27, 2011
11/27/11
10:50
PM PT
Long Beach Poly fell out of the region's top spot for the first time this season following its second-round loss to Santa Margarita. Last week's second- and third-ranked teams -- St. John Bosco and Charter Oak, respectively -- also stumbled. Now, three of the region's top four squads come from the City Section. Marine League champion and top-seeded San Pedro is the only remaining undefeated team in the south Los Angeles County top 10 rankings heading into the third round of the playoffs:

1. (4) San Pedro (12-0)
The top-seeded Pirates eliminated the two-time defending City Section Division I champs Friday, securing another matchup with fifth-seeded Carson. The Marine League champs defeated the Colts 21-0 on Oct. 28. Last week: Beat Crenshaw, 31-7. Next: semifinals vs. Carson, Friday.

2. (1) Long Beach Poly (10-2)*
The lack of consistency from the quarterback positions was a season-long concern for coach Raul Lara. That turned into a nightmare Friday when the Jackrabbits were intercepted five times. The good news: Gerard Wicks returns next season. Last week: Lost to Santa Margarita, 49-16.

3. (5) Narbonne (9-3)
Junior quarterback Troy Williams had six total touchdowns, and the emerging Tray Boone had two more to propel the Gauchos to their third straight 50-point performance. They now face perhaps the city's top defense. Last week: Beat West Adams, 59-20. Next: semifinals vs. Dorsey, Friday.

4. (6) Dorsey (11-1)
The fast and talented Dons defense had six takeaways Friday, and USC-bound receiver Jaydon Mickens had four total touchdowns to go along with six receptions and 82 yards. Last week: Beat Birmingham, 45-13. Next: semifinals at Narbonne, Friday.

5. (2) St. John Bosco (8-4)*
Bosco twice cut its deficit to four on Friday but the defense couldn't come up with stops. Still, the Braves made their first playoff appearance since 2006, so they've got nothing to hang their heads about. Last week: Lost to San Clemente, 42-24.

(Read full post)

Inland: Upland 51, Charter Oak 13

November, 25, 2011
11/25/11
11:51
PM PT


UPLAND -- With his team uniting for the postgame huddle near midfield, Kenny Lawler looked up over his left shoulder, and uttered a rhetorical question.

"You guys see a 40 up on the scoreboard?" Lawler asked.

The answer: Yes, because Upland, No. 8 in the ESPN Los Angeles prep football rankings, blew past No. 17-ranked Charter Oak, 51-13, Friday night to advance to the Inland Division semifinals. The other answer: No, because Charter Oak -- which like Upland was averaging exactly 44 points heading into the game -- didn't hold up its end of the deal. The No. 3-seeded Highlanders will face No. 2-seeded Vista Murrieta, which handled Riverside J.W. North, 58-14.

"Charter Oak was putting points up on everybody," Upland coach Tim Salter said. "That got us excited."

Upland (12-0) got balanced production on offense, led by Lawler's 195 receiving yards and three touchdowns. Tailback Donta Abron Jr. rushed for 191 yards and four touchdowns in 32 carries and quarterback Nate Romine passed for 291 yards in only 15 attempts.

"We have a lot of talent across the board," Abron Jr. said. "Other teams don't know what we're going to throw at them."

The explosiveness was supposed to go both ways but, instead, a running clock was used at the start of the fourth quarter. Really, it was an unexpected one-sided affair. The Upland defense came up with a safety midway through the third quarter and, on the very next play from scrimmage, Romine threw it up to Lawler for a 48-yard touchdown and comfortable 30-6 lead.

Knockout punch delivered.

"They had a better football team than us," Charter Oak coach Lou Farrar said.

(Read full post)

I.E.: Inland Division second-round previews

November, 23, 2011
11/23/11
7:04
PM PT
INLAND DIVISION

Second round, Friday

Chaparral (7-4) at No. 1 Corona Centennial (10-1), 7:30 p.m.

How they got here: Centennial defeated visiting Redlands, 49-35; Chaparral knocked off visiting Los Osos, 38-14.

Matchup to watch: Centennial running back Romello Goodman (1,913 rushing yards, 32 TDs) vs. Arizona State-bound strong safety Curtis Dozier of Chaparral (5.5 tackles per game).

Fast fact: This will be the ninth meeting between the teams since 2006. Centennial owns a 6-2 record against the Pumas, 2-2 in the postseason.

Prediction: Centennial 35, Chaparral 24.

Rancho Cucamonga (10-1) vs. No. 4 Redlands East Valley (11-0) at Citrus Valley HS, 7 p.m.

How they got here: Redlands East Valley beat visiting Norco, 20-15; Rancho Cucamonga edged visiting Chino Hills, 39-38.

Matchup to watch: Rancho Cucamonga offensive line (averages 300 pounds) vs. Redlands East Valley defensive line (averages 275 pounds).

Fast fact: The fathers of Rancho Cucamonga coach Nick Baiz and Redlands East Valley coach Kurt Bruich are also former longtime high school coaches in the area. Dick Bruich, who coached at Fontana and Kaiser, and Bob Baiz, who was at Claremont, teamed up last summer to coach in an inaugural SoCal vs. Arizona all-star game.

Prediction: Rancho Cucamonga 24, Redlands 21.

Charter Oak (10-1) at No. 2 Upland (11-0), 7:30 p.m.

How they got here: Upland routed visiting Murrieta Valley, 59-21; Charter Oak rolled visiting Corona Santiago, 63-21.

Matchup to watch: Upland 6-foot-3 wide receiver/defensive back Kenny Lawler (23.2 yards-per-catch average, five TDs last two games, three interceptions) vs. Charter Oak’s 5-8 wide receiver/defensive back Aaren Vaughns (59 receptions, 1,061 yards, 10 TDs, four interceptions).

Fast fact: Charter Oak’s only loss this season came against Rancho Cucamonga, 21-13, in Week 4. Upland beat the Cougars three weeks later in Baseline League play, 31-17.

Prediction: Upland 38, Charter Oak 28.

No. 3 Aaren Vaughns (6-5) vs. J.W. North (10-1) at Riverside College, 7:30 p.m.

How they got here: Vista Murrieta defeated Damien, 38-13; J.W. North knocked off Yucaipa, 27-13.

Matchup to watch: Vista Murrieta junior middle linebacker Bryce Smith (Inland Division-leading 13.5 tackles per game) vs. J.W. North rushing attack (213 yards per game).

Fast fact: J.W. North senior quarterback Justin Gheorghe is the only member of the football team who was also on the school’s Division 1 championship baseball team last June.

Prediction: Vista Murrieta 24, J.W. North 17.

Upland's Lawler attracts attention

November, 22, 2011
11/22/11
10:16
PM PT
video
UPLAND -- Kenny Lawler emerges from the huddle at midfield, and immediately, the receiver hustles over to his position on the outside. The first order of business for the senior from Upland is taking a quick glance through his facemask to see what the defense has in store for him.

A cornerback moves right up in front of Lawler, seemingly with the intent to somehow disrupt the route with bump-and-run coverage. A linebacker takes a step to the immediate left, presumably in an effort to help slow down the burst of speed he possesses. A safety proceeds to roll over to his side of the field as well, in what figures to be an attempt to double-team him over the top.

[+] EnlargeUpland High School Kenny Lawler
Upland High School Kenny Lawler committed to Arizona State months ago, but is still taking recruiting trips.
No big deal. Lawler has seen plenty of this pre-snap shuffling in the not-so- distant past. Gimmick-type schemes designed around stopping him is something that simply comes along with territory, especially when you are considered as one of the Southland's premier players at the position.

“I don't think anything surprises me anymore. Honestly, nothing does,'' Lawler said.

With the ball set in motion, a stutter step at the line of scrimmage creates much-needed separation. A head-and-shoulders fake by Lawler freezes the would-be tackler at the second level. A sprint toward the end zone follows as he blows by the last line of defense in the secondary.

Lawler is celebrating seconds later, having hauled in another highlight-reel worthy touchdown catch. The opponent looks on, of course, wondering about what could have been.

Odds are, the 6-foot-3 and 185-pound senior will be in a similar situation in Friday's Southern Section Inland Division playoff game against Covina Charter Oak. And if the Highlanders hope to make a postseason run, Lawler must continue to excel in his role of being the difference-maker.

“I know I have a target on my back, I'm cool with that, it's a sign of respect,'' Lawler said. “My goal is to work hard, and when teams try to stop me, that's motivation. Nothing in life is easy. You'll never be able to accomplish anything if there isn't some kind of challenge put in front of you.''

Overcoming obstacles has become commonplace for Lawler considering playing time on the varsity level was difficult to come by in his first two years with the Highlanders. They were loaded with talent during his freshman and sophomore seasons. Nevertheless, Lawler managed to persevere.

When the opportunity to contribute on a more consistent basis presented itself as junior, he made sure to take advantage. And then some. Lawler emerged as the go-to-guy for Upland and finished with 42 catches for 887 yards, a 21 yards-per-catch average. He also had nine touchdowns.

(Read full post)

I.E.: And the winner is ...

November, 21, 2011
11/21/11
6:26
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As we take the time to exhale in between the first and second rounds of the Southern Section football playoffs, let’s recognize a few of the award winners from Friday night’s opening rounds.

Best ending: On the verge of becoming the biggest upset victim of the first round, Rancho Cucamonga turned in the most improbable finish. Trailing by five points against Chino Hills in the Inland Division opener with just 6.6 seconds on the clock and 38 yards from the end zone, Marcus Bratton leaped in the air and hauled in a desperation touchdown pass to lift the Cougars to a 39-38 victory. Rancho Cucamonga drove 70 yards in the final 26 seconds. The Cougars survive to meet fourth-seeded Redlands East Valley in the second round Friday at 7 p.m. at Citrus Valley High School in Redlands.

Best individual performance: On a night when Corona Centennial’s defense was knocked on its heels, running back Romello Goodman came to the rescue, rushing for a career-high 325 yards and five touchdowns in a 49-35 victory against visiting Redlands. The top-seeded Huskies were clinging to a seven-point lead entering the final quarter of the Inland Division first-round game, but Goodman gave them some breathing room with his fifth touchdown of the game. Centennial will host Chaparral in the second round, a team that upset the Huskies two years ago on its way to winning the Inland Division championship.

Most surprising performance: Moreno Valley wasn’t expected to put up much of a fight against Cajon. After all, the Cowboys were the San Andreas League co-champions and were ranked No. 2 in the Central Division as recently as Week 7. Someone obviously forgot to pass that information along to the Vikings. Moreno Valley unleashed a heavy dose of senior running back Imeria Talia and never gave Cajon a chance in the 43-16 victory. Talia finished with 270 yards rushing in 40 carries and scored two touchdowns. He also helped keep the ball out of the hands of Cajon’s playmakers, limiting their first-half time of possession to 4 minutes 47 seconds while the Vikings built a 28-8 lead. Moreno Valley will host fourth-seeded Colony at 7 p.m. in Friday's second round.

(Read full post)

ESPNLA prep football Top 25

November, 21, 2011
11/21/11
1:20
AM PT
LA PrepESPN.com Illustration

Mission League champion Gardena Serra, the top seeded team in the Western Division bracket, fell to Culver City in a shocker and dropped out of the ESPN Los Angeles prep football Top 25. Sunset League runner-up Huntington Beach makes its first appearance in the rankings after upsetting Loyola on the road. Our rankings heading into Week 2 of the playoffs:

1. Servite (10-1)
Coming off a thrilling victory in the Trinity League finale, the top-seeded Friars scored effortlessly on their first drive, then returned a blocked punt on special teams to put the opponent in an inescapable hole. Last week: Beat Long Beach Wilson, 41-3. Next: second round at Tesoro, Friday.

2. Westlake (11-0)
Another dominant performance by the top-seeded Warriors, who scored all of their points in the first half of Friday's first-round game. Justin Moore had four touchdown passes. Last week: Beat Eastside, 59-12. Next: second round vs. Hart at College of the Canyons, Friday.

3. Corona Centennial (10-1)
After leading by only seven heading into the fourth quarter, the top-seeded Huskies distanced themselves with two quick touchdowns. Tailback Romello Goodman reached the end zone five times. Last week: Beat Redlands, 49-35. Next: second round vs. Chaparral, Friday.

4. Long Beach Poly (10-1)
The Jackrabbits avoided a repeat of last year's first-round exit, scoring touchdowns on each of their first six drives. This is a different bunch. Last week: Beat Newport Harbor, 49-14. Next: second round vs. Santa Margarita at Veterans Stadium, Friday.

5. Redlands East Valley (11-0)
Austin Decoud found Zach Brown for the go-ahead 19-yard touchdown pass and the defense came up with a much-needed turnover late to avoid the upset. Last week: Beat Norco, 20-15. Next: second round vs. Rancho Cucamonga at site TBD, Friday.

6. Mission Viejo (9-2)
Running back Buzzy Yokoyama paced the second-seeded Diablos with 170 rushing yards and three first-half touchdowns Friday. The South Coast League champs have won five straight. Last week: Beat Long Beach Cabrillo, 51-22. Next: second round at Huntington Beach, Friday.

7. Vista Murrieta (6-5)*
Su'a Cravens had two touchdowns on offense and four sacks on defense Friday, showing once more why he's considered to be one of the top junior prospects in the Southland. Last week: Beat Damien, 38-13. Next: second round vs. J.W. North at Riverside CC, Friday.

8. Upland (11-0)
How about this for offensive efficiency: The Scots scored on each of their first eight possessions, and scored all but seven of their points before halftime. Last week: Beat Murrieta Valley, 59-21. Next: second round vs. Charter Oak, Friday.

9. Oaks Christian (9-2)
The starters were out by halftime but the damage had been done. Sophomore quarterback Brandon Dawkins shined in his first playoff action, throwing for 233 yards and two touchdowns and running for another score. Last week: Beat Mira Costa, 43-10. Next: second round at Highland, Friday.

10. Santa Margarita (9-2)
The Eagles led by only three points after three quarters but three fourth-quarter touchdowns sealed the deal. Quarterback Johnny Stanton's 272 total yards led the way. Last week: Beat Bishop Amat, 45-21. Next: second round vs. Long Beach Poly at Veterans Stadium, Friday.

(Read full post)

L.A. South: The Top 10

November, 21, 2011
11/21/11
1:15
AM PT
The south Los Angeles County top 10 rankings heading into the second round of the playoffs:

1. (1) Long Beach Poly (10-1)
The Jackrabbits avoided a repeat of last year’s first-round exit, scoring touchdowns on each of their first six drives. This is a different bunch. Last week: Beat Newport Harbor, 49-14. Next: second round vs. Santa Margarita at Veterans Stadium, Friday.

2. (3) St. John Bosco (8-3)
Many doubted, and now many believe. The Braves, who finished third in the Trinity League, took down the Serra League champions thanks to DaVonte Young’s short touchdown run with less than a minute left. Last week: Beat Alemany, 33-28. Next: second round vs. San Clemente, Friday.

3. (4) Charter Oak (10-1)
A running clock was implemented to start the fourth quarter Friday, an indication of the combined power of Charter Oak’s two units. Travis Santiago passed for 322 yards and five touchdowns. Last week: Beat Corona Santiago, 63-21. Next: second round at Upland, Friday.

4. (5) San Pedro (11-0)
The top-seeded Pirates rolled behind quarterback Kenny Potter’s three total touchdowns and an effective run game led by Gregory Thomas. Now they’ve got the two-time defending champs. Last week: Beat Gardena, 49-7. Next: second round vs. Crenshaw, Friday.

5. (6) Narbonne (8-3)
The second-seeded Gauchos got another great showing from ESPNU 150 quarterback Troy Williams (234 yards and three touchdowns). They scored on four of their first 11 plays from scrimmage. Last week: Beat Reseda, 52-7. Next: second round vs. West Adams, Friday.

(Read full post)

L.A. South: Top first-round playoff games

November, 18, 2011
11/18/11
9:30
AM PT
It's win or go home now. Here are Friday night’s top first-round playoff games in south Los Angeles County:

Pac-5: Huntington Beach (8-2) vs. No. 16 Loyola (8-2) at L.A. Valley College, 7 p.m. — The Loyola Cubs have some momentum after coming back from a 15-point deficit in the Serra League finale against Crespi. Loyola tailback Wyatt Bradford could eclipse the 1,000-yard mark, and senior quarterback Nick Cotton is coming off his best game of the season (17 of 28 for a season-high 208 yards and four touchdowns). The impressive thing about the Cubs is that if opposing teams want to grind it out, they will too.

Inland: Corona Santiago (7-3) at No. 19 Charter Oak (9-1), 7 p.m. — The Sierra League champion Charter Oak Chargers might be the league's only hope for a playoff win, given that third-place Damien plays at Vista Murrieta and runner-up Chino Hills heads to Rancho Cucamonga. An attractive matchup against undefeated Upland looms in the second round, but senior quarterback Travis Santiago (2,629 passing yards and 21 touchdowns) will have to steer his group clear of overlooking Corona Santiago.

Southeast: Bonita (6-4) at Arcadia (8-2), 7 p.m. — The defending Southeast Division runner-up Bonita Bearcats capped the regular season with four consecutive wins, so they've got a bit of swagger heading into this one. It's not the same team coach Eric Podley had last year but running backs Cameron Griffin and Reggie Turner and receiver Garrett Horine were capable weapons during the season. And speaking of weapons, Arcadia has its share in quarterback Myles Carr, the top-rated signal caller in the area according to ESPNU Recruiting, and Washington-bound receiver Taylor Lagace.

Mid-Valley: Pomona (6-4) at Monrovia (7-3), 7 p.m. — Will defending Mid-Valley Division champion Monrovia take its first step toward a repeat? Highly touted defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy, rising linebacker prospect George Frazier and the rest of the Wildcats defense appears to have found its groove in Rio Hondo League play, allowing under six points per game on average. Monrovia might be on upset alert, though: Three of Pomona's four losses were by a combined 10 points, and the Red Devils gave top-seeded Covina all it could handle.

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

Inland Division first-round previews

November, 17, 2011
11/17/11
3:46
PM PT
INLAND DIVISION

First round, Friday

Redlands (4-6) at No. 1 Corona Centennial (9-1), 7:30 p.m.

How they got here: Centennial won the Big VIII League championship; Redlands finished third in the Citrus Belt League:

Matchup to watch: Redlands junior running back Craig Lee (142-1,353, 15 TDs) vs. Centennial linebacker Edem Nassar (8.5 tackles per game).

Fast fact: Centennial has won six Southern Section titles since 2000.

Prediction: Centennial 49, Redlands 21.

Los Osos (6-4) at Chaparral (6-4), 7:30 p.m.

How they got here: Chaparral finished runner-up in the Southwestern League; Los Osos finished third in the Baseline League.

Matchup to watch: Arizona State-bound offensive tackle Dylan LaFrenz of Los Osos (6-4, 280) vs. Chaparral defensive end Teddy Queen (6-3, 240).

Fast fact: The last time these teams met was in the second round of the 2007 playoffs, when Chaparral kicked a 27-yard field goal with a little more than a minute remaining, leading to an ugly shouting match between a few Los Osos coaches and fans.

Prediction: Chaparral 24, Los Osos 20.

Chino Hills (6-4) vs. Rancho Cucamonga (9-1) at Los Osos HS, 7 pm.

How they got here: Rancho Cucamonga finished second in the Baseline League; Chino Hills finished runner-up in the Sierra League.

Matchup to watch: Chino Hills junior receiver Jack Austin (45-726, 10 TDs) vs. Rancho Cucamonga secondary (five interceptions).

Fast fact: Rancho Cucamonga is 8-2 in the playoffs over the last three seasons.

Prediction: Rancho Cucamonga 31, Chino Hills 14.

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