Los Angeles Preps: Danny Jordan

L.A. North: Five things from the weekend

December, 19, 2011
  1. The Sierra Canyon football team won its first CIF state bowl game and is the only team in Southern California with a 15-0 record. But the school might be better known for having two Kardashian sisters on the cheerleading squad. Here’s a look at some of the top players on the Sierra Canyon football team: Senior quarterback Tyler Stewart threw for 2,245 yards and 32 touchdowns. A more impressive stat is that he threw only two interceptions in 222 pass attempts. The Trailblazers had a pair of running backs with 1,000 yards. Senior Danny Jordan had 1,021 yards and eight touchdowns. Junior Xavier Menifield had 1,382 yards and scored 25 touchdowns. Three of those TDs came against Le Grand in the bowl game. He also caught 14 passes for 369 yards and six touchdowns. Junior Preston White led Sierra Canyon in receiving with 35 catches for 490 yards and seven touchdowns. On the defensive side of the ball, senior Patrick McGown led the team with a whopping 17 sacks. Reggie Prince and Brian Tucker shared the team lead for interceptions with three. Each had one pick in the bowl game against Le Grand. Finally, sophomore kicker Noah Zgrabalich made eight field goals, 81 extra points and was second on the team in scoring with 105 points. Only Menifield had more points with 31 touchdowns, a pair of two-point conversions and 188 points.
  2. The Westlake football team might have lost the CIF Open Division bowl game to Concord De La Salle, but one player came out a winner. Westlake kicker Alex Ball won the Chris Sailer award recognizing the best high school kicker in the nation. Ball converted 19 field goals this season and tied for the state lead with Vista Murrieta’s Tyler Rausa. Ball’s 138 points are the most in the nation by schools that reported totals. Ball did not play in the CIF Open Division bowl game because he tore his ACL in his left leg in the Northern Division championship game against Oaks Christian. Even though Westlake lost the Open Division bowl game, the Warriors are not dodging tough teams next season. Westlake will open the season against Granite Bay in the Battle for Veterans Showcase in Sacramento. Oaks Christian and Thousand Oaks are also playing in the Battle for Veterans Showcase. Oaks Christian will play Del Oro, which lost to Helix in the Division II state bowl game. Thousand Oaks squares off against Franklin of Elk Grove. The week after the Battle for Veterans Showcase, Westlake will host Del Oro. Westlake opened the 2011 season against Del Oro and won, 30-27, in overtime.
  3. Providence of Burbank freshman Marcus LoVett Jr. had one of the best basketball games in San Fernando Valley history. He scored a school record 57 points in an 85-74 win over St. Joseph of Santa Maria in the National Prep Classic in Santa Maria. The previous school record was 52 points by Patrick Gonzalez in 2010. LoVett’s 57 points are the most by a player from the San Fernando Valley since 2005 when Grant’s Michael Danielian scored 58 points against Verdugo Hills, according to the Daily News. Providence plays Fremont on Tuesday in the National Prep Classic.
  4. The Harvard-Westlake boys basketball team won the Palos Verdes Tournament, beating Lawndale, 65-63, in the championship game. Derrick Newton scored the winning basket with 13 second left in the game. He was selected tournament MVP and scored 21 points, had 11 rebounds and four blocks against Lawndale. Zena Edosomwan scored 19 points and had 10 rebounds for Harvard-Westlake in the championship game. He was selected to the all-tournament team.
  5. The Chaminade boys soccer team won the Garces Tournament in Bakersfield beating McLane from Bakersfield, 6-1, in the championship game. Karam Gill and Nick Barbarino scored two goals apiece for Chaminade. Zack Khoury and Alessandro Giambrone each notched a goal. In the Arcadia Classic, the Palmdale boys soccer team shut out Monrovia, 2-0, in the championship game. Oscar Torres was selected the tournament MVP and scored both goals for Palmdale. He also scored the lone goal in a 1-0 win over Arcadia in the semifinals.

Div. IV Bowl: Sierra Cyn vs. Le Grand

December, 14, 2011

Sierra Canyon hasn’t been playing 11-man football for very long. The Trailblazers haven’t been playing any kind of football for very long.

Three years ago, in 2009, Sierra Canyon started its first season in 11-man fooball. Thirty-four wins and a Southern Section East Valley Division championship later, Sierra Canyon is playing for a state championship against Le Grand in the CIF Division IV bowl game at the Home Depot Center on Friday.

Sierra Canyon coach Jon Ellinghouse started the football program at Sierra Canyon with an eight-man team. He said he invited the challenge of building a program from scratch, but he did admit that making the jump from eight-man football to 11-man was more difficult than he anticipated.

“It’s very different,” Ellinghouse said. “I knew we were going to be 11-man. We were a good eight-man team. It all happened real quick.”

Sierra Canyon has become a good 11-man team in a short amount of time. The Trailblazers (14-0) completed an undefeated season and will have a chance to establish a reputation as one of the best small-school teams in the state.

Senior quarterback Tyler Stewart has thrown for 2,245 yards and 32 touchdowns and is completing 59 percent of his passes. He has only thrown two interceptions. His passing stats have been a little low the past two games. He only threw for 111 yards against Rim of the World on a freezing night in the semifinals. He threw for 131 yards and a touchdown in the East Valley Division championship game against Paraclete at Antelope Valley College.

Running backs Xavier Menifield and Danny Jordan have gone over the 1,000-yard mark this season. Menifield leads the team in rushing with 1,382 yards and 25 touchdowns. Jordan has 1,021 yards and eight touchdowns. The two combined for 314 yards rushing and six touchdowns against Paraclete last week.

Preston White has become one of Sierra Canyon’s top receivers after Julian Brooks went down midseason with a foot injury. White has 35 catches for 490 yards and seven touchdowns.

Sierra Canyon and Le Grand (12-0) are very similar teams offensively. They both have strong-armed quarterbacks, a bruising running game and talented receivers who produce a ton of points.

Sierra Canyon is averaging 46.1 points per games and more than seven touchdowns per game. The Trailblazers didn’t cool off when the playoffs started either, averaging 45.7 points per game in the East Valley Division playoffs.

Le Grand is scoring at a 58.5-points-per-game clip this season. The Bulldogs should be well-rested for the game against Sierra Canyon, too. The won the CIF San-Joaquin Valley Division V championship three weeks ago.

Le Grand coach Rick Martinez said his players have spent the past three weeks fine-tuning their play on the offensive and defensive lines.

Receiver Zachary Moreno leads the team with 1,387 yards and has scored 21 touchdowns. He is being recruited by UCLA, Sacramento State, Fresno State and San Jose State, Martinez said. Moreno is also a basketball player, tall and fast, and a protypical receiver.

“He loves the weight room,” Martinez said. “A great receiver.”

Senior quarterback Alex Bucio has thrown for 2,344 yards and 40 touchdowns. Martinez said Bucio is a very coachable player and doesn’t know how good he can be. Bucio is a converted baseball player, a pitcher and shortstop, who is only in his third year of playing football.

Running back Daniel Guizar is a dominating player on both sides of the ball. He leads the team with 1,906 yards rushing and 35 touchdowns. He also plays outside linebacker and leads the team with eight sacks. On top of all that, he has returned three kicks for touchdowns.

“He epitomizes being a bulldog for us,” Martinez said.

Expect a lot of points and some big plays on offense in this game.

East Valley: Sierra Canyon 47, Paraclete 14

December, 10, 2011

LANCASTER -- Sierra Canyon rode the legs of Xavier Menifield to the Southern Section East Valley Division championship, an undefeated season and perhaps a berth in a CIF state bowl game.

Menifield scored five touchdowns and rushed for 161 yards in his team’s 47-14 win over Paraclete at Antelope Valley College on Saturday night.

He scored one of three touchdowns for Sierra Canyon in the third quarter and helped turn a tight, seven-point game into a 33-point blowout in the rematch of last year’s East Valley Division championship game.

“It was a combination of things,” Sierra Canyon coach Jon Ellinghouse said about his team's scoring surge in the third quarter. “It took us a little while to adjust. We had a couple of fumbles and I think we only ran six plays in the first quarter.”

Sierra Canyon (14-0) scored on big plays from its opening possession to its final touchdown. Menifield scored on a 61-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Tyler Stewart on the first play from scrimmage for Sierra Canyon.

Menifield scored the last touchdown for Sierra Canyon on a 44-yard run in the fourth quarter.

In between, Menifield scored on runs of 57 and 35 yards. He added a little five-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.

A stunned Paraclete defense did little to stop the Sierra Canyon running attack. Menifield and teammate Danny Jordan combined for 273 yards on the ground. Jordan had 162 yards and scored a touchdown on an 84-yard run in the third quarter.

Menifield made the most of his chances. He was not much of a factor the last time Sierra Canyon played Paraclete (11-3) in November. He was knocked out of the game in the first quarter and was taken to a hospital because of concussion-like symptoms. He had onlytwo carries for three yards. Sierra Canyon won the game, 36-26, but had to rally in the second half to take the lead and pull away.

The East Valley Division championship game was a much different story. Menifield made his presence felt on his team’s first play of the game. He continually pounded through the Paraclete defense, breaking off big runs. His only catch of the game went for a 61-yard touchdown.

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Preview: Sierra Canyon vs. Paraclete

December, 8, 2011
Sierra Canyon football coach Jon Ellinghouse expects a physical game against Paraclete in the CIF Southern Section East Valley Division championship at Antelope Valley College on Saturday night.

Why shouldn’t he?

The last time Sierra Canyon and Paraclete played, one of Ellinghouse’s best offensive players ended up in the hospital with a concussion and Paraclete’s starting quarterback sat out most of the second half with a sprained ankle.

“I’m expecting them to come out with their best game ever,” Paraclete coach Norm Dahlia said. “We’re expecting them to hit us in the mouth.”

Sierra Canyon (13-0) hasn’t lost a game since last year’s East Valley Division championship to Paraclete, a loss that weighs heavily on Ellinghouse and quarterback Tyler Stewart.

Paraclete (11-2) won the East Valley Division title last year and haven’t lost since Nov. 5 to Sierra Canyon, 36-26.

Sierra Canyon running back Xavier Menifield, who leads the team with 1,229 yards and 26 touchdowns, was knocked out of the first game against Paraclete in the first quarter. He only had two carries for three yards and had to be taken to a hospital for having concussion-like symptoms.

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L.A. North: The Top 10

December, 4, 2011
The championship game of the Southern Section Northern Division playoffs is the same as it ever was. Oaks Christian, the reigning champion, will play Westlake, the No. 1-ranked team in the state and by ESPN Los Angeles.

The Westlake football team pounded poor Thousand Oaks in the semifinals of the Northern Division playoffs.

Oaks Christian had to rally in the second half to knock out St. Bonaventure in the other Northern Division semifinal setting up a rematch of last year’s championship game. It will be the fourth time in the past two seasons that Westlake and Oaks Christian have played.

Westlake is 2-1 in the previous three meetings. Oaks Christian’s only win came in last year’s Northern Division championship game, 29-28.

Here’s a look at this week’s L.A. North top 10:
  1. (1) Westlake (13-0) – The Warriors will be well-rested for their championship matchup against Oaks Christian. Quarterback Justin Moore threw for 98 yards and two touchdowns in one half of work. Running back Dashon Hunt gained 75 yards in eight carries and scored on a 42-yard punt return, all in the first half. Westlake will be making its third Northern Division championship game appearance in a row. The Warriors won the title in 2009 and lost to Oaks Christian last year.
  2. (2) Oaks Christian (11-2) – The reigning Northern Division champions are making their ninth straight CIF championship game appearance. The Lions have won seven CIF championships, but last year’s was their first in the Northern Division. Brandon Dawkins was about as efficient as a quarterback can be in the semifinal game against St. Bonaventure. He completed 25 of 29 passes for 195 yards and a touchdown. Oaks Christian coach Bill Redell said he was surprised he didn’t go 29-for-29. One area of concern might be that the longest pass of the night came on a halfback option. Chris Davis completed a 37-yard pass to Jordan Payton to set up a touchdown run by Dawkins in the third quarter.
  3. (3) St. Bonaventure (10-3) – The Seraphs came up a game short of the Northern Division championship again. Injuries plagued St. Bonaventure before and during its 27-24 loss to Oaks Christian. Starting quarterback Marc Evans sat out because of an injured shoulder. Receiver and kick returner Montre Lee injured his elbow during a key drive in the fourth quarter and was taken off the field in an ambulance. Not to make excuses, but a healthier St. Bonaventure team might have been able to hold a 10-point lead against Oaks Christian. At least the lights stayed on at the stadium.
  4. (4) Chaminade (10-3) – For the second year in a row, Chaminade ended its playoff run in the Western Division semifinals. Arroyo Grande beat Chaminade, 45-36. Running back Terrell Newby ended the season with 188 yards against Arroyo Grande and set the school record for rushing. He gained 2,073 yards in his junior season, easily breaking the record of 1,741 yards set by Tim Lavin in 1987. Newby scored 35 touchdowns this season and has 57 TDs in his career with one year to go.
  5. (5) Sierra Canyon (13-0) – Running backs Danny Jordan and Xavier Menifeld combined for 282 yards rushing – each had 141 yards -- and kicker Noah Zgrablich made three field goals in their team’s 42-16 win over Bishop Diego in the East Valley Division semifinal. The top-seeded Trailblazers get a rematch against Paraclete, the reigning East Valley Division champion, in the title game on Saturday night.

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L.A. North: The Top 10

November, 21, 2011
One team in the L.A. North Top 10 lost in the first round of the CIF football playoffs. Another team in the top 10 didn’t even make the playoffs.

Alemany, the No. 4-seeded team in the Southern Section Pac 5 Division playoffs, lost to St. John Bosco, 33-28.

Crespi, which ended up in a three-way tie with Sherman Oaks Notre Dame and Bishop Amat for third place in the Serra League, lost a spot in the Pac-5 Division playoffs on coin flips.

It was probably just as well. The three teams from the Serra League in the Pac-5 Division playoffs lost in the first round. Loyola was upset by Huntington Beach and Bishop Amat lost to Santa Margarita.

Here’s a look at this week’s L.A. North top 10:
  1. (1) Westlake (11-0) – The Warriors easily eliminated Eastside, 59-12, in the first round of the Northern Division playoffs. Kicker Alex Ball set the Southern Section record for field goals with a 24-yarder in the second quarter. Westlake was up 52-6 at halftime. The good news for Eastside is that the Lions almost outscored Westlake’s second stringers in the second half.
  2. (3) Oaks Christian (9-2) – Mira Costa was no challenge for the reigning Northern Division champion. Oaks Christian scored on its first six possessions and rolled to a 43-10 win in the first round. Running back Ishmael Adams had quite a night, rushing for 98 yards on three carries and scored two touchdowns.
  3. (4) Ventura (11-0) – The Cougars are putting on their best DJ Khaled impression. All they do is win, win, win no matter what. Ventura jumped out to a 21-0 lead and won convincingly, 41-14, over visiting Dominguez in the first round of the Western Division playoffs. After top-seeded Gardena Serra was upset by Culver City, Ventura is now the highest remaining seeded team in its half of the playoff bracket.
  4. (5) St. Bonaventure (8-3) – It wasn’t pretty, but St. Bonaventure won its first round Northern Division playoff game, 19-10, over Redondo. The Serpahs were down 10-0 in the second quarter and 10-8 at halftime. They finally took the lead on a 40-yard field goal by Brandon Rominger in the third quarter and held Redondo scoreless in the second half. St. Bonaventure certainly won no style points for this one.

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