Los Angeles Preps: Edison

1. Foothill made a strong bid last week for the Orange County top 10. After beating Anaheim Canyon for the second time, 82-71, to pull even with the Comanches atop the Century League, Foothill avenged a loss to Esperanza with a 60-56 victory on Saturday. James Marinacci scored 16, and Connor Stevens 11 and Justin Davis 10 as the Knights overcame a 47-43 deficit heading into the fourth quarter.

2. Santa Margarita coach Jerry DeBusk announced Saturday that he was retiring at the end of this season. DeBusk has coached the Eagles for 20 seasons and has a 463-133 record at the school. Although only 13-11 this season, Santa Margarita was ranked No. 4 in the Southern Section Division 3A poll last week. DeBusk will remain at the school as an instructor in the Auxilliary Studies Program.

3. Ocean View scored 41 points in the first quarter of its 90-45 victory over Orange. According to the CIF-Southern Section Record Book, the record for most points scored in a quarter is 54 by Perris against Norte Vista in 1976-77; the record in Orange County is 44 by Santa Ana Valley against Estancia in 1977-78. For Ocean View, it averaged a point every 11.7 seconds in the quarter. The Sea Hawks led after the first eight minutes, 41-10. The Sea Hawks clearly turned down the heat after that as Cristian Rivera scored only 11 points and Conor Clifford eight; both average 14 per game. The leading scorer was Robby Weaver with 18 points, more than three times his average. For the game, Ocean View shot 58.1 percent from the field, and made nine of 21 three-point baskets.

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O.C.: The final Top 10

December, 19, 2011
With Santa Margarita's victory at the Home Depot Center, the season is officially over. Despite their loss to Mater Dei in the Trinity League opener, the Eagles are an easy choice for No. 1. After that it gets a little tougher, mostly because of Servite's stunning loss to Tesoro in the second round; all year long the Friars were the best team, and had a victory over Santa Margarita to prove it. If they were to play next week, most people would still expect a Servite victory; nevertheless, we're flipping Servite and Tesoro to reflect the Titans' head-to-head victory even though Servite's body of work is superior. Upon reflection, the lower part of the ranking gets an adjustment as well. For kicks, we added an additional five teams to the end-of-the-year rankings.

1. (1) Santa Margarita (13-2)
Eagles QB Johnny Stanton passed for four touchdowns and ran for two more, the last with 16 seconds left on fourth down, to win the State Division I Bowl Championship. Despite the so-called "bad" loss to Mater Dei, Eagles have victories over Tesoro, Carson, Los Alamitos, Trabuco Hills, Orange Lutheran, St. John Bosco, Bishop Amat, Long Beach Poly, Mission Viejo and San Clemente. Last: beat San Jose Bellarmine 42-36.

2. (2) Mission Viejo (10-3)
Diablos have victories over Long Beach Poly, Carson, San Clemente, Tesoro, Trabuco Hills and Huntington Beach.

3. (3) San Clemente (12-2)
Tritons have victories over Carlsbad La Costa Canyon, Mater Dei, Newport Harbor, Trabuco Hills, Tesoro (twice), Lakewood and St. John Bosco.

4. (5) Tesoro (8-5)
Titans have victories over Hart, Narbonne, Trabuco Hills, Edison and Servite.

5. (4) Servite (10-2)
Friars have victories over Oceanside, Bishop Amat, La Habra, Edison, Orange Lutheran, St. John Bosco, Mater Dei and Santa Margarita.

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O.C.: The top 10

December, 4, 2011
El Toro's victory over La Habra moves the Chargers into the top 10, at the expense of Huntington Beach, which beat El Toro in the season opener. Despite Tesoro's victory over Servite two weekends ago, it's hard to believe that Servite would have lost to San Clemente by five touchdowns with a championship berth on the line.

1. (1) Santa Margarita (11-2)
Eagles went 70 yards with the game in the balance as Johnny Stanton scored with 62 seconds left, and Ryan Wolpin rushed for two touchdowns as Santa Margarita reached a section final for the first time since 1998. Last: beat Mission Viejo, 21-20. Next: vs. San Clemente at Angel Stadium, Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

2. (2) Mission Viejo (10-3)
A lost fumble at the Santa Margarita one-yard line before halftime was a killer, even though Doug Ruggles' fumble return for a TD, and interception at the Santa Margarita 22 had the Diablos positioned for victory in the fourth quarter. Last: lost to Santa Margarita, 21-20. Next: season concluded.

3. (3) San Clemente (12-1)
Tritons rolling through the playoffs; in last four games against three playoff teams (Tesoro twice, Lakewood, St. John Bosco), their average score is 42-13. Last: beat Tesoro, 51-16. Next: vs. Santa Margarita at Angel Stadium, Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

4. (5) Servite (10-2)
Friars have victories over Bishop Amat, La Habra, Edison, Orange Lutheran, St. John Bosco, Mater Dei and Santa Margarita. Last: season concluded.

5. (4) Tesoro (8-5)
A week after the biggest victory in school history, Titans fail to back up the performance; suffer worst defeat since Mission Viejo piled on, 60-14, in 2009. Last: lost to San Clemente, 51-16. Next: season concluded.

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O.C.: The Top 10

November, 21, 2011
1. (1) Servite (10-1)
Friars got a complete effort in first-round victory; scored on offense (several times), as well as defense (Connor Hoffman interception return) and special teams (Garrett Airey blocked punt return). Last: beat Long Beach Wilson, 41-3. Next: vs. Tesoro at Orange Coast College, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

2. (2) Santa Margarita (9-2)
Johnny Stanton had another great game, but the hero was sophomore Alex Suchesk, who replaced injured Ryan Wolpin in the third quarter and rushed for 133 yards and two touchdowns. Last: beat Bishop Amat, 45-21. Next: vs. Long Beach Poly at Veterans Stadium, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

3. (3) Mission Viejo (9-2)
Diablos scored six touchdowns in the second quarter. Buzzy Yokoyama carried 14 times for 170 yards and three scores. Last: beat Long Beach Cabrillo, 51-22. Next: at Huntington Beach, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

4. (4) San Clemente (10-1)
Tritons excelled in every phase as they won their first playoff game since 2005 as Travis Wilson passed for four touchdowns. Last: beat Lakewood, 42-6. Next: at St. John Bosco, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

5. (9) Tesoro (7-4)
Just as they did last season, the Titans lost their last two games of the regular season and then upset a more highly regarded opponent in the first round of the Pac-5 playoffs. Last year it was fourth-seeded Bishop Amat; this time, the Sunset League champion. Last: beat Edison, 16-14. Next: vs. Servite at Orange Coast College, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

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O.C.: Games of the week

November, 18, 2011
Tesoro (6-4) vs. Edison (8-2) at Orange Coast College, Friday, 7 p.m.
If the team that showed up two weeks ago against Mission Viejo shows up against Edison, then Tesoro might deliver one of the upsets of the night against the Sunset League champion. If the team that showed up last week against San Clemente shows up against Edison, it could be a long night for the South Coast League's third-place team. Running back Nate Tago (12 TDs, 110 yards/game) and quarterback Matt Adam (7 TDs, 5 int.) have to find a way against an Edison defense that doesn't get the recognition it deserves: it has allowed more than 14 points only twice this season, a 22-20 loss to Mater Dei on the last play of the game, and a 27-14 setback to top-seeded Servite. The offense is led by quarterback Chase Favreau (15 TDs, 5 int., 169 yards/game), who is a serious running threat; he averaged 81 yards against four of Edison's five best opponents, Mater Dei, Huntington Beach, Newport Harbor and Los Alamitos. But he gained only one yard against Servite. That might be the kind of effort necessary for Tesoro, which has 16 underclassmen in the starting lineup, to advance past the first round of the Pac-5 Division.

Huntington Beach (8-2) vs. Loyola (8-2) at L.A. Valley College, Friday, 7 p.m.
Huntington Beach hasn't had a football team this formidable since Tony Gonzalez was an Oiler in the early 1990s. The question is, in this battle of second-place teams, can the public school knock out the private one? Michael Chislock (23 TDs, 5 int., 195 yards/game) will have something to say about it. Chislock leads an HB offense that's averaging 35 points, and the defense held opponents to two touchdowns or less six times. No matter how good Chislock is, he will likely need significant support from running back Nolan Biegel in order to keep Loyola's defense honest. Even though Loyola is averaging nine points fewer, the Cubs have played a significantly tougher schedule heading into the Pac-5 playoffs. They beat Newport Harbor by 27 points while HB won by 28. Also Loyola has a 28-14 victory over St. John Bosco, the kind of signature victory that Huntington Beach is hoping to pick up.

Lakewood (7-3) at San Clemente (9-1), Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Can Lakewood go deep into Orange County and emerge victorious? Any team that can hang with St. John Bosco -- as the Lancers did in a 35-31 loss -- should be able to represent in the Pac-5. Brock Dale (26 TDs, 5 int.) has averaged 189 yards passing and the offense has scored fewer than 31 points only once, a 38-21 loss to fourth-seeded Long Beach Poly (9-1). This may be San Clemente's best team ever, which means this is the year to make some playoff noise. They have the quarterback in Utah-bound Travis Wilson (16 TDs, 6 int., 159 yards/game), running back in Mike Elespuru (12 TDs, 120 yards/game), and a first-rate offensive line led by one of the nation's top prospects, Kyle Murphy. The defense is allowing less than two touchdowns per game. Both teams have a common opponent in Long Beach Cabrillo; San Clemente won its opener, 35-6, and Lakewood won three weeks ago, 31-6. One of Lakewood's losses was a forfeit to Compton (3-7), a team that it beat 54-0.

Esperanza (7-3) vs. El Toro (9-1) at Trabuco Hills HS, Friday, 7 p.m.
Only three players in Orange County have rushed for more yardage than Troy Poole's 1,584 -- which he did in only nine games. That's what makes this the game of the night in the Southwest Division, the clash of styles. Esperanza's running game against El Toro's passing game led by Conner Manning (26 TDs, 4 int.), whose 271.1 yards per game is second to Northwood's Ricky Bautista (283.5). Jacob Funari has also rushed for 1,002 yards and 15 TDs. Esperanza has its own passing threat in Mike Tumlinson (21 TDs, 11 int., 191.1 yards/game), who is completing 66 percent of his passes during the regular season. Espy averages 36 points and El Toro 41; this has shootout written all over it.

Laguna Hills (7-2) vs. Cypress (8-2) at Western HS, Friday, 7 p.m.
Laguna Hills was undefeated before losing its last two games heading into the Southwest Division playoffs. The Hawks -- selected as an at-large team -- have something to prove. Wanting to do it, and doing it, are different things and Vincent "Bug" Rivera may have something to say about it. The running back for fourth-seeded Cypress is a difference maker; his 31 touchdowns are second only to Saddleback Valley Christian's John Curran (38), and Rivera is averaging 9.0 yards per carry. Believe it or not, both teams have only one victory over an opponent with a winning record.

Woodbridge (5-5) vs. Rancho Alamitos (9-1) at Bolsa Grande HS, Friday, 7 p.m.
For winning the Garden Grove League, Rancho Alamitos was rewarded with the third-place team from the Southern Division's best league, one that lost to second-seeded Corona del Mar, 31-30, three weeks ago. Derek Calderon (13 TDs) leads Woodbridge with 136.6 yards/game, while Brett Hurley (21 TDs) paces Rancho Alamitos at 131.9. This could go to the wire, which would be familiar territory for Woodbridge: two of its last three games have been decided by one point.

O.C.: The Top 10

November, 13, 2011
Cody Pittman's pass to Ainslie Johnson for a two-point conversion in overtime gave Servite a 43-42 victory over Santa Margarita in one of the season's great games. Despite the loss, Santa Margarita certainly justified its move up to No. 2 last week.

1. (1) Servite (9-1)
Friars got a two-point conversion in overtime to extend Trinity League winning streak to 19 games and polish off a seventh consecutive league title behind behind Cody Pittman, who rushed for 100 yards and passed for 239. Next: vs. Long Beach Wilson at Cerritos College, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

2. (2) Santa Margarita (8-2)
Johnny Stanton gave Servite all it could handle; he rushed for 133 yards and passed for 275 in a losing effort. Last: lost to Servite, 43-42, in overtime. Next: vs. Bishop Amat at Saddleback College, Friday, 7 p.m.

3. (3) Mission Viejo (8-2)
Diablos put the finishing touches on their third consecutive South Coast League title as six different players scored and the first-team defense didn't allow a score. Last: beat Trabuco Hills 42-7. Next: vs. Long Beach Cabrillo, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

4. (4) San Clemente (9-1)
Tritons, after losing the league title to Mission Viejo, had two weeks to get ready for Tesoro, then played like they made the most of their practice time. Last: beat Tesoro, 31-6. Next: vs. Lakewood, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

5. (5) Orange Lutheran (6-4)
Lancers have victories over La Habra and Mater Dei, but they couldn't keep pace with Bosco's explosive offense though trailing by a touchdown going into the fourth quarter. Last: lost to St. John Bosco, 48-28. Next: Season concluded.

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CIF-SS playoffs: Pac-5 Division

November, 13, 2011
CIF-SS playoffs:
Pac-5 Division
There was no mystery as to who the top-seeded team would be. Servite is the two-time defending champion, and the Friars only loss was at nationally ranked Las Vegas Bishop Gorman on a last-minute field goal, 31-28. This is a tough division, and the thinking is that at least seven teams have a legitimate shot of winning the title. There were no at-large berths, but there were six quality teams/programs that didn't make it: Crespi, Notre Dame, Los Alamitos, Trabuco Hills, Orange Lutheran and Mater Dei. That should give you an idea of what's in store.

The seeds: 1. Servite (9-1), 2. Mission Viejo (8-2), 3. Long Beach Poly (9-1), 4. Alemany (8-2).

Best first-round matchup: St. John Bosco (7-3) at Alemany (8-2) -- Bosco finished third in the Trinity League, but its losses were by eight points to both Servite and Santa Margarita. The Braves are loaded with skill players, including receiver Bryce Treggs and quarterback Rene Medina, and running backs DaVonte Young and Royce Moore. Alemany lost its two games by a combined two points; that's how close it was to being undefeated. Seven starters are back on defense from last year's semifinal team that lost to Servite, 28-21; the offense is paced by quarterback Devon Dunn and a group of terrific receivers led by junior Steven Mitchell. There could be a lot of points scored in this game. There will be a lot of points in this game.

Toughest road: Alemany (8-2) has it pretty tough among the seeded teams. Not only does it have to get past Bosco in the first round, it's likely looking at high-scoring San Clemente (9-1) in the second. That's a heck of a price to pay for winning the Serra League title. As long as San Clemente and quarterback Travis Wilson don't have to face Mission Viejo in the finals -- the Tritons have lost 11 in a row to Mission -- they could win the whole thing.

Potential shocker: Tesoro vs. Edison at Orange Coast College, first round -- Edison won the Sunset League title behind QB Chase Favreau, and though it was within a touchdown of Servite and lost to Mater Dei on the last play, it's no lock to advance to a rematch against the Friars. Tesoro gave the game game away to second-seeded Mission Viejo two weeks ago in a 14-7 loss, and though there are 16 underclassmen starting, if this is the week they mature as players, the third-place team from the South Coast League could find itself advancing instead of the Sunset League champion.

Darkhorse: Unseeded Santa Margarita (8-2) might legitimately be the second-best team in the division behind QB Johnny Stanton and RB Ryan Wolpin, but was hurt by an uninspired Trinity League loss to Mater Dei. The Eagles closed the season with another loss, 43-42, in overtime to Servite. If they can play with Servite -- and the only difference was a two-point conversion -- they can play with anyone. A second-round game against Long Beach Poly is finals-worthy.

Final analysis: After the first round, this division is brutal from top to bottom, and for some it's brutal from the outset. Heading into the final week of the season, nine of the 16 teams that were ranked in the Cal-Hi Sports Open Bowl Division top 25 ranking.

Championship prediction: Until someone in Southern California proves it can beat Servite, it's hard to pick against the Friars. They have won the last two Pac-5 titles, and behind quarterback Cody Pittman and linebacker Butch Pauu nearly went undefeated despite playing the state's strongest schedule. Make no mistake, Servite can be beaten -- but it takes a special performance to do so. The Trinity League finale was a pretty good indication of what it will take, and even that wasn't good enough. Chances are that Santa Margarita gets a second crack with an upset of Mission Viejo in the semifinals. Servite 34, Santa Margarita 28.

Link to the Pac-5 bracket on CalPreps.com

Edison 35, Newport Harbor 7

November, 10, 2011
Chase FavreauMartin Henderson/For ESPNLA.comEdison quarterback Chase Favreau rushed for two TDs and passed for two more in Thursday's victory.

NEWPORT BEACH -- Having won three of its four Sunset League games by six points or fewer, nothing had come easy this season for Edison. But with a chance to win a fifth league title in six years, Edison made the most of its opportunity Thursday against upset-minded Newport Harbor.

Behind the running of quarterback Chase Favreau, Edison scored a 35-7 victory over Newport Harbor, guaranteeing the Chargers a first-round home game when the Southern Section Pac-5 playoffs begin next week.

Edison (9-1, 5-0) finished ahead of Huntington Beach (8-2, 4-1) and Newport (5-5, 3-2). Huntington Beach beat Fountain Valley, 30-12.

Had Newport been able to win, it would have created a three-way tie for first place.

Favreau scored on runs of 28 and 17 yards in the first half, and also connected on TD passes of 34 to Curren Provost and 37 to Sedric Hill -- again, all in the first half -- as the Chargers opened a 28-7 lead and took all the mystery out of the league title game.

"Chase makes things happen," said Edison coach Dave White, who is two victories from reaching 200 in his career. "He can run, he has a cannon, he's a competitor. The whole team, we did a lot of good things tonight."

Favreau said it was an important win going into the playoffs.

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O.C.: Top games for Thursday

November, 10, 2011
Tesoro (6-3, 2-1) at San Clemente (8-1, 2-1), Thursday, 7 p.m.
Tesoro was more competitive last week against Mission Viejo in a 14-7 loss than San Clemente was the week before in a 29-21 setback, but that doesn't mean that anything. This is anyone's game. Both teams have outstanding rushing attacks with Mike Elespuru (126 yards/game, 12 TDs) leading San Clemente and Nate Tago (114 yards/game, 12 TDs) leading Tesoro. But the difference might be at quarterback, where Travis Wilson (14 TDs, 6 int.) has been more consistent than Tesoro's Matt Adam (6 TDs, 4 int.). San Clemente has had two weeks to prepare for this game, but Tesoro could be filled with confidence knowing it could legitimately have beaten Mission. The winner finishes in second place in the South Coast League and will probably get a home game in the first round of the playoffs; the loser will be in third place and play a first-place team on the road. Winning this game is important for Pac-5 championship hopes.

Edison (7-2, 4-0) at Newport Harbor (5-4, 3-1), Thursday, 7 p.m.
What a turnaround this could be for Newport Harbor if it were to pull the upset against the Chargers. Harbor lost its first two games for the first time in Coach Jeff Brinkley's 25 years, but its victory over Los Alamitos -- for the third time in four seasons -- has put it in a position to create a tie for first place in the Sunset League. Titus Hasson has gained 408 yards in the last two games, including 255 in the 35-21 victory over Los Alamitos; he is complemented by Cole Blower (13 TDs, 3 int.). If Newport can run the ball, the Sailors have a chance to be one of the more improbable league champions in the section. They will have their hands full as Edison has gotten healthier and presents a stronger rushing attack, and Chase Favreau (13 TDs, 5 int.) is as dangerous a quarterback as there is.

Garden Grove Rancho Alamitos (8-1, 4-0) vs. Fountain Valley Los Amigos (8-1, 4-0) at Garden Grove HS, Thursday, 7 p.m.
These teams used to rule the '90s, so the battle for the Garden Grove League title is like a step back in time. Rancho makes do with running back Brett Hurley (1,086 yards, 18 TDs) and quarterback Lincoln Faletoi (11 TDs, 5 int.), while Los Amigos counters with Jerry Saldivar (722 yards, 14 TDs) and Danny Hernandez (6 TDs, 5 int.). Both teams have two shutouts in league play, and both held Garden Grove to 14 points. This could go to the wire.

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O.C.: The Top 10

November, 6, 2011
Santa Margarita jumps Mission Viejo; the Eagles have been more impressive and consistent over the course of the season, and it sets up a 1-2 matchup this week for the Trinity League title. Despite Orange Lutheran's loss to JSerra, there isn't much movement with the Lancers because of wins over La Habra and Mater Dei, which has wins over Santa Margarita and Edison.

1. (1) Servite (8-1)
Friars got TD runs of 78 and 52 yards from Charlie Etiaki in his first game back from suffering a broken collarbone. Last: beat Mater Dei, 35-28. Next: vs. Santa Margarita at Cerritos College, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

2. (3) Santa Margarita (8-1)
A pair of fourth-quarter stops by the defense allowed the Eagles to hold on to their first victory by fewer than 11 points. Last: beat St. John Bosco, 28-20. Next: vs. Servite at Cerritos College, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

3. (2) Mission Viejo (7-2)
Diablos clinched a share of their third consecutive league title by grinding out a victory; Buzzy Yokoyama carried 32 times for 157 yards and two TDs. Last: beat Tesoro, 14-7. Next: at Trabuco Hills, Thursday, 7 p.m.

4. (5) San Clemente (8-1)
Tritons lost the battle for first place with Mission Viejo, and have had two weeks to prepare for the battle for second place. Last: idle. Next: vs. Tesoro, Thursday, 7 p.m.

5. (4) Orange Lutheran (6-3)
Lancers' offense accounted for only one touchdown, and defense gave up 17 points in the fourth quarter; still, better to lose last week instead of next. Last: lost to JSerra, 31-14. Next: at St. John Bosco, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

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O.C.: The Top 10

October, 30, 2011
Newport Harbor's 35-21 victory over Los Alamitos knocked the Griffins out of the top 10, which opens the door for a new team this week. Should it be Newport (4-4), Villa Park (8-0), Trabuco Hills (5-3), Huntington Beach (6-2) or Yorba Linda (8-0)?

1. (1) Servite (7-1)
Friars come from behind in the fourth quarter and use a physical run game anchored by Mana Pauu and Andrew Moore to turn back a stiff challenge. Last: beat St. John Bosco, 35-27. Next: vs. Mater Dei at Angel Stadium, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

2. (3) Mission Viejo (6-2)
Diablos looked better than they had all season -- in the first half, anyway -- as Buzzy Yokoyama returned to the lineup and stung Tritons for two first quarter TDs. Last: beat San Clemente, 29-21. Next: vs. Tesoro, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

3. (4) Santa Margarita (6-2)
Ryan Wolpin scored four touchdowns as the Eagles head into the toughest two weeks of the season. Last: beat JSerra, 42-14. Next: St. John Bosco at Saddleback College, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

4. (5) Orange Lutheran (6-2)
In a must-win situation to make playoffs, the Lancers responded with a decisive victory as Conner Sullivan threw three TD passes and four different players scored. Last: beat Mater Dei, 28-0. Next: vs. JSerra at Orange Coast College, Thursday, 7:30 p.m.

5. (2) San Clemente (8-1)
Tritons rallied in the second half to make a game of it after a disastrous first half with the probable South Coast League title on the line. Last: lost to Mission Viejo, 29-21. Next: idle.

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Edison's 20-14 victory over Huntington Beach on Thursday gave the Chargers full control of the Sunset League, virtually assuring them of the league title and the league's all-important No. 1 berth into the football playoffs.

That's important because first-place Edison will likely play a third-place team in the first round of the Southern Section Pac-5 playoffs. The playoffs begin in three weeks.

When the season began, the Sunset League had figured to be a two-team race between Edison (6-2, 3-0) and Los Alamitos (5-2, 1-1); Edison won that game, 10-7. Third place figured to be between Huntington Beach (6-2, 2-1) and Newport Harbor (3-4, 1-1); Huntington Beach won that game, 35-7. But when Edison played at Huntington Beach on Thursday, first place was on the line.

No more.

Elijah Herrera rushed for two touchdowns and Chase Favreau passed for 165 yards, including a 48-yard score to Connor Mase, to lead Edison as both teams scored all their points in the first half.

Bryce Campbell intercepted a pass by HB's Michael Chislock in the last 2 1/2 minutes to seal the deal for Edison, which hasn't lost on the field to the Oilers since 1993. Last week, Huntington Beach's win over Newport was the first since 1991, so the Oilers were in a streak-busting mode.

Los Alamitos plays at Newport Harbor on Friday night, and then next week Huntington Beach plays Los Alamitos, and Edison plays Fountain Valley in its big rivalry game. A victory by Huntington Beach would be epic, and after its performance Thursday, might not be so far-fetched. Not only will second place be on the line, but the third-place team will get matched with a first-place opponent in the first round of the playoffs -- and neither team will want that.

O.C.: The Top 10

October, 23, 2011
Nate Tago and Blake Rodgers pounded Trabuco Hills for four quarters as Tesoro scored three second-half touchdowns to beat the then-No. 10 Mustangs. That's enough to get the Titans back into the top 10. As for the Trinity League, it's a mess -- should Santa Margarita jump Mater Dei?

1. (1) Servite (6-1)
Friars turned in another complete performance as Mana Pauu rushed for 133 yards and Cody Pittman rushed for 77 and passed for 151. Last: beat JSerra, 42-14. Next: at St. John Bosco, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

2. (2) San Clemente (8-0)
After falling behind, 10-7, balanced attack with QB Travis Wilson and RB Mike Elespuru turn back the Tritons' natural rival. Last: beat Dana Hills, 35-10. Next: at Mission Viejo, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

3. (3) Mission Viejo (5-2)
Diablos, off last week, will have had two weeks to get ready for San Clemente, and may have some additions to the lineup after early injuries. Last: Idle. Next: vs. San Clemente, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

4. (6) Santa Margarita (5-2)
Eagles were the exact opposite of what they were a week earlier in loss to Mater Dei; Johnny Stanton, Ryan Wolpin and defense were outstanding in must-win game. Last: beat Orange Lutheran, 31-10. Next: vs. JSerra at Saddleback College, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

5. (4) Orange Lutheran (5-2)
Couldn't keep up in the second half as a pair of late fourth-quarter scores turned a close score into a runaway. Last: lost to Santa Margarita, 31-10. Next: vs. Mater Dei at Orange Coast College, 7:30 p.m.

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O.C.: The Top 10

October, 16, 2011
How high should San Clemente rise after beating Trabuco Hills? Well, the Tritons beat Mater Dei, which beat No. 2 Santa Margarita. Let's see how San Clemente handles being the best team that isn't Servite.

1. (1) Servite (5-1)
Friars turned in their best effort of the season, including a stellar performance on defense led by Butch Pauu. Next: vs. JSerra at Cerritos College, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

2. (5) San Clemente (7-0)
Tritons, after a couple of off weeks, blasted their way to victory in South Coast League opener behind RBs Mike Elespuru and Nick Pasquale. Last: beat Trabuco Hills, 43-14. Next: vs. Dana Hills, Friday, 7 p.m.

3. (3) Mission Viejo (5-2)
Despite 18 penalties, the Diablos rolled behind a strong performance from QB Alex Bridgford, who had three TD passes. Last: beat Dana Hills, 48-21. Next: idle.

4. (4) Orange Lutheran (5-1)
Salvaged the night with a last-second touchdown, but Lutheran's offense was no match for Servite's defense. Last: lost to Servite, 21-8. Next: vs. Santa Margarita at Saddleback College, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

5. (6) Mater Dei (3-3)
Monarchs have won three in a row, but who saw the upset coming against the No. 2 team? The defense and QB Ryan McMahon played as if they saw it coming. Last: beat Santa Margarita, 21-14. Next: at St. John Bosco, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

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O.C.: Games of the week

October, 13, 2011
No. 2 Santa Margarita (5-0) vs. Mater Dei (2-3) at Santa Ana Stadium, Thursday, 7:30 p.m.

Santa Margarita is led by dual-threat running back Johnny Stanton and running back Ryan Wolpin, and the Eagles will try to take care of business as they head toward a season-ending showdown with Servite. They will have to overcome on the road, though, where Mater Dei has won two in a row after close losses to Carson, Corona Centennial, San Clemente. Though the Monarchs have three losses, they are just a few plays from being undefeated, but they can't afford the kind of mistakes that they've made.

Los Alamitos (4-1) vs. Edison (3-2) at Huntington Beach HS, Thursday, 7 p.m.

This is likely for the Sunset League championship, and Los Alamitos will rely on playmakers Cody Paul and Dylan Legarde. Paul, a running back, can score from anywhere on the field. Edison has been one dimensional in recent weeks because of injuries to its running backs, but if the Chargers have one of their guys back, they should be competitive—and maybe even better.

No. 12 San Clemente (6-0) at Trabuco Hills (5-1), Friday (4-1), 7 p.m.

After staging one of its marquee victories in the program's history with an overtime victory over Mater Dei, San Clemente has continued to win despite turnovers and penalties in its last two games. In Trabuco Hills, the Tritons will be facing a team that is largely under the radar section-wide but has shown that it can be physical and, if running back Mitchell Simonsen (groin) plays, explosive. Still, the Trabuco defense will have to withstand a powerful offensive line, and QB Travis Wilson and RB Mike Elespuru, who have the Tritons averaging 37.1 points per game.

No. 8 Orange Lutheran (5-0) vs. No. 1 Servite (4-1) at Cerritos College, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

One of Lutheran's focus points this season has been its wanting to become more physical. The reason? This game. The Lancers have the talent, such as efficient QB Conner Sullivan and tailback Jabari Wilson, but if the team isn't able to be physical up front and match Servite's strength, it has no chance. The Friars, coming off only its second loss in 31 contests, have yet to put together a complete game; now would be a good time for Cody Pittman, Butch Pauu and Co. to fire on all cylinders.