Los Angeles Preps: Jerry Neuheisel

LA North: Game of the week: Mission Viejo vs. Loyola

September, 9, 2010
Loyola and Mission Viejo meet on Friday night in a match-up of ESPN Los Angeles.com Top 25 teams at L.A. Valley College at 7 p.m. Mission Viejo comes in ranked No. 3 while Loyola is No. 15.

Both teams won their season openers. Mission Viejo rolled over Bothell of Washington, 49-13. Loyola had a tougher time against Mira Costa, 10-7.

This will be the third meeting in the past three seasons between the two teams. Mission Viejo has won the previous two. The Diablos were 26-7 winners in 2009. In the first round of the CIF Southern Section Pac-5 Division playoffs in 2008, Mission Viejo beat Loyola, 37-6.

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LA South: Loyola 10, Mira Costa 7

September, 4, 2010
MANHATTAN BEACH -- Loyola's defensive front had to come up with one more stop.

The Cubs' defense had been impressive all night Friday, locking the Mira Costa Mustangs in a corral of sorts. Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.

But with less than two minutes left and Mira Costa down just five, Loyola needed to throw away the key. Bury it. Swallow it. Anything.

Lineman Jack Semcken came up with what first-year coach Mike Christensen was looking for, dropping tailback J.R. Tavai for a huge loss and forcing a fourth-and-long. Mira Costa quarterback Dalton Crawford's next pass fell incomplete and Loyola's defense had done it.

"It shows that we're a real team," Loyola quarterback Jerry Neuheisel said. "When one of us goes down, the other one can step up. The D stepped up for us. They made a lot of plays for us, especially in crucial situations."

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LA South: Three to see this weekend

September, 2, 2010
There are plenty of intriguing matchups involving Los Angeles South teams on opening week, including the defending Open Division runner-up traveling across the country. We've narrowed it down to three games to keep an eye on.

Bakersfield vs. Long Beach Poly, at Veterans Stadium, Thursday, 7 p.m. -- Experience reigns supreme in this one, which should make for some fundamental football. The Jackrabbits (6-6 in 2009) return nine starters on each side of the ball, knowing anything short of a deep postseason run will be deemed a disappointment. Bakersfield brings 13 total returnees from a team that finished 9-3 last fall.

Crenshaw at North Gwinnett (Suwanee, Ga.), Friday, 5 p.m. PT (ESPNU) -- Tune in for the first half of this one before heading out to your local high school game. The Cougars fell in the state title game last season. North Gwinnett is already 2-0.

Loyola at Mira Costa, Friday, 7 p.m. -- The Michael Christensen Era kicks off against a Mira Costa squad that has potential to surprise. Offensive weapons Jared Baker and Jerry Neuheisel, son of UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel, are back for the Cubs.