Los Angeles Preps: Michael Chislock

O.C.: Games of the week

November, 18, 2011
11/18/11
8:00
AM PT
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.
1. The goals that Jim Hartigan instituted at JSerra for the program to take steps forward kept getting bigger and bigger. Win a game. Win all the nonleague games. Win a Trinity League game. And though the Lions -- outclassed in the league largely because of depth -- had scored a Trinity victory a couple of years ago against Santa Margarita, it paled compared to the victory this past weekend over Orange Lutheran. When JSerra beat Santa Margarita, 14-12, in the 2009 season, it beat a team that was struggling and finished 3-7 overall and failed to win a league game for the first time in its history. When it beat Lutheran by scoring 17 points in the fourth quarter for a 31-14 victory, it beat a team that was clearly acknowledged as one of the best in Orange County and was ranked in the ESPNLA Top 25. Quarterback Jake Hall and receiver Jonavaughn Williams are playmakers of the first order. Going into the final week of the season, JSerra (4-5, 1-3) is still alive for a playoff berth: If JSerra beats Mater Dei (3-6, 1-3) and Orange Lutheran (6-3, 1-3) beats St. John Bosco (6-3, 2-2), a coin flip would determine the third-place playoff entry from the league.

2. If there was a bigger win in Orange County than JSerra's over Orange Lutheran, it would probably have to be Huntington Beach's 58-28 Sunset League victory over Los Alamitos, a game in which the Oilers eliminated Los Al from playoff contention. Michael Chislock passed for three touchdowns and ran for two more as Huntington Beach (7-2, 3-1) showed that it might be a dangerous opponent in the postseason; comparably, Santa Margarita defeated Los Al, 38-27. Like JSerra's Trinity League upset, it was a second-half barrage that decided it; Los Al had scored the first 14 points, and trailed 24-16 just a minute into the third quarter before Huntington Beach scored six touchdowns (including an interception return by Zach Hadlock and fumble recovery by Ramon Vargas) and a field goal; the only TD allowed by the Oilers defense over the final 23 minutes was a 57-yard run by Cody Paul. It has to be a bitter disappointment for Los Alamitos, which hasn't won a playoff game since reaching the Southern Section finals in 2004. Los Al (5-4, 1-3) has lost four of its last five games and, on the season, is 1-4 against opponents with a winning record. At the earliest, it will be next season before coach John Barnes (293-89) collects his 300th victory.

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1. A week after a stunning fourth quarter comeback -- down 28-0 -- Aliso Niguel might have had El Toro right where it wanted. Well, not really. The Wolverines were no match for El Toro, which scored 27 points in less than six minutes in the second quarter en route to a 47-0 Sea View League victory. Jacob Furnari and Conner Manning led the way for El Toro (7-1, 2-0). Furnari had 20 carries for 286 yards -- more than half of the 534 he had gained though the first six games -- and three touchdowns; Manning completed 12 of 20 passes for 209 yards and four touchdowns. Aliso (5-2, 1-1), which was ranked No. 10 in the Southwest Division going into the game, isn't ranked now. El Toro is ranked No. 5, but another Sea View team, Laguna Hills (6-0, 1-0), is No. 4. Don't let the rankings throw you; El Toro is the team to beat. They play in the season finale on Nov. 11.

2. Anything can happen, but it's unlikely, and that means that Huntington Beach should have secured a place in the Pac-5 playoffs with a 35-7 Sunset League victory over Newport Harbor. It's the program's first victory over the Sailors since 1991 -- back when Tony Gonzalez was at the school -- as Michael Chislock ran for two touchdowns and passed for two more; he threw for 356 yards. The Oilers' next two games are against teams expected to finish ahead of them in the standings, Edison and Los Alamitos, before finishing with Fountain Valley.

3. For the same reason, Tesoro's victory over Trabuco Hills (5-3, 0-2) was huge. The Titans (5-2, 1-0) should have punched their ticket into the playoffs with a decisive 26-14 South Coast League victory. They should secure at least third place in the five-team league, contending with No. 9 San Clemente (8-0, 2-0) and No. 8 Mission Viejo (5-2, 1-0). Maybe the biggest statistic of the night was Tesoro holding Trabuco Hills running back Mitchell Simonsen to 14 yards on eight carries; he had been averaging more than 140 yards per game. Also big was the commitment to the ground game by Tesoro; Nate Tago carried 20 times for 134 yards and a score, and Blake Rodgers carried 11 times for 100 with two touchdowns. Matt Adam attempted only 10 passes (three of 10, 27 yards. The constant pounding paid dividends; Tesoro led at halftime, 6-0.

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