Los Angeles Preps: San Luis Obispo

L.A. North: Pick six games of the week

November, 23, 2011
No. 2 Westlake (11-0) vs. Hart (8-3) at College of the Canyons, Friday (7 p.m.)
Hart is back in the quarterfinals of the playoffs, but the Indians are about to get a taste of what it will take to start winning CIF championships again. Westlake hasn’t really been tested since Week 1, an overtime win over Del Oro in Loomis in Northern California. This game could be over by halftime and a feast of sacks for Justin Solis and Johnny Stuart. Westlake will be able to rest up its starters before the Northern Division semifinals.

No. 9 Oaks Christian (9-2) vs. Highland (9-1), Friday (7:30 p.m.)
Oaks Christian has rattled some of the top quarterbacks in the Marmonte League, but Highland has a special one in Christian Tago. The senior has thrown for 2,323 yards and 25 touchdowns. He is headed to San Jose State next fall. Oaks Christian has a good quarterback in sophomore Brandon Dawkins, who has thrown for 1,927 yards and 21 touchdowns in addition to rushing for 176 yards and three touchdowns. There should be lots of scoring in this one.

Canyon (9-2) vs. No. 11 St. Bonaventure (9-2) at Ventura High School, Friday (7 p.m.)
This is a rematch of last year’s Northern Division quarterfinals. St. Bonaventure won, 45-21, before losing in the semifinals. Canyon is coming off a 21-0 shutout over Palmdale in the first round. Junior receiver Drew Wolitarsky had a nice game with four catches for 117 yards and two touchdowns. St. Bonaventure escaped a first-round scare, 19-10, over Redondo. It took nearly a half before the Seraphs woke up and erased a 10-0 deficit. Running back Zack Green rushed for 137 yards and Marcus Chambers gained 47 yards in 10 carries, scoring the first touchdown for St. Bonaventure in the second quarter. Shaun Wick, St. Bonaventure’s leading rusher with 885 yards and 11 touchdowns, did not play against Redondo.

Birmingham (9-2) vs. No. 16 Dorsey (10-1), Friday (7 p.m.)
Birmingham needed a fourth-quarter touchdown to beat Arleta, 21-18, in the first round of the City Section Division I playoffs. Quarterback Trae Smith passed for 115 yards and two touchdowns and scored the winning touchdown on a three-yard run with a little over a minute to play. Dorsey is the third-seeded team in the City Section playoffs and clobbered Fairfax, 35-13, in the first round.

No. 22 Chaminade (9-2) vs. San Luis Obispo (8-3), Friday (7:30 p.m.)
Chaminade receiver Elijah Dunston caught two passes for 74 yards and scored two touchdowns in his team’s 45-15 win over Inglewood in the first round of the Western Division playoffs. He wasn’t the only Chaminade player who made the most of his touches. Running back Terrell Newby scored three touchdowns in 12 carries and gained 70 yards. San Luis Obispo won a shootout, 54-28, against Camarillo in the first round of the playoffs. The Tigers exploded for 28 points in the third quarter and extended a 13-point halftime lead to 41 points in the fourth quarter.

St. Francis (9-2) vs. Arroyo Grande (10-1), Friday (7:30 p.m.)
Arroyo Grande is the team no one wants to face in the Western Division playoffs. The Eagles made it to the championship game and lost to Serra last season. Arroyo Grande has won 10 games in a row and hasn’t lost since opening night against Lompoc. The Eagles won convincingly, 41-6, over Dos Pueblos in the first round of the playoffs. St. Francis is a tough team too. The Golden Knights have won three games in a row, including, 45-28, over Paramount in the first round of the playoffs. Quarterback Jared Lebowitz threw for 156 yards and three touchdowns. Running back Luke Anderson rushed for 44 yards in nine carries and scored three touchdowns.

Padilla returns after brain surgery

October, 11, 2011
Adrian Padilla spent nearly three weeks in a hospital in San Luis Obispo recovering from a concussion he suffered in a football game on the road in the second week of the season.

He needed surgery to reduce the swelling in his brain and spent 19 days in a strange hospital, 150 miles away from his home in Oxnard. He needs at least one more operation to complete the brain surgery that was started more than a month ago.

“Those 19 days were the longest days of my life,” Padilla said. “When I was finally released, the first thing I went was to the high school to be with my family. I couldn’t see all of them, but the next day I went back to practice and I was with everyone. I just felt normal being back.”

Mark Beckham, the Oxnard football coach, designated Padilla as an honorary team captain for Friday night’s game against Ventura. He walked out to midfield with three of his teammates for the opening coin flip. He needs to wear a helmet to protect his head, which is still healing after the weeks of operations on his skull and brain.

Instead of the traditional handshakes that are exchanged between the opposing players after the coin flip, the Ventura players hugged Padilla. It was clear Padilla’s return was not only an inspiration to his teammates, but to all the football players and coaches at the game.

Padilla is lucky to be alive. He will probably never play football again, certainly not with the Oxnard football team. He is a senior, and was learning a new position at outside linebacker.

In the game against San Luis Obispo, his coaches sent him on a blitz and hit his head on the play and walked to the sidelines. He told his coaches he was hurt and took himself out of the game, and a coach told him to sit down on the bench. Padilla collapsed on the sideline.

He says the next thing he remembers is waking up in a hospital four days later.

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