Los Angeles Preps: St. Bonaventure

Marmonte League headed to Pac-5?

January, 26, 2012
1/26/12
4:31
PM PT
Potential good news for the football teams in the Foothill League and Golden League, but bad news for the lower-tier teams in the Marmonte League.

The Southern Section is considering moving the 10 teams in the Marmonte League to the Pac-5 Division, the top division in the CIF Southern Section, according to a report in the LA Times.

For Oaks Chrisitian, St. Bonaventure and Westlake, the move might be welcome. For teams like Thousand Oaks, Moorpark and Newbury Park, moving to the Pac-5 Division might make it nearly impossible to win a CIF championship.

Marmonte League teams have won the past three Northern Division championships. St. Bonaventure won back-to-back Northern Division titles in 2007 and 2008 when the Seraphs were in the Channel League.

With Marmonte League teams out of the Northern Division, the Foothill League, Golden League and Bay League would remain. The Pac-7 League would be added to the Northern Division, according to a proposal from the Southern Section office. The last Foothill League team to win a CIF championship was Canyon in 2006, the first year the Northern Division was established.

Canyon also won the CIF Southern Section Division II championship in 2005. Hart, another team from the Foothill League, won the Division II championship in 2003.

Part of the discussions involve moving the Sunset League teams out of the Pac-5 Division and into the Southwest Division.
St. Bonaventure running back Shaun Wick has committed to Wyoming, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Wick rushed for 1.015 yards and scored a team-high 14 touchdowns in 12 games in his senior season at St. Bonaventure. He also caught 14 passes for 115 yards.

Sam Hardy, a linebacker at Chaminade, is also headed to Wyoming, according to the Daily News. Hardy had 69 tackles and averaged 5.8 tackles per game for Chaminade in his senior season.

Some local Ducks in the Rose Bowl

January, 2, 2012
1/02/12
4:10
PM PT
Football players from Southern California are sprinkled all over the Oregon roster. Here is a look at some of the players from the L.A. North region playing against Wisconsin in today’s Rose Bowl:

Hroniss Grasu is a redshirt freshman from Crespi and the starting center for Oregon.

Darrion Weems, a Woodland Hills Taft alum, is a senior and the starting left tackle.

Troy Hill from St. Bonaventure, a redshirt freshman at Oregon, has been one of the starting cornerbacks for the past three games.

Anthony Giddon, who graduated from Oaks Christian, is a senior cornerback who has been splitting time with Hill.

Here are the reserves from the L.A. North region on Oregon’s roster:

Bryan Bennett, redshirt freshman quarterback, played high school at Crespi.

Ramsen Golpashin, offensive lineman who player at Saugus.

Miles Johnson, wide receiver who played at Woodland Hills Taft.

L.A. North: The final Top 10

December, 19, 2011
12/19/11
8:00
AM PT
Westlake and Sierra Canyon reached the CIF State Bowl Games. The Trailblazers from Chatsworth rallied to beat Le Grand in the Division IV bowl game and capped an undefeated season.

The Warriors from Westlake lost to perennial powerhouse Concord De La Salle in the Open Division bowl game.

Despite the loss, Westlake remains the No. 1 team in the L.A. North top 10 rankings.

Here’s a look at the top 10:
  1. (1) Westlake (14-1) – Concord De La Salle shut out Westlake, 35-0, in the Open Division bowl game. It was the only loss of the season for Westlake. The Warriors lose Colorado-bound defensive ends Justin Solis and Johnny Stuart and most of the offensive line to graduation, but the team will be in good hands. Quarterback Justin Moore and Dashon Hunt, who’s already committed to UCLA, are juniors.
  2. (2) Oaks Christian (11-3) – Oaks Christian reached the Southern Section Northern Division championship for the second year in a row. That’s 2-for-2 since moving up to the Northern Division last year. Oaks Christian’s only three losses came against Bellevue from Washington in the first week and twice to Westlake. Record-breaking quarterback Brandon Dawkins is only a sophomore.
  3. (3) St. Bonaventure (10-3) – What a crazy season for St. Bonaventure. The Seraphs opened the season with a two-point win over Corona Centennial. They lost to Oaks Christian in a game in which the lights went out in at the stadium in the fourth quarter. They lost to Oaks Christian again in the semifinals of the Northern Division playoffs. Because of injuries, St. Bonaventure was able to show off a little freshman gem in Marcus Chambers at the end of the season. The running back rushed for 84 yards and a touchdown in two playoff games.
  4. (4) Sierra Canyon (15-0) – The Trailblazers grew up fast. They won their first CIF state bowl game in their short football history. Sierra Canyon only started playing 11-man football three years ago. The seniors on this team remember when Sierra Canyon was an eight-man team. Coach Jon Ellinghouse said after his team won the Division IV bowl game that he wanted to make Sierra Canyon a yearly bowl contender. He’s on the right track.
  5. (5) Chaminade (10-3) – The Eagles stumbled at the end of the season after posting some impressive wins early in the year. They lost to Gardena Serra and consequently loss the Mission League championship. They had two tough road games in the Western Division playoffs and ultimately lost to eventual champion Arroyo Grande. The good news is running back Terrell Newby is only a junior. He, his 2,117 rushing yards and 34 touchdowns are expected back for his senior season.

(Read full post)

ESPNLA prep football final Top 25

December, 19, 2011
12/19/11
12:22
AM PT
LA PrepESPN.com Illustration

Santa Margarita moves into the top spot after winning the CIF State Division I bowl in thrilling fashion. Westlake's stay atop the rankings was short-lived as the Warriors were overwhelmed by a superior Northern California power. The final ESPN Los Angeles prep football Top 25 rankings:

1. Santa Margarita (13-2)
If we learned anything about junior quarterback Johnny Stanton it's that he thrives when the lights shine the brightest. Stanton's go-ahead score with 16 seconds remaining secured the CIF State Division I bowl championship, and it'll be remembered for a long time. Coach Harry Welch won his third bowl game with the third different school. Last week: Beat San Jose Bellarmine, 42-37.

2. Vista Murrieta (9-5)*
The Broncos were a perfect 14-0 on the field but weren't selected for a state bowl game. They could reach the spotlight next year with the dynamic Su'a Cravens returning for the Inland Division champs.

3. Westlake (14-1)
Not exactly how coach Jim Benkert envisioned the CIF State Open Division bowl game, but consolation lies in the fact that it wasn't the first time De La Salle embarrassed a team, and it won't be the last. The Warriors figure to be in the mix again next year, with top playmakers Dashon Hunt and Justin Moore returning. Last week: Lost to De La Salle, 35-0.

4. Narbonne (11-3)
The City Section Division I champions are favored to repeat in 2012, if only because they've got the section's leading passer in Troy Williams (3,247 yards and 34 touchdowns).

5. Corona Centennial (12-2)
Quarterback Hayden Gavett exceeded expectations in his first year as starter following Michael Eubank's graduation. Running back Romello Goodman finished seventh in rushing in the section.

6. San Clemente (12-2)
The Tritons reached the Pac-5 Division championship game but must replace Utah-bound quarterback Travis Wilson next season.

7. Mission Viejo (10-3)
Safety Max Redfield, one of the top defensive backs in the 2013 class, has already bagged an offer from USC. He'll draw plenty of interest next season.

8. Upland (12-1)
No matter what you call them -- the Highlanders or Scots -- Baseline League champion Upland has a good group returning, led by quarterback Nate Romine.

9. Oaks Christian (11-3)
The Lions could take the next step if quarterback Brandon Dawkins, only a sophomore, develops the way many expect him to.

10. St. Bonaventure (10-3)
The Seraphs finished in third place in the Marmonte League and will have to find replacements for leading offensive standouts Shaun Wick and Marc Evans.

(Read full post)

L.A. North: Five things from the weekend

December, 12, 2011
12/12/11
9:34
PM PT
  1. The Oak Park and St. Bonaventure girls basketball teams played a game for the ages in the Bishop Diego Tournament. Oak Park won the tournament beating St. Bonaventure, 98-90 in five overtimes, in the championship game. The game was the longest in Southern Section history. The two teams combined to score the third-most points in state history. Oak Park’s Leah Greenberg hit a 3-pointer to tie the score with 14 seconds left in regulation and send the game into overtime. Oak Park held St. Bonaventure scoreless in the fifth overtime period to eventually win the game. Greenberg hit five 3-pointers in the game and scored 19 points. She earned the tournament MVP award. Teammate Kelsey Haines scored 28 points and was selected to the all-tournament team. Sarah Buchnovitz scored 25 points, had 13 rebounds and five blocks against St. Bonaventure.
  2. The Crespi boys basketball team won the Canyon Classic Tournament, defeating host Canyon, 57-40, in the championship game. London Perrantes earned tournament MVP for Crespi. He scored 11 points in the game against Canyon. Perrantes is averaging 12.4 points and 6.2 assists per game in the first five games of the season. Crespi takes its undefeated record to the San Fernando Valley Invitational starting on Friday.
  3. The Sherman Oaks of Notre Dame boys basketball team won the Moorpark Tournament and handed Oaks Christian its first loss of the season. Kennedy Edwards scored 16 points and had 10 rebounds for Notre Dame in his team’s 62-58 win over Oaks Christian in the championship game. Edwards earned tournament MVP honors. Teammate Jonathan Bell scored 15 points and had seven rebounds for Notre Dame and was selected to the all-tournament team. Notre Dame is also headed to the San Fernando Valley Invitational.
  4. Buckley of Sherman Oaks won the University’s Jim Nakabara Tournament and has a six-game winning streak to open the season. Buckley beat host University, 41-38, in the championship game. Tyler Coppin-Carter, the tournament MVP, recorded four double-doubles in the tournament including 20 points and 10 rebounds in the championship game. He averaged 22 points and 11 rebounds in the tournament. Buckley will be challenged in its next game against Price on Tuesday night. Price reached the championship game of the CIF Southern Section Division 3AA playoffs and lost to La Canada last year.
  5. The Village Christian boys basketball team won the Viewpoint Tournament beating Viewpoint, 70-41, in the championship game. A pair of transfers are paying early dividends for Village Christian. Bryan Alberts scored 17 points and had seven assists against Viewpoint and earned tournament MVP. Marsalis Johnson, who was selected to the all-tournament team, scored 25 points and had nine rebounds for Village Christian. Village Christian has a six-game winning and plays Santa Clarita Christian tonight.

ESPNLA prep football Top 25

December, 12, 2011
12/12/11
12:10
AM PT
LA PrepESPN.com Illustration

Shiny trophies were handed out to sectional champions, led by state-bowl selections Westlake (Northern Division) and Santa Margarita (Pac-5 Division). Harbor City Narbonne claimed the City Section Division I title, moving up to the No. 4 spot in the ESPN Los Angeles prep football Top 25 rankings. Our list heading into the state bowl games:

1. Westlake (14-0)
The Warriors won their second Northern Division championship in three years behind Dashon Hunt's five touchdowns. Westlake is going bowling. Last week: Beat Oaks Christian, 49-42. Next: Open Division state championship game vs. Concord De La Salle at Home Depot Center, Saturday, 8 p.m.

2. Vista Murrieta (9-5)#*
Junior quarterback Nicholas Stephens scored the Inland Division championship-winning touchdown with 26 seconds remaining. They were undefeated on the field, but they didn't get the nod for the Division I state bowl. Last week: Beat Corona Centennial, 35-28.

3. Santa Margarita (12-2)
Coach Harry Welch won his ninth overall championship and first with the Eagles. Quarterback Johnny Stanton had 240 total yards. The Eagles are heading to state. Last week: Beat San Clemente, 27-13. Next: Division I state championship game vs. San Jose Bellarmine at Home Depot Center, Friday, 8 p.m.

4. Narbonne (11-3)*
Emotional leader Tray Boone usually talks the talk, but he backed it up Friday with six touchdown runs and 316 total yards to lead the Gauchos to the City Section Division I title. Last week: Beat Carson, 48-32.

5. Corona Centennial (12-2)*
Quarterback Hayden Gavett and running back Romello Goodman finally ran into the team that could keep up. Last week: Lost to Vista Murrieta, 35-28.

6. Oaks Christian (11-3)*
The Lions were closer to Westlake this time around, but it still wasn't enough in the Northern Division championship game. Last week: Lost to Westlake, 49-42.

7. San Clemente (12-2)*
The Tritons had to settle for a pair of first-half field goals, and it was the difference at Angel Stadium. The Tritons could have put the Eagles on their heels. Last week: Lost to Santa Margarita, 27-13.

8. Mission Viejo (10-3)*
The South Coast League champions have Max Redfield coming back next year. He's projected as one of the top safeties on the West Coast.

9. Upland (12-1)*
Quarterback Nate Romine returns next year for the Baseline League champs.

10. St. Bonaventure (10-3)*
The third-place Seraphs must replace departing seniors Shaun Wick and Marc Evans.

(Read full post)

L.A. North: The Top 10

December, 11, 2011
12/11/11
11:42
PM PT
Westlake and Sierra Canyon capped their undefeated seasons with CIF championship and spots in the CIF state bowl games.

Westlake beat Oaks Christian in the Northern Division championship and will play Concord De La Salle in the CIF open division bowl game.

Sierra Canyon beat Paraclete in the East Valley Division championship and will play La Grand in the Division IV state bowl game.

Here is a look at the L.A. North top 10:
  1. (1) Westlake (14-0) – The Warriors won their second CIF championship in the past three years, 49-42, over Oaks Christian. The two teams met in the Northern Division championship game for the second year in a row. Juniors Dashon Hunt and Justin Moore accounted for all seven of Westlake’s touchdowns.
  2. (2) Oaks Christian (11-3) – The Lions lost to Westlake in the Northern Division championship game. Two of Oaks Christian’s losses came against Westlake. Oaks Christian receiver Francis Owusu caught three touchdown passes against Westlake, all in the first half.
  3. (3) St. Bonaventure (10-3) – The Seraphs lost to Oaks Christian in the Northern Division semfinals.
  4. (5) Sierra Canyon (14-0) – The Trailblazers beat Paraclete, 47-14, in the East Valley Division championship to win their first CIF football title. Xavier Menifield scored five touchdowns, four rushing and one receiving, in the one-sided game. They will play La Grand, the Sac-Joaquin Division 5 champions, in the CIF state bowl Division IV state bowl game.
  5. (4) Chaminade (10-3) – The Eagles lost to Arroyo Grande in the Western Division semifinals.

(Read full post)

ESPNLA prep football Top 25

December, 4, 2011
12/04/11
11:40
PM PT
LA PrepESPN.com Illustration

Top-ranked Westlake rolled through Thousand Oaks to clinch its spot in the Northern Division championship game. Four new teams enter the ESPN Los Angeles prep football Top 25 rankings this week, led by Carson, which upset top-seeded San Pedro in the City Section Division I semifinals. The Colts return to the title game after losing to Crenshaw last year. Ocean League champion Santa Monica lost to league rival Culver City -- the surprise of the playoffs -- and fell out. Our rankings heading into the championship round:

1. Westlake (13-0)
Quarterback Justin Moore and tailback Dashon Hunt encountered no problems, leading the Warriors to their largest margin of victory since September. Last week: Beat Thousand Oaks, 62-0. Next: Northern Division championship vs. Oaks Christian, Friday.

2. Corona Centennial (12-1)
What the 5-foot-5 Romello Goodman lacks in size he makes up for in speed. The tailback rushed for 248 yards and a pair of touchdowns to send the Huskies to another title game. Last week: Beat Rancho Cucamonga, 41-21. Next: Inland Division championship vs. Vista Murrieta, Friday.

3. Vista Murrieta (8-5)#
All units contributed Friday, with the Broncos getting scores on offense, defense and special teams. The versatile Su'a Cravens, an offensive hero the previous week, had four sacks. Last week: Beat Upland, 39-19. Next: Inland Division championship vs. Corona Centennial, Friday.

4. Santa Margarita (11-2)
Some job second-year coach Harry Welch has done. Quarterback Johnny Stanton capped the game-winning 70-yard drive with a late one-yard touchdown run. Last week: Beat Mission Viejo, 21-20. Next: Pac-5 Division championship vs. San Clemente at Angel Stadium, Saturday.

5. Oaks Christian (11-2)
The Lions erased a 10-point deficit to punch their ticket to the final. Oaks Christian captured the Northern Division crown last year with a one-point win over Westlake. Last week: Beat St. Bonaventure, 27-24. Next: Northern Division championship vs. Westlake, Friday.

6. San Clemente (12-1)
Senior Christian Tober scored three touchdowns Friday -- each of at least 70 yards -- helping the Tritons reach their first final since 1979. Last week: Beat Tesoro, 51-16. Next: Pac-5 Division championship vs. Santa Margarita at Angel Stadium, Saturday.

7. Narbonne (10-3)
The Gauchos made easy work of a very good defense to secure a spot in the title game for the third time in four years. Quarterback Troy Williams is hungry. Last week: Beat Dorsey, 41-7. Next: City Section Division I championship vs. Carson at East L.A. College, Friday.

8. Mission Viejo (10-3)*
A tough way for the Diablos to go out. The defense had a go-ahead 85-yard touchdown on a recovered fumble but couldn't make a stop in the final minutes. Quarterback Alex Bridgford wasn't able to manufacture the game-winning drive. Last week: Lost to Santa Margarita, 21-20.

9. Upland (12-1)*
It took a while, but the previously unbeaten Highlanders finally met their match. They were within two points at the break but numerous mistakes turned costly in the second half. Receiver Kenny Lawler won't soon be forgotten, though. Last week: Lost to Vista Murrieta, 39-18.

10. St. Bonaventure (10-3)*
The Seraphs at one point led by 10 despite the absence of quarterback Marc Evans, who did not play because of a shoulder injury. They got the ball back in the waning seconds but time ran out on the final punt return. Last week: Lost to Oaks Christian, 27-24.

(Read full post)

L.A. North: The Top 10

December, 4, 2011
12/04/11
11:07
PM PT
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.

(Read full post)

No. 7 Oaks Chr. 27, No. 8 St. Bona. 24

December, 3, 2011
12/03/11
12:59
AM PT


VENTURA – Oaks Christian quarterback Brandon Dawkins said his team was flustered, a little surprised and came out cocky against St. Bonaventure in the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Northern Division playoffs on Friday night.

The Seraphs jumped out to a 10-point lead in the first half, but Oaks Christian scored two touchdowns in the first six minutes of the third quarter and eliminated St. Bonaventure from the playoffs, 27-24, at Ventura High School.

Dawkins passed for 195 yards and a touchdown. He rushed for 74 yards and scored two more on the ground. Dawkins peppered St. Bonaventure with an array of screens and quick-outs to chew up the clock and engineered two long drives that produced key touchdowns against a stingy St. Bonaventure defense.

Oaks Christian coach Bill Redell agreed with Dawkins that his team didn’t play well in the first half of the game.

“I don’t have an answer for it,” Redell said. “We have been playing well in the playoffs. We didn’t play like we should have.”

(Read full post)

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

December, 1, 2011
12/01/11
1:40
PM PT
No. 7 Oaks Christian (10-2) vs. No. 8 St. Bonaventure (10-2) at Ventura High School, Friday (7 p.m.) – Oaks Christian is on the road for its Northern Division semifinal game against St. Bonaventure and coach Bill Redell probably prefers it that way. The two teams met in the second week of Marmonte League play at Oaks Christian and the game was delayed nearly 30 minutes when the lights went out at the football stadium in the middle of a punt in the second half. Redell said if his team faced St. Bonaventure again in the playoffs, he would like to play the game during the day and anywhere but at Oaks Christian. Even though Oaks Christian won by 12 points, the game was much closer than that. St. Bonaventure cut Oaks Christian’s lead to three points, 27-24, in the fourth quarter before the lights went out. Oaks Christian scored the last nine points of the game on a safety and a 59-yard touchdown pass from Brandon Dawkins to Chris Davis. Oaks Christian had 400 yards of total offense to St. Bonaventure’s 401. Dawkins passed for 177 yards. St. Bonaventure quarterback Marc Evans had 156 yards passing. Oaks Christian gained 223 yards on the ground to St. Bonaventure’s 245. Oaks Christian running back Ishmael Adams had a big game with two rushing touchdowns and 77 yards on 11 carries.

No. 18 Chaminade (10-2) vs. No. 19 Arroyo Grande (11-1), Friday (7 p.m.) – Arroyo Grande eliminated Chaminade, 52-19, in the semifinals of the Western Division playoffs last year. Chaminade coach Ed Croson is not looking forward to a second long road trip in a row in the playoffs. His Eagles had to rally in the fourth quarter to beat San Luis Obispo in the quarterfinals. Arroyo Grande, on the other hand, is home for the third week in a row in the playoffs. Arroyo Grande is coming off a 49-28 win over St. Francis in the quarterfinals, but the game was much closer than the final score indicated. Arroyo Grande scored 25 points in the fourth quarter to turn a four-point deficit into a 21-point blowout. Two of the touchdowns Arroyo Grande scored were of the defensive variety. Garrett Owens intercepted a pass and returned it 32 yards for a touchdown. Seth Jacobs returned a fumble 55 yards for another touchdown. Chaminade running back Terrell Newby is closing in on 2,000 yards rushing for the season. He has 1,885 yards and 30 touchdowns and is coming off a 282-yard, three-touchdown performance against San Luis Obispo.

Canoga Park (8-4) vs. South East (11-1), Friday (7 p.m.) – Canoga Park, the fifth-seeded team in the City Section Division II playoffs, needed double overtime to eliminate Bell in the quarterfinals. Running back Khyree Morgan leads Canoga Park with 1,179 yards and 14 touchdowns, but was held to 39 yards in 16 carries against Bell. South East, the top-seeded team in the Division II playoffs, blew out Fremont, 42-19, in the quarterfinals. Running back Robert Lewis gained 157 yards and scored two touchdowns for South East against Fremont.

Granada Hills (7-5) vs. Marshall of Los Angeles (10-2), Friday (7 p.m.) – Granada Hills turned it on in the second half against Van Nuys in the quarterfinals of the City Section Division II playoffs. The Highlanders outscored Van Nuys 20-0 en route to a 44-22 win. Granada Hills had 290 rushing yards against Van Nuys. Brian Sanchez was the leading rusher with 181 yards and three touchdowns. Marshall was actually down 10-6 in the first quarter against Lincoln in its quarterfinal game before rattling off 43 unanswered points and winning 49-10. Marshall quarterback Anthony Benitez threw for 313 yards and five touchdowns, two to Jonathan Mina. He caught five passes for 113 yards.

Bishop Diego (11-1) vs. Sierra Canyon (12-0) at Granada Hills High School, Friday (7 p.m.) – Sierra Canyon eliminated Bishop Diego, 48-17, in the first round of the East Valley Division playoffs last year. They meet again in the East Valley Division semifinals. No. 1 seeded Sierra Canyon is coming off a 38-0 shutout over Ontario Christian. Bishop Diego has won 11 games in a row, including 21-14 over Twentynine Palms in the East Valley Division quarterfinals.

Paraclete (10-2) vs. Rim of the World (7-5), Friday (7 p.m.) – Fortune is smiling on Rim of the World in the East Valley Division playoffs. The Fighting Scots knocked third-seeded St. Margaret’s out of the playoffs, 23-13, in the quarterfinals. They are home for their semifinal game against Paraclete, the reigning East Valley Division champion. Rim of the World running back Jacob Taylor is coming off a monster game. He rushed for 264 yards on 47 carries and scored three touchdowns. The Spirits eliminated Aquinas, 42-7, in the quarterfinals last week. Paraclete running back Ryan Davis scored two touchdowns and rushed for 73 yards. James Holland returned the opening kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown and Joshua Adams returned a fumble for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

L.A. North: Five things from the weekend

November, 28, 2011
11/28/11
4:44
PM PT


1. After a shaky first-round playoff game against Redondo, St. Bonaventure left no doubt in the quarterfinals against Canyon. The Seraphs, the third-seeded team in the Southern Section Northern Division playoffs, eliminated Canyon from the playoffs for the second year in a row and will face Oaks Christian, the reigning Northern Division champion, in the semifinals. The last time St. Bonaventure and Oaks Christian met was in the second week of Marmonte League play. Oaks Christian won 36-24, but the game was not without controversy. The lights went out at the Oaks Christian football stadium during a punt in the second half. St. Bonaventure was rallying and was about to take over possession. The lights went out at the stadium while the punt was in the air and the ball was downed on the St. Bonaventure one-yard line. Not only did St. Bonaventure have terrible field position to start its next drive, the game was delayed for nearly 30 minutes to restore the lights. St. Bonaventure’s Montre Lee and Patrick Kenney, who each scored key touchdowns against Canyon, said a rematch with Oaks Christian has been a motivating factor for the team. But St. Bonaventure might not be at 100 percent. Running back Shaun Wick has been limited because of a calf injury in the two playoff games. He was the team’s leading rusher after the first 10 games but has only carried the ball four times in the last two games. He did not have a carry against Redondo and gained 57 yards, including a 45-yard touchdown, in four carries against Canyon. While Wick has been sidelined, freshman Marcus Chambers has emerged as an effective back in the playoffs. He rushed for 47 yards and scored a touchdown against Redondo. He had 41 yards in eight carries against Canyon. He’s also a player that Oaks Christian hasn’t seen, so St. Bonaventure might have a bit of a surprise factor in the rematch.

2. On the other side of the Northern Division playoff bracket is Westlake, the newly dubbed No. 1 team in the ESPN Los Angeles Top 25 rankings, against a depleted Thousand Oaks team. It’s an all-Marmonte League final four. Westlake is undefeated and has outscored its two playoff opponents, Eastside and Hart, 101-26. Thousand Oaks coach Mike Leibin said only 38 players dressed for last week’s playoff game against Moorpark. The Lancers have won three games in a row, but the two playoff games have been challenging. Thousand Oaks traveled to Quartz Hill in the first round and beat the Rebels, 20-7. Against Moorpark, the Lancers needed two fourth-quarter touchdowns to beat the Musketeers, 21-14. If Thousand Oaks is to have any chance of pulling an upset over Westlake, the team will need big games out of Blake Howell and Nathan DeBeikes. Howell caught four passes for 133 yards and two touchdowns against Moorpark. DeBeikes rushed for 106 yards, taking all 26 carries for Thousand Oaks, and scored a touuchdown. Westlake, on the other hand, has a multitude of offensive weapons. The Warriors scored 28 points in the second quarter against Hart en route to a 42-14 win. Running back Dashon Hunt scored three touchdowns against Hart. Receiver Connor Cook caught two touchdown passes. Jarius Bishop scored a touchdown and rushed for 30 yards.

(Read full post)

ESPN LA prep football Top 25

November, 27, 2011
11/27/11
11:25
PM PT
LA PrepESPN.com Illustration

Servite's stunning second-round loss opened the door for a new No. 1 in the ESPN Los Angeles prep football Top 25. The Friars, who spent the entire season at the top spot, were one of eight ranked teams to lose Friday. Our rankings heading into Week 3 of the playoffs:

1. Westlake (12-0)
The Marmonte League champions slide into the No. 1 spot following Servite's loss. The Warriors are more than worthy of the ranking, touting an average margin of victory of nearly 33 points. Last week: Beat Hart, 42-14. Next: semifinals vs. Thousand Oaks, Friday.

2. Corona Centennial (11-1)
Running back Romello Goodman was unstoppable Friday, setting a school record with eight rushing touchdowns and accumulating 335 yards in 24 carries (14-yard average). Last week: Beat Chaparral, 56-21. Next: semifinals at Rancho Cucamonga, Friday.

3. Mission Viejo (10-2)
The second-seeded Diablos are the only seeded team remaining in the Pac-5 Division playoffs. Tailback Buzzy Yokoyama, who had four rushing touchdowns Friday, has been key down the stretch. Last week: Beat Huntington Beach, 41-31. Next: semifinals vs. Santa Margarita, Friday.

4. Vista Murrieta (7-5)*
Is there any debate on who the area's top junior is? Right now that title belongs to the versatile Su'a Cravens, who added to his lore Friday with three touchdowns and 205 rushing yards in only 10 carries. Last week: Beat J.W. North, 58-14. Next: semifinals vs. Upland, Friday.

5. Upland (12-0)
Lost in the continued success of running back Donta Abron and receiver Kenny Lawler is quarterback Nate Romine's efficiency. The junior passed for 291 yards in only 15 attempts in Friday's blowout. Last week: Beat Charter Oak, 51-13. Next: semifinals at Vista Murrieta, Friday.

6. Santa Margarita (10-2)
Quarterback Johnny Stanton took to the ground to help his team advance Friday. The Eagles, the only remaining Trinity League team, can avenge last year's second-round loss to the Diablos. Last week: Beat Long Beach Poly, 49-16. Next: semifinals at Mission Viejo, Friday.

7. Oaks Christian (10-2)
After seven touchdown passes from quarterback Brandon Dawkins on Friday, it's safe to say the Lions offense has a star in the making behind center. Dawkins, only a sophomore, is playing beyond his years. Last week: Beat Highland, 55-21. Next: semifinals at St. Bonaventure, Friday.

8. St. Bonaventure (10-2)
The quick-striking Seraphs scored two touchdowns in a 10-second span Friday to earn a rematch with Marmonte League runner-up Oaks Christian. They lost to the Lions by 12 on Sept. 23. Last week: Beat Canyon Country Canyon, 38-17. Next: semifinals vs. Oaks Christian, Friday.

9. San Clemente (11-1)
Utah-bound quarterback Travis Wilson ran for three scores and had 125 yards passing on the road, and the Tritons get another look at a familiar South Coast League foe. S.C. beat Tesoro by 25 on Nov. 10. Last week: Beat St. John Bosco, 42-24. Next: semifinals at Tesoro, Friday.

10. Rancho Cucamonga (11-1)
A safety and a short touchdown on a sneak by quarterback Dimitri Morales was all the Cougars needed Friday because, for once, it was the defense making the big plays. Last week: Beat Redlands East Valley, 9-6. Next: vs. Corona Centennial, Friday.

(Read full post)

L.A. North: The Top 10

November, 27, 2011
11/27/11
10:42
PM PT
It’s that time of year when only the strong survive. Westlake has been the strongest of the strong and continued its undefeated season. The Sierra Canyon football team moved another step closer to its first CIF championship and also stayed undefeated.

Ventura picked the wrong time to lose its first game and was eliminated from the Western Division playoffs.

Highland, Moorpark and Canyon, all ranked in the L.A. North top 10 last week, lost and were eliminated from the Northern Division playoffs.

Here’s a look at how this week's L.A. North top 10 and how they fared:
  1. (1) Westlake (12-0) – The Westlake scoring machine keeps rolling, this time to the tune of 42-14 against an overmatched Hart team in the Northern Division quarterfinals. Receiver Connor Cook caught two touchdown passes from quarterback Justin Moore. The junior quarterback also rushed for 125 yards in five carries. Running back Dashon Hunt scored three touchdowns and gained 99 yards in nine carries.
  2. (2) Oaks Christian (10-2) – The Lions trounced Highland, 55-21, behind a record-breaking night from sophomore quarterback Brandon Dawkins. He threw a school record seven touchdowns against Highland. That’s a pretty impressive record considering Jimmy Clausen and Nick Montana were quarterbacks at Oaks Christian.
  3. (4) St. Bonaventure (9-3) – The Seraphs ended Canyon’s playoff run for the second year in a row, 38-17, at Ventura High School. St. Bonaventure won impressively, but there are two areas of concern. Quarterback Marc Evans threw three interceptions against Canyon and running back Shaun Wick had only four carries. Wick, the team’s leading rusher for the first 10 games of the season, is nursing a calf injury from the Marmonte League season finale against Westlake.
  4. (5) Chaminade (10-2) – If the Eagles want to win the Western Division championship, they’ll have to play like road warriors. Chaminade has its second tough road game in the playoffs against second-seeded Arroyo Grande on Friday night. Chaminade had to rally by scoring a touchdown in the final two minutes of the game to beat San Luis Obispo on the road in the quarterfinals. Running back Terrell Newby is putting on his best Mad Max impersonation, carrying the ball 28 times for 251 yards and three touchdowns against San Luis Obispo.

(Read full post)

SPONSORED HEADLINES