Los Angeles Preps: Steven Mitchell

Inland Empire flavor to first ESPN 150

April, 17, 2012
Seven players from Inland Empire schools made the initial ESPN 150 football recruiting rankings, led by the Southland's most coveted prospect Su'a Cravens of Vista Murrieta.

Cravens, a safety, is ranked 15th overall nationally, but first in the state and first at his position. Rancho Cucamonga defensive backs Chris Hawkins (69th overall) and Tahaan Goodman (128th), Moreno Valley Rancho Verde receiver Demorea Stringfellow (74), Redlands East Valley defensive end Kylie Fitts (90), Upland defensive end Joe Mathis (120) and J.W. North tight end Marcus Baugh (127) are the other Inland Empire representatives.

Mission Viejo safety Max Redfield, ranked 31st overall, is the only Orange County player listed.

Alemany receiver Steven Mitchell (136) and Westlake defensive back Dashon Hunt (140) are considered to be the top recruits in the L.A. North region, while Santa Monica receiver Sebastian Larue checks in at 149th overall and is the only rep from the L.A. South.

Hawkins and Fitts have already committed to USC, Hunt is committed to UCLA and Baugh recently pledged for Ohio State.

Click here for the complete ESPN 150 rankings:

Locals shine at Nike SPARQ combine

April, 3, 2012

LONG BEACH -- For under-the-radar players like Alex Kline, Saturday's Nike SPARQ Combine was about opportunity. The rising senior tailback out of Cerritos Gahr had nothing else on his mind.

"It can put you on the map," Kline said. "It can get you the looks you never thought you were going to get."

Kline made the most of it, posting impressive numbers in the annual event held at Veterans Stadium. He ranked fifth among 1,290 attendees with a 41-foot power ball toss, 24th with a 33.6-inch vertical jump and eighth with an overall rating of 100.41 -- a number that takes into account an athlete's speed, power, agility, reactions and quickness.

Kline, who has been contacted by San Diego State, Tennessee and Missouri, was the overall leader for much of the five-hour combine.

One of the bigger names to participate was Sherman Oaks Notre Dame running back Khalfani Muhammad, a local standout who has offers from UCLA, Oregon State and Washington. He finished 12th with a rating of 98.64.

"My name has gotten a little bit bigger than it used to be," Muhammad said. "Right now I do not have any favorite [schools]. I want to get a feel for what fits me best."

Alemany receiver Steven Mitchell, competing in his first SPARQ combine, finished 19th with a 94.62. Jordan Robinson, a running back at Chino Hills Ayala, was tops among all Southland athletes with a rating of 102.30.

"I feel like I did very well," said Mitchell, who already has 10 scholarship offers. "My group was a very competitive group, so that drove me to do even better."

L.A. North: The final Top 10

December, 19, 2011
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)

Pac-5: St. John Bosco 33, Alemany 28

November, 18, 2011

MISSION HILLS -- Each and every time Bellflower St. John Bosco needed a big play in Friday night's Southern Section playoff game, Bryce Treggs delivered.

The senior receiver finished with 130 yards on seven receptions, two catches coming in the fourth quarter on the game-winning drive, as the visiting Braves came from behind multiple times en route to a 33-28 victory over Alemany in a Pac-5 Division opener.

“He was the best player on the field, I saw that, you saw that, everyone saw that,'' St. John Bosco coach Jason Negro said. “Teams game plan for him all of the time and that's a testament to how good of an athlete he is. He was lights out for us tonight.''

For all intents and purposes, the Braves (9-2) entered the game as a bit of an underdog despite having been No. 17 in the most recent ESPNLosAngeles.com rankings.

The Warriors (8-3) were No. 12 in the same poll.

Treggs had pair of clutch receptions in the waning moments of the game. His 25-yard catch and 11-yarder set up DaVonte Young's 3-yard touchdown run with less than a minute remaining in the game. Alemay had no answer for Treggs.

“It was go time, and when it's go time, that's my time to shine,'' said Treggs, who has committed to Cal. “My teammates carried me the whole game. I felt like I owed it to all of them to come up with a couple of big plays. I got warmed up and it was on.''

Steven Mitchell did his best to keep Alemany close.

He blocked a 46-yard field goal attempt by Reid Budrovich in the third quarter and Alemany took over near midfield. Devon Dunn completed a 20-yard pass to Jeff Farrar and scored on a 1-yard run to give the Warriors a 28-27 lead with 10:57 left in the game.

Dunn finished 14-of-23 for 275 yards for the Warriors. His three interceptions, however, and one lost fumble proved to be costly in the end result.

“Quarterback has to be the toughest position in this sport,'' Dunn said. “There was a lot of pressure on me. I am going to have to deal with it now.''

Treggs was relatively quiet in the first half. Things changed over the course of the final 24 minutes of play. Drastically, mind you. He had a 20-yard touchdown reception to give St. John Bosco a 27-21 advantage with 7:20 remaining in the third quarter.

Treggs did not come down with his first catch until the 8:08 mark of the second quarter. Receptions came in bunches the rest of the way. His 28-yard grab set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Royce Moore to give the Braves a 21-20 lead at the halftime break.

"I dont' worry about getting mine, I'm not a selfish player,'' Treggs said.

When it appeared as if St. John Bosco had the momentum, the Warriors answered. Dunn hit Farrar on a 55-yard touchdown pass. Mitchell followed with 35-yard interception return to give Alemany a 21-13 lead with 5:07 left in the second quarter.

Trailing for the first time in the game, the Braves responded midway through the first half of play. Rene Medina connected with Nick Lehman on a 19-yard touchdown pass and St. John Bosco regained the advantage, 13-7, with 7:00 left in the second quarter.

Medina completed 14-of-24 passes for 256 yards.

Late in the first quarter, Mitchell atoned for an earlier mistake. He took a handoff from Dunn and then darted to the left. Alertly, Mitchell cut the run back to the right side and scored on a 4-yard jaunt. As a result, Alemany led 7-6 with 1:48 remaining on the clock.

Following a poor punt in the opening minutes, St. John Bosco took over with good field position. Minutes later, Moore was able to break through the middle of the line and score on a 15-yard run to give the Braves a 6-0 lead with 7:44 left in the first quarter.

Sean Ceglinsky covers preps for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.

Two-point play: Alemany and Canyon

November, 17, 2011
Pac-5 Division playoffs
No. 17 St. John Bosco (7-3) vs. No. 12 Alemany (8-2), Friday (7 p.m.)

It’s not a matter of if, but when the Alemany football team will win a Pac-5 Division championship.

Coach Dean Herrington and his brother Rick, the brain trust that helped orchestrate the CIF championship teams from Hart in the 1990s, have taken their act over the hill, from Newhall to Mission Hills, and have built another football powerhouse.

Alemany capped its second Serra League championship and has yet to lose a league game since joining last year. The Warriors are 8-0 in their two seasons in the Serra League. They advanced to the semifinals of the Pac-5 Division playoffs last year.

Alemany, the No. 4 seed, opens the Southern Section Pac-5 Division playoffs on Friday night against St. John Bosco.

It looks as if Alemany is destined for another semifinal appearance. The Herringtons would like to take another step closer to their first Pac-5 Division championship. They might only be a year away.

Two of Alemany’s top players are juniors. Quarterback Devon Dunn and receiver Steven Mitchell will be back next year with plenty of experience and drive to make a championship run.

Not that Dunn and the good hands clan at Alemany don’t have the talent to make a deep run in the playoffs this year, but the teams at the top of the division are some of the best in the country, let alone California.

Servite, the top-seeded team in the Pac-5 Division playoffs, is ranked No. 24 in the nation by ESPN Rise. Long Beach Poly, the No. 2 seed, is 17th in the West Region poll by ESPN Rise. Mission Viejo, the third-seeded team, is the No. 13 team in the West Region by ESPN Rise.

Alemany lost two games this season by a total of two points. Fortunately for the Herringtons, this team learns quickly. Alemany changed its fortune and won a couple of tight games in Serra League play, including 21-14 over Sherman Oaks Notre Dame in the league finale.

These Warriors are close to the top. It won’t take long for them reach the summit and don’t be surprised if they are in the championship game this year. The Herringtons surely won’t be surprised.

(Read full post)

L.A. North: The Top 10

November, 13, 2011
Two of the undefeated teams in the L.A. North Top 10 earned No. 1 seeds in the CIF-Southern Section playoffs. Westlake, as expected, is the top seed in the Northern Division playoffs. Sierra Canyon is No. 1 in the East Valley Division playoffs.

Ventura, the other undefeated team in the L.A. North top 10, is the No. 4 seed in the Western Division playoffs.

It was a rough end to the regular season for a few teams in the top 10. Crespi lost to Loyola in the Serra League season finale, then lost coin flips to determine the third and final team from the Serra League to advance to the Pac-5 Division playoffs.

Chaminade lost to Gardena Serra in the Mission League season finale and dropped from the No. 1 to the No. 3 seed in the Western Division playoffs.

Simi Valley cracked the top 10 for the first time this season and proceeded to lose to Moorpark in the Marmonte League finale and ultimately was eliminated from playoff contention in the Northern Division on coin flips.

Here is a look at the L.A. North top 10:
  1. (1) Westlake (10-0) – Coach Jim Benkert will never admit it, but his team comfortably beat St. Bonaventure, 35-14, in the Marmonte League championship game. Quarterback Justin Moore picked apart the St. Bonaventure defense throwing for 163 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 69 yards and scored the last touchdown of the game on a quarterback sneak.
  2. (2) Alemany (8-2) – Receiver Steven Mitchell had a huge game, catching nine passes for 174 yards and two touchdowns, in Alemany’s 21-14 win over Sherman Oaks Notre Dame in the Serra League finale. Maybe a little too close for comfort for coach Dean Herrington, but Alemany earned the No. 4 seed in the Pac-5 Division playoffs with the Serra League championship and an undefeated record in league play.
  3. (5) Oaks Christian (8-2) – With a 42-7 win over Newbury Park and a St. Bonaventure loss to Westlake in the Marmonte League finales, Oaks Christian earned the No. 2 seed in the Northern Division playoffs. The reigning Northern Division champs went up 42-0 at halftime behind four touchdown passes from sophomore quarterback Brandon Dawkins.
  4. (6) Ventura (10-0) – The Cougars didn’t play last week, polishing off the Channel League championship with a 41-0 shutout over San Marcos two weeks ago. The Cougars have had two weeks to prepare for the start of the Western Division playoffs. They will look to extend a perfect season and make a run at a CIF championship.
  5. (3) St. Bonaventure (7-3) – The 1-2 punch of Shaun Wick and Zack Green wasn’t as effective as anticipated against Westlake. Green rushed for 143 yards and two touchdowns, but Wick was a little nicked up and only gained 22 yards on 10 carries. If St. Bonaventure faces Westlake again with a healthier Wick, it might be a different outcome.

(Read full post)

No. 12 Alemany 21, Notre Dame 14

November, 11, 2011
SHERMAN OAKS -- There were plenty of doubters two years ago when Alemany left the Mission League to go into the Serra League to join a foursome of schools -- Bishop Amat, Crespi, Loyola and Sherman Oaks Notre Dame -- that are all among the best in Southern California over the last 20 seasons.

Fast forward to Friday night at Notre Dame where Alemany completed its second straight 4-0 season against those four schools with a 21-14 victory over the host Knights.

“Everyone told me that after we finished in last-place for a few years that we’d be sorry we left the Mission League,” said Alemany coach Dean Herrington. “We weren’t as dominant this year as last year and were very fortunate to come out on top in all of them. All of them could have gone the other way and we were behind in three of the four games this season.”

The Warriors, who snagged the No. 1 playoff berth from the Serra League for the CIF-Southern Section Pac-5 Division playoffs, did not trail against Notre Dame. They did have to break a 14-14 tie in the fourth quarter, however, and took the lead on a 1-yard sneak by junior quarterback Devon Dunn with 4:57 left.

The Knights, who tied the score earlier in the fourth quarter when junior quarterback Kelly Hilinski found a wide open Kevin Carrasco for a 68-yard touchdown, tried to answer. They reached the Alemany 17-yard line with 1:04 left on a fourth-down 19-yard completion from Hilinski to J.J. Muno. A sack by Alemany sophomore Deyon Glass pushed Notre Dame back eight yards and then two incompletions forced another fourth down. On that play, Hilinski was sacked again, this time by Glass and Pablo Torres.

With the loss, Notre Dame fell into a three-way tie for third-place in the final Serra League standings with Crespi and Bishop Amat. Since the league gets only two playoff berths into the Pac-5 Division, that forced a coin flip to decide it. Notre Dame lost the flip, which meant that Bishop Amat will go as the third team due to having a 28-14 head-to-head victory over Crespi.

(Read full post)

No. 12 Alemany 28, No. 13 Loyola 14

November, 5, 2011

MISSION HILLS – Alemany coach Dean Herrington had two words of advice for his junior quarterback Devon Dunn in the middle of his game-winning drive in the fourth quarter against Serra League rival Loyola.

Be careful.

Easier said than done on a muddy and sloppy field that was pelted by showers all afternoon.

But Dunn took his coach’s words to heart and found receiver Corey Sims with 46 seconds left to score the go-ahead touchdown. Alemany scored two touchdowns in the final minute of the game to beat Loyola, 28-14, on Friday night at Alemany High School.

The four-yard touchdown catch by Sims -- one of Herrington’s favorite two-point conversion plays that produced an all-important six points -- gave Alemany a 21-14 lead. Defensive back Steven Mitchell intercepted a pass and returned it 55 yards to ice the game and hand Loyola its first Serra League loss of the season.

Alemany (7-2), the No. 12 team in the ESPNLA.com Top 25 rankings, clinched at least a share of the Serra League championship with a perfect 3-0 record and one game left to play. Loyola (7-2), ranked No. 13 by ESPNLA, is alone in second place in the Serra League with a 2-1 record.

Down by seven points at halftime and five minutes into the fourth quarter, Loyola tied the scored, 14-14, on an 18-yard touchdown catch by Kodi Whitfield.

Alemany got the ball back with 6:35 left to play and drove 67 yards to take a seven-point lead. Dunn completed three passes for 36 yards in the drive, including the four-yard touchdown to Sims.

Alemany only needed a field goal to win the game, but Herrington was not comfortable attempting a kick on the sloppy field.

“With the mud and stuff, it’s not a given,” Herrington said.

(Read full post)

Alemany's Mitchell quite a top catch

November, 2, 2011
When the season started, Alemany coach Dean Herrington knew he had a special group of receivers on his football team.

Junior Steven Mitchell has emerged as the best of the bunch.

He leads the team with 34 catches for 741 yards, an average of 92.6 yards per game, and nine touchdowns. He has nearly three times as many receiving yards as UCLA-bound Jerico Richardson, who is second on the team with 265 yards. Mitchell’s nine touchdowns are more than Richardson, Jeff Farrar and Corey Simms combined.

“He has unbelievable speed and great body control,” Herrington said. “Against Dorsey, he only touched the ball four times. That will never happen again.”

The game against Dorsey was one of the few hiccups this season for Alemany (6-2), the No. 12 team in the ESPN Los Angeles prep football Top 25 rankings. The Warriors lost that game, 14-13. Both of Alemany’s losses have been by one point. The Warriors also lost to J.W. North 36-35.

When Alemany plays Loyola (7-1), the No. 13 team in the ESPNLA rankings, on Friday night at home in a crucial Serra League game, Herrington will make sure Mitchell is very much in the mix.

Alemany and Loyola are tied for first place in league with 2-0 records. The winner of Friday night’s game is guaranteed at least a share of the league title.

“It’s a big game in the sense that we control our own destiny,” Loyola coach Mike Christensen said. “You can’t take a breath in this league. If you do, you’re going to get beat.”

(Read full post)

No. 13 Alemany 30, No. 18 Crespi 28

October, 29, 2011

MISSION HILLS -- When Devon Dunn plays well, so does Alemany. And on Friday night, the junior quarterback played about as well as he has all season.

Dunn completed 18-of-25 passes for 259 yards with a touchdown. Wait, there's more. He also carried the ball 14 times and gained 75 yards on the ground with another two scores. The end result: A 30-28 Serra League victory over visiting Encino Crespi.

“How Devon goes is how we go, most times,'' Warriors coach Dean Herrington said. “He played some darned near perfect football for us tonight. He is getting better and better every week. I think that bodes well for this team the rest of the season.

It was an important win for the Warriors (6-2, 2-0), No. 13 in the ESPNLosAngeles.com rankings. They remain in the hunt for the league title with two games left in regular season. Crespi (7-2, 1-2), No. 18 in most recent poll, could be in trouble.

“This was big, Crespi is our rival, we played our buts off, gave it 150 percent,'' Dunn said. “There was no way we were going to lose at home.''

Following a penalty in the fourth quarter, John Sanchez booted a 41-yard field goal to give Alemany a 30-28 lead with 7:37 remaining in the game.

Chris Harper made a diving catch, a 37-yarder, to move the ball into Alemany territory. On the next play, in the wildcat formation, Mike Davison took the snap and scored on a 27-yard run to give Crespi a 28-27 lead with 1:10 left in the third quarter.

(Read full post)

L.A. North: Games of the Week

October, 12, 2011
DavidsonAlex Gallardo for ESPNLosAngeles.comCrespi's Mike Davidson is one of several players Notre Dame will need to contain in their Serra League opener Friday.

Sherman Oaks Notre Dame coach Kevin Rooney used an odd word choice to describe his team’s game against Crespi of Encino on Friday night.

The two teams open Serra League play with championship aspirations. All five teams in the Serra League appear in the ESPNLA top-25 prep football rankings. Rooney takes his No. 24 Notre Dame team on the road to play No. 16 Crespi and said it will be a “fun” way to open Serra League play.

“In our league, every game is critical,” Rooney said. “Crespi is a top team and our rival. It will be a tremendous challenge. It’s kind of fun it starts this way. It’s critical that each team wins every game they can.”

Notre Dame (4-1) lost its first game of the season to Chaminade, 36-32, last week. The Knights erased an 18-point, first-half deficit and took an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter. But Chaminade scored 14 points in the final two minutes to win it.

The winning drive started when Chaminade recovered an onside kick. Running back Terrell Newby scored the winning touchdown with 15 seconds left.

“It was a tough loss,” Rooney said. “There were a lot of good things we did in the game. We’re past that and getting ready for Crespi.”

Notre Dame running back Khalfani Muhammad has emerged as one of the top running backs in the San Fernando Valley. He rushed for 84 yards and scored two touchdowns against Chaminade.

Quarterback Kelly Hilinski threw for 225 yards, completing 14 of 18 passes, and scored on a one-yard run in the second half.

Crespi (5-1) is coming off a 56-7 drubbing of Woodland Hills Taft. Quarterback Cody Cordell threw for three touchdowns and 155 yards in limited action. Receiver Christopher Harper caught two touchdown passes and finished the game with three catches for 64 yards.

Crespi won its first four games of the season and had outscored its opponents, 194-34. The Celts’ only loss came against Vista Murrieta, 38-20, two weeks ago.

“You always learn more from a loss. I feel they outprepared us,” Crespi coach Jon Mack said. “The boys are playing well. We’re pleased how the season is going.”

Notre Dame went 2-8 and won only one league game last year. The team has made quite a turnaround, winning its first five games of the 2011 season and entering Serra League play as a championship contender.

“They’re a year older,” Rooney said. “Most of them played last year. Experience helps keep them on the right path. We’re trying to learn from everything that has happened.”

Here’s a look at some of the other top games in the L.A. North:

(Read full post)

L.A. North: The Top 10

October, 10, 2011

There’s a new No. 1 football team in the L.A. North area. Westlake knocked off Oaks Christian in impressive fashion with a 22-point win on Thursday night on national television. The Warriors dominated on the offensive line, defensive line and with its rushing attack.

Westlake moves up to No. 1. Oaks Christian drops to No. 5. Chaminade jumps three spots to No. 4 after a thrilling, come-from-behind win over Sherman Oaks Notre Dame.

Four top-10 teams, Westlake, Canyon, St. Francis and Ventura, are undefeated.

Here’s a look at the top 10 teams in the region:
  1. (2) Westlake (5-0) – Westlake quarterback Justin Moore threw the ball only 13 times in his team’s 43-21 over previously top-ranked Oaks Christian. He didn’t need to throw the football that many times as Oaks Christian couldn’t stop the Westlake running attack.
  2. (4) Crespi (5-1) – The Celts easily took care of Woodland Hills Taft, 56-7. Now Crespi begins its Serra League schedule against a stunned Sherman Oaks Notre Dame team on Friday night.
  3. (5) Alemany (4-2) – Alemany wide receiver Steven Mitchell had a big game against Beverly Hills. He caught five passes for 172 yards and three touchdowns in his team’s 48-12 win.
  4. (7) Chaminade (4-1) – It wasn’t the prettiest game against Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, but Chaminade ended the roller-coaster night on the upswing and won 36-32. That never-say-die mentality will be hard to beat.
  5. (1) Oaks Christian (3-2) – Westlake found a weakness in the Oaks Christian defense: Run straight up the middle. The good news for Oaks Christian is that the Lions probably won’t face a team as tough as Westlake until the semifinals of the CIF-Southern Section Northern Division playoffs.

(Read full post)

L.A. North: Games of the Week

September, 28, 2011
Camarillo receiver Jake Maulhardt had one of the greatest performances in state history against Canyon High School last week. He set a state record with 28 receptions and scored three touchdowns.

But his team lost, 52-28, to Canyon and dropped to 1-2 on the season. Camarillo’s offense has been able to put points on the scoreboard, averaging 23 a game. Its defense, on the other hand, is giving up 30.6 points per game.

Camarillo coach Dennis Reidmiller says he is hoping his defense can increase its intensity against undefeated Ventura (4-0) on Friday night at Camarillo High School.

“We’re scoring points,” Reidmiller said. “We’re not doing a real good job of tackling. We got to do a much better job of tackling.”

Ventura is coming off a 35-20 win over Nordhoff and has been scoring at a rapid clip, 37.7 points per game. Running back Conner Armstrong has rushed for 466 yards and scored 10 touchdowns in four games. Quarterback Rodney Stanley has thrown for 816 yards and eight touchdowns.

Stanley has been posting those numbers without one of the team’s best receivers, tight end Nick Rudolph. He was selected to the MaxPreps preseason All-American team, but has missed the last two games and has only eight catches for 149 yards and two touchdowns. He is expected to make his first start since Sept. 9 against Agoura.

“He’s a little banged up and sat out the last two weeks,” Ventura coach Brad Steward said.

Steward added that receiver Hunter Winans has played well in Rudolph’s absence and is a big reason why the team is undefeated.

“We like to point toward an undefeated season,” Steward said. “We want to be as good as we can when league starts.”

Camarillo presents problems for Ventura, and every other team it faces, with the 6-foot-7 Maulhardt at receiver. One of the nice surprises on the Camarillo side is the play of sophomore quarterback Michael Marin. He has passed for 922 yards, completing 68 percent of his passes, and nine touchdowns in three games. He has only thrown one interception in 124 pass attempts. Steward said his team will have to score to keep up with Camarillo.

“I think they’re very, very dangerous,” Steward said. “We’re hoping to get a few stops. We’re trying to disguise coverages. We can’t let them sit on one thing. Keep it varied and keep them off-balance.”

Here’s a look at some of the other top games in the region:

(Read full post)

ESPNLA prep football Top 25: Week 4

September, 26, 2011
In arguably the biggest week of the season in terms of matchups, there were major shifts in the latest ESPN Los Angeles prep football Top 25 rankings, including a couple of newcomers and a few who dropped out. In all, there were six matchups involving top 25 teams and seven teams from the list who lost. Here are our rankings heading into Week 4:

1. Servite (4-0)
All the Friars do is keep winning, making it 30 in a row over teams from the Southland, including a victory last week over the last team from this region to hand them a loss -- Edison in 2009. Last week: beat Edison, 27-14. Next: at Bishop Gorman, Fri., 7 p.m.

2. Santa Margarita (4-0)
Junior QB Johnny Stanton shows his value with his arm and his legs by surpassing 100 yards in both passing and rushing, including three TDs on the ground in a rout of a good Carson team. Last week: beat Carson, 39-21. Next: vs. Los Alamitos at Veterans Stadium, Thu., 7:30 p.m.

3. Mission Viejo (3-1)
Prep football Twitter wars? Well, not exactly, but the Diablos responded to Snoop Dogg's disparaging tweets during the week in the best way any team can, by being able to point to the scoreboard.
Last week: beat Long Beach Poly, 17-12. Next: at Carson, Fri., 7:30 p.m.

4. Crespi (4-0)
The Celts take advantage of all the week's power matchups by doing what they're supposed to do: overpower an overmatched opponent to jump up three spots in the rankings. Last week: beat Palisades, 40-0. Next: vs. Vista Murrieta, Fri., 7 p.m.

5. Oaks Christian (2-1)
The night the lights went out in ... Westlake Village? The Lions take the early lead in the Marmonte League race after a contentious victory over the league's other private school power. Last week: beat St. Bonaventure, 36-24. Next: vs. Calabasas, Fri., 7 p.m.

6. St. Bonaventure (2-1)
The Seraphs had all the momentum when a power outage at Oaks Christian stalled the game in the fourth quarter for nearly 25 minutes. In the end, Bonny dug too deep a hole. Last week: lost to Oaks Christian, 36-24. Next: vs. Simi Valley at Ventura HS, Fri., 7 p.m.

7. Corona Centennial (2-1)
We know on the surface it seems unfair for the Huskies to have dropped a spot after a one-sided win, but we couldn't in good conscience rank them ahead of a team -- St. Bonaventure -- they already had lost to. At least not yet. Last week: beat Chaparral, 49-14. Next: vs. Riverside Poly at Riverside Ramona HS, Thu., 7 p.m.

8. Long Beach Poly (3-1)
If it wasn't clear already, the defense is going to keep the Jackrabbits in every game this season. But the offense will need to catch up if a sustained postseason run is in order. Last week: lost to Mission Viejo, 17-12. Next: at Compton, Fri., 7 p.m.

9. Alemany (3-1)
So was the loss to J.W. North an aberration? The Warriors answer in a most definitive way with an impressive display against a strong Chaminade team behind Steven Mitchell's two touchdown catches.
Last week: beat Chaminade, 38-14. Next: vs. Dorsey, Fri., 7 p.m.

10. Bishop Amat (3-1)
It was the Jalen Moore show for the second week in a row. A week after rushing for 303 yards, the senior gets 191 and two touchdowns to lift the Lancers to a big second half. Last week: beat Damien, 28-7. Next: vs. Cathedral, Fri., 7 p.m.

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Football: No. 10 Alemany 38, No. 18 Chaminade 14

September, 23, 2011
WEST HILLS -- For those who have not heard the name Steven Mitchell, consider this a formal introduction. His name is one to remember, rest assured.

The junior wide receiver from Mission Hills Alemany made a number of game-changing plays Friday night, seemingly too many count, to help guide the visiting Warriors to a rather impressive 38-14 victory over West Hills Chaminade in a nonleague game.

“I was in the zone out there tonight, I felt like I couldn't be stopped,'' said Mitchell, who finished with nine receptions for 151 yards and a pair of touchdown catches. “I was seeing things before they happened. There wasn't much thinking. Instincts took over.''

Mind you, with the game out of reach, he did not play in the fourth quarter.

The win was important on several levels for the Warriors (3-1), No. 10 in the ESPNLosAngeles.com top 25 rankings. They were coming off last week's 36-35 loss to Riverside North and the skeptics began wondering about whether the team was overrated.

The talk is bound to subside now.

The Eagles (2-1), No. 18 in the ESPNLosAngeles.com rankings, were in the wrong place at the wrong time. With no answer for Mitchell, they were in trouble from the start.

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