At first glance: Servite vs. Mater Dei matchup, Oct. 23

At first glance: Servite (8-0, 3-0) vs. Mater Dei (6-0, 3-0)

When: Saturday, Oct. 23, 8 p.m.

Where: Santa Ana Stadium

TV: Bally Sports West

MaxPreps national rankings: Mater Dei (1), Servite (8)

High School Football America national rankings: Mater Dei (1), Servite (20)

Calpreps state rankings: Mater Dei (1), Servite (2)

Tickets: Sold out in minutes Monday

Notable: Mater Dei has defeated Servite nine consecutive years in the rivalry. The Monarchs’ defense has been one of the keys, allowing no more than 22 points in any of the games. … Mater Dei leads the all-time series 41-17-2.  … The Monarchs are averaging 50.8 points, just ahead of the Friars at 49.8. Mater Dei is holding opponents to average of 9.5 points while Servite limits teams to 11.2. … In the spring, Mater Dei defeated Servite 24-17 in a penalty-married game at Santa Ana Stadium. The Monarchs were flagged 22 times for 201 yards, including several for pass interference against wide receiver Tetairoa McMillan (six catches for 107 yards). Mater Dei’s defense was led by David Bailey (four sacks) and cornerback Cam Sidney (interception return for TD). … Sophomore Elijah Brown of Mater Dei and senior Noah Fifita of Servite are two of the best QBs in the county.

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Alexander: Dodgers finding not all 0-2 NLCS deficits are alike

If there was a moment Sunday night that reminded us that this isn’t last year, it was the renewal of the Will Smith vs. Will Smith rivalry in the ninth inning in suburban Atlanta.

Will The Elder gave up a memorable home run to Will The Younger during the 2020 Dodgers-Braves National League Championship Series. When they faced each other Sunday night, Will the Younger struck out swinging on a slider for the second out of the ninth inning.

One vignette, true. But maybe here’s another: Julio Urías, the Dodgers’ accidental but oh, so successful closer of 2020, came into the game to start the eighth inning Sunday night with a 4-2 lead – and gave up three hits and the tying runs, only escaping further damage by striking out Joc Pederson and pinch-hitter Ehire Adrianza to strand the go-ahead run on second base.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters after the game that he considered Urías his best option at that point, even after Blake Treinen needed just nine pitches to get through the seventh.

“We talked about it before the series, and he was available (Saturday) night if it came to the situation, but it didn’t,” Roberts said. “He hadn’t thrown a bullpen and he was the best option at that point in time. He was prepared for it.”

Not only did Urías struggle, but those 14 pitches might have compromised him for his scheduled start on Wednesday in Game 4. Max Scherzer, with two days of rest after his 13-pitch save of Game 5 on Thursday night in San Francisco, made it through 79 pitches and, somewhat uncharacteristically but absolutely candidly, acknowledged to Roberts that he was spent.

Somehow, the idea of “five and dive, and be ready to throw a high-stress inning out of the bullpen in a couple of days” might not be a sustainable strategy. Atlanta’s Brian Snitker hasn’t seen the need to use any of his starters in relief yet, but he used every one of his relievers last night and has used Tyler Matzek, Luke Jackson and Smith (The Elder) each of the first two games. And, unlike last year, there are days off in this series.

One more reminder that it’s different? Joctober still exists, only now it’s dreaded instead of welcomed in the Dodgers’ dugout. Joc Pederson wiped out the Dodgers’ first lead with a two-run home run in the fourth – specifically, a booming, 454-foot drive off Scherzer. As this series goes on, Pederson – no longer just a platoon player – has to be reckoned with.

There is this thought, which could be comforting if you still hold onto memories of 2020: The Braves were up 2-0 in last year’s series. They’re up 2-0 in this series after Eddie Rosario’s shot up the middle and under Corey Seager’s glove drove in the winning run, on Kenley Jansen’s first and only pitch of the game in the ninth inning, for a 5-4 Atlanta victory.

But do you really want to have to run the elimination game gamut again? No matter how battle-tested you might be, when you roll those dice too often you’ll lose at some point.

And here’s the biggest difference, so far, between this year and last year: Those Dodgers were noted for scoring runs with two outs: 59 through 19 postseason games. That’s the sign of a team capable of cashing in opportunities and adjusting as necessary to get it done.

These Dodgers are hitting under .200 with runners in scoring position through eight games this postseason: 13 for 68, or .191. They were 1 for 10 Sunday night. The one was Chris Taylor’s two-run double in the seventh, a sinking liner that center fielder Guillermo Heredia – who had entered the game that inning – couldn’t get to and then overran, seemingly unsure whether to try to dive or to short-hop it.

Otherwise? They left 10 men on base. They had men on first and second with one out in the third, but Gavin Lux popped up and Taylor struck out. They had first and second with two outs in the fifth, after Mookie Betts walked and stole second and Smith (the Younger) was intentionally walked with two outs, and Lux flied to left.

They got Taylor to third with one out in the sixth, and AJ Pollock and pinch-hitter Albert Pujols struck out. They re-loaded the bases after Taylor’s hit in the seventh, and Pollock struck out. And Trea Turner hit the first pitch from Smith (The Elder) to the wall in left field, but Rosario ran it down.

It’s a problem we’ve seen all season, and now it’s recurring at the worst possible time. And yes, the approach has been an issue.

“It’s an approach thing,” Roberts said. “I think that certain times in scoring position, we’re expanding (the strike zone) too much.”

But here’s the biggest difference from 2020 (besides, of course, the fact that the core of this group now knows what it’s like to win a championship): They’re going to be playing the middle games at home, where they were 58-23 during the regular season and are 2-1 so far in the postseason.

And if ever they needed the extra push from a spirited home crowd, it’s now.

jalexander@scng.com

@Jim_Alexander on Twitter

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Sacha Kljestan’s late penalty lifts Galaxy to win over Portland Timbers

  • LA Galaxy defender Derrick Williams, center, heads the ball during the second half of an MLS soccer match against the Portland Timbers Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy midfielder Jonathan dos Santos, right, controls the ball in front of Portland Timbers midfielder Cristhian Paredes during the first half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Portland Timbers goalkeeper Steve Clark (12) stops a shot from LA Galaxy forward Javier Hernandez (14) during the first half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy defender Derrick Williams defends against Portland Timbers midfielder Sebastian Blanco (10) during the first half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy forward Javier Hernandez, right, heads the ball during the first half of the team’s MLS soccer match against the Portland Timbers on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Portland Timbers forward Yimmi Chara (23) tries to kick the ball, as LA Galaxy defender Nick DePuy heads it during the first half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Portland Timbers forward Yimmi Chara controls the ball during the first half of the team’s MLS soccer match against the LA Galaxy on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Portland Timbers defender Pablo Bonilla, left, dribbles past LA Galaxy forward Kevin Cabral (9) during the first half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy midfielder Sacha Kljestan scores on a penalty kick during the second half of the team’s MLS soccer match against the Portland Timbers on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy midfielder Sacha Kljestan, center, celebrates after scoring on a penalty kick during the second half against the Portland Timbers in an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy midfielder Efrain Alvarez, right, dribbles against the Portland Timbers during the second half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy defender Derrick Williams, right, works against Portland Timbers midfielder Sebastian Blanco during the second half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy forward Javier Hernandez, right, reacts after a missed shot on a goal during the second half of an MLS soccer match against the Portland Timbers Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy midfielder Sebastian Lletget, right, dribbles against the Portland Timbers during the second half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy forward Javier Hernandez, center left, celebrates with a teammate after a win over the Portland Timbers during the second half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy forward Javier Hernandez, left, reacts after a foul during the second half of an MLS soccer match against the Portland Timbers Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy forward Javier Hernandez, center, celebrates after a win over the Portland Timbers during an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy forward Javier Hernandez (14) kicks the ball into the net for a goal during the second half of the team’s MLS soccer match against the Portland Timbers on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Portland Timbers midfielder Sebastian Blanco, center (10) is hugged by teammates after his goal during the second half of the team’s MLS soccer match against the LA Galaxy on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy defender Julian Araujo leaps over Portland Timbers goalkeeper Steve Clark during the second half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy forward Javier Hernandez (14) celebrates his goal next to Portland Timbers goalkeeper Steve Clark during the second half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy forward Javier Hernandez (14) kicks the ball into the net for a goal during the second half of the team’s MLS soccer match against the Portland Timbers, Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy goalkeeper Jonathan Bond, left, watches as the ball goes over his head for a goal on a kick from Portland Timbers midfielder Sebastian Blanco during the second half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy midfielder Sacha Kljestan, center, celebrates after scoring on a penalty kick against the Portland Timbers during the second half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy midfielder Sacha Kljestan, center, celebrates after scoring on a penalty kick during the second half against the Portland Timbers in an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

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CARSON — At times this season the Galaxy looked to be a lock for the MLS Cup Playoffs.

In the cruel world of Major League Soccer, it is best not to count your chickens before they’re hatched.

Saturday, feeling the crunch on the season and the weight of a nine-game winless streak, the Galaxy finally exhaled a bit thanks to a Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez’s 62nd minute goal and later Sacha Kljestan’s successful penalty, to lead the way to a 2-1 win and breathed some much-needed life into its playoff lives.

“For sure there was an exhale,” Galaxy coach Greg Vanney said. “But I do feel like from the group there was a confidence building, it was something that they deserved, they’ve deserved it I felt during this stretch and we didn’t get it. I hope the group feels like there is a shift in momentum here that we got over the hump and we got a real opportunity in the coming week to take more points.”

With the game tied at 1-1, Efrain Alvarez on the ball, made two cutting moves and was fouled in the box and referee Victor Rivas pointed to the penalty spot in the second minute of stoppage time..

Kljestan stepped up and converted, just under Portland goalkeeper Steve Clark.

“I thought were in total control, we had a lot of possession, we created some great chances and it felt like one of those games in the first half where, they were going to get one chance and they were going to score,” Kljestan said. “They scored a fluky goal and you go, oh no, not again.

“To get that win in the end, I think it is a big exhale for everybody and now, hopefully, it is start of winning streak or an unbeaten run.”

Kljestan never hesitated with his kick, going to Clark’s right and beating him. He said he doesn’t focus on the goalkeeper’s tendencies.

“I don’t pay attention to the goalies,” he said. “I decide the morning of the game where I’m going to shoot if I get a penalty. This morning, I had a feeling we were going to get a penalty, I just didn’t know if I would be on the field to take it or not. I knew when I put the ball down, I was going to shoot that way.”

With the win, the Galaxy, who could have fallen below the playoff line if results went a certain way on Sunday, moved up to sixth on 42 points, tied with Real Salt Lake.

The Galaxy is now 12-11-6 with five games remaining

The Galaxy’s opening goal was much deserved considering how the Galaxy dominated the game in the first half and into the second half.

Still, it came from a bit of nothing. Julian Araujo’s cross for the far post. Portland defender Larry’s Mabiala, instead of clearing the ball, leapt over it, thinking it was going to roll out. However, Hernandez didn’t quit, going low with a slide to poke the ball in.

In the 72nd minute, Portland’s Sebastian Blanco found himself unmarked on the left and shot in a chip shot that eluded Galaxy goalkeeper Jonathan Bond to make it 1-1.

The goal sucked the life out of the crowd as the game went into the additional four minutes of added time, it looked as if the Galaxy was headed for what would have been a disappointing draw.

This was the third meeting of the season between the teams. They had split the previous two.

The Galaxy started the game looking like a team that had figured things out, putting the Timbers under pressure from the outset of the game. Unfortunately, despite the pressure and the near chances, the final act of putting the ball into the goal was never accomplished, sending the teams into halftime scoreless.

The Galaxy will return to action Wednesday on the road at the Houston Dynamo.

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Cameron Goods helps Irvine football knock off Dana Hills and stay unbeaten

DANA POINT >> The Irvine football team’s dream season showed no signs of slowing down as the Vaqueros dominated Dana Hills 47-28 in a Pacific Hills League game at Dana Hills High on Friday Night.

The Vaqueros (8-0, 1-0) are off to their best start since the 2000 season, a year that ended in a perfect 14-0 record and a CIF-SS championship.

Cameron Goods lead the way with 256 yards on 31 carries and three touchdowns, and Irvine coach Tom Ricci wonders when more people will begin to notice his star running back.

“Cameron Goods is a special running back,” Ricci said. “I’m blown away that he doesn’t get the recognition that I think he deserves. I’m a fan, I love watching him (play).”

The Dolphins struck on their first play from scrimmage when Bo Kelly threw a short pass to Owen Chambers, who avoided a tackle and sprinted to the sideline for an 80-yard touchdown and a 6-0 lead after just 12 seconds.

“Bo Kelly is a heck of a QB,” Ricci said. “We knew he was going to score. We didn’t know he was going to score on the first play, but our goal all week was bend but don’t break on defense and control the ball on offense.”

The Vaqueros came up with some big plays of their own as Mihir Dhodia caught a 47-yard pass and Tate Zimmerman had a 14-yard run on a drive that was capped by Joseph Tierney’s 8-yard TD pass to Jack Condon to make it 8-6 after a successful 2-point conversion.

Irvine went up 21-6 on touchdown runs by Zimmerman and Goods before Dana Hills (6-2, 0-1) responded with another long strike, this one a 77-yard connection from Kelly to Chambers, to make it 21-14 with 3:26 left in the second quarter.

Irvine running back Cameron Goods (31 car, 256 yds, 3 TDs) speaks on how great it felt to get this league win over Dana Hills. The Vaqueros face Portola next week. @ocvarsity @VaqueroFootball @camerongoodies pic.twitter.com/CJL8m6KZiq

— David Delgado🇪🇨 (@DavidDelgado_OC) October 16, 2021

The duo hooked up on all four scores for the Dolphins. Kelly finished with 404 yards passing and four touchdowns and Chambers recorded six catches for 223 yards and four touchdowns.

The Vaqueros proceeded to score 19 consecutive points. They did it with a 31-yard field goal by Zimmerman before halftime, two touchdown runs by Goods in the third quarter and a safety on Nick Rudolph’s sack of Kelly in the end zone.

Irvine will look to stay unbeaten when it takes on Portola (7-1) in a league game next week. Portola lost to Laguna Hills, 10-0, on Friday night.

The game, on Friday, Oct. 22, will feature two of the top running backs in Orange County in the Bulldogs’ Nova Kebeli and Goods.

“This is the showdown for the Fence Post,” Ricci said of facing their in-city rival. “It means a ton to our kids. We didn’t get that opportunity last year, so this is our opportunity. We know coach (Peter) Abe and those guys will have a great scheme for us coming and it’s going to be a smashmouth game.”

 

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High school football: All of the scores from Friday’s Week 8 games


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All of the scores from the CIF-SS and L.A. City high school football games on Friday, Oct. 15.

Friday’s games

CIF-SS

ALMONT LEAGUE

Alhambra 40, Montebello 27

Bell Gardens 35, San Gabriel 0

AMBASSADOR LEAGUE

Western Christian 36, Arrowhead Christian 25

ANGELUS LEAGUE

Loyola 44, Crespi 20

BASELINE LEAGUE

Rancho Cucamonga 34, Upland 7

BAY LEAGUE

Culver City 35, Peninsula 23

Palos Verdes 44, Redondo 27

BIG 4 LEAGUE

Garden Grove 20, Katella 14 (OT)

Marina 24, Segerstrom 23

BIG VIII LEAGUE

Centennial 48, Norco 24

King 24, Corona 12

CAMINO LEAGUE

Camarillo 41, Moorpark 13

CAMINO REAL LEAGUE

St. Genevieve 49, Bishop Montgomery 0

St. Pius X-St. Matthias 55, Cantwell-Sacred Heart 6

CANYON LEAGUE

Agoura 47, Royal 14

Simi Valley 41, Thousand Oaks 7

CHANNEL LEAGUE

Pacifica 51, Lompoc 26

Rio Mesa 36, Dos Pueblos 3

Santa Barbara 24, Oxnard 17

CITRUS BELT LEAGUE

Cajon 54, Beaumont 6

Citrus Valley 59, Yucaipa 14

Redlands East Valley 20, Redlands 14 (2OT)

CITRUS COAST LEAGUE

Hueneme 28, Fillmore 27

Nordhoff 48, Carpinteria 0

CRESTVIEW LEAGUE

Villa Park 31, El Modena 28

Yorba Linda 30, Foothill 27

DEL REY LEAGUE

La Salle 33, Mary Star 14

DEL RIO LEAGUE

La Serna 17, California 6

Santa Fe 42, El Rancho 14

DESERT EMPIRE LEAGUE

Palm Desert 31, Xavier Prep 9

Palm Springs 17, La Quinta 14

Shadow Hills 30, Rancho Mirage 7

DESERT SKY LEAGUE

Victor Valley 35, Barstow 14

DESERT VALLEY LEAGUE

Coachella Valley 28, Cathedral City 21

Twentynine Palms 27, Desert Hot Springs 22

Yucca Valley 67, Desert Mirage 0

EMPIRE LEAGUE

Cypress 13, Pacifica 8

Valencia 42, Crean Lutheran 10

Tustin 55, Kennedy 14

FOOTHILL LEAGUE

Hart 27, Valencia 21 (OT)

Saugus 42, Golden Valley 7

West Ranch 35, Canyon Country Canyon 8

FREEWAY LEAGUE

Buena Park 22, Fullerton 0

La Habra 48, Sonora 27

Sunny Hills 22, Troy 20

GARDEN GROVE LEAGUE

Rancho Alamitos 37, Loara 9

GOLD COAST LEAGUE

Campbell Hall 36, Viewpoint 0

Rio Hondo Prep 42, Brentwood 18

GOLDEN LEAGUE

Antelope Valley 56, Lancaster 20

Highland 20, Palmdale 14

Quartz Hill 52, Littlerock 0

HACIENDA LEAGUE

Walnut 41, Nogales 0

INLAND VALLEY LEAGUE

Riverside Poly 35, Moreno Valley 22

IVY LEAGUE

Temescal Canyon 34, Rancho Verde 22

MARMONTE LEAGUE

St. Bonaventure 63, Calabasas 0

Oaks Christian 17, Westlake 2

MIRAMONTE LEAGUE

Bassett 37, Garey 7

La Puente 47, Ganesha 6

MISSION LEAGUE

Alemany 45, Bishop Amat 35

Chaminade 34, Notre Dame 21

Serra 28, Cathedral 0

MISSION VALLEY LEAGUE

Arroyo 45, Rosemead 0

El Monte 14, Sourh El Monte 6

Gabrielino 27, Mountain View 22

MOJAVE RIVER LEAGUE

Apple Valley 51, Hesperia 0

Oak Hills 50, Serrano 7

MONTVIEW LEAGUE

Azusa 32, Gladstone 6

MOORE LEAGUE

Jordan 74, Cabrillo 6

Long Beach Poly 42, Compton 0

MOUNTAIN PASS LEAGUE

Tahquitz 31, Citrus Hill 6

MOUNTAIN WEST LEAGUE

Ayala 24, Alta Loma 6

Bonita 21, Charter Oak 10

MT. BALDY 4 LEAGUE

Baldwin Park 36, Wilson 7

Montclair 42, Workman 8

NORTH HILLS LEAGUE

El Dorado 21, Esperanza 6

OCEAN LEAGUE

Hawthorne 22, Morningside 6

Leuzinger 51, Beverly Hills 0

OLYMPIC LEAGUE

Cerritos Valley Christian 43, Whittier Christian 0

ORANGE LEAGUE

Anaheim 41, Savanna 28

Magnolia 36, Century 0

Western 49, Santa Ana Valley 0

ORANGE COAST LEAGUE

Santa Ana 59, Estancia 7

PAC 4 LEAGUE

Laguna Beach 54, Westminster 14

Ocean View 26, Godinez 6

PACIFIC LEAGUE

Muir 34, Crescenta Valley 21

Pasadena 35, Burroughs 7

PACIFIC HILLS LEAGUE

Irvine 47, Dana Hills 28

Laguna Hills 10, Portola 0

PACIFIC VALLEY LEAGUE

Northwood 51, University 7

Woodbridge 28, Beckman 15

PACIFIC VIEW LEAGUE

Buena 52, San Marcos 26

Channel Islands 23, Cabrillo 0

Santa Ynez 23, Ventura 7

PIONEER LEAGUE

Lawndale 34, West Torrance 0

North Torrance 26, South Torrance 20

Torrance 27, El Segundo 20

RIO HONDO LEAGUE

La Canada 48, Temple City 0

Monrovia 63, San Marino 13

Pasadena Poly 28, South Pasadena 9

RIVER VALLEY LEAGUE

Arlington 10, Hillcrest 0

Norte Vista 26, Ramona 10

Patriot 40, La Sierra 7

SAN ANDREAS LEAGUE

Eisenhower 55, Colton 0

Summit 58, Grand Terrace 24

SAN ANTONIO LEAGUE

Claremont 43, Don Lugo 7

West Covina 35, Chaffey 14

SAN GABRIEL VALLEY LEAGUE

Downey 39, Dominguez 7

Warren 40, Paramount 6

SEA VIEW LEAGUE

El Toro 31, Capistrano Valley 21

Trabuco Hills 30, Aliso Niguel 14

SIERRA LEAGUE

Covina 42, Rowland 3

SKYLINE LEAGUE

Rialto 34, Bloomington 24

Rim of the World 56, Fontana 8

SOUTH COAST LEAGUE

Mission Viejo 45, Tesoro 3

San Clemente 16, San Juan Hills 10

SOUTH VALLEY LEAGUE

Nuview Bridge 21, California Military 0

SOUTHWESTERN LEAGUE

Chaparral 55, Temecula Valley 27

Vista Murrieta 38, Great Oak 6

SUBURBAN LEAGUE

La Mirada 35, Norwalk 10

SUNBELT LEAGUE

Riverside North 41, Hemet 7

SUNKIST LEAGUE

Kaiser 52, San Gorgonio 0

SUNSET LEAGUE

Edison 28, Corona del Mar 20

Newport Harbor 45, Huntington Beach 27

TRINITY LEAGUE

Mater Dei 56, Santa Margarita 3

St. John Bosco 49, Orange Lutheran 25

VALLE VISTA LEAGUE

San Dimas 21, Los Altos 13

NONLEAGUE

Paraclete 34, Rancho Christian 14

St. Margaret’s 42, Capistrano Valley Christian 0

Village Christian 59, Glendale 39

Vista del Lago 69, Perris 12

Valley View 28, Riverside Notre Dame 18

Dymally 46, Hoover 0

Mira Costa 35, Washington Union (Fresno) 26

Saguaro (Ariz.) 24, Sierra Canyon 7

Whittier 28, Fairfax 7

 

L.A. CITY

CENTRAL LEAGUE

Marquez 41, Mendez 6

Maywood CES 40, Bernstein 14

COLISEUM LEAGUE

Crenshaw 55, View Park 0

Dorsey 35, Hawkins 0

Locke 18, Fremont 5

EAST VALLEY LEAGUE

Arleta 34, Sun Valley Poly 0

Chavez 40, Monroe 6

Verdugo Hills 21, Grant 18

EASTERN LEAGUE

Garfield 41, Legacy 9

South Gate 20, L.A. Roosevelt 16

EXPOSITION LEAGUE

Jefferson 46, Rivera 12

Manual Arts 48, Santee 38

MARINE LEAGUE

Carson 46, Narbonne 6

San Pedro 69, Gardena 0

METRO LEAGUE

New Designs Watts 52, Belmont 12

NORTHERN LEAGUE

Eagle Rock 56, L.A. Wilson 14

Franklin 47, Torres 0

Lincoln 49, L.A. Marshall 0

SOUTHERN LEAGUE

L.A. 67, West Adams 0

VALLEY MISSION LEAGUE

Canoga Park 28, Granada Hills Kennedy 6

Reseda 53, Van Nuys 0

Sylmar 12, San Fernando 7

WEST VALLEY LEAGUE

Birmingham 28, Granada Hills 0

Chatsworth 33, El Camino Real 30

WESTERN LEAGUE

Palisades 63, L.A. Hamilton 7

Venice 14, Westchester 13

NONLEAGUE

Panorama 38, Angelou 16

 

8 MAN

CIF-SS

Thacher 44, Santa Clara 6

Chadwick 52, Windward 35

Grace Brethren 61, Hillcrest Christian 0

L.A. CITY

Sotomayor 50, Animo Robinson 12

 

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Cypress football tops Pacifica in crucial Empire League matchup

GARDEN GROVE – It was a game of survival in a season of survival.

Cypress and Pacifica have endured season-ending injuries to important players — Cypress skill-position players and Pacifica linemen — but have kept themselves in contention for playoff berths and the Empire League championship.

Cypress survived its game with Pacifica on Friday night, getting a 13-8 win that kept the Centurions undefeated in the Empire League.

Cypress had a 7-0 lead going into the fourth quarter. Pacifica scored to take an 8-7 lead, and Cypress scored with 2:15 remaining for the win.

  • Pacifica defensive back Jordan Ross, right, intercepts a pass meant for Cypress wide reciever Justin Thompson in an Empire League game at Bolsa Grande High School in Garden Grove on Friday, October 15, 2021. (Sam Gangwer, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cypress running back Neil Jansen battles for yardage against Pacifica defensive back Jordan Ross in an Empire League game at Bolsa Grande High School in Garden Grove on Friday, October 15, 2021. (Sam Gangwer, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cypress running back Neil Jansen runs across the goal line to score a touchdown against Pacifica in an Empire League game at Bolsa Grande High School in Garden Grove on Friday, October 15, 2021. (Sam Gangwer, Contributing Photographer)

  • Pacifica defensive back Jordan Ross hauls in the second of three interceptions against Cypress in an Empire League game at Bolsa Grande High School in Garden Grove on Friday, October 15, 2021. (Sam Gangwer, Contributing Photographer)

  • Pacifica quarterback Darius Cowens cranks up to throw a pass against Cypress in an Empire League game at Bolsa Grande High School in Garden Grove on Friday, October 15, 2021. (Sam Gangwer, Contributing Photographer)

  • Pacifica defensive back Jordan Ross goes up to break up a pass to Cypress wide receiver Trevor Monteleone in an Empire League game at Bolsa Grande High School in Garden Grove on Friday, October 15, 2021. (Sam Gangwer, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cypress wide receiver Trevor Monteleone tries to break the plane of the end zone by reaching out with the ball as he is run out of bounds by Pacifica defensive back Trevor Monteleone in an Empire League game at Bolsa Grande High School in Garden Grove on Friday, October 15, 2021. (Sam Gangwer, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cypress quarterback Matthew Morrell slips a tackle by Pacifica defensive back Anthony Keys in an Empire League game at Bolsa Grande High School in Garden Grove on Friday, October 15, 2021. (Sam Gangwer, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cypress running back Tomas Ramirez makes it across the goal line late in the fourth quarter to put the Centurions ahead against Pacifica in an Empire League game at Bolsa Grande High School in Garden Grove on Friday, October 15, 2021. (Sam Gangwer, Contributing Photographer)

  • Pacifica wide receiver Jordan Ross hauls in a touchdown pass late in the game against Cypress in an Empire League game at Bolsa Grande High School in Garden Grove on Friday, October 15, 2021. (Sam Gangwer, Contributing Photographer)

  • Pacifica wide receiver Jeremiah Ingram can’t hold on to a pass late in the game against Cypress in an Empire League game at Bolsa Grande High School in Garden Grove on Friday, October 15, 2021. (Sam Gangwer, Contributing Photographer)

  • Pacifica cheerleaders celebrate as running back Ed “jun” Ramos scores a two point conversion to put Pacifica in the lead against Cypress in an Empire League game at Bolsa Grande High School in Garden Grove on Friday, October 15, 2021. (Sam Gangwer, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cypress players celebrate after Pacifica fails to make a first down with two minutes left to play in an Empire League game at Bolsa Grande High School in Garden Grove on Friday, October 15, 2021. (Sam Gangwer, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cypress fans hold up a sign during an Empire League game against Pacifica at Bolsa Grande High School in Garden Grove on Friday, October 15, 2021. (Sam Gangwer, Contributing Photographer)

  • Friends since kindergarten, Cypress cheerleader Delilah Decleene, right, jumps into the arms of her friend Pacifica cheerleader Isabel Wood during the halftime break of an Empire League game at Bolsa Grande High School in Garden Grove on Friday, October 15, 2021. (Sam Gangwer, Contributing Photographer)

  • Pacifica cheerleaders shout out to a fellow cheerleader as she is introduced to the crowd for Senior Night before an Empire League game against Cypress at Bolsa Grande High School in Garden Grove on Friday, October 15, 2021. (Sam Gangwer, Contributing Photographer)

  • Pacifica fans wore pink to the game to call attention to Breast Cancer Awareness month during Friday’s Empire League game against Cypress at Bolsa Grande High School in Garden Grove on Friday, October 15, 2021. (Sam Gangwer, Contributing Photographer)

  • A Pacifica supporter waves the school’s flag to fire up the fans during an Empire League game against Cypress at Bolsa Grande High School in Garden Grove on Friday, October 15, 2021. (Sam Gangwer, Contributing Photographer)

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The Centurions are 6-2 overall and 3-0 in league. In the next two weeks, they finish the regular season with league games against Kennedy and Valencia.

Pacifica is 6-2 and 1-2 in league. The Mariners finish the regular season with league games against Crean Lutheran and Kennedy.

Cypress, Pacifica and Tustin each finished 4-1 in league last season to share the Empire League championship. Pacifica beat Cypress 26-21 last season.

“It was good to get revenge,” said Cypress running back Tomas Ramirez, who scored the winning touchdown. “This is what we’ve been training for all summer.”

Cypress running back Tomas Ramirez scored the winning touchdown in the fourth quarter in a 13-8 win over Pacifica ⁦@ocvarsity⁩ ⁦@ocvarsityguypic.twitter.com/dSfUlR6LsV

— Steve Fryer (@SteveFryer) October 16, 2021

Friday’s game was 7-0 through three quarters, with Cypress hanging onto that one-score lead.

Pacifica sophomore Jordan Ross in the fourth quarter made his third interception of the game to give the Mariners the ball at midfield.

The Mariners moved downfield quickly, including a 16-yard pass from Darius Cowens to Jun Ramos on a fourth-and-15 situation to put Pacifica at the Cypress 24-yard line. Four plays later, with 4:04 left in the game, Cowens fired a 13-yard touchdown pass to his right to Ross, and Cowens’ pass to Ramos for the 2-point conversion gave Pacifica an 8-7 lead.

Cypress began its ensuing possession at its 35. The Centurions, too, converted a fourth-down play, with a 14-yard pass from Matthew Morrell to Neil Jansen for a first down at the Pacifica 46. Morrell ran for 13 yards, took a handoff and went for 18 more, and Ramirez followed with a 15-yard run for the touchdown with 2:15 remaining. Cypress tried for two points but a misplayed handoff sunk the effort, leaving the Centurions with a 13-8 lead.

Pacifica quickly advanced on its following possession to the Cypress 30. A fourth-and-2 run by Ramos was stopped one foot shy of a first down with 33 seconds to go, securing the win for the Centurions.

Ramirez rushed for 91 yards on 11 carries. Jansen rushed for 68 yards on 12 carries and scored the game’s first touchdown on a tackle-slipping run of 23 yards in the second quarter. Jansen had six receptions for 50 yards.

Morrell, who has played quarterback the past couple of games with senior Dylan Eldredge, last season’s Empire League MVP, out because of a knee injury. Morrell also is dealing with an injured knee. He hobbled around as he passed for 127 yards.

Cypress coach Rick Feldman was impressed by Morrell’s fortitude.

“He practiced three days last week and one day last week,” Feldman said.

Ramos rushed for 89 yards on 16 carries. Cowens passed for 108 yards. Ross finished with six receptions for 72 yards.

Feldman credited Pacifica’s defense for giving Cypress’ offense problems.

“We moved the ball inconsistently through the night,” Feldman said. “But we made plays when we had to.”

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Alexander: Dodgers-Giants series had to end this way, didn’t it?

The ending the Dodgers and Giants provided Thursday night in San Francisco, after 3 hours and 26 minutes of stress and tension and the best that baseball can offer, might be proof that there is indeed karma. Or at least Someone Up There has one heck of a sense of drama.

Remember July 22? That was the night first base umpire Ed Hickox ruled that the Giants’ Darin Ruf did not go around on a check swing that would have been strike three. That led to Manager Dave Roberts’ ejection and kept alive a rally that turned a 3-2 lead into a 5-3 loss, gave Kenley Jansen his second blown save in a row and pushed the Dodgers three games behind the Giants in the NL West standings. You can make the case that if it weren’t for that game, and the ultimate one-game margin between the clubs, Thursday night’s decider of the NL Division Series would have been in The Ravine instead of at Oracle Park.

Here come the #Giants fans whining about Flores’ check swing to end the game, conveniently ignoring Darin Ruf’s full count swing that walked in a run vs #LADodgers earlier in the season. pic.twitter.com/JdUxE03tbF

— Aaron (@aarondevandry) October 15, 2021

Fast forward, then, to the bottom of the ninth Thursday, two outs, a man on first and the Dodgers trying to hold on to a 2-1 lead and finish off the series. Wilmer Flores tried to hold up on Max Scherzer’s 2-and-2 slider and … well, maybe he held up and maybe he didn’t. The check swing is maybe the toughest call in baseball to get right, although to some (many?) umps just finding the strike zone is particularly challenging.

But first base umpire Gabe Morales ruled it a swing, and that was that.

Wilmer Flores and the check swing heard ’round the world. pic.twitter.com/nZWVre7U1v

— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) October 15, 2021

Ruf, who had tied Thursday’s game with a monstrous 452-foot home run to center field in the sixth inning, acknowledged the juxtaposition afterward.

Darin Ruf recognizes the irony: “ it didn’t look like he went but a checked swing early in the year helped us out too, It’s kind of funny how it comes down to those two events.”

— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) October 15, 2021

Darin Ruf on the check-swing calls coming full circle for both #Dodgers and #SFGiants this season. Logan Webb on how he felt tonight as well. #Postseason pic.twitter.com/G3DCnChRI4

— Michael J. Duarte (@michaeljduarte) October 15, 2021

But it was fitting that this series, and an entire season that has been so competitive between these ancient rivals, would be decided by the smallest of margins and the most difficult of calls.

Maybe it was only right that after the conversation and consternation in the afternoon about the Dodgers’ decision to use Corey Knebel as an opener en route to Julio Urías, the chain from Knebel to Brusdar Graterol to Urías, Blake Treinen, Kenley Jansen and Scherzer ran as smoothly as it did. And maybe it was coincidence, or maybe not, that Scherzer nailed down an elimination game on two days of rest, 56 years to the day after Sandy Koufax pitched a 2-0 shutout of the Minnesota Twins on two days of rest to win the 1965 World Series.

It’s baseball. What can we say?

This was 3 hours and 26 minutes of tension and nervous energy and waiting to see who would be responsible for the big hit or the big pitch or the big play – or big miscue – that would spoil an entire season’s work for one of these ancient rivals.

“I mean, the Giants are an incredible team,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman told media members after it was over. “Talented one through 26, Kap (Gabe Kapler) deploys them really well. So we knew it was going to be a really tough series. I don’t think we appreciated the full extent of it until living it. But it was an incredible series. Obviously, we feel really good about being on the side of it that we were. But we appreciate how razor-thin the margins were.”

Beyond the rivalry, and the history, and the enmity between Dodgers fans and Giants fans (and the trolling was underway not long after the final pitch), there seemed to be mutual respect among the competitors. Maybe it’s because these teams are so similar, with former Dodger GM Farhan Zaidi and former Dodger farm director Kapler using many of the same principles to assemble this Giants roster and get it into fighting shape a year or two earlier than those on the outside had anticipated. That team is good, and it’s likely going to be a threat for years to come.

And after both teams had won 109 games in 2021, counting the postseason, and after the Giants had won 12 and the Dodgers 11 head-to-head, shouldn’t a taut pitchers’ duel have been the only way it could end?

For the record, dating to the first meeting between NL champion New York and American Association champion Brooklyn in the 1889 “World’s Series” – you know, the one nobody remembered when they kept calling this the “first ever” postseason meeting of the franchises – the Giants have won 1,277 meetings between the teams and the Dodgers (aka Bridegrooms, Grooms, Superbas and Robins) have won 1,249, according to Baseball-Reference.com. It must be noted that Brooklyn was 121 games under .500 against New York from 1903 through 1938, a period when the Brooklyn club seldom contended and was often lousy. Since the teams came to the West Coast in 1958, the Dodgers have a 575-550 edge following Thursday’s victory.

Yes, there have been memorable moments and winner-take-all games that catapulted one of these teams into the World Series. But no less an authority than Vin Scully, who witnessed most of those battles over the years, tweeted Thursday afternoon that this might be the biggest one in the teams’ shared history.

To my knowledge, tonight’s game between the @Dodgers and @SFGiants is the most important game in the history of their rivalry. With nearly identical records, and so much at stake, I believe this to be the case.

— Vin Scully (@TheVinScully) October 14, 2021

If Vin says it, I believe it.

“It was great every time we played those guys, just bringing the rivalry back to life, really playing for relevance,” Roberts said.

San Diegans probably will object, but this season and particularly this series served as a reminder of the importance of the Dodgers-Giants rivalry, not only its history and the way both franchises embrace it but its renewed relevance on the national stage.

And while this wasn’t the first postseason meeting between the rivals (again, see the link above), may it not be the last, either. This stuff is too good to keep to ourselves.

jalexander@scng.com

@Jim_Alexander on Twitter

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Canyon football shows its resolve, stuns Brea Olinda in North Hills opener


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ORANGE — Canyon’s football team entered opening night in the North Hills League with its record in shambles but its resolve firmly intact.

Interim coach Eric Yost said as much about the Comanches’ attitude before kickoff against visiting Brea Olinda but their actions Thursday spoke even louder.

Quarterback Christian Lundsberg threw two first-half touchdowns to Fox Haugen and running back Kyle Krause rushed for two scores as Canyon snapped a four-game losing streak to stun the reigning league champion Wildcats 42-28 at El Modena.

Canyon (2-6, 1-0) led 28-6 at halftime and punctuated the upset in the second half behind big plays by Krause and Haugen, two of about 30 juniors on the Comanches’ up-and-coming squad.

Krause broke a 95-yard touchdown run in the middle of the third quarter while Haugen returned his own punt block 7 yards for a touchdown later in the period.

Haugen also grabbed an interception, one of three turnovers forced by the Comanches as they won their first league game since Oct. 13, 2018 against El Modena.

“These kids battle. They have fight,” said Yost, filling in for Josh Waybright, who is recovering from a car accident a few weeks ago. “These kids are tough and they just give everything they have.”

The Comanches were 0-6 in the coronavirus-shortened spring season and winless in the Crestview League during a challenging 2019, which saw them lose their final eight games.

Canyon snapped a 17-game losing streak earlier this fall by defeating Fullerton but now has a shot to reach the playoffs by winning one of its two remaining games.

“I’ve been on the varsity program for three years now and we’ve only won three times,” said Krause, who had tears in his eyes after rushing for 190 yards on 19 carries. “It just feels so good to finally win, all the effort we put in.”

Canyon entered the game with a reputation for its passing attack, and certainly leaned on the 6-foot-4 195-pound Lundsberg. The junior completed 20 of 27 passes for 184 in the first half and finished 26 of 36 for 221 yards.

Haugen racked up 10 catches for 122 yards, including TDs of 14 and 18 yards.

But the Comanches also rushed the ball well behind Krause, finishing with 222 yards on 31 carries as a team.

Canyon’s defense received sacks from Noah Eckenrode, Joseph Mitchell and the combination of Zaki Dostzada and Brennan Maertz. Brady Van Sprecken added an interception while fellow junior Troy Mills also played well at linebacker.

Middle linebacker Luke Oliva delivered one of the biggest plays in the second half. The senior stopped Brea Olinda quarterback Justus Thongphrachanh short of a first down on a fourth-down play from the Canyon 6-yard line to halt the Wildcats’ long possession to open the third quarter.

On the next play, Krause broke his 95-yard TD run as Canyon opened a 34-6 lead midway through the third.

Haugen’s scoop-and-score off his block gave Canyon a 41-13 lead going into the fourth against Brea Olinda (3-3, 0-1), a former county top-25 team that has been hit hard by COVID-19 contact tracing in recent weeks.

Thongphrachanh threw a late 39-yard TD to Ryan Reagins as the Wildcats scored twice in the final five minutes. The senior passed for 261 yards and three scores.

Senior Cadence Rutledge, a senior who also plays on the girls soccer team, kicked a pair of extra points for the Wildcats.

Next week, Canyon takes on El Dorado at Valencia while Brea Olinda plays host to Esperanza.

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OCVarsity Gridiron: Fryer and Albano make their picks for the top Week 8 games

Steve Fryer and Dan Albano discuss the top football games on the Week 8 schedule and make their picks. Check out what they have to say about these games: Foothill-Yorba Linda, Cypress-Pacifica, Corona del Mar-Edison, Dana Hills-Irvine, San Juan Hills-San Clemente and El Toro-Capistrano Valley.

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Trinity League Football Podcast: Stretch drive begins with Week 8 preview

The Trinity League Football Podcast returns this week with an in-depth review of Week 7 and a preview of Week 8.

OCVarsity’s Dan Albano and insider Scott Barajas analyze the results between Servite-Santa Margarita, Mater Dei-Orange Lutheran and St. John Bosco-JSerra. Servite safety Brock Beuerlein caps the show by sharing comments about his interception return for a score against the Eagles.

The guys also preview this week’s games, led by Mater Dei-Santa Margarita on Friday.

Listen to the episode here, and subscribe in Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts to get every episode as they publish.

Please review and subscribe to the podcast.

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