Hart (3-0) vs. Saugus (2-1)
Though Hart got past Golden Valley last week in dramatic double overtime, they suffered a major blow to their title hopes that was confirmed this week.
Quarterback Nick Moore will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL. It was a non-contact injury and a horrible break for a player who had an incredible start to his Foothill League career. Insert relative unknown Justice Provost, and the Indians will confront their biggest piece of adversity of the 2015 season.
It isn’t likely Coach Mike Herrington will change the offense, so it will be up to Provost to elevate his game for the varsity level on only one week of preparation as a starter. One would think the offense might rely more heavily on talented tailback Nelson James, but his status is also in question after dropping out of last week’s game with a thigh injury.
We will see if he is able to get back on the field tonight. However, if AJ Stanley intercepts another five passes like he did last week, it may not matter what the Indians do on offense. Incredible, record-setting game for the junior defensive back, as he owned Golden Valley’s Victor Corona all night.
Saugus put together their most complete performance of the season in last week at Canyon High School. The Centurions pounded the ball on offense to over 170 yards on the ground, and played the kind of suffocating defense they’ve come to be known for this season.
The Centurions defense is without a doubt one of the best units in the Foothill League. Coming off a ten sack performance against the Cowboys, they have now held opponents to 21 points or less in six straight games. That is pretty darn good in high school football.
With an opportunity against an inexperienced quarterback making his first start at the varsity level, this is a huge opportunity for Saugus to make some noise in the Foothill League and turn the league on its side. A win would vault the Centurions past Hart and in the driver’s seat for a playoff spot.
But don’t count out the CIF-SS West Valley Division No.6 Indians just yet, who still have a talented team and aren’t going down this year without a fight.
Canyon (0-3) vs Valencia (3-0)
Valencia has been as consistent as can be since entering league play. The Vikings defense has been outstanding, allowing just 13 points in their first three games and haven’t been truly tested by anyone so far. They put a serious hurting on West Ranch in the first half of last week’s game, and cruised there on out.
Quarterback Cole Parkinson improved his accuracy last week, and with Davalos and Berkley running well this balanced offense is good enough to take them to their seventh straight Foothill League title.
The key for Valencia will be to remain consistent in their approach and not worry about the outside noise (injury issues at Hart) and continue to improve every week.
There’s no way around it; Canyon has looked worse with each passing Foothill League game. They played Hart tough in the rivalry game, but the wheels have fallen off of this proud school.
It starts up front for the Cowboys. Their front seven is good enough to keep them in games, but undisciplined. Too many times last week against Saugus they extended drives with costly penalties.
Then there’s the offensive line miscues. Ten sacks allowed to Saugus is the most this year. Add in the penalties, and the offense is completely out of rhythm right now.
Valencia’s Jermaine Brown and company are going to be excited about the opportunity to get after Miles Fallin this week, and it may be a long night for the Cowboys who are completely overmatched in this game.
West Ranch (0-3) vs Golden Valley (1-2)
After letting a golden opportunity slip away at Cougar Stadium last week, the Grizzlies still have an excellent opportunity to finish above .500 in the Foothill League for the first time in school history and make the playoffs, a historic season for GV.
The Grizzlies defense is legit, after holding Hart’s juggernaut offense to just 14 points in regulation last week. They will need them to be just as fierce against a Wildcats offense that can air it out if they get in a good rhythm.
These teams were close to even last year, but are trending in opposite directions in 2015.
West Ranch has shown no fight in any of their last three games, and have given up over 40 points in 5 of their last 6 contests. A career game for Grizzlies tailback Jesse Camacho may be in store tonight.