WEEK FOUR PREVIEW — SMITTY’S SELECTIONS
Last Week: 5-1 (.833)
Season: 13-5 (.722)
San Juan Capistrano (9/17/2015) – We’re back after being clipped from behind with technical difficulties and we do apologize to everyone for that. It’s been a long time since that has happened to Bishop’s. The Knights (2-0) hold San Diego county’s longest winning streak at 15 games and it’s been 671 days since they last were dealt a loss. They travel up the coast to take on a feisty St. Margaret’s (2-0) team that has won 17 of their last 18 games and that’s what makes it the Coastal Sports “Game of the Week.”
“This will be a huge test for us and i’m excited about that,” said Bishop’s head coach JOEL ALLEN. “Our guys know they’re in for a battle against another small school that’s almost a mirror image of ourselves and we feel like we have something to prove.”
Just how similar are the two teams….
Last season, both teams went undefeated in the regular season and won C.I.F. championships. Both teams had a #2 on their roster that were named player of the year in their respective leagues. Heck, both schools even have an apostrophe in their names.
However, the Knights were almost unfairly held out of the state playoffs, while the Tartars advanced. They came down to face a Christian team – that some say was their best ever – and blew them out 48-21 to reach the C.I.F. State Bowl Game. They went on to lose to Central Catholic 31-19, but only lost 7 seniors off that squad.
Unfortunately the St. Margaret’s #2 Nick Shanks was only a junior then. The Tartans look to put the ball in his hands as much as possible with toss sweeps, quick screens, returning kicks and he’s also the holder for the kicker. Just last week he took the snap on a short field goal and out-sprinted everyone to the corner on the end zone.
The stars on the Knights’ defense have to shine brighter than they ever have before if they hope to gain respect with huge state playoff implications on the line. I could see Bishop’s extending their streak to 16 straight, but they will be the underdogs for the first time in what seems like forever. There’s no doubt this will be a blood bath to the end and playing on the road the favorite has to be….St. Margaret’s 21, Bishop’s 20.
SANTA FE CHRISTIAN (2-1) vs Rancho Christian (2-1) – 7
This match-up is for the birds…no really this is being hyped as the “Battle of the Eagles.” The two schools might share the same mascot, but the similarities stop right there. Santa Fe Christian has a long, rich history of being one of the top small schools in California and Rancho Christian is in it’s fifth year of existence.
“It might be a newer school, but they have invested heavily into their athletic program,” praised SFC head coach JON WALLACE. “They have a bunch of really, really good freshmen so they have a bright future ahead of them.”
That doesn’t bode well for Rancho Christian because SFC is two years ahead of the grading curve with a bunch of really, really good juniors and the future is now.
One of those juniors that stood out in last week’s 41-6 win over Big Bear was HANK ONTIVEROS. The fullback/linebacker might only be 175 pounds, but he looks and plays like he’s 230 serving up pancakes breakfasts to any defender in his path. He recovered 2 fumbles in that game and led the team with 65 yards on 9 carries. He’s even being labeled by the SFC broadcast crew as “El Camino” because he’s like an old classic.
One of the players to watch for Rancho Christian is sophomore quarterback Carter Treadway. The three sport star (basketball, baseball) leads their spread attack, but unlike La Jolla who challenges you vertically it’s more of a horizontal attack trying to get guys in space to make a move. Another is 275 pound nose tackle Teddymax Talanoa who can disrupt an offense just with his size.
If this game were to be played next year, Rancho Christian with a little more experience at the varsity level might have much more of a chance. Playing their first home game of the season will definitely give them a boost, but the higher soaring Eagles will be…..Santa Fe Christian 41, Rancho Christian 14.
Crawford (3-0) vs LA JOLLA COUNTRY DAY (2-1) – 7
Friday is “Staff Appreciation” day on the LJCD campus. During the day, each member of the football team will be giving his white jersey to a teacher and it will be worn at the game by the recipient. Then there will be a halftime ceremony honoring all of the staff members with hand-written notes from students. One thing you can’t teach though is speed and stop me when you’ve heard this one before…the Colts have a lot of really fast athletes this year.
“We have to try and keep them contained,” said head coach TYLER HALES. “They run the ball a ton and when they are all fast it only takes one wrong move or missed assignment and they’re in the end zone.”
If the Torreys’ offense keeps playing like they have been for the first three weeks of the season it won’t matter. Averaging 44 points per game with no signs shown of slowin down isn’t good news for Crawford.
We all know about their QB, but what has been lost in the cracks is just how good his receivers have been. Eleven different Torreys have hauled in a pass with BRENNAN GORING (13-195-3) and DAVID WYLIE (13-265-4) leading the way. However, CASEY MARIUCCI appeared in only the first game against La Jolla and caught 5 balls for 133 yards, 2 TD’s and appears on his way back onto the field.
“He’s really been chomping at the bit to get out there again,” added Hales. “David (Wylie) has done such a great job for us kinda filling in for him that now we have even more weapons at our disperse.”
The only hope the Colts have is to not fall behind early and force some turnovers. If they can bust a few big plays and then control the clock with long drives they might have a shot. I think the Torreys’ teachers might give them an A- grade for their performance in the game when it’s over, but it would take a C or worse to not pass this test….La Jolla Country Day 35, Crawford 13.
Santa Clarita Christian (1-1) vs HORIZON (1-2) @ San Diego HS – 7
There might be fireworks in the air at Balboa Stadium Friday night and no…Katy Perry isn’t performing at halftime. Those could come thanks to the Cardinals’ passing attack. Through two games, junior quarterback Tristan Miller has thrown 718 yards and his top two weapons – Jacob Moss (16-332-2) and Michael Uribe (10-128-2) – are are going to cause problems. Then thers’s also the fact that their third and fourth options have combined for 16 catches, 199 yards and 5 scores.
“They are very well coached and have really good spacing in their spread offense,” said Horizon head coach LAMONT BUTLER. “They are sound in everything they do, but I think we may have few better athletes so it will be a good test to show us where we’re at right now as a team.”
Luckily, for the Panthers, their defense has been their bright spot so far in the early going. They are coming off a shutout and have only allowed 10 pts/gm on their side of the ball. This will be a different kind of test though. With such a lack of roster depth will they be able to hang with a fast-pace offense? We will soon find out but for now the jury rules….Santa Clarita Christian 21, Horizon 14.
West Hills (1-2) vs LA JOLLA (1-2) @ Mission Bay HS – 5
This is one of those games that make you say hmmm. Neither team has a true home field advantage and both have lost to teams that are undeniably better than them. The Wolf Pack lead the non-league series 6-5 including a nail-biting 26-24 win last season. Away from their blue turf they are a different team and the team that’s going to get back to .500 is….La Jolla 27, West Hills 21.
FRANCIS PARKER (0-3) vs Calexico (0-2) – 7
The trip out to the desert just might be exactly what the doctor ordered for the Lancers to get away from everything. No doubt they are rebuilding, but they are improving. Last week they score 27 points against Mater Dei and that’s nothing to ever scoff at. This week the Bulldogs are gonna have their hands full. In a battle of the win-less the first team to get off the schnide is….Francis Parker 28, Calexico 10.
St. Mary’s (CAN.) (0-0) vs CORONADO (2-1) – 7
The Islanders non-league schedule wouldn’t exactly be considered murder’s row eh. For the third straight week they are facing a cupcake, but not much is known about this St. Mary’s team from Canada eh. Usually when a team is an international one and they only play 3 or 4 games a year it could be glorious or horrific eh. I’m staying positive against the unknown eh….Coronado 42, St. Mary’s 6.
Tagged bishops, brennan goring, bulldogs, calexico, cardinals, carter treadway, casey marriucci, colts, coronado, crawford, david wylie, eagles, francis parker, horizon, islanders, joel allen, knights, la jolla, la jolla country day, lamont butler, lancers, nick shanks, panthers, rancho christian, santa clarita christian, santa fe christian, st margaret's, st. mary's, tartans, teddymax talanoa, torreys, tyler hales, west hills, wolf pack