Can you believe it’s already Week 5? We can’t either.
This is the last week for most teams before they start league play, which means it’s the last chance to fine tune and adjust before hitting the meat of the schedule. Here is a rundown of the local high school football games going on tonight.
Make sure to follow us on Twitter @SouthOCSports for live, in-game updates. This week we will be live tweeting from San Clemente vs. Edison, Dana Hills vs. Irvine, JSerra vs. Trabuco Hills, St. Margaret’s vs. Grace Brethren and San Juan Hills vs. Dos Pueblos. Check back online after the games to get a full re-cap of what went down on Friday night.
Dana Hills vs. Irvine, at Irvine High School, 7 p.m.
It’s safe to say that the Dolphins (0-5) really want, and need, this win with one week to go until league play and still in search of their first victory.
The JSerra running attack was too much for the Dolphins last week and the Lions’ Casey Eugenio bolted his way to a 140-yard night. It was the second week in a row where an efficient running game racked up points on the Dolphins. In Week 3, Troy and its star running back Dallas Parent ran the ball extremely well against the Dolphins.
Dolphin senior running back Marcus Hughes has been getting hot lately, logging back to back games with 100+ yards rushing.
Junior starting quarterback Mac Vail and the Dolphin offense could not get much going in the first half of the JSerra game and Vail would eventually exit the game at halftime due to back spasms that flared up after a hard hit. Senior J.P Ashton came in to spell Vail and sparked a Dolphin drive that ended in a Hughes touchdown.
On Friday, we will see who starts under center for the Dolphins.
“I think we are going to win (against Irvine),” senior tight end/offensive tackle Devon Vise said after the loss to JSerra. “I think we are going to play next week with a fire under our (butts).”
The Irvine (3-1) football team currently has the best record in the Pacific League and are coming off a 13-0 loss to Laguna Hills, a Sea View League opponent the Dolphins will face this season.
San Clemente vs. Edison, at San Clemente, 7 p.m.
This game is so big, it’s going to be broadcast on Fox Sports West as their high school game of the week. The game can be seen on tape delay starting at 8:30 p.m. (check your local listings).
But back to the action.
San Clemente (4-1) is coming off their only loss of the season, a 28-7 beat down at the hands of Newport Harbor on September 21. The Tritons were playing without starting quarterback Sean Donnelly and backup quarterback Sam Darnold, both out due to injuries. That left Loren Applegate the obvious choice to start.
Applegate, a third stringer, and the Triton offense struggled to convert on Newport Harbor mistakes and made a few of their own (the Tritons committed three turnovers) as the Sailors took a commanding lead by scoring three times in the third quarter.
Applegate is expected to start again this week with Donnelly still nursing his strained shoulder.
Edison (3-1) comes into the game with a highly regarded defense in tow. In four games played this season the Chargers have allowed only 27 points scored against them and have shutout their opponents twice, including a gritty, signature 6-0 victory over Servite. 20 of those points allowed were put up by Mater Dei last week as the Monarchs beat Edison, 20-14.
Up until the loss to Newport Harbor the Tritons defense has been stingy as well, holding every other opponent to under 15 points.
What could be a battle of the defenses might materialize Friday night.
Applegate has had another week of practice to try and pick up where Donnelly left off and will no doubt have his hands full with the high flying Edison defense.
JSerra vs. Trabuco Hills, at Saddleback College, 7 p.m.
Sweeping through the preseason schedule has become a trend for the Lions (4-0). But this year, a beefed up schedule shows that they can be a tough out for the visiting Mustangs (3-1) out of the South Coast League.
Junior running back Casey Eugenio has provided a lot of spark for the Lion offense and is coming off one of his most productive outings of the season after running for 140 yards and three touchdowns against Dana Hills last week. In that game the Lions barely threw the ball and handed off to Eugenio 25 times.
The Mustangs like to run the ball as well and are currently averaging 4.88 yards per carry. Sophomore Chris Reck appears to be their workhorse as he’s carried the ball 66 times for five touchdowns.
The Lions defense has kept them in games and will look to stop Trabuco Hills’ (who is averaging 173.6 rushing yards per game) at the front line.
Mustangs senior J.T Land has been effective on both sides of the ball as both a full back and outside linebacker. Land is among the team leaders in total tackles (28) and leads the team in sacks (2).
San Juan Hills vs. Dos Pueblos, at San Juan Hills, 7 p.m.
The Stallions (5-0) pulled off a come from behind victory over Fullerton last week, erasing a seven-point halftime deficit and outscoring their opponent 20-7 in the second half. Stallion junior quarterback Jacob Gibson had a great night and threw for 289 yards (completing 16 out of 24 passes) and a touchdown. Gibson’s effort in the air was balanced nicely by the Stallions running backs, particularly junior Brad Kremer, who rushed for three touchdowns on the night.
The Stallions are looking to break through for their hottest start in three years. If they win tonight and go 6-0 to start the season, it will best the Stallions of 2010-2011, who started off their season with five straight wins.
Dos Pueblos (4-1) is coming in to the game hot off a shootout win over Rio Mesa, a game the Chargers won 42-28. Not much is known about this Dos Pueblos team from Goleta but they seem to be able to find ways to win.
St. Margaret’s vs. Grace Brethren, at St. Margaret’s, 7 p.m.
The Tartans (3-1) got somewhat of a wakeup call last Friday after travelling to Laguna Beach, where they suffered their first loss of the season. Up until that game the Tartans have been lights out on defense, holding their opponents scoring average to just seven points per game. But then Laguna Beach and their old school Delaware Wing-T offense lit them up for 31 points in a 31-17 Breakers victory.
Turnovers are what eventually did the Tartans in against Laguna Beach as junior quarterback Josh Davis threw three interceptions in the contest and the defense was unable to stop the Breakers from capitalizing.
Grace Brethren (1-3) will make the long drive out from Simi Valley to play the Stallions tonight. Their game plan in four games played seems to revolve entirely around their running game. Sophomore quarterback Matthew Woodard has only attempted 28 passes this season and has yet to throw a touchdown. However, they are running the ball at a rapid rate. Senior running backs Corey Phillips and Dylan Suchomel have ran for 361 and 337 yards, respectively, on the season.
If the Tartans are looking to bounce back this week with a win, they’ll have to find a way to stop Grace Brethren and their running attack.