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Gauntlet of a schedule

Centurions finish nonleague slate against Crespi

Posted: October 9, 2008 9:47 p.m.
Updated: December 11, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Saugus (2-2) vs. Crespi (3-1)
The Centurions have had a tough nonleague schedule and unfortunately, it's not going to get any easier.

Saugus will face Crespi of Encino tonight at the College of the Canyons at 7:30 p.m.

Crespi is currently ranked No. 3 in the CIF Pac-5 division behind powerhouses Mater Dei and No. Long Beach Poly. Crespi is expected to play for another bowl berth this season.

Despite putting up huge offensive numbers last Friday against Notre Dame, Saugus fell 52-28.

The Centurions will face a lot of pressure against Crespi's formidable defense.

Last season the Celts defense allowed only 12.2 points per game.

Saugus quarterback Desi Rodriguez will have to rely less on his scrambling ability and more on his long passing in this contest.

The Centurions will look to senior running back Ryan Zirbel to have another standout offensive performance.

Last week against Notre Dame, Zirbel ran for 202 yards on 24 carries.

Big questions still lie within the Saugus defense, which gave up five plays of 67 or more yards in the loss to Notre Dame.

Crespi has plenty of weapons on offense as well. The team will be led by junior quarterback Bryan Bennett who is currently 27-of-51 for 578 yards and five touchdowns.

Jeremiah McKibbins will hold down the tailback spot. McKibbins has accumulated 330 yards on 49 carries.

Receiver Blake Stanton is a favorite target of Bennett's. Stanton leads the squad of wideouts with 12 receptions for 193 yards.

"We have to prepare and do what we have to do," Rodriguez said. "They are a good team but not unbeatable."

Hart (2-2) vs. Loyola (2-2)
Hart will face Loyola High on Saturday at 7 p.m. in Glendale.

Loyola finished last in the tough Serra League for the last two seasons.

However, the Serra League is one of the toughest leagues in the Southern Section, consisting of top programs Notre Dame, Crespi and Bishop Amat.

This year's Cubs team looks to be an improvement from seasons past.

The Cubs return 12 starters, including quarterback Steve Roku,s who is currently 31-of-59 for 353 yards and running back Anthony Barr, who has accumulated 809 yards on 94 carries.

Barr is a 6-foot-4, 225-pound challenge for the Indians defense. He must be contained in order for Hart to win its final game before league play begins Oct. 17 at College of the Canyons against

"They have a big back," Herrington said. "It's going to be tough."

Hart's offense has had no problems gaining yards, with more than 500 yards. It has had a few issues scoring touchdowns, scoring just two in a 14-7 win at home on Friday against Claremont.

"We need to get our red-zone offense better," Herrington said. "Our tackling was very poor two weeks ago. It was better last week, but we have a ways to go."

Loyola was just six points shy of defeating defending CIF-Div. I State Champion De La Salle in an earlier non-league contest.

The Indians are looking to get another win under their belt this week. The matchup will likely be an offensive battle.

In last Friday's win over Claremont quarterback Spenser Souza carried much of the load throwing 194 yards and rushing for 93 more.

Valencia (3-1) vs. Westchester (1-3)
The Vikings host Westchester High tonight at 7 p.m.

After three straight wins, Valencia, a week away from its Foothill League opener, is a solid contender for the league crown.

Getting past the Comets in this game should be an easy task.

Westchester finished 4-7 overall last season in the Western League and enter tonight's contest having lost three straight.

At the helm of the Comets offense will be quarterback Herman Evans who is currently 20-of-42 for 187 yards. Leading rusher Andre Buford has 12 carries for 90 yards. Dominick Solley, who has been out for three weeks, will start today.

West Ranch (1-3) vs. Los Osos (3-1)
West Ranch will travel to Los Osos High and take on the Grizzlies at 7 p.m.

Los Osos is considered one of the best programs in the Southern Section Central Division.

Led by UCLA commit quarterback Richard Brehaut, the Wildcats will have one last opportunity before league action to defeat a top team.

Brehaut, considered one of the best quarterbacks in the state, is currently 22-of-41 for 345 yards and three touchdowns.

Equally threatening is Division I bound running back Arby Fields and offensive lineman Matt Shinn. Wide receiver Lance Brown rounds out the Grizzlies' offense.

Los Osos, which averaged 17.7 points per game last season, is favored for a Central Division title this season.

West Ranch will need big offensive numbers from running back Ross Bacon, who currently has 391 yards on 55 carries and quarterback Jake Bernards, who is second behind Bacon in rushing yards and is also 53-of-95 for 524 yards.

Note: Both Canyon and Golden Valley have a bye week.


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