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Let the Foothill League games begin

Contests for all the marbles finally commence in the SCV

Posted: October 16, 2008 9:43 p.m.
Updated: December 18, 2008 5:00 a.m.
 

Foothill League football teams have a clean slate.

All the work done up until this point was simply preparation for what will be a very competitive season on the gridiron.

The race for the league title begins.

Recent CIF polls have three Foothill League teams in the Northern Division's top 10.

Valencia ranks the highest at No. 5 with Canyon inching its way into the line-up at No. 9 and rounding out the top 10 is Saugus.

Canyon and Valencia face off at Harry Welch Stadium tonight at 7 p.m.

Both teams had a successful non-league campaign.

Despite being without starting quarterback Dominick Solley, the Vikings went 4-1 with three of those wins ending in shutouts.

Solley returned to Valencia's line-up last week against Westchester where he finished 16-of-22 for 169 yards.

In Solley's absence, sophomore signal caller Alex Bishop led the Vikings offense to three consecutive wins finishing 35-of-57 for 637 yards.

Solley will go head to head with the cannon-like arm of senior quarterback Jordan Adamczyk.

Currently, Adamczyk leads the league in passing accumulating 1,209 yards.

Adamczyk has a deep corps of receivers to throw to including Chris Rivas, who recently set a school record with 301 receiving yards and he tied the school record with 13 receptions in the team's final non-league game against Chaminade.

The questions lie within each team's defense. There is no lack of offensive weapons, but both teams defense will have to be proven.

Canyon will be led by senior linebacker Nate Marroquin and lineman Japheth Gordon, while Drew LaVoise and Brock Vereen hold down the Vikings backfield.

Saugus vs. Hart

Saugus was just three points away from capturing its first Foothill league title in 2007 before falling to Hart in the last game of the season.

However, with Hart's less than stellar non-league start, Saugus will likely have the edge in 2008.

The Centurions come off a very tough non-league schedule, which included powerhouses Notre Dame and Crespi, going 2-3 overall.

The Indians, who finished its non-league campaign 2-3, seem to be struggling with the loss of three of its pertinent stars who led the team to the top of the Foothill League and runner's up in the CIF Northern Division last season. Hart is still looking to fill the gaps left behind by running back Delano Howell, quarterback B.R. Holbrook and linebacker Patrick Larimore.

But the Indians have received progress from first year starting quarterback Spenser Souza. Equally solid is running back Jake Stephens who has led the Indians offense while an injured Demitri Diamond paces the sideline.

Saugus quarterback Desi Rodriguez continues to be a force for the Centurions offense. The 6-foot signal caller leads the team in rushing with 100 carries for 639 yards as well as passing completing 46-of-86 for 662 yards.

The one-two-punch of Rodriguez and running back Ryan Zirbel has been the backbone to the Centurions success. Saugus is still making necessary adjustments on the defensive end to allow the Centurions an opportunity to remain contenders.

West Ranch vs. Golden Valley

Things have been a bit tough for these new programs in the Foothill League.

However, Golden Valley did see a ray of light at the start of the non-league schedule when it had it's first ever two-game win streak. The team finished its campaign with three wins under its belt.

The numbers may not reflect it, but there could be some abstruse items at play. The team looks to improve on the 38 points per game it averaged last season which should boast highly for its offense.

A win over West Ranch is a possibility for Golden Valley and would serve as a motivating factor to the team as it heads deeper into league play.

West Ranch, coming off four consecutive losses, won only one game in the non-league conference and has struggled offensively with the loss of an injured Ross Bacon.

The dual role Bacon, at running back and defensive back, carries the majority of the offensive load in the tailback spot. The 5-foot-10 senior has accumulated 537 yards on 76 carries.

At the helm of the Wildcats offense is third-year starting quarterback Jake Bernards.

Bernards is second in league in passing, accumulating 952 yards on 83-of-149.

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