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Vikings set sails for third league win

Saugus also looks to remain undefeated

Posted: October 30, 2008 10:15 p.m.
Updated: January 1, 2009 5:00 a.m.

Valencia (6-1, 2-0) vs. Hart (3-4, 1-1)
The much anticipated crosstown matchup between Hart High and Valencia High will take place at 7 p.m. today at Paul Priesz Stadium.

The Indians hold the advantage in this series with a 12-1-1 record against the Vikings.

"Hart and Valencia rivalry is always a big game," said Hart running back Demitri Diamond. "We're looking forward to a great game."

The two teams have also met twice in CIF playoffs with Hart coming out on top both times.

Valencia's only victory over Hart came in 2004 when the team won 29-10.

The Vikings would later go on to clinch the Foothill League title.

In 2007, both teams ended its matchup in a tie and the Indians finished as runners-up in the CIF-Southern Section Northern Division, while Valencia fell to Newbury Park in the quarterfinals.

This year, the Vikings enter the contest 2-0 in league (6-1 overall). Hart, which is currently 1-1 in league, is coming off a 29-27 upset over Canyon last Friday.

Led by quarterback Spenser Souza and Diamond and Jake Stephens in the backfield, Hart is on track in its march to clinch a spot in the CIF playoffs.

However, the Indians still enter the contest as the underdogs.

Valencia has yet to face an opponent that can snap its six-game win streak.

Behind consistent, solid performances from running back Jordan Thompson and quarterback Dominick Solley, the Vikings are favored to clinch the Foothill League title come mid November.

The Vikings currently rest at No. 5 in the CIF Northern Division polls, the highest of any Foothill League team.

"We work really hard every week," Solley said. "Our work ethic is what has made us successful."

Saugus (4-3, 2-0) vs. Golden Valley (3-4, 0-2)
Saugus will host Golden Valley at College of the Canyons at 7:30 p.m.

Golden Valley has yet to win a game in the Foothill League and the team is not likely to get a victory over the Centurions either.

Saugus has already received wins over Hart and West Ranch.

The Centurions have been showing a lot of improvement on defense.

Saugus struggled earlier in the season to find its defensive identity after losing all 11 starters from last season's team which finished second in the Foothill League. Taming the Centurions' formidable one-two punch of running back Ryan Zirbel and quarterback Desi will be an arduous task for Golden Valley.

It will likely come down to a decision by Saugus head coach Jason Bornn to determine when he'll bring in his second team against the Grizzlies, who have struggled to score points.

West Ranch (2-5, 1-1) vs. Canyon (3-4, 0-2)
The Cowboys will host the Wildcats at 7 p.m. at Harry Welch Stadium.

Canyon's Foothill League season has not started out in its favor.

Plagued with injuries, the Cowboys opened league action against perennial powerhouse Valencia and followed it up with a 29-27 loss to rival Hart last Friday.

The Cowboys look to rebound against West Ranch, a team that has had less than stellar results so far this season.

After defeating Golden Valley in its league opener, West Ranch was dealt a 66-24 loss against Saugus in a game that was in their hands in the opening minutes of the game.

But in true Centurions fashion, the team rallied back and the Wildcats struggled to hold off Saugus' steady offense.

West Ranch's defense will need a solid performance to hold off a deep corps of Canyon receivers, that look to rally back after a subpar outing against Hart.


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