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Around the Divisions: Powers stand tall

Top-ranked teams in the divisions survive big matchups

Posted: October 23, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: October 23, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Valencia defensive back Michael Carter secures an interception during a game against Canyon on Friday at Canyon High School. Valencia defensive back Michael Carter secures an interception during a game against Canyon on Friday at Canyon High School.
Valencia defensive back Michael Carter secures an interception during a game against Canyon on Friday at Canyon High School.

Last Friday was the day of important matchups across the CIF-Southern Section Northern Division.

With the favorites winning those battles, no major changes occurred in this week’s CIF top 10 poll.

Valencia took down Canyon in the first matchup of two ranked Foothill League teams.

As a result, the Vikings moved up one spot to third and Canyon stayed put at eighth.

The other big matchup was between the last two remaining undefeated teams in the division — Palmdale and Antelope Valley.

Palmdale held up to remain perfect on the year, yet it still ranks one spot below No. 1 Hart, which still appears to be the team to beat in the Foothill.

No. 1 Hart (7-1); Last Friday: Beat Saugus 35-0; Last week’s ranking: No. 1

For most of the season, Hart has earned accolades for its offensive prowess. Friday’s shutout victory over Saugus proved the Indians can play a little defense, too.

In addition to hauling in a touchdown reception, Wes Fitzpatrick intercepted a Saugus pass to set up another Hart score.

Hart then built on its early 14-0 lead after forcing two more turnovers. Cody Shoemaker forced a fumble and Griffin Scott later recovered a fumble, which allowed Hart to pull ahead 28-0 early in the second half.

It was the seventh win in a row for the Indians, who lost 10-7 to Tesoro to open their season on Aug. 31.

This Friday, Hart has its biggest challenge since Tesoro as it faces fellow Foothill League-undefeated foe Valencia at Valencia High School.

No. 2 Palmdale (8-0); Last Friday: Beat Antelope Valley 53-12; LWR: No. 2

The two Golden League powers collided on Friday and Palmdale easily came out on top over previously undefeated Antelope Valley.

That leaves the Falcons as the lone unbeaten in the Northern Division.

After a scoreless first quarter, Palmdale posted a 24-point second quarter to begin the runaway.

Jarrod Ford scored on a 14-yard touchdown run and a 31-yard interception return later in the game.

Running back Demario Richard rushed for 161 yards on 24 attempts and scored once from 2 yards out.

At 5-0, the Falcons are alone in first place in the Golden League with 0-8 Littlerock next on the schedule on Friday.

No. 3 Valencia (5-3); Last Friday: Beat Canyon 54-41; LWR: No. 4

As Valencia continues to rumble through Foothill League play, it keeps crawling back up the polls.

Quarterback Sean Murphy threw a school-record six touchdowns against a Canyon team which came into the game 2-0 in league play.

The two high-powered offenses traded blows for the first two quarters and a little bit into the third before Valencia’s defense started clamping down.

On the other hand, the Vikings’ offense never slowed down, scoring 28 straight points to turn a 34-26 deficit into a 54-34 lead.

Valencia amassed 566 yards of total offense, including 473 passing yards from Murphy.

The win sets up the Foothill League’s matchup of the year on Friday when the Vikings host Hart.

No. 4 Palos Verdes (5-3); Last Friday: Beat West High 47-14; LWR: No. 5

The Bay League has been good to Palos Verdes, which has now won five in a row after dropping its first three games of the season.

Three of those wins have come against Bay League opponents and the Sea Kings have won those games by a combined score of 156-27.

Senior running back Matt Lopes rushed for 149 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 18 carries in Palos Verdes’ latest win against West High of Torrance.

Quarterback Bryan Scott threw for four scores on 9-of-14 passing for 151 yards.

Palos Verdes plays at 5-3 Redondo Union on Friday in a matchup of the two teams tied for first in league.

No. 5 Arroyo Grande (6-2); Last Friday: Beat Righetti 46-34; LWR: No. 6

In a wild game that featured turnovers and lead changes galore, Arroyo Grande prevailed against Righetti to secure a second-place spot in the Pac-7 League a half game behind St. Joseph.

St. Joseph’s loss on Friday puts the Arroyo Grande as the highest-ranked Pac-7 team.

Against Righetti, the Eagles rushed for 283 yards with seven different ball carriers.

Michael Jordano led the way with 96 yards on 15 carries, including a 65-yard touchdown run.

On defense, Arroyo Grande picked off Righetti four times.

Arroyo hosts 5-3 Paso Robles on Friday.

No. 6 St. Joseph (6-2); Last Friday: Lost to Atascadero 28-24; LWR: No. 3

After surrendering a 17-point lead in the fourth quarter to lose its first Pac-7 League game of the season, St. Joseph fell three spots in the top 10 poll.

The Knights led 24-7 with 10:55 to play on Friday, but allowed Atascadero to score 21 straight points.

St. Joseph had a chance to win, but Curry Parham’s pass to Ryan Mediano from 20 yards out fell incomplete to end the game.

At 4-1 in the Pac-7, St. Joseph still leads the way as it prepares to face 2-6 Pioneer Valley on Friday.

No. 7 Mira Costa (5-3); Last Friday: Beat Palos Verdes Peninsula 42-28; LWR: No. 10

The Mustangs took advantage of three second-half lost fumbles by Peninsula to race off with a bounceback victory on Friday.

All five of Mira Costa’s wins have come by at least 12 points, yet it lost 48-13 on Oct. 12 to Palos Verdes.

Raphael Lawson-Gayle led Mira Costa on Friday with 113 rushing yards and a touchdown on 15 tries.

Now third in the Bay League, the Mustangs host 1-7 Leuzinger this Friday.

No. 8 Canyon (5-2-1); Last Friday: Lost to Valencia 54-41; LWR: No. 8

Despite suffering its first Foothill League loss of the season, Canyon didn’t move in the polls.

The Cowboys again put up big offensive numbers against Valencia, but couldn’t keep up with the Vikings as the game wore on.

Quarterback Cade Apsay was 21-for-41 with 394 yards, four passing touchdowns to four different wide receivers and two interceptions. He also ran for two scores.

Drew Wolitarsky led Canyon with 105 yards on seven catches.

Canyon will try to regroup on Friday when it hosts West Ranch.

No. 9 Redondo Union (5-3); Last Friday: Beat Leuzinger 45-26; LWR: Not ranked

A third straight Bay League victory put Redondo onto the division’s top 10 this week.

On Friday, Redondo running back Anthony Philyaw found the end zone four times, running for three scores and 213 yards and catching two passes for 30 yards and a touchdown against Leuzinger.

With the win, the Sea Hawks move into a first-place tie with Palos Verdes atop the Bay League.

Those two teams face off on Friday.

No. 10 Antelope Valley (7-1); Last Friday: Lost to Palmdale 53-12; LWR: No. 7

The Antelopes came out on the short end of a head-to-head battle between the two best teams in the Golden League, suffering their first loss of the season.

Starting quarterback Cameron French went down with an injury in the game as Palmdale pulled ahead 24-0 by halftime.

Daniel Bernard and Daveon Stone recorded Antelope Valley’s only two scores of the game in the fourth quarter.

Antelope Valley is tied with Quartz Hill for second in league. Those two teams meet in the regular season finale on Nov. 2.

In the meantime, the Antelopes face 4-4 Highland on Friday.

Some information for this story was gathered from, The Los Angeles Daily News, The Daily Breeze, The Santa Maria Times and


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