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DAILY NEWS GAME OF THE WEEK
Granada Hills Charter (4-1) at Birmingham Charter (2-4), 7 p.m.
Don’t let the win-loss records fool you.
The only records that matter Friday night are Granada Hills and Birmingham’s West Valley League record, which are both 1-0.
The Highlanders ran over Chatsworth 42-7 and the Patriots rolled Taft 47-0 last week. Now, in a battle of charter schools, each team has a chance to prove something.
For Granada Hills, a win would put the team in the conversation for a City Section Open Division playoff berth. The Highlanders’ only loss is to Eagle Rock, 37-22, a defeat taken at home on September 16. The rest of the team’s schedule has been poor. According to MaxPreps.com, Granada Hills’ strength of schedule is -21.4 compared to Birmingham’s 6.1
It explains why Birmingham’s 2-win season needs to be taken with a grain of salt. All four losses have been to CIF Southern Section schools. The 6.1-rated strength of schedule is the highest in the City Section and could pay off Friday night.
Because for Birmingham, a win would mark the team’s third straight victory and likely douse any doubt the Patriots weren’t a real threat for a third straight City Section Open Division title run this fall.
KEYS TO THE GAME
It’s no secret what Granada Hills does offensively. The Highlanders run the double-wing (run-heavy offense) highlighted by senior Dijon Stanley, a Utah commit, and his younger cousin Darrell Stanley, a sophomore.
The two have combined for 1,237 yards and 18 touchdowns this season. Dijon is averaging 170 yards per game. Darrell averages 110 yards per contest.
“If you’re not disciplined defensively against that offense it can turn into a long night,” Birmingham coach Jim Rose said. “If Dijon Stanley gets a step, he’s gone.”
Unless Granada Hills has something up its sleeve, Birmingham will likely be able to duplicate the same discipline Eagle Rock showed in its win over Granada Hills earlier this year. Granada Hills has attempted just five passes all season.
Granada Hills hasn’t beaten Birmingham since 2013 (22-15, Oct.11). Birmingham hasn’t lost to a City Section opponent in the regular season since 2017.
Prediction: Birmingham. The Patriots are the two-time Open champions for a reason.
VOTE: Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week, October 7
VOTE: Southern California Girls Athlete of the Week, October 7
CIF-SS girls volleyball polls, Oct. 4
CIF-SS boys and girls cross country polls, Oct. 4
CIF-SS girls tennis polls, Oct. 4