Game of the Week: Chaminade vs. Sierra Canyon the football showdown San Fernando Valley thirsts for

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No. 4 Sierra Canyon (4-4) at No. 1 Chaminade (8-0), Friday, 7:30 p.m.

It’s funny how much can change in a year.

Last fall, the San Fernando Valley was begging to see the battle of Rinaldi Street between Sierra Canyon and Alemany. Both teams were top-ranked in the area. Both were having great seasons. The two teams almost met in the CIF Southern Section Division 2 playoffs, but it didn’t happen.

They finally met this season, but the luster was gone. Alemany has fallen on hard times (just two wins) and Sierra Canyon isn’t the juggernaut it was last year. The Trailblazers trounced the Warriors two weeks ago 42-0.

Meanwhile, it seems the football gods have been steeping a better game all the while.

On Friday night there will be a game that will garner the attention of the San Fernando Valley and has Mission League title implications, as Sierra Canyon travels to West Hills to take on unbeaten Chaminade. The contest will be televised by Bally Sports SoCal at 7:30 p.m.

Sierra Canyon’s only Mission League loss was to Bishop Amat in double overtime on Sept. 30. Since then, the Trailblazers have beaten Alemany and Serra, which creates an opening to win the league title if they can take down Chaminade.

The Eagles control their own destiny, but have Sierra Canyon and Serra left on their regular-season schedule, making the pretty bow to put on a perfect season a difficult task.


Chaminade is led by quarterback Javance Tupouata-Johnson, who has been almost perfect through the team’s first three league games. He has thrown for 628 yards with no interceptions and scored 11 touchdowns (four rushing). Running back Jaelon Barbain along with wideouts Logan Carpenter and Kwazi Gilmer have been the key weapons for the offense.

The Eagles defense has been one of the best units in Southern California. Isaiah Chisom, Marquis Gallegos, TJ Ford, Jackson Forte, Cody Franck and Ryan Abughazaleh find ways to get their names inked in the newspaper every Friday night.

For Sierra Canyon, it’s obvious that something is clicking. The Trailblazers are as talented as anyone, and on paper they possess more talent than Chaminade. However, they hadn’t been able to put it together when it counts until the game last week at Serra, which ended in a 35-21 victory.

The list of standouts for Sierra Canyon is impressive: Cameron Brandt (Stanford commit), Jojo Phillips (BYU), Lavon Brown (Colorado State), Elijah Payne (Arizona), Terrell Cooks Jr. (four-star recruit), Eugene Brooks (three-star), Ruben Gamboa, and rising sophomore Dane Dunn. They highlight a team that has been one light bulb away from being scary.

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The biggest question mark about Sierra Canyon has been its quarterback play. Alonzo Esparza and Damon Wrighster split time behind center all season until last week when Esparza started and played the entire game. Wrighster did not play.

Did that light bulb flick on against Serra? We’ll see.

Prediction: Chaminade. The Eagles win a close one at home.

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