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Here are previews and predictions the top local games Friday.
GAME OF THE WEEK
Bishop Amat at Sierra Canyon, 7 p.m.
GAME PREVIEW: Sierra Canyon hosting Amat in much-anticipated Mission League debut
FRIDAY’S TOP GAMES
(All games start 7 p.m. unless noted otherwise)
No. 1 Chaminade (5-0) at No. 10 Alemany (2-2)
Chaminade hasn’t had a tough test in weeks, but maybe because the Eagles are that good. They’ve outscored their opponents 190 to 55 through five games, including wins over Oaks Christian and JSerra. But those wins were a long time ago.
It’s a new season Friday night when these two teams face off in Mission League play. Frankly, this one is simple, if Chaminade is disciplined and can tackle, it will win the game. But if there’s over confidence and over pursuit, Alemany could have a big night with its wildcat offense.
The Warriors are used to beating teams into the ground with the running game. Opponents knew it was coming and still couldn’t stop it last year, and Alemany went on to play in the CIF-SS Division 2 title game.
… that was a long time ago, too.
Prediction: Chaminade. The Eagles stay unbeaten.
Gardena Serra (3-2) at Notre Dame (2-3)
Serra is as battle-tested as any team in the Southland after taking on Orange Lutheran, Long Beach Poly and Oaks Christian. Notre Dame has played a tough schedule, too, but has not been nearly as competitive.
The Knights two wins were to Crespi and Birmingham, teams that have one win between them this season.
It could be another rough go for Notre Dame in the Mission League this season. Serra is loaded with physicality and speed.
Prediction: Serra. Cincere Rhaney will run a muck.
No. 15 Golden Valley (5-1) at No. 11 Valencia (3-3)
Something about this game has appeal, and I smell a Foothill League stunner in Santa Clarita Friday night. The Grizzlies have shown flashes of good football during its five-game winning streak, but it’s been against mediocre competition. Valencia is .500, but has played teams like Bishop Amat and Rancho Cucamonga.
If Golden Valley can get up and play out of its socks, I think it has a chance to win.
Prediction: Golden Valley stuns the Vikings. Get the ball to Ajani Smith.
No. 12 Moorpark (4-1) at No. 6 Newbury Park (5-1)
Moorpark stunned Oak Park last week, can they stun another Canyon League foe this week?
Here’s what might make things more difficult. Newbury Park is off its first loss of the season, a double overtime thriller against Thousand Oaks that relinquished first place in the league.
The Panthers will be fired up and ready to go at home. Freshman quarterback Brady Smigiel and Moorpark QB Connor Smith will be fun to watch battle. But Smigiel may not throw four interceptions in a game (like he did last week) ever again.
Prediction: Newbury Park. I don’t see the Panthers losing two in a row, or even at home.
No. 8 Simi Valley (3-2) at Westlake (2-3)
Simi Valley is back in the Marmonte League and this time with Jim Benkert at the helm. Benkert was the coach at Westlake High for 26 years and won two CIF titles in 1999 and 2003 – he also lifted state titles those same years.
Daily News’ Week 6 high school football schedule, Sept. 29-Oct. 1
Game of the Week: Sierra Canyon hosting Bishop Amat in much-anticipated Mission League debut
Girls volleyball notebook: Oaks Christian eyeing perfection; Chaminade wins CV tournament
Football: With sit-out period over, notable transfers ready to make an impact
Birmingham Charter football could be fooling everyone in the City again
It’s not the first time Benkert has roamed the Westlake sidelines in different-colored polo for league. He was the coach at Oaks Christian for three seasons before eventually taking over at Simi Valley in 2018.
Friday night is more about a storyline than it is a game. The Pioneers have little to no football success in their history, but now the program is rolling since Benkert arrived.
Prediction: Simi Valley.
No. 13 Calabasas (4-1) at No. 3 Oaks Christian (3-2)
Oaks Christian will have the chance to unleash Dylan Hampsten, a transfer that is now eligible after serving the CIF’s sit-out period. The Saugus transfer had 10.5 sacks last season and will bolster an already stout defensive unit.
Oaks Christian will need to keep tabs on USC-commit Aaron Butler of Calabasas. He’ll have a good matchup with defensive back Jalen Lewis.
Prediction: Oaks Christian. Too much size for the Coyotes.