Support our high school sports coverage by becoming a digital subscriber. Subscribe now.
Here are previews and predictions to the top local games Friday.
GAME OF THE WEEK
Granada Hills Charter (4-1) at Birmingham Charter (2-4), 7 p.m.
FRIDAY’S TOP GAMES
(All games start 7 p.m. unless noted otherwise)
No. 10 Valencia (4-3) vs. No. 2 West Ranch (7-0)
This is it. This is the game.
West Ranch thumped Saugus and now its showdown with Valencia is here. It’s simple for the Wildcats: win the game and the inside track to the program’s first Foothill League title is obtained.
If common opponent is any indication, West Ranch should be able to win Friday night. Saugus defeated Valencia 28-21 on September 16. West Ranch beat Saugus 43-6 two weeks ago.
West Ranch QB Ryan Staub has yet to throw an interception in 171 pass attempts this season and has 26 touchdowns.
Of course, if Valencia wins, a possibility of a three-way tie for first would give West Ranch a share of the league title, which would also count as the program’s first. But who wants to share nowadays?
Prediction: West Ranch. Ryan Staub lights it up.
No. 13 Calabasas (4-2) at No. 8 Simi Valley (4-2)
Simi Valley squeaked by Westlake 21-20 in overtime on the road last week for its first Marmonte League win. Now, the Pioneers will host its first league game against a high-powered offense in Calabasas, led by QB Alonzo Contreras and USC-bound wideout Aaron Butler.
Simi Valley’s offense has been sputtering for weeks. Calabasas on the other hand has scored 41, 57, 43 and 57 points, respectively, this season.
The biggest question mark will be the battle up front, which I think Calabasas is primed for physical players like Kaylon Miller, Domata Peko Jr. and Elliott Opolion.
Prediction: Calabasas. The Coyotes win in a shootout, pull off a stunner in Simi Valley.
No. 11 St. Francis (4-2) at Cathedral (5-1)
This game will most likely decide the Angelus League champion after each side won their league opener last week. St. Francis’ defense has struggled mightily against high-level opponents, and Cathedral knows a thing or two about high-level play.
The Phantoms have played Long Beach Millikan (won 39-38) and Gardena Serra (lost 33-6) this year, splitting the two games.
St. Francis doesn’t have a problem scoring, but can it get some help from its defense? We haven’t seen it yet, other than against a two-win Muir team.
Prediction: Cathedral. Phantoms take control of the Angelus League.
Camarillo (5-1) at No. 5 Thousand Oaks (6-0)
There seems to be a matchup of league unbeatens every week in the Canyon League, and this one could be a clincher for Thousand Oaks. The Lancers can secure the driver’s seat to a league title with a win Friday night, which would grant them the opportunity to control their own destiny with just two games left on the schedule
Thousand Oaks and Camarillo are the only remaining unbeaten teams in the league.
Senior running back and linebacker Chase Martin is continuing to show why he’s a favorite to win the league’s MVP award. He’s also on the watch list for the Daily News Player of the Year award, too.
Prediction: Thousand Oaks. Lancers stay unbeaten at home.
No. 12 Alemany (2-3) at No. 4 Sierra Canyon (2-4)
A year ago, these two teams couldn’t be stopped. Now, each one is scratching and clawing for their first league win. Sierra Canyon is coming off heartbreak, letting up a 14-point halftime lead before losing to Bishop Amat in double-overtime last week.
Alemany is dealing with a different type of heartache after being thumped 43-8 by Chaminade.
Truth be told, this game could be an indicator for how good Chaminade is pending on how close the game is.
Prediction: Sierra Canyon. The Trailblazers get their first Mission League win in program history.
Notre Dame (3-3) at No. 1 Chaminade (6-0)
Notre Dame’s 13-7 loss to Gardena Serra last week has been flipped into a forfeit win due to an ineligible Serra player that competed in the game. It makes things slightly interesting, because now Notre Dame and Chaminade is a battle of unbeatens in the Mission League.
Again, this game will be a gauge for quality. Notre Dame played Serra tough, allowing just 13 points, but can they do the same to Chaminade?
We’ll have to see …
Prediction: Chaminade. The Eagles’ can score, but their best asset is their defense. That’s scary.
Game of the Week: Birmingham, Granada Hills league clash could create clarity in City Open race
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