Santa Clarita Football Friday
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals Heading into tonight’s Valencia-Chino Hills matchup, Valencia has scored at least 21 points in all but one game, while Chino Hills has allowed fewer than 21 points in all but one game. SPOTLIGHT Canyon OL Nick Madia, who is among the area’s strongest players, is enjoying another solid season in his second year as a starter after being called up from JV last year. Madia, a 6-foot, 264-pounder, is among a group of solid juniors at Canyon who eventually figure to be top college prospects. OFFBEAT Canyon makes a 200-mile roundtrip tonight to San Clemente – the Southern Section’s Southernmost school – but at least one Canyon player is well-familiar with the area. HE SAID “We need more than luck. We need divine intervention.” – Chino Hills coach Terry Roche, on facing favored Valencia in the Div. II quarterfinals tonight. DID YOU KNOW? “I surf in San Clemente all the time,” said Austin Civita, Canyon’s shaggy-haired quarterback. “They have the best waves in California there.” OFF THE CHART Hart has appeared in 11 section title games (winning eight), while Canyon has appeared in four title games (winning three) and Valencia has been a runnerup three times. Here’s a rundown: HART Eight titles (1983, 1995, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003) Three runners-up (1985, 1994, 2002) CANYON Three titles (1983, 1984, 1985) One runner-up (1988) VALENCIA Three runners-up (1999, 2001, 2004) NUMBERS GAME .625 Canyon’s winning percentage against Orange County opponents since 1990 (5-3). The Cowboys, who play at San Clemente tonight, defeated San Clemente 35-21 in Week 1 of the 1992 season. SOUTHERN SECTION DIV. II QUARTERFINALS Tonight, 7:30 HART (9-2) vs. LOS OSOS of Rancho Cucamonga (9-2) at College of the Canyons Players to watch: Jackson Smith, Jeremy Neff and Ricky Vittallo, OLs, Hart. As Hart’s only experienced linemen, the threesome needs to pick up the slack because two starting blockers aren’t available because of disciplinary reasons. Outlook: Hart managed to survive the first round last week after pulling out a last-minute 33-27 victory over Glendora, but the Indians must avoid mistakes and tighten defensively to last much longer. In the wake of three Hart player suspensions, the good news was QB Tyler Lyon came through with perhaps his finest career performance against an elite opponent, completing 24 of 37 passes for 351 yards and two TDs with no INTs. He also scored two TDs, including a game-winning 6-yard run with 37 seconds left. “If we play like we can play, I think we can keep going,” Lyon said. Lyon, who has committed to Arizona, has passed for 1,493 yards and 10 TDs. Troy Yudin, the Foothill League’s leading receiver with 54 catches, broke out of a two-game slump last week with six receptions for 124 yards and a 50-yard TD. Patrick Sarkissian (111 tackles) is Hart’s top hitter, and James Wheeler has six INTs. QB Mike Anderson (1,636 yards, 55 pct., 12 TDs) is Los Osos’ spotlight player. He had one of his best performances of the season in a victory over Upland last week, passing for 202 yards and a TD and rushing for 106 and a TD. “They run a spread offesne and do a lot of stuff on defense. Los Osos is real solid,” Hart coach Mike Herrington said. “It’s going to be a real battle, I think.” CHINO HILLS (11-0) at VALENCIA (8-3) Player to watch: Jason Assanah, RB, Chino Hills. Assanah rushed for 206 yards and four TDs – including three in the fourth quarter – to lift Chino Hills to a 34-27 comeback victory over Rancho Cucamonga last week. Assanah, who broke the 100-yard mark for the first time this season, also leads Chino Hills with 100 tackles. Outlook: Despite a flashier record, Chino Hills coach Terry Roche swears his team is the underdog against the unseeded Vikings. “Valencia is by far better than any team we’ve seen. We hope we don’t get embarassed,” said Roche, who won four titles at Diamond Bar (the last in 1999) before arriving at Chino Hills four years ago. Valencia coach Larry Muir has his suspicions: “Terry Roche is sandbagging. Chino Hills is a very physical team.” As is usually the case in matchups involving Valencia, the key is Valencia QB Michael Herrick, California’s all-time career yardage leader. Herrick (2,854 yards, 11 TDs) was at his best last week, passing for 364 yards and a TD in a 61-42 victory at Trabuco Hills. Another vital player is Shane Vereen, who rushed for 208 yards and six TDs last week. LB Travis Marziani is Valencia’s leading tackler with 69, and Keith Klemens has 6.5 sacks. CANYON (10-1) at SAN CLEMENTE (7-4) Player to watch: Nick Peterson, OL, Canyon. Peterson has come on strong to help solidify Canyon’s blocking, which is considered one of the Cowboys’ main strengths “Nick has just been outstanding,” coach Harry Welch said. Outlook: Canyon needs to make a statement. The Cowboys are 36-4 during the regular season over the past four years but have advanced past the quarterfinals just once during that span. This is a big game for a program hoping to recapture its 1980s’ glory, when Canyon won a section-record 46 in a row and three consecutive section titles from 1983 to 1985, and was runnerup in 1988. “The kids are playing real well. I think they’ve bought into Cowboy football in total, which means we control our own effort and put total focus on ourselves and our own standard,” Welch said. Canyon’s J.J. DiLuigi, a junior, has developed into an all-state candidate in his first varsity season. He’s rushed for a school single-season record 1,602 yards and scored a state-best 39 TDs. The Cowboys received a career-best performance last week from QB Austin Civita, who completed 20 of 30 passes for 343 yards and four TDs. Richie Wirthlin had 11 receptions (10 in the first half) for 163 yards and a TD. San Clemente’s Mike Cook has passed for 1,758 yards (62 pct.) and 18 TDs. He’s also rushed for 364 yards and four TDs. Defensively, the Tritons have totaled 36 sacks. DIVISION II PLAYOFFS First round Mission Viejo 56, Saugus 0 Chino 42, Alta Loma 0 Los Osos 35, El Toro 14 Hart 32, Glendora 27 Chino Hills 34, Rancho Cucamonga 27 Valencia 61, Trabuco Hills 42 San Clemente 27, Upland 7 Canyon 49, Damien 21 Note: Semifinals, Dec. 2 (upper bracket) and Dec. 3 (lower bracket). Championship, Dec. 9 at Home Depot Center. All games 7:30 p.m. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!