Calabasas Football No Match for St. Bonny

After already having won three Marmonte League games this season after winning just three over the previous seven seasons, visiting Calabasas High was hoping to keep the momentum going Friday against powerhouse St. Bonaventure of Ventura.

But it looks like the Coyotes (3-6, 3-5) will have to continue to take their success in doses, as St. Bonaventure won 57-0 while registering nine sacks in a Marmonte League game at Ventura College, as the Seraphs (7-1, 6-1) have lost just one home game since 1997.

“They showed why they’re so good,” Calabasas coach Larry Edwards said. “We just didn’t match up well. We need to execute better, and there were a few situations where we just weren’t ourselves.”

Calabasas’ Kyle Zion completed 7 of 14 passes for 60 yards, and Brandon Marin entered late in the game and completed 3 of 6 for 57 yards, including a long touchdown that was called back because of a hold. Shane Bick, a top receiver and linebacker, had two catches for 18 yards and a big hit on defense before leaving in the second half because of an injury.

“If we lose Shane for the rest of the season, that would be very tough,” running back Tai Kusakawa said. “He’s a two-way player, so it’s not like we would losing just one starter.”

But give Calabasas credit for fighting until the end, as the Coyotes drove to the St. Bonaventure 5 on their last possession, but could not score.

“We didn’t give up,” Zion said. “We played to the best of our abilities.”

Calabasas was limited to 135 yards, 18 rushing.

The Coyotes have another tough game coming up next week at home against Thousand Oaks and Zion said his team will be ready for the challenge.

“Next week, we need to prepare mentally. We have the depth, we just need to pick it up,” he said.

Oaks Christian vs Moorpark

It’s the Marmonte League game of the week. Oaks Christian (5-2) comes in looking as good as they could have after a 65-0 victory over Simi Valley, while Moorpark (4-3) is hungry for its first win over one of the upper-echelon Marmonte League teams. The Lions are led by QB Richie Harrington and a whole host of excellent receivers. Defensively, Oaks Christian is led by Ronny Camacho who averages a ridiculous 15 tackles per game. You can expect to see him in the backfield blitzing all night. This will not be an easy mission for the Musketeers, who got all they could handle from Royal last week. Oaks averages 36 points a game, so it should be hard for Moorpark to stop them. Moorpark only gives up 19 points a game, however, so they may be up to the task. The Musketeers are led by QB Grant Rohach, who has filled his brother’s shoes admirably completing 70 percent of his passes with pinpoint accuracy. RB Tyler Peterson is the team leader, and not just the team leader, but also the school president. The Musketeers will have to rely on his legs and his counterpart Aaron Stanton to keep this a close contest. This game may be close in the first half, but look for Oaks Christian to take over in the second.

Prediction: Oaks Christian 35 Moorpark 21

Westlake vs Agoura

The Warriors (7-0) may not just be the best team in the state, they may be the best team in the country. They have no weaknesses. Great offense led by QB Nick Isham, RB Tavior Mowry and WR Nelson Spruce. Great defense with amazing depth and eight sophomores or juniors getting key playing time. They’re loaded. They won’t find too many problems in this game against Agoura. Agoura (2-5) finally stopped the bleeding. They had a five-game losing streak halted at Calabasas last week and look to pull off a gigantic upset to follow it up. Problem is, they just don’t have the talent and speed to matchup with Westlake. Gerard Poutier, who is the fourth leading total yardage gainer (1,607) in the Northern Division will have his hands full with an aggressive Warrior defense.

Prediction: Westlake 56 Agoura 10

Calabasas vs St Bonaventure

Calabasas (3-4) took a major step back in a loss to Agoura last week. They still haven’t beaten the Chargers since the Clinton Administration and things will stay that way for at least one more year. The good news is: we never even thought they would be in position to have a chance of being over .500 in the seventh game of the season. Coach Edwards is really taking this team in the right direction. If the Coyotes have any chance of beating the Seraphs they will need to play a ball control type of game with both of their running backs carrying the load. Tai Kusakawa is fresh off a 100-yard rushing performance against Agoura, but Tyson Jones was held in check with only seven yards rushing. Both need to be successful Friday night. St. Bonaventure (6-1) features a balanced offense led by QB Marc Evans. Look for Christian White to dominate in the passing game. He’s caught nine passes for 166 yards and two touchdowns the past two games and looks to be an emerging star. Since the Bonnies lost to Oaks Christian, they’ve meant business and they will be way too much for the Coyotes.

Prediction: St Bonaventure 52 Calabasas 14

Simi Valley vs Thousand Oaks

Will the Lancers (4-3) be able to overcome an embarrassing 52-0 loss on FSN to St. Bonaventure? Simi Valley seems like the right medicine for Coach Mike Leibin. The Pioneers (1-6) got blanked on their home field 65-0 by Oaks Christian last week and looked absolutely abysmal. The Lancers may be lucky they can rest their star running back for one more week if they choose to. The offense has sputtered without Rickey Minyard, only averaging 84 total rushing yards a game, while Minyard averaged 138 yards per game in games he finished. Even if you include his one rush for eight yards against Agoura before he got injured – he still averages 112 yards a game – 28 more than the entire team has accumulated without him. So that could be a concern if he’s not ready to go, but Avondre Bollar should be enough to overcome the Pioneers. Simi Valley will look from bounce back performances from QB Jake Maranto, who threw three picks against Oaks Christian and RB Jens Jeters, who only rushed for three yards. The key is short-term memory loss for the Pioneers, but unfortunately for Simi Valley, the Lancers may trigger a stimulation of a very similar memory to last week’s.

Prediction: Thousand Oaks 31 Simi Valley 7

Newbury Park vs Royal

For all intents and purposes, this game is an elimination game. Newbury Park (2-5) has had a disappointing year, but may be able to save their season if they can win out. Winning out would include wins over Royal and Simi Valley (both doable), but also a huge upset over Oaks Christian. It’s possible. You can never count out a team with a QB like Jake Geringer. He averages 246 yards passing a game, but will need to limit his mistakes if the Panthers are to win their final three games. Geringer has thrown 10 interceptions, more than one a game. He will hope WR Dakota Dunlea can get loose multiple times these last three weeks of the season. Royal (3-4) is actually quite a physical team. Although they lost 31-0 to Moorpark last week, they played the Musketeers much tougher than that score, and had them dazed and confused in the first half. Codey Mann (10.2 tackles per game) leads that physical defense. RB Kyle Gauthier (97 yards a game) leads the offense and has quietly put together a great season. I expect a competitive game with the Panthers coming out on top.
Prediction: Newbury Park 28 Royal 21

Mission Viejo vs San Clemente

The Diablos (7-0) have fared quite admirably without their star Tre Madden, but all signs point to him coming back this Friday night in a huge South Coast League battle. While he has been gone, new stars emerged including RB Dallas Kessman (120 rushing yards a game), Jahleel Pinner (80 rushing yards a game) and QB Alex Bridgford, who not only manages the game, but has the arm to beat his opponents deep (17.6 yards per completion.) On the other side, the Tritons (7-1) are hungry for the upset and league championship that should very well go along with it. QB Travis Wilson has been lighting it up all season throwing for 203 yards per game, but he will need his defense to stifle one of the best offenses in the nation if he has any chance of winning this game. Chad Foster, Julian Perry and company will need to pressure Bridgford to force turnovers. I don’t see Mission Viejo losing this game, in fact, I’m not sure I see them losing all season.

Prediction: Mission Viejo 45 San Clemente 24

Mater Dei vs Servite

More than 20,000 people should be on hand at Angel Stadium to witness one of the best rivalries in Southern California. The Monarchs (5-2) started out the season in ugly fashion, losing their first two games, but have rebounded nicely. Servite (7-0) is looking to win its second consecutive game against Mater Dei after overcoming two decades of losing to their rivals last year. The Friars are led by RB Sean DeRosa, who averages 100 yards a game. On defense, Matthew Inman leads the charge. Pound-for-pound, you won’t find too many stronger linebackers than him. Inman benches 365 lbs and squats 585 lbs, while weighing 215. Mater Dei QB Max Wittek will be looking to avoid Inman’s pressure, while gunning to his favorite target and future USC teammate Victor Blackwell. Wittek has averaged 217 yards per win, while only averaging 111 yards in the Monarchs two losses. He, and his offensive line, will be the key in this game. If the Monarch big uglies can win the battle in the trenches, giving Wittek time to throw, there’s no reason why Mater Dei couldn’t pull off the upset. Problem is, Servite’s defense may very well be the best in the nation.

Prediction: Servite 28 Mater Dei 14

Centennial vs Norco

Centennial (7-0) looks like a state championship worthy team. Problem is, many think they are in a weaker division than Westlake or Mission Viejo, so assuming those two go undefeated, the Huskies would be left home. Well a lot has to still happen before then and the Cougars have a chance to pick up a quality win against their league rivals. Michael Eubank should have extra focus now that offers are starting to come in. He received offers from San Jose State and Utah State in the past couple of weeks and now is looking for some Mountain West or Pac-10 teams to come knocking on his door. He has no problems impressing me, the kid is absolutely sensational throwing and running the ball. He has a lot of help in his backfield too, with Barrinton Collins. The ultra elusive back is averaging 178 yards a game, while Eubank is averaging 281 total yards. Norco (6-1) is led by Stanford commit Kelsey Young, who has been running all over his opponents this year. Young had 229 yards at the half last week before Norco went into cruise control for the easy victory. I’m not sure the Cougars have enough to dethrone the Huskies.

Prediction: Centennial 49 Norco 21

St. Bonaventure vs Thousand Oaks

I think it’s literally impossible to not have at least one key matchup ever week in the super-Marmonte League and this contest proves that theory correct. The game will be televised on FSN Friday night between two teams battling for positioning in this year’s postseason. The (5-1) Seraphs are still playing for a split of the Marmonte League crown. They will play Westlake later this season and have only faltered in a freak loss to Oaks Christian in a game they pretty much dominated. The Seraphs are balanced in the rushing game and passing game with three rushers and four receivers over 100 yards each. The Thousand Oaks (4-2) defense will have their hands full, but will need to rise up to the occasion if the Lancers are to win this game. The defense has struggled against top-tier opponents like Westlake and Oaks Christian this year, so it will be interesting to see if they can stymie another great offense. The offense will need all the help it can get because starting RB Rickey Minyard has been hampered with an injury during the past two weeks. It’s likely that QB Avondre Bollar will have to carry his team on his back if Minyard can’t be effective this week. I think it’s just too much to ask of Bollar.

Prediction: St. Bonaventure 31 Thousand Oaks 17