With Week 8 on the horizon, (and bringing with it another impressive slate of gridiron action), here is how I voted for this week’s top 10.
1. Servite (6-1; 2-0): The Friars had little trouble in beating JSerra 42-14. Servite will take on St. John Bosco Friday night in a battle for first place in the Trinity League.
2. San Clemente (8-0; 2-0): A big second half helped the Tritons break away from Dana Hills 35-10. San Clemente will put its undefeated record on the line next Friday when they travel to Mission Viejo
3. Mission Viejo (5-2; 1-0): The Diablos were off this week. They host San Clemente Friday in a showdown of two of the top three teams in the county.
4. Santa Margarita (6-1; 1-1): The Eagles got back on track with a 31-10 victory over Orange Lutheran. They will take on JSerra Friday.
5. Mater Dei (3-4; 1-1): The Monarchs three game winning streak came to an end in a 24-3 loss to St. John Bosco. Mater Dei will look to recover Friday night when they take on Orange Lutheran.
6. Orange Lutheran (5-2; 0-2): The Lancers have now dropped their first two Trinity League games after losing 31-10 to Santa Margarita. They will battle archrival Mater Dei Friday night.
7. Edison (5-2; 2-0): The Chargers dominated Marina 43-3 to remain unbeaten in league. They will be on the road at Huntington Beach Thursday night in a battle for first place in the Sunset League.
8. Los Alamitos (5-2; 1-1): The Griffins rebounded from its Sunset League opening loss to Edison with a 28-0 win over Fountain Valley. Los Alamitos will be on the road Friday to battle Newport Harbor.
9. La Habra (4-3; 2-0): The Highlanders won their second straight game with a 49-10 rout of Fullerton. La Habra will host Buena Park on Friday.
10. Tesoro (5-2; 1-0): The Titans picked a South Coast League opening 26-14 win over Trabuco Hills. The Titans will host Dana Hills Friday.
Others I considered: Villa Park, Trabuco Hills, Yorba Linda
My Week 7 Thoughts
1. I’m already looking ahead to Friday, as the battle for South Coast League supremacy will feature San Clemente traveling 15 miles north up the 5 to battle Mission Viejo in one of the most anticipated regular season games of the 2011 schedule. Moments after a tougher than expected 35-10 win over Dana Hills, the Tritons were already focused on getting ready for the game, discussing their preparation in the post-game huddle. Mission Viejo, which had a bye last week, will have had an extra week to game plan for how shutdown the Tritons. As with all big games, a couple of key factors will go a long way to determining how this one will turn out. But in my opinion, the San Clemente passing offense is where the game will be won or lost. After struggling in the first half against the Dolphins, quarterback Travis Wilson cranked up the passing game in the second half to help put away Dana Hills. If that momentum in the passing game carries over to Friday, and the Tritons can balance it with their ground and pound rushing attack, I think San Clemente will win decisively. However, if they get one-dimensional, and the Diablos get the lead early, Mission Viejo could be in for a big day. Ultimately, I see the game being close throughout with San Clemente pulling out a hard fought win.
2. They may not be an Orange County school, but St. John Bosco has already proven to be quite a thorn in the side of county teams. The Braves are 3-0 against county teams this year, none bigger than a 24-3 defeat of Mater Dei that snapped a three-game Monarchs winning streak. It also left the Braves in a first place tie with Servite, their opponent Friday. Having seen the Braves recently, I can say without a shadow of a doubt they are a team to be reckoned with throughout the remainder of league play. They are quick on offense, and feature one the nation’s top play-makers in Cal-bound senior Bryce Treggs. Former Irvine running back DaVonte Young had a huge game against the Monarchs, and along with Royce Moore, form a potent running back duo. Former Trabuco Hills head coach Jason Negro has the Braves believing they can compete with anyone. Their battle with Servite this week has the potential to be one of the better games of the 2011 regular season.
3. Speaking of the Trinity League, both the Orange Lutheran Lancers and Mater Dei Monarchs will be in desperate need of a victory when they square off Friday. The Lancers started the season 5-0, but losses to Servite and Santa Margarita have put them in a last place tie with JSerra. Orange Lutheran’s offense will need to re-ignite its’ nonleague spark. They averaged over 37 points a game during their five-game winning streak, but have averaged just nine points in losing the first two league games. Mater Dei had won three straight, but were dominated by St. John Bosco, and a loss to Orange Lutheran would give the Lancers a key head-to-head tie breaker. This series has produced numerous classics over the years, and the desperate needs of both teams should help them battle toe-to-toe once again.
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