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Foothill football preview: Ground game could be key for Saugus, G.V and West Ranch

Posted: September 11, 2013 9:47 p.m.
Updated: September 11, 2013 9:47 p.m.

After a wild week of football last Friday, with Valencia upending CIF-Southern Section Northern Division No. 2 Palmdale, Hart outlasting state-power Chaminade and Canyon pitching a shutout, what can today provide?

For starters, it’s our first chance to see a common opponent among Foothill League teams, as a Chaminade squad fresh off a loss to Hart rolls into Valencia High to take on the 1-0 Vikings.

Can the Valencia offense keep up with the Eagles?; will West Ranch improve to 3-0?; Can Golden Valley pick up its second win of the season, and will Saugus avenge its 2012 loss to Buena?

Before heading out to the games, here’s our quick take on each of the day’s Foothill League contests:


 Golden Valley (1-1) at Highland (0-2), 7 p.m.

Last season: 28-14 Highland

Outlook: The Highland Bulldogs are struggling to open the season, losing two in a row to Oak Hills and Yucaipa by a combined score of 67-35.

Golden Valley might be in good shape if it utilizes running back Terry Tamura, who has amassed 273 yards on the ground in two games.

The Bulldogs were torched for 276 yards rushing in their season opening loss to Oak Hills. Offensively, the Bulldogs put up 313 yards of total offense in that game, so the Bulldogs are capable of moving the ball.

This one should come down to the Grizzlies’ running backs and defense.


West Ranch (2-0) at Knight (0-2), 7 p.m.

Last season: Did not play

Outlook: Knight has had an absolute nightmare defensively this season against two teams that both run and throw the ball.

Cue the West Ranch Wildcats, who have shown an explosive offense through the air and on the ground.

Expect running back Christian Parrish to have another huge game after rushing for 250 yards against Sierra Canyon last week.

Knight showed some promise in a 62-20 loss to Oak Hills last week as running back Bobby Franklin ran for 127 yards on 19 carries and quarterback Joseph Cochran threw for 129 yards and a touchdown. But if the Hawks are able to outscore quarterback Chase Killingsworth and the West Ranch offense, it would without a doubt be an upset.


Chaminade (1-1) at Valencia (1-0), 7 p.m.
Last season: 41-27 Chaminade

Outlook: Friday night proved Valencia will once again feature a strong defensive unit, as the Vikings bounced back in the second half to shut down the CIF-Southern Section Northern Division best running back in Palmdale’s Demario Richards — as Valencia outscored the Falcons 17-0 in the second half of a 29-20 victory.

The game is the Foothill League’s first chance to see a common opponent in the Foothill League, as Chaminade enters Valencia High off the heels of an overtime loss to Hart.

The Eagles will be out to erase the memory of that 55-54 loss to the Indians and the Chaminade offense, led by University of Miami-commit Brad Kaaya at quarterback, certainly appear to have more weapons than Valencia.

The Vikings were impressive last season, but whether or not quarterback Jake Wallace can match the Eagles on the scoreboard will likely go farther than the Vikings’ defense in determining the final score.

Buena (0-2) at Saugus (1-1), 7 p.m.

Last season: 33-13 Buena

Outlook: In 2012, Buena took on a 1-1 Saugus team after starting the season 0-2 — having scored just seven points to that point — and beat the Centurions by 20.

Point being, the Centurions can’t, and likely won’t, take an 0-2 Buena team that has managed just 17 points for granted when they put their 1-1 record on the line.

There is good new for Centurion fans, though. Primarily in Reid Rupe — who has run for 418 yards in two games for three touchdowns. Rupe should find plenty of holes in a Buena line that allowed 224 rushing yards in its season opening loss to Newbury Park.

Buena has shown it will take what the defense gives it — throwing just seven times in week 1 and upping that total to 23 in week 2.

The Saugus defense should have an opportunity to dictate what the Bulldogs try to do. Now the question is, can they stop them?

Bye: Canyon (2-0), Hart (2-0)



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