The games seem to get bigger as the weeks roll on, and Week 4 of the prep football season certainly fits the bill.
Local teams are trying to work out their final kinks before league play begins next month, and will do so against some stiff nonleague competition. For starters, Edison is taking on Mater Dei in a big, televised game. In other key games, Huntington Beach will face a highly-ranked Downey team that won a CIF championship last year, and Fountain Valley is on the road to face a Westminster squad that has worked its way up in the CIF Southern Section Southern Division rankings.
Also Friday, Ocean View seeks its first win of the year at Bolsa Grande. On Saturday, Brethren Christian travels Saturday to take on Fairmont Prep.
"There are only a few more games left to work things out before league starts," Edison Coach Dave White said. "These next two weeks are really important. Our goal is to win league and to do that, we have to get better in these next few games."
Edison (2-1) vs. Mater Dei (4-0)
(7 p.m., Santa Ana Bowl)
Edison's second Trinity League foe in as many weeks may turn out to be its toughest opponent yet this year, as Mater Dei rolls into this televised game looking to complete a prefect run in nonleague play.
Friday's matchup will be televised live by Fox Sports 1 cable network.
Edison suffered its first loss of the season, and first in nine regular-season games, last week when the Chargers were upended, 31-14, by Servite (No. 5, Pac-5 Division) at Orange Coast College. Turnovers, four of them, put the Chargers in a hole in which they couldn't recover.
Senior Kiante Goudeau ignited the Edison crowd with a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the second quarter that drew the Chargers to within 16-7. Senior quarterback Christian Heffelman thew a 20-yard touchdown pass to senior receiver Jeremy Maxwell for the final touchdown with 20 seconds remaining in the game.
"Servite was everything we thought they would be," Edison Coach Dave White said. "We turned the ball over four times, and you can't do that against a team like Servite, and expect to win.
"Mater Dei, honestly, is probably better than Servite. The are very physical on offense and defense, score a lot of points and don't give up many points. Everything about them scares me."
The Monarchs (4-0) come into the game ranked third in the Pac-5 Division, behind Trinity League rival and No. 1 St. John Bosco, and No. 2 Mission Viejo. They have posted shutout victories in the past two games including last week's 37-0 win at Santa Monica.
Offensively, Mater Dei is averaging 41 points per game. Quarterback Chase Forrest threw for 162 yards and a score and ran for two touchdowns, and the Monarchs defense forced four turnovers in the win against Santa Monica.
"It's going to be another tough one for us," White said. "We're just trying to get better. This is about us. It's about being more disciplined and playing harder.
"At this point, it's not about the wins and loses, but about us getting better," White said.
Fountain Valley (3-1) vs. Westminster (2-1)
(7 p.m., Westminster High)
Since dropping its season opener, 25-15, to Garden Grove (No. 2, Southern Division), Westminster has won the past two weeks, most recently, at Don Bosco Tech. The Lions routed the Tigers, 55-0. Quarterback Daniel Thomsen rushed for 125 yards on only eight carries and junior running back Humberto Maciel ran for 79 yards and two scores for the Lions in last week's win.
Fountain Valley is the second Sunset League team that Westminster will face in nonleague play. Two weeks ago, the Lions knocked off Marina, 42-38.
The Lions are ranked No. 6 in the Southern Division.
"I'm very impressed with Westminster," Fountain Valley Coach Ray Fenton said. "Their quarterback (Thomsen) and running back (Maciel) are outstanding, and can give anyone fits. They understand their schemes, and I think their offensive coordinator over there does a great job with his personnel."
Fountain Valley, ranked No. 6 in the Southwest Division, pummeled Wilmington Banning last week, 49-17. The Barons opened up a 28-0 first quarter lead and were never threatened. Senior quarterback Scott Schultz scored on a 10-yard run and also threw touchdown passes to junior receiver Ryan Finley (85 yards) and senior Isaiah Davis (five yards).
Sophomore running back Dakarai Barnett and senior quarterback Travis Hood also rushed for touchdowns, and senior safety Jacob Church returned an interception for a touchdown for the second-straight game.
The Barons are hoping to close out nonleague play with a win and carry some momentum into their Oct. 11 Sunset League opener against Marina.
"This is last tune-up before league, and there's a sense of urgency to get things corrected before we start league," Fenton said.
Fountain Valley is idle next week.
Downey (2-2) vs. Huntington Beach (2-2)
(7 p.m., Huntington Beach High).
Huntington completes the nonleague portion of its schedule against a CIF Southern Section champion from a year ago.
Downey is coming off a 51-23 win against Long Beach Millikan. The Vikings started the season with a 38-0 shutout of Mayfair but suffered consecutive defeats to Vista Murrieta (No. 1, Inland Division), 66-28, and Mira Costa (36-15), before rebounding last week.
Despite the two losses, the Vikings are ranked No. 2 in the Southeast Division.
"They are really good and coming off a CIF championship season," Huntington Coach Eric Lo said. "They have a good, athletic quarterback who can really run, and a really good running back who is explosive and makes big plays. They run the spread and are pretty quick."
A pair of juniors, quarterback Jorge Reyna and running back Justin Huff, lead the Downey offense. Reyna has thrown nine touchdown passes and is averaging 11 yards per carry in the first four games. Huff, meanwhile, has rushed for more than 100 yards in all four games.
Huntington will try to put a stop to a two-game skid against Downey. The Oilers last week fell, 27-17, at home to Trabuco Hills. Sophomore running back Hunter Simmons scored on a three-yard run three minutes into the game to give the Oilers a 7-0 lead. Junior kicker Maliek Miller split the uprights with a 42-yard field goal on the final play of the first half, and senior quarterback Kai Ross, who threw for 208 yards and rushed for 111 more, hit senior receiver Maurice Barber with a 20-yard scoring pass with just over three minutes left in the game.
The loss dropped the Oilers, who were hit hard by penalties against the Mustangs, out of the Southwest Division top 10 rankings.
"We've been working on trying to eliminate our mistakes," Lo said. "Penalties have really hurt us, and focus on the task at hand, on the next play."
Through four games, Lo said his team has yet to put together two full halves of solid play.
"We've done some really good things, at times, but then we'd do something that killed our chances," he said. "We're looking to put on the best performance that we can Friday, to get ready for league."
Huntington is idle next week and starts its Sunset League season Oct. 11 against defending league champion Edison.
Ocean View (0-3) at Bolsa Grande (1-2)
(7 p.m., Bolsa Grande High)
An Ocean View team missing key starters goes to Garden Grove Friday to face Bolsa Grande.
The Seahawks couldn't stop Cerritos running back LaMarr Crowder last week. The senior ran for 333 yards and scored seven touchdowns to pace the Dons to a 62-28 win.
In the loss, Ocean View sophomore quarterback Blake Meyer had his most productive passing game of the season with 295 yards and four touchdown passes, three of which went to receiver Tyler Clay. The junior had four receptions for 216 yards, which Coach Luis Nunez said is a school record for receiving yards in a single game.
"We are struggling defensively and had a difficult time with very inexperienced running backs," Ocean View Coach Luis Nunez said. "I still believe this team can turn the season around as we are young defensively and still battered with injuries.
"Blake Meyer showed his potential at quarterback as he made great reads and throws. If he can build and improve our offense can do some nice things with Danny [Valencia] back in the lineup."
Valencia, a senior, missed the Cerritos game due to viral meningitis. Nunez said that Valencia is "feeling better," but is "doubtful" for Friday.
Senior receiver Alex Aldanese, who filled in at running back for Valencia, also was injured in the Cerritos game. Backup quarterback Jett Volo took over for Aldanese at the running back spot.
"We are hungry for a win and the team will continue to work to earn that first win," Nunez said. "Bolsa Grande won't give us anything, and the kids are aware that nothing will be given to us."
Brethren Christian (1-1) vs. Fairmont Prep (2-1)
(7 p.m., Yorba Linda High)
Fresh off its first win of the year, Brethren Christian goes for two-straight when it takes on an Anaheim Fairmont Prep team that has won its last two games.
BC's initial victory came Friday when the Warriors defeated Simi Valley Grace Brethren, 28-8. Two big plays — one to start the game, the other, to end the first half, played a key role in the Warriors' taking a halftime lead on the Lancers.
On BC's first defensive stance of the game, senior back Anthony Moore returned an interception 60 yards for a touchdown. In the waning moments of the second quarter, after Fairmont Prep had scored to narrow the BC lead to six points, junior Brandon Bryson returned a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown as time ran out of the first-half clock.
"Those were two huge plays," BC Coach Pat McInally said. "Anthony [Moore] had a great runback, and Brandon ran about 140 yards, cutting back and forth on the field to get to the end zone. It was a huge return. We went for two after his return and instead of having a six-point lead at the half, we led by 14."
Quarterback Jack McInally threw for 223 yards with a 26-yard touchdown pass to senior receiver Austin Gorrell. Freshman Jason Fuga also rushed for a score.
Fairmont Prep rallied in the second half last week for a 47-38 win over Webb. The Huskies previously scored a 42-28 win two weeks ago against BC's Academy League rival, Crean Lutheran. They also played another Academy League team, Sage Hill, to start the season and lost, 38-7.
Idle: Marina (1-3)
The Vikings dropped their second-straight outing Friday by falling, 51-7, to visiting San Juan Hills in their homecoming game. Senior quarterback Daylan Harmeyer hit senior receiver Scott Phillips with a 13-yard scoring pass in the second quarter for the Vikings.
Marina returns to action Oct. 4 for a nonleague game against Capistrano Valley at Westminster High.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun