Heading into the eighth game of the season, local prep football teams have plenty to play for: league championships are still up for grabs, and CIF playoff berths also are on the line.
For Marina and Huntington Beach, there's plenty more incentive when the Vikings and Oilers clash Friday.
Awaiting the winner of this Sunset League matchup between cross-town rivals, is the Victory Trophy, which both programs covet. The trophy has resided on the Huntington campus for the past four years.
The Marina-Huntington Beach rivalry dates to 1965.
The trophy will be on site Friday at Huntington's Cap Sheue Field when the teams kick off at 7 p.m.
"These programs have been playing each other a long time," said Coach Eric Lo who will lead his eighth Huntington team into the rivalry game. "The guys know each other and are excited for the game. I know our guys are excited to play Friday."
So are the Marina Vikings
"The city game is always exciting and fun," Marina Coach George Pascoe said. "The best team doesn't always win. Expect the unexpected."
Huntington and Marina both will attempt to bounce back from league losses last week.
The Oilers fell behind Fountain Valley, 16-0, staged a fourth-quarter rally but fell short in a 19-14 setback. Sophomore Travis Heer and senior quarterback Kai Ross both rushed for touchdowns for the Oilers who fell to 0-2 in league and 3-4 overall.
Marina also dropped to 0-2 in league (1-6 overall) after a 54-7 loss last week to Los Alamitos. Senior quarterback Daylan Harmeyer threw for 151 yards with a touchdown pass to senior receiver Scott Phillips.
"Both teams know what's a stake Friday," Lo said. "Our sole focus is on this game and we need a win to stay in the league race.
Los Alamitos (6-1) vs. Edison (5-2)
(7 p.m., Huntington Beach High)
This one traditionally has Sunset League title implications, and this year's Griffins-Chargers matchup at Cap Sheue Field, is no different.
Edison is tied for first place with Fountain Valley, while Los Alamitos and Newport Harbor are one game behind the co-league leaders.
The Chargers are ranked No. 2 in the CIF Southern Section Southwest Division. The Griffins are ranked No. 5.
Los Alamitos is playing its seventh-straight road game of the season.
"This game has been pretty even the past few years," Edison Coach Dave White said of the Edison-Los Alamitos series. "Los Al is always playoff-tough. They win Thursday, they have the chance to be league champs. We win, and we move a step closer to reaching our goal of winning league."
Edison last week went to Newport Harbor, the team that defeated Los Alamitos in overtime in an Oct. 10 league opener, and scored a 28-16 win against the Sailors. The Chargers' rushing attack was led by senior running back Tyler Warren, who ran for 136 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries, and senior quarterback Christian Heffelman, who rushed for 110 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries.
Heffelman also threw for 89 yards, 75 of those yards coming on a third-quarter touchdown pass to senior receiver Jeremy Maxwell which allowed the Chargers to pull away from a one-point lead and open up a 21-13 advantage.
Senior defensive back Kiante Goudeau had a key interception in the fourth quarter for the Chargers.
Edison is 8-0 against Newport Harbor since the Sailors rejoined the Sunset League at the start of the 2006-07 school year.
"It was a real good win for us against a good Newport team," White said. "They beat Los Alamitos the week before, so it was a good road win for us."
Los Alamitos took down Marina, 54-7, last week. The Griffins rushed for six touchdowns led by sophomore running back Schuyler Whitehead, who ran for 176 yards and three scores on 16 attempts in his first game. Quarterback Nick Wendell was 13 of 16 for 155 yards and a touchdown.
Fountain Valley (6-1) vs. Newport Harbor (3-4)
(7 p.m., Newport Harbor High)
Fountain Valley closes out its regular season with three consecutive road games, the first coming Friday in Newport Beach.
The Barons, ranked fourth in the CIF Southern Section Southwest Division, have won four-straight games. Their most recent triumph, a 19-14 win against Huntington Beach last week, moved them to 2-0 in league, good for a first-place tie with Edison.
Senior quarterback Scott Schultz and senior wide receiver Jacob Church both rushed for touchdowns, and Jonah Mack kicked a pair of field goals for the Barons who opened up leads of 16-0 and 19-8.
"It was a really big win for us," Fountain Valley Coach Ray Fenton said. "We haven't beaten Huntington Beach since 2004. That's a long dry spell.
"For the past few weeks, we have been hammering home to our players to play more disciplined. Mistakes, turnovers, penalties, those things were hurting us earlier in the season. Against Huntington, we didn't commit a penalty, turnover, or have a bad snap. We had only two penalties the week before against Marina. This is a remarkable sign of improvement, and I'm really, really proud of our guys."
Newport Harbor is 3-4 overall but very much in the running for a possible Sunset League title. The Sailors, tied with Buena Park for the No. 10 ranking in the Southwest Division, fell last week, 28-16, at home to Edison. Running back Chance Siemonsma rushed for 125 yards, running back Garrett Hall ran for a touchdown, and Michael Schultz hit three field goals in the loss.
Three of the Sailors' losses this year are to teams currently ranked in CIF Southern Section polls: Corona del Mar (No. 1, Southern Division); Mira Costa (tie-No. 9, Northern Division), and Edison (No. 2, Southwest Division).
Ocean View (1-6) vs. Segerstrom (4-3)
(7 p.m., Segerstrom High)
Ocean View, fresh off its first victory of the season, will go after win No. 2 when it travels to face the Jaguars in Golden West League play.
The Seahawks squared their league record at 1-1 last week by defeating winless Santa Ana, 41-27. Sophomore quarterback Blake Meyer threw for 130 yards and with touchdown passes to juniors Hector Calderon, David Alani and Adam Alatorre, and senior running back Daniel Valencia rushed for 158 yards and two touchdowns.
Calderon also hit a pair of field goals, the final one a 30-yarder on the final play of the first half to pull the Seahawks even at 13-13.
It was the most productive game of the year for the Ocean View offense which had its highest scoring game.
"The first victory was tough," Ocean View Coach Luis Nunez said. "It didn't come easy, but it's worth it. I'm happy we got this win. We showed we can throw the ball, and I thought this was our best performance of the season."
Segerstrom ended a three-game losing streak last week by knocking of Loara, 28-18. Senior running back Omar Navarro rushed 16 times for 165 yards and two touchdowns to lead a Segerstrom rushing attack that netted 324 yards.
The Jaguars, 1-1 in league, are ranked No. 10 in the CIF Southern Section Southern Division.
Brethren Christian (5-2) vs. Sage Hill (3-4)
(7 p.m., Sage Hill School)
Brethren Christian goes after its second win in Academy League play when it travels to face the Lightning.
BC last week played undefeated St. Margaret's, the top-ranked team in the CIF Southern Section East Valley Division, tough. The Warriors ended up falling, 21-10, to the visiting Tartans in an early league battle for first place.
BC took a 7-0 lead on a touchdown pass from senior quarterback Jack McInally to junior receiver Guy Demazeliere, and pulled to within 14-10 early in the fourth quarter on a 27-yard field goal by Bobby Hardigree.
McInally threw for 245 yards for the Warriors, who fell to 1-1 in league and had a five-game win streak snapped.
"We played well and I thought our defense was very good in that game," BC Coach Pat McInally said. "We were able to stop their running game and our front seven continues to improve.
"We had our chances on offense but couldn't put it in the end zone. That was frustrating."
Sage Hill (0-1 league) has been idle since Oct. 11 when it lost, 48-7, to St. Margaret's.