Star Picks: Five big games this week, where to begin?

Well, let’s start with the Almont League where Alhambra and San Gabriel are each 3-0, and as I had written in my Week 0 football column, this game would decide the Almont League championship. San Gabriel has really turned things around in league, and Andy Guerrero has a lot to do with that. It’s also the reason why I’m picking San Gabriel to win Friday, and here’s why. Guerrero is a threat passing and on the ground. He torched Bell Gardens last week with 350 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 146 yards on 22 carries. He helped the Matadors beat Montebello 48-17 with 312 yards passing and three touchdowns against zero interceptions. He also rushed for 138 yards on 14 carries. Keppel and Montebello are the common opponents, but I’m comparing just the Oilers for this instance. Alhambra last week had a hard time beating Montebello, 7-6. … St. Francis-St. Paul is always a huge rivalry, and both have identical records (6-2, 1-2) coming into this must-win game. St. Paul on paper looked great starting the season but its 5-0 nonleague record was deceiving given that the teams it played right now have a combined 15-26 record, and if I’m correct at one point it was 5-22. To be fair, St. Francis’ opponents have a combined record of 22-17. …. Maranatha is falling and falling hard. The Minutemen are in a dangerous spot at 0-2 in the Olympic League with two games left, both must-wins. I think Maranatha no longer is considered a title contender in the Mid-Valley Division. A darkhorse, perhaps. But right now neither of the two roles come into play if they don’t finish .500 in league, and it starts with Village Christian (4-4, 1-1) on Friday, a team that got SMOKED by Rio Hondo Prep 31-13, all 31 points coming in the second half, 23 of which came in the fourth quarter after an 8-7 lead after the third quarter. It’s time to buckle down and get some. In my opinon the biggest game of the week is Pasadena-Arcadia. Burroughs, Arcadia and Pasadena are tied for first in the Pacific League at 4-1. Arcadia lost to Burroughs 41-29, and no doubt the Apaches were going into that game too confident after beating Muir in the league opener. Both teams are talented with stellar quarterbacks. Arcadia’s Myles Carr and Pasadena’s Brandon Cox are two explosive players who can burn you with the pass, but it’s Cox who adds another element with speed and vision when running. Arcadia’s Jake Medel has given the Apaches another solid running back to balance the passing threat that also features WR Taylor Lagace. Pasadena’s Cleo Bates is an incredible athlete who needs some traction to get his game going, and if he does watch out. Last and certainly not least is the San Marino-South Pasadena game, AKA The Crowley Cup. I saw San Marino last week, but certainly won’t base my prediction based on their play against Monrovia, although the Titans did initiate some solid drives even if the scoreboard doesn’t indicate that. Kwame Do will be a tough assignment, but I see South Pasadena finding a way with the size up front. The Tigers utilize the line well to open lanes which gives way for them to pound and pound and pound. The long drives could wear down the Titans, but I don’t see it happening. Joey Harmon and Matt Wofford will be a nice battle to watch. A San Marino win all but gives it a second-place finish in the Rio Hondo League. South Pasadena would still need to play Monrovia.

*If this schedule is not accurate please leave a comment
WEEK 9 SCHEDULE WITH PREDICTIONS
Friday’s games
Alhambra at San Gabriel, 7 p.m. — San Gabriel
Keppel at Bell Gardens, 7 p.m. — Bell Gardens
Marshall vs. Montclair Prep at Pierce College, 7 p.m. — Montclair Prep
Bishop Montgomery at La Salle, 7 p.m. — La Salle
St. Francis at St. Paul, 7:30 p.m. — St. Francis
Gabrielino at Arroyo, 7 p.m. — Arroyo
Mountain View at Rosemead, 7 p.m. — Rosemead
La Puente at Duarte, 7 p.m. — La Puente
Village Christian at Maranatha, 7 p.m. — Maranatha
Pasadena at Arcadia, 7 p.m. — Arcadia
Burbank at Muir, 7 p.m. — Muir
Flintridge Prep vs. Pasadena Poly at Occidental College, 7 p.m. — Poly
Chadwick at Rio Hondo Prep, 7:30 p.m. — Rio Hondo Prep
Blair at La Canada, 7 p.m. — La Canada
Monrovia at Temple City, 7 p.m. — Monrovia
San Marino at South Pasadena, 7 p.m. — South Pasadena

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  • Where are they now?

    Where are the old skool guys like Stang Fan, Goldenarm, Huckster, Observantcat, burbanksports, New York, sfhs92, etc.????

  • bigfatfan

    Goldenarm morphed into 6Power.

  • What

    Bishop Montgomery at La Salle, 7 p.m. — La Salle
    REALLY!??!??!
    So they win one game out of 15 or 17 and they will go on a winning streak come on.

    Bishop Mont 42 La Salle 0

  • The pit

    St Paul will beat St Francis at the pit. It will be close though

    SP 24
    SF 21

  • New York

    I’ve been wondering the same thing regarding Stang Fan.

    Wow. This season is flying by. It was nice to hear about Muir beating Burroughs. It seems like those two schools have a bit of a rivalry going back to 2006 when Burroughs was first ousted from a bumpy road in the tough Foothill league.

    Playoffs are around the corner. These next two games are critical for many teams. Will Temple City possibly finish winless? What the heck led to this type of season? I hate to state it, but TC does not have this type of season without significant internal dysfunction. The dysfunction dates back a while…too many coaches in a short period of time was an issue, but now what’s happening. Is this McFarland’s 2nd or 3rd year at the helm? To be fair, TC has lost 5 games to teams with at least 6 wins, but TC should not have this type of record with their schedule.

    Lastly, my Wildcats. I really hope these guys develop a certain nastiness that Monrovia football should have. The only way a school our size has ever beaten upper division schools is with an inherent toughness that led us to out hit people and even want more after the game because we did not get enough contact on the field during the game. Know what I mean? Don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating anything after the whistle or after the game or anything remotely dirty or unsportsmanlike, but what I always craved is what I grew up around on the field and that was the feeling of living for the battle and for my teamates wearing the “M”, because it was always us against the world and that’s how we liked it. I really appreciate Maddox for all that he brings, and I wish these guys could also experience playing defense for Coach Rycroft. He lived and breathed Monrovia. It is all about the Kelly Green & White. I realize it is too late in the season to prove ourselves outside the division, but we have up to 6 more weeks to live for our teamates and our city and go out and play the greatest game ever created.

  • realTALK

    shoot out in arcadia this week!
    cox vs carr
    but im afraid arcadia has just too many weapons for pasadena to account for!
    arcadia over pasadena

  • Anonymous

    Why wouldn’t the Rio Hondo Prep vs. Chadwick game be a game of the week? Both teams are undefeated in league and more than likely this is for Prep League Championship?????? Come on Miguel, show RHP some love!!! Those boys work hard and play well. They deserve some attention some of the time.

  • 6power

    New York

    The blog has really suffered from a lack of football devotees this season…and yes, many of the old regulars who kept it alive have faded. I have enjoyed, agreed and disagreed and learned from your posts for years. I find it amazing how many times you have hit it on the head regarding TC football….

    Most people and parents don’t know the history of what led to the state of where the Rams are today. The downfall is not the fault of McFarland, Anthony White, a burgeoning Asian population or global warming for that matter.
    A big hatchet chopped up all that was TC football. The pride, the work ethic, the toughness and the sportsmanship. These were things the freshman learned coming in and it became part of them as they moved up the line toward Varsity. This pipeline of fundamentals and commitment was not seen as worthy to retain and keep in the TC locker room, and thus dedicated people were let go, others followed – not wishing to breathe stinky disloyal air any longer.
    Pessimistic, yes. Bitter, hell yea. 0-8 does that to you, if it doesn’t you better take up knitting sweaters and watching Glee instead of ESPN.

    Amid the 0-8 – last Friday at La Canada I saw something that truly stood out, something that says it ain’t all gone. With a TC player sprawled on the ground after a crushing hit, a LC player stood over him and talking crap….in came TC fullback Chris Reed who immediatedly got in the facemask of the LC player and would not back down…he was on fire. The 45 yards of penalties mattered little…it was the first time this season someone stepped up and said….screw this! My gut says next season will be the start of better football at Temple City High School. Whatever McFarland says he needs – the Administration and Ram supporters must get on board today.

  • GloucesterCoach

    6 Power, New York, bigfatfan,

    I do miss the old blog wars we had back in the day. It seems like we have a new generation of posters that are carrying the torch now, which I’m ok with.

    NY,
    I know exactly what you’re talking about with the nastiness that M-Town played with. I remember how I felt physically after I played them. That goes the same for TC back in the day too.
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad to see my Tigers finally play well and with some physicality, but it’s odd to see the usual players not up to par this year.

    6Power, I think you guys gotta bring the horns back. That would be a start anyways.

  • FootballGuy

    If San Marino beats South Pasadena and SP comes up short against Monrovia and La Canada beats SM, you then have three teams at 3-2 in RHL. Coinflip. Miguel, you stated a SM win over SP “all but gives them second place”. You should think before you type.

  • bigfatfan

    Football guy: dont remind me of the three-way coin flip. SP was in one of those last year, and we were the only team of the three that did not make the playoffs. I can assure you that the returning Tigers from the 2010 squad remember the bitter taste of the coin flip, and will not leave their playoff chances to the coin flip this year. Crush the Titans!

  • FootballGuy

    bigfatfan, SP is the best position to make the coin flip a mute point.

  • Football Kryptonite

    La Salle’s AD/OC is like football kryptonite. When he gets on your campus your team becomes weak and can’t do anything.

    How can you pick La Salle? Over a former college and Pro Coach from Bishop Montgomery!!!
    Did you pick Montclair Prep to win even though they don’t have a team this season? Lame.

  • sikolec

    Why is La Salle ranked as an “Other” by CIF this week for Northwest playoffs? Right behind 2-win Oak Park. Please don’t tell me a 1-win team can even be considered for CIF-SS playoffs.

    What a joke…

  • PurdueAlum05

    GloucesterCoach,
    What’s your first name? I am curious to who you are. I played at South Pas too. I bet I played with you.

  • bigfatfan

    6Power: dont lose hope, programs struggle from time to time. you only have to look east on the 210 freeway to Duarte to see what is possible after dismal seasons. Duarte had not won a single game in 2009 or 2010, and yet now in 2011 they are BACK. I have no idea how they turned it around in one year, maybe its a down year for the rest of their league. if their resurrection is legit, maybe TC can learn from that example?

  • objective fan

    To Anonymous, I agree with you concerning the Rio Hondo Prep vs. Chadwick game. It seems that these small schools get overlooked and get left in the shadows of much larger schools more often than they should. Rio Hondo Prep should beat Chadwick but as you know, anything can happen under the lights on friday nights. Both teams should win the remainder of their respective league games so this should be a dandy to watch. The playoffs are shaping up to be a tough road for any of the top div.13 teams with Boron, Salesian, Rio Hondo Prep, Bishop and Mojave all playing well into November. Can’t wait to see how it all pans out. May the best team win.

  • GloucesterCoach

    Purdue Alum, we did play together. First name is Scott.

  • PurdueAlum05

    Scott,
    It’s George. I thought you were Jeremy Anderson or Matt Battin. LOL What’s up man? Are you going to the game on Friday?

  • PurdueAlum05

    bigfatfan,
    Did you play for Coach Smith?

  • Sgv fb fan

    La Salle’s ad is no longer the OC. He hasn’t been since week 2.

  • 6power

    G Coach,

    You are spot on regarding the physical nature of football. This year we are not only getting beat, but beat up as well. That was really evident against South El Monte, who came in nasty and aggressive and we responded by basically becoming green and gold punching bags – a size advantage is no advantage without the will and attitude to punish the opponent or at least execute the play as it is drawn up. If your man needs moving out, move him out – or occupy him long enough to make him a non-factor on that down.
    Don’t be the guy on Saturday film missing the block….at that point it is too late to change your jersey number.

    BFF,

    We will be better next year (not exactly a genius statement I know)We have plenty of inexperienced juniors who will remember this hideous season and some good athletes coming up. This Friday Mtown is going to DeShawn us to death – but we can run on them I know. We need to put a big back into the mix as we did against SP. Tailbacks Roger is 145 lbs max and Dea is 5’2 maybe 155, that is raw meat for Monrovia.

    I am going to go to Bellflower and watch La Mirada play Mayfair, a good friend’s son plays DT for LM and the game is a must win.

  • bigfatfan

    Purdue: my kids played for Coach Smith.

  • das

    san gabriel over alhambra? really? i don’t know where the hype comes from. alhambra will win, easily. i stopped reading the article after that line.

  • GloucesterCoach

    PurdueAlum,
    I wish I was going. I’m living in Boston still, so I follow all the RHL action through this blog. Hopefully SP will make the playoffs and win in the first round, so I can see them play Thanksgiving weekend.

  • bigfatfan

    Gloucester: you can listen to Tiger football live via the internet at the following website: http://eidemrocksradio.com/tigers-athletics/

    no need to miss out on any of the action. enjoy.

  • tcchamps

    GA:

    Talk about a new direction? Never ever thought you could pass up a Mtown/TC contest (or lack of this year). Feel your pain. I find the Agave can cure all blues.

  • Schalupa

    BFF: I’ve listened to http://eidemrocksradio.com/tigers-athletics/. It’s actually a very good broadcast. Highly recommend it to Mr. Boston.

  • Titan Sports Fan

    Both teams are in position to handle their business when it comes down to the coin flip so if either team puts themselves in that position they only got themselves to blame. Which just adds to the importance of this game for both squads.

    I havent seen SP Oline but seems to be where most people consider them having an edge. But to under estimate Sm’s D-Line i think would be naive. Veteran group albeit smaller play with a high motor and get after it. This is a SM team that should only get better as there season progresses.

    Game should be a war in the trenches. I think ultimately comes down to Quarterback play and who is able to execute and make a couple clutch plays down the stretch.

    Both programs seem to be on the upswing which should bring back some of the intensity back into the rivalry. Can only hope this becomes routine when this game holds playoff implications. SM has strong lower levels once again and with a junior heavy varsity squad things seem bright for SM’s future!

  • 6power

    tc champs

    bout time you jumped in
    yeah…I do want to see M-town, but I committed to a good friend, his son is a senior and it is a huge game (LM versus Mayfair)a La Mirada win makes a 3 way tie in the Suburban. Wish I could be both places

    Titan Sports Fan,

    South Pasadena is big in the “50″ jerseys, meaning the standard linebacker numbers. They have some good sized kids who are mobile and their safetys are particularly good at closing on balls thrown over the middle.

    They did not need to throw against us, but their QB can throw deep and throw accurate. They ran the best corner fade pass and catch I have seen this year.

    Their weaknesses against us were mental errors such as motion penalties and too many holds, some on plays outside the tackles where a good legal block was easy enough to accomplish…but the discipline was not there. This is a Tiger team that can deliver a blow and is looking to do so.

    You may be underestimating So Pas.

  • GloucesterCoach

    Thanks for the link BFF.

    Does anyone know what the all time series is at with SP vs. SM? I know it’s really close, SP might be up 1 or 2?

    Keep the plaque Tigers, keep the plaque!

  • bigfatfan

    Gloucester: SP leads the series 29-25-3. we are forecasting rain showers for tomorrow’s game. its also homecoming and senior night. Go Tigers

  • GrimReaper

    WHAT IF?
    What if SM beats SP?
    What if SP beats Monrovia?

    What does that mean?
    In case you were asleep in/or flunked your second year of math in high school…That means that Monrovia would have a 1 out of 3 chance of being league champs and an 11 PM tie breaker.

    From what I saw and heard on the Monrovia sidelines, their helmets are getting a little tight and their backsides are nice and pink from patting one another in their self admiration. And it is not just the kids. It is one big laugh and chuckle march to the championship. If ever there was a team that is set up for a fall. The team I saw, the team I heard, is ready to get knocked down by fate. A penalty, an injury, and/or a turnover. And then, unable to forget that they are the greatest, will they be able to shift gears and put on the gas in answer to unexpected adversity?

    Likely? no. It is likely that Monrovia beats SP in a lark by 4 touchdowns or more. I too, anoint Monrovia as undefeated league champs.

    But if the calls turn on them, and SP D can put down a balanced attack and gets a few turnovers things can turn quickly. A key injury, maybe. It could get ugly.

    When only ahead of SM by 6-0 and SM having made a couple of empty drives from SM 30 to M 25 yd lines, all of a sudden the Monrovia sidelines are yelling at the Refs on every call and non call. Their is a certain attitude that is just below the surface.

    They are taking it away from us and it isn’t fair, attitude is just a turnover and a penalty away. Once that attitude takes hold and adversity comes, can it manifest, can it take hold and result in SP victory? Would a Monrovia team that is a big sideline party, marching to a preordained championship, lock up and self destruct?

    AND WHAT IF:
    The coin flip puts SP or SM in 1st and or 2nd place?

    WHAT THEN:
    I want to see the blog posts on that Friday night as the MClown, Observant Cat, MTown, etc make posts about the refs or what ever.

    Is it likely? No, Monrovia is already the champions in their own and everyone else’s minds, absent a few true believers in SP that havent played them yet. But given the separate and unequal system that is the Rio Hondo League, it is about all that the Non Monrovia fan can project.

  • Titan sports fan

    SP future should be bright with a young qb at the helm as well. By no means though am I overlooking SP very impressed with the direction their going. Similar talent pools and similar strengths at each school. I think its a very even playing field this year with a slight nod to SP with a more veteran filled squad of seniors. SM knows that we’lll always get SP best effort and best game of the year usually follows that but it also goes the same for SP and we have not nearly played to our full potential yet this season. When and if we do it could be scary good. This game is essentially a toss up!

    Another note SP would be in far better shape than SM to get an at large berth to playoffs than SM. With losses to Rosemead who is 3rd in the their division and bell gardens whos last in the almont SM has no other wins against mid valley opponents. Rosemead would get the nod over SM if both finish third. SP has a victory over alhambra which helps there resume if they should finish third especially if alhambra wins friday and is in the driver seat to win their league.

  • Huckster

    DOGS HOUSE! We will be whipping on Arcadia this Friday! They’re next in line on the hate list as rivials! DOGS 44 APACHE’S 21!!!! You know what time it is next week, so I’ll be on here going classic “HUCKSTER”!

  • Realist

    Huckster-

    That comment was a joke right? Pasadena’s defense is not nearly good enough to hold Arcadia to 21 points. If Arcadia slows down Cox, this game will be a blow out. Just like the last 7 years. Pasadena just doesn’t match up very well against Arcadia. Cox is a great player, but he isnt going to be able to single handily beat Arcadia. Pasadena has one weapon on offense, and that’s Cox. Look for Arcadia to shut him down and win this game my at least 28 points. Real talk. And when Arcadia wins this one, I expect to see what you have to say Huckster.

  • PurdueAlum05

    Huckster,
    Great to hear from your @$$. I was worried that something happened to you cuz the Dogs are having a good year and you haven’t said a word til now. Good to know you’re ok.

  • Realist

    Calling all Hucksters… Calling all hucksters!!! Where you at now big dog? You just got dismantled by the best team in the Pacific… And you thought Pasadena had a chance.. pssshhhh