Here are the 10 burning questions for high school football
1. Is Charter Oak, St. Francis on collision course? – The CIF Southern Section Division 3 rankings came out Monday and there was no surprise Charter Oak is No. 1. The Chargers dominated Northview, Colony, Glendora and Damien in racing to 4-0 and will likely do the same to South Hills Friday before rolling through the Hacienda League.
St. Francis, ranked fifth, has been even more impressive than the Chargers, thoroughly dominating Mira Costa and La Serna on top of a rout of Pasadena.
Both look like going 10-0 is a real possibility and the potential of meeting in the playoffs, particularly in a championship setting, gets more real each week.
2. Why is Charter Oak’s secondary so dominant? Because Michael Anyanwu has five interceptions and Isaiah Hamilton has four, which rank the duo with just nine others in the Southern Section with four or more INTs through four games. Anyanwu is tied for the section lead with Citrus Hill’s Shawn Dourseau, who also has five.
3. How serious is Gabriel Tapia’s ankle injury? – The Montebello quarterback suffered a severe ankle injury according to coach Pete Gonzalez and will likely sit out Friday’s game at undefeated Cantwell Sacred Heart (3-0). Tapia suffered the injury on the first drive of Montebello’s 35-7 loss to El Rancho on Friday, and it hampered his ability the rest of the game. It makes sense to sit him against Cantwell because Montebello has a bye next week before the Almont League starts on Oct. 6.
4. Is Covina and Northview in South Hills’ future? – There always has been the sense that Covina and Northview, which share Covina District Field with South Hills, should take on South Hills in non-league games. It hasn’t happened for a long time because for years, South Hills swallowed up all the district talent, but times are changing. The three schools have never been closer in talent, and there is talk that Northview and Covina, who square off in the Valle Vista League, are trying to secure games with South Hills, possibly as early as next season.
5. Is Friday’s Pacific League opener more important to Muir or Arcadia? It is equally important because Muir, in Division 9 and Arcadia in Division 11, begin the seven-week chase to make the playoffs.
It is important to remember that while both divisions give Muir and Arcadia a chance to go deep in the playoffs, finishing top three in the Pacific is vital to making the playoffs. There will be tough games later against Burbank, Burroughs and Crescenta Valley so for Muir and Arcadia, dropping a game before it gets to those three could do big damage to its playoff pursuit.
6. Is Monrovia favored to win the Rio Hondo League? South Pasadena and San Marino are both 3-1 and even Temple City, who was terrible last year, is 2-2.
While all that looks good on paper, Monrovia, which is 0-4 and about to go 0-5 hosting Damien this week, is probably still the favorite, but not the slam-dunk it has been in the past.
The Wildcats are playing a non-league schedule that made sense five years ago when they were rolling, but not today. Still, a close 42-40 loss to La Salle can’t be ignored, though Monrovia took a big step back getting rolled by Whittier, 27-0.
South Pasadena probably has the edge, but Monrovia started 1-4 and went undefeated in the Rio Hondo to win it last year, including a 46-16 win over South Pasadena. So who knows, maybe nothing’s changed.
7. Who leads the Southern Section in passing? – Bonita’s J.P. Andrade is the leader in the clubhouse with 1,431 passing yards, 12 touchdowns, an average of 357 yards per game. Second is Whittier Christian’s Quinn Commans with 1,331 yards, 11 touchdowns and an average of 332 yards per game.
This is according to MaxPreps, so unless there are some teams out there hiding super quarterbacks, you don’t have to go far on a Friday to watch these two light it up.
8. Will anything change in the Mission Valley League? – No, while the MVL starts on Friday there is only one game to circle on the calendar, and that’s when South El Monte (4-0) visits Arroyo (4-0) on Oct. 6. Even then, not sure much will change from a year ago when Arroyo won, 38-14. The Knights have looked so impressive during non-league, especially the dominant win over Schurr, that following a Division 12 championship with a Division 11 title is a real possibility.
9. So who’s favored in Division 12? That appears to be Schurr (3-1), who was ranked No. 1 this week despite the 31-10 loss to Arroyo two weeks ago. Pollsters were obviously impressed with how the Spartans bounced back routing West Covina, 42-6.
10. Will La Mirada finally have a chance to breathe? – Yes, after going 0-4 and being outscored 149-14 in non-league, the Matadores open the Suburban League Friday at home against Mayfair (3-1), who just lost to Santa Margarita, 49-3.
If La Mirada wins, it becomes the favorite to win league and all will be OK again.
SGVN, WHITTIER, TRIBUNE LEADERS
1. J.P. Andrade, Bonita, 1,431 yards, 357 avg., 12 TDs
2. Quinn Commans, Whittier Christian, 1,331, 332 avg., 11 TDs
3. Kody Olmos, Los Altos, 985 yards, 246 avg., 12 TDs
4. Ernesto Camacho, Arroyo, 983 yards, 245 avg., 6 TDs
5. Kwon Peterson, Maranatha, 941 yards, 234 avg., 13 TDs
6. Nathan Delgado, Whittier, 869 yards, 217 avg., 8 TDs
7. Steven Comstock, Northview, 851 yards, 212 avg., 7 TDs
8. Miguel Aguero, Schurr, 848 yards, 212 avg., 11 TDs
9. Jacob Rodriguez, El Rancho, 804 yards, 201 avg., 6 TDs
10. Darius Perrantes, St. Francis, 792 yards, 264 agv., 6 TDs
1. Abel Cueva, El Monte, 756 yards, 189 avg., 5 TDs
2. Armando Flores, Mountain View, 699 yards, 174 avg., 9 TDs
3. Sal Tovar, South El Monte, 638 yards, 159 avg., 9 TDs
4. Eric Cuellar, Covina, 513 yards, 171 avg., 3 TDs
5. Matthew Chavez, Charter Oak, 506 yards, 126 avg, 7 TDs
6. Blake Cabot, San Marino, 480 yards, 120 avg., 8 TDs
7. Skyler Taylor, La Habra, 476 yards, 119 avg., 10 TDs
8. Alex Retana, Whittier, 462 yards, 155 avg., 0 Tds
9. Armando Velasco, St. Paul, 411 yards, 102 avg., 3 TDs
10. Francisco Ibarra III, Nogales, 401 yards, 100 avg.., 2 TDs
1. Lance Babb II, Schurr, 452 yards, 113 avg., 3 TDs
2. Christopher Vargas, Baldwin Park, 427 yards, 106 avg., 5 TDs
3. Daniel Centeno, Temple City, 409 yards, 102 avg., 3 TDs
4. Ryan Romero, Whittier Christian, 409 yards, 102 avg, 3 TDs
5. Noah Guzman, Bishop Amat, 391 yards, 97 avg., 1 TD
6. Jermaine Braddock, Charter Oak, 383 yards, 95 avg, 5 TDs
7. Noah Sanchez, Whittier Christian, 378 yards, 94 avg., 4 TDs
8. Quinn Peoples, Los Altos, 344 yards, 86 avg., 3 TDs
9. Rene Zaldivar, Los Altos, 330 yards, 82 avg., 5 TDs
10. Greg Dulcich, St. Francis, 323 yards, 107 avg., 3 TDs
57 – Devin Escobedo, Damien; 53 – Nathan Alba, Damien; 52 – Mark Tolmachoff, Whittier; 47 – Jesus Lopez, Baldwin Park; 43 – Andrew Tarango, El Rancho.
7 – Ray Dominguez, Baldwin Park; 6 – Mark Sosa, South El Monte, Noah Sanchez, Whittier Christian; 5 – Luis Valerio, El Monte, Eduardo Rodriguez, Sierra Vista, Frank Hernandez, Monrovia, Alexandre Dumais, St. Paul, AJ Carreon, South El Monte.
5 – Michael Anyanwu, Charter Oak; 4 – Isaiah Hamilton, Charter Oak, Daniel Mendoza, Arroyo; 3 – Marcos Figueroa, El Monte, Jared Schoenick, Glendora.