Matt Bechtel is turning the corner with South Hills football

Believing in Bechtel: The rap on South Hills football coach Matt Bechtel is that he’s an offensive genius who rarely looks like he’s enjoying himself on the sidelines.
It’s his serious demeanor and attention to detail than fans see, but inside, he’s a serious competitor that wants to return South Hills to its glory days, and is tedious the way he goes about it.
But there might be a sneaky grin here and there because South Hills is 4-1 and ranked sixth in CIF-Southern Section Division 7, losing only to undefeated Charter Oak, ranked No. 1 in Division 3.
And now the fun begins, because South Hills opens the Palomares League on Friday at defending champion Ayala (2-3) at 7 p.m.

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Ten Burning Questions: League title predictions

Ten burning questions for high school football. While some teams have started league play, most begin Friday. Here’s how we expect several leagues to unfold in the following weeks.

1. After Bishop Amat’s win, how will it fare in the Mission League? Amat ended its four-game losing streak with a 7-3 win over Loyola using a third-string quarterback in the league opener. Word is that junior starter Blake Archuleta could be out a few more weeks with an injured shoulder, so how will that impact the Lancers’ league title hopes?

Fortunately for the Lancers, their next two games at home against Sherman Oaks Notre Dame (5-1) and Crespi (1-4) are extremely winnable, with or without Archuleta. And they won’t have to face league favorite Chaminade until Week 10. The worst part of Amat’s schedule is over, so there’s a good chance it could go into the league finale playing for a title. It probably won’t win it, but after all it has gone through, there appears to be light at the end of this. League prediction: 1. Chaminade, 2. Serra, 3. Bishop Amat.

2. Who wins Friday’s battle of unbeatens? That would be the Mission Valley League special, South El Monte (6-0, 2-0) at Arroyo (6-0, 2-0). CalPreps, which makes weekly projections based on its computer formula, projects a 31-12 victory for Arroyo. The Knights beat the Eagles 38-14 last year.

Even though it looks juicy on paper, nothing is expected to change. None of South El Monte’s victims have a winning record and though it only is allowing an average of seven points per game, it hasn’t faced an offense anything close to the firepower of Arroyo.

South’s only chance is if running back Sal Tovar can grind out yards and chew up clock for long offensive possessions. But history says Arroyo won’t let that happen, and that CalPreps’ projection could resemble the final score. League prediction: 1. Arroyo, 2. South El Monte, 3. Mountain View.

3. Who wins the Valle Vista League? – Two of the three teams in the hunt play this week when Covina (4-1) hosts San Dimas (3-2) on Friday. The third team is defending champ Northview (3-2), the likely favorite. There won’t be lopsided games between the three, but Covina has been more impressive than San Dimas and Northview has been more impressive than both. Rowland and Baldwin Park are 3-2, but they should wind up playing for fourth. League prediction: 1. Northview, 2. Covina, 3. San Dimas.

4. Who wins the Angelus League? The beauty of this is St. Francis (5-0) is the favorite and won’t have to face contenders Harvard-Westlake (5-0) or Cathedral (4-1) until the final two weeks, so the drama will build. La Salle (2-3) could potentially sneak in the race, but it hasn’t shown enough in nonleague play. In all likelihood, St. Francis will host Cathedral in Week 10 for the title, and the Knights, who lost 24-17 last year, will get it done this time. League prediction: 1. St. Francis, 2. Cathedral, 3. Harvard-Westlake.

5. Who wins the Palomares League? – The only losses for Glendora (3-2) were to Damien and Charter Oak and has a slight edge over South Hills (4-1) and Ayala (2-3).

Bonita (2-3) might be dangerous, but it has clearly not played as well as the top three. South Hills is at Ayala on Friday and the Huskies continued to look dangerous, whipping Mira Costa 40-18 last week.

If South Hills wins at Ayala, then maybe it steals the edge because it hosts Glendora two weeks later. But for now, sticking with Tartans. League prediction: 1. Glendora, 2. South Hills, 3. Ayala.

6. Who wins the Hacienda League? Charter Oak (5-0) is the overwhelming favorite with Los Altos (4-1) and Diamond Ranch (3-2) playing for second.

Diamond Ranch is at Charter Oak on Friday and has more potential to give Charter Oak a game than Los Altos. But let’s be honest, we’ve watched this song and dance before and know how it ends, with Charter Oak wiping everyone out and finishing another undefeated league season. League prediction: 1. Charter Oak, 2. Diamond Ranch, 3. Los Altos.

7. Who wins the Del Rio League? You always take La Serna (2-3) right? It plays the toughest nonleague schedule and it’s proven to be one of the best in Whittier. But it won’t be so easy this time. Pioneer (3-2), Whittier (2-3), El Rancho (2-3) and California (2-3) have been in a lot of tight games and look more than capable than years past. But how do you bet against La Serna? League prediction: 1. La Serna, 2. Whittier, 3. El Rancho.

8. Who wins the Almont League? It came down to Montebello (3-2) beating Schurr (4-1) for the title last year and not much has changed. Alhambra (2-2) could be a sleeper, but this is a lot like the Mission Valley League in that it’s a two-horse race, and this time, Schurr gets the job done. League prediction: 1. Schurr, 2. Montebello, 3. Alhambra.

9. Who wins the Rio Hondo League? Winless Monrovia (0-5) could be the favorite because it’s the defending champ and started 1-4 last year and ran the table in the RHL. Monrovia has played a tough schedule, but it didn’t compete in four of its five losses. That’s why San Marino (4-1), despite losing its season opener at Los Altos, is the team to beat. Second place likely comes down to what happens when South Pasadena (3-2) visits Monrovia on Friday. League prediction: 1. San Marino, 2. Monrovia, 3. South Pasadena.

10. Who wins the Baseline League? This is really about whether Damien can finish top three and make the Division 3 playoffs automatically, though a fourth-place finish could do the trick, too, with an at-large berth. Rancho Cucamonga and Upland will compete for the title. Both are on another level. Third will come down to whether Damien can beat Chino Hills on Friday, and the Spartans have played well enough to get it done. League prediction: 1. Rancho Cucamonga, 2. Upland, 3. Damien

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High School Football Leaders for SGV, Whittier, Star-news

Local High School Football Leaders

1. Quinn Commans, Whittier Christian, 2,072 yards, 345 avg., 19 TDs
2. Ernesto Camacho, Arroyo, 1,483 yards, 247 avg., 11 TDs
3. Miguel Aguero, Schurr, 1,307 yards, 261 avg., 14 TDs
4. Kody Olmos, Los Altos, 1,189 yards, 237 avg., 13 TDs
5. Steven Comstock, Northview, 1,146 yards, 229 avg., 10 TDs
6. Kwon Peterson, Maranatha, 1,123 yards, 187 avg., 13 TDs
7. Jorge Ledesma, Azusa, 1,061 yards, 212 avg., 11 TDs
8. Nin Burns II, Covina, 1,004 yards, 200 avg., 15 TDs
9. Jacob Rodriguez, El Rancho, 966 yards, 193 avg., 6 TDs
10. Justin Bowman, Temple City, 927 yards, 185 avg., 10 TDs

1. Zaquand Irby, Ganesha, 1,348 yards, 224 avg., 20 TDs
2. Sal Tovar, South El Monte, 927 yards, 154 avg., 16 TDs
3. Abel Cueva, El Monte, 897 yards, 179 avg., 7 TDs
4. Erik Cuellar, Covina, 839 yards, 167 yards, 5 TDs
5. Armando Flores, Mountain View, 818 yards, 136 avg., 9 TDs
6. Alex Retana, Whittier, 686 yards, 136 avg., 4 TDs
7. Blake Cabot, San Marino, 615 yards, 123 avg., 8 TDs
8. Matt Chavez, Charter Oak, 565 yards, 113 avg., 7 TDs
9. Beau Hobbie, 553 yards, 110 avg., 9 TDs
10. Noah Maldonado, San Dimas, 550 yards, 110 avg., 6 TDs

1. Lance Babb II, Schurr, 722 yards, 6 TDs
2. Ryan Romero, Whittier Christian, 674 yards, 6 TDs
3. Noah Sanchez, Whittier Christian, 660 yards, 6 TDs
4. Daniel Centeno, Temple City, 528 yards, 4 TDs
5. Raymond Yrigoyen, Whittier, 486 yards, 97 yards, 6 TDs
6. Noah Guzman, Bishop Amat, 478 yards, 1 TD
7. Christopher Vargas, Baldwin Park, 474 yards, 5 TDs
8. Jimmy Amezquita, Northview, 443 yards, 5 TDs
9. Tristan Sprague, Covina, 425 yards, 9 TDs
10. Eric Burton, Rowland, 421 yards, 6 TDs


1. Roman Hernandez, Bassett, 77
2. Luis Saenz, Maranatha, 73
3. Thali J.Cobb, Pomona, 72
4. Devin Escobedo, Damien, 68
5. Mark Tolmachoff, Whittier, 61
6. Jesus Lopez, Baldwin Park, 61
7. Nathan Alba, Damien, 60
8. Jacob Moreno, Maranatha, 59
9. Justin Diebert, La Mirada, 59
10t. Jaime Hurtado, Bosco Tech, 55
10t. Ryan Romero, Whittier Christian, 55

11 – Roy Dominguez, Baldwin Park, 7 – Michael Dominguez, Pioneer; Mark Sosa, South El Monte; 6 – AJ Carreon, South El Monte, Noah Sanchez, Whittier Christian.

5 – Isaiah Hamilton, Charter Oak, Michael Anyanwu, Charter Oak; 4 – Clark Phillips, La Habra, Luis Chavez, Ganesha, Daniel Mendoza, Arroyo.

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Super 20 High School Football Rankings: Charter Oak still No. 1; Amat leaps to 4

School, Record, Division

1. Charter Oak (5-0), D-3
Hosting Diamond Ranch should provide another test.
2. St. Francis (5-0), D-3
Nonleague couldn’t have gone any better.
3. La Habra (3-2), D-2
Opens Freeway League with Sunny Hills
4. Damien (4-1), D-4
Time to take on the unforgiving Baseline.
5. Bishop Amat (1-4), D-1
It wasn’t pretty, but gets first win at Loyola, 10-7.
6. South Hills (4-1), D-7
Biggest surprise in September.
7. Glendora (3-2), D-4
Should be a contender in Palomares.
8. Los Altos (4-1), D-5
Has easy Hacienda opener against Walnut
9. La Serna (2-3), D-3
Ready to dominate Del Rio again?
10. Arroyo (6-0), D-11
Showdown against rival South El Monte next.
11. Northview (3-2), D-8
Valle Vista League favorites?
12. Arcadia (3-2). D-11
Already beat two Pacific League contenders.
13. San Marino (4-1), D-6
One of many favorites in Rio Hondo.
14. La Salle (2-3), D-8
Opens Angelus with Salesian.
15. Schurr (4-1), D-12
Favored with Montebello in Almont.
16. South El Monte (6-0), D-13
Gets another shot at undefeated Arroyo.
17. Diamond Ranch (3-2)
Will Panthers give Charter Oak trouble?
18. Maranatha (4-2), D-9
Another good showing in nonleague.
19. South Pasadena (4-1), D-2
Opens Rio Hondo and winless Monrovia.
20. Muir (2-3), D-9
Already 0-2 and in a hole in Pacific.

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Bishop Amat ends winless streak with clutch 7-3 win over Loyola

High school football Friday night stories and scores for the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News and Whittier Daily News

Saturday Morning Quarterback: Bishop Amat had two weeks to get it right, or it would enter October still searching for a win.It had every right to panic.
It was on the verge of losing its fifth straight and Mission League opener. Amat hadn’t lost five straight since 2002 and it seems nobody can recall it losing five straight to start a season.Not only that, starting junior quarterback Blake Archuleta is out with a right shoulder injury and his status going forward is uncertain.
So what does Amat do?
It turns senior wide receiver Alex Arevalo into its starting quarterback, and the two-week minicap experiment results in a 7-3 victory over Loyola, and of course Arevalo scored the game’s only touchdown.

Bishop Amat gets first win: Under head coach Steve Hagerty, Bishop Amat has created a reputation for playing its best when its backs are against the wall.On Friday night at Loyola, that was never more true.
Time will tell if the Lancers saved their season with late-game defensive heroics, but they certainly jump-started it.

Arcadia rallies to beat Burroughs: Short. Sweet. And a bit of inconsistency.
Arcadia High came out to the second half trailing visiting Burroughs by nine points, but turned that around, quickly scoring on its first two drives of the half to defeat the Indians 31-26 in Arcadia and take a share of first place in the Pacific League.

San Dimas dominant in win over Cal: San Dimas High School, with a perfect combination of passing and rushing, finished its nonleague schedule with a convincing 40-16 win over California High Friday night.
Looming big for the Saints (3-2) is Covina High next week in the Valle Vista League opener.
“San Dimas is a running school and they’ve been doing that for years and years and its worked and we’ve put points on the board every single game,” San Dimas junior quarterback Dylan O’Leary said.

Crescenta Valley routs Muir: Crescenta Valley’s offensive line mowed Muir into the turf for 48 minutes.
Joe Suh used gaping holes and a big first half to lead Crescenta Valley over Muir at Glendale High 38-8 to remain undefeated in Pacific League play.
Suh scored all three of his touchdowns in the opening 24 minutes and finished with 127 all-purpose yards. He had two rushing and then added a 34-yard touchdown catch.

Whittier Christian falls to Marina: Marina running back Blaine Riederich scored a career-high five touchdowns to lead the Vikings to a 54-21 victory over Whittier Christian in a nonleague game Friday evening at Whittier College.
Riederich exploded for three TDs in the opening quarter and added two more in the second half.
“We practiced like crazy and came out with intensity and we were hyped to win,” said Riederich, who rushed for 158 yards and three TDs and also caught two TD passes.

Pioneer pulls away from La Puente: La Puente High’s football team fell into an early hole against host Pioneer in Friday night’s nonleague game.
It started when Pioneer wide receiver Dominic Calderon returned the opening kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown.
On that play, Warriors starting running back Quinton Groves suffered an injury and as a result backup Anthony Chavez had to step in as his replacement. Then Chavez was injured in the second quarter just when he started to get things going for La Puente (2-3).

Friday’s results
Mission League
Bishop Amat 7, Loyola 3
Mission Valley League
Arroyo 35, Rosemead 6
El Monte 26, Mountain View 20
South El Monte 42, Gabrielino 6
Pacific League
Arcadia 31,Burroughs 26
Pasadena 24, Glendale 20
Crescenta Valley 38, Muir 8
Suburban League
La Mirada 56, Cerritos 7
Marina 54, Whittier Christian 21
St. Francis 39, Buena Park 14
Eastvale Roosevelt/Eastvale 48, Ayala 6
Chaffey 29, Barstow 22
San Dimas 40, California 16
Norco 45, Chino Hills 0
Patriot 30, Montclair 27
Ganesha 48, Southlands Christian 26
Garey 36, Sierra Vista 20
Rancho Cucamonga 49, Victor Valley 0
South Hills 40, Mira Costa 18
Nogales 49, Rowland 14
Pioneer 28, La Puente 19
Pomona 41, Azusa 7

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