There were those who thought Santa Fe High School football coach Jack Mahlstede was a little crazy to take on a nonleague schedule that featured one of the top teams in Arizona, and. three of the better units in the CIF-Southern Section.
But there was a reason for his madness and the Chiefs showed it
Friday night, getting 140 yards rushing and three touchdowns from Joey Davis to take a big step toward the Del Rio League title with a 23-8 victory over 2010 champ La Serna. The Chiefs can wrap up the title with wins over Pioneer and Whittier, which shocked California, 28-14. Elsewhere, La Habra coasted to a 42-7 victory over a Buena Park, which was supposed to be its toughest challenger in the Freeway League. Over at St. Paul, the Swordsmen’s playoff hopes took a hit with a 21-14 loss to Serra. Now St. Paul must beat St. Francis, a 31-14 loser to Chaminade, for what should be the final playoff spot from the Mission League.
Here’s a brief rundown of Friday’s games: No. 1 La Habra 42, Buena Park 7 – The Highlanders are continuing their annual cakewalk through the Freeway League. At this point, there seems no stopping La Habra toward a fifth consecutive CIF-SS title. Serra 21, No. 2 St. Paul 14 – The Swordsmen’s season now comes to next week’s home game against St. Francis, which will decide the final playoff slot from the Mission League. Santa Fe 23, No. 3 La Serna 8 — Two words – Joey Davis, who rushed for a 140 yards to lead the Chiefs, who can now taste the Del Rio League title. Only Whittier and Pioneer are in the way. How far can the Chiefs go in the Souteast? I think they can go far. Whittier 28, California 14 – This one was a shocker, which will make a mad scramble for the final two playoff slots from the Del Rio League, where La Serna is second with one loss and El Rancho, Cal, Whittier and Pioneer all tied for third with two losses. El Rancho 31, Pioneer 13 — The Dons took care of business at home to stay in the playoff hunt, which will now be a mad scramble. Schurr 27, Keppel 0 – The Spartans stay in the playoff hunt with an expected win. Next up is rival Montebello, which should be a defensive war. Alhambra 7, Montebello 6 — The Oilers have one of the better defenses in the Almont, then there is Montebello’s offense.
Here is this week’s area rankings:
Rankings are with previous rank and record. 1. (1) La Habra (4-3) — The Highlanders, as expected, continue to dominate the Freeway League. Buena Park comes calling this week, but expect more of the same. 2. (2) St. Paul (6-1) — The Swordsman rebounded from the lost to Chaminade by blitzing Cathedral. Serra and St. Francis are next and St. Paul needs at least a split to earn a playoff spot. Can they do it? 3. (3) La Serna (6-1) — The Lancers made enough plays to hold off El Rancho last week. They’ll need a better effort to slowdown hard-charging Santa Fe. 4. (5) La Mirada (4-4) — The Mats, riding a three-game winning streak, are up to third in the Suburban. They take a week off before facing rival Mayfair next week. 5. (6) Whittier Christian (5-3) – The Heralds, who are idle this week, showed they are a player in the Mid-Valley after beating previous No. 1 Maranatha. Others: 6. (7) Santa Fe (3-4); 7 (4) ;California (5-2); 8. (8) El Rancho (4-3); 9. (9) Cantwell (4-3); 10. (11) Montebello (4-3); 11 (10) Schurr (1-6); 12. (13) Pioneer (1-6); 13. (12) Whittier (3-4).
This season, I will give my predictions for all the area games from week to week. Want to play? Just add your projections and keep your tally and see how you match up. Record (season total, last week): Ramirez (52-30, 7-3). Last Week: It was another decent week, getting victories by picking Santa Fe over California and La Serna over El Rancho. But I missed on Whittier Christian’s upset over Maranatha,, Montebello’s win over Bell Gardens and Pioneer breaking into the win column with a win over Whittier. This week: It’s showdown week, with the winner of Santa Fe and La Serna likely winning the Del Rio League, and La Habra most-likely facing its toughest Freeway League opponent when it hosts Buena Park. I like the Highlanders and the Chiefs to reign surpreme. Here are this week’s predictions:
Friday, Oct. 28
La Serna vs. Santa Fe at Pioneer HS, 7 p.m. – Santa Fe
Buena Park at La Habra, 7 p.m. – La Habra
Serra at St. Paul, 7:30 p.m. – Serra
Whittier at California, 7 p.m. – California
Alhambra at Montebello, 7 p.m. – Alhambra
Pioneer at El Rancho, 7 p.m. – El Rancho
Schurr at Keppel, 7 p.m. Schurr
Saturday, Oct. 29
Cantwell-Sacred Heart at Bosco Tech, 1:30 p.m – Cantwell
Above: Joey Davis and Santa Fe were off and running in beating California, 31-10. (Staff photo by Keith Durflinger)
Another big night for area teams, with the highlight being Santa Fe blitzing California, 31-10, and La Serna holding off El Rancho, 31-28, to set up a battle for Del Rio League supremacy next week. The other big win Friday was Whittier Christian upsetting previous Mid-Valley No. 1 Maranatha, 24-21. La Habra, St. Paul and La Mirada all had big wins.
Here’s a brief recap of tonight’s games: No. 1 La Habra 49, Fullerton 10 — The Highlanders, getting three touchdowns from Brett Bartolone and 13 tackles from Aaron Porter, rolled the Indians. Anyone getting the idea that La Habra might not lose again? No. 2. St. Paul 38, Cathedral 0 – The Swordsmen, getting 263 yards passing and three scores from quarterback Paul Telles, needed this win and they got it with ease. Now it gets difficult with games against Serra, St. Francis and Harvard-Westlake, two of which are at home. No. 3 La Serna 31, El Rancho 28 – The Lancers did their part to set-up next week’s showdown with Santa Fe, bu it wasn’t easy. The Dons died hard, driving inside La Serna territory late before Justin Ballesteros intercepted a Joe Sanchez pass to seal it. Santa Fe 31, No. 4 California 10 – Four words: Joey Davis and Christian Mahlstede. Both seniors buried the Condors in an avalanche of big plays to sink Cal. Davis had 226 all-purpose yards and scored three touchdowns, while Mahlstede finished with 156 yards receiving, making three acrobatic catches. No. 5 La Mirada 59, Cerritos 0 – The Mats scored their third consecutive blow-out win against another Suburban League cellar dweller. QB Gerry Myres threw for 108 yards and two TDs and Johnny Hills rushed for 103 and two scores to lead La Mirada, which has a bye before closing the season with Mayfair and Norwalk. Whittier Christian 24, Maranatha 21 – Who’s No. 1 in the Mid-Valley now? It won’t be the host Minutemen, who were blitzed by the Heralds. The win puts Whittier Christian in the discussion for the division title. Pioneer 20, Whittier 7 — The Titans, who rushed for 200 yards, scored their first win of the season and kept their slim playoff hopes alive. Montebello 33, Bell Gardens 21 – The Oilers, who have been led by their defense, finally showed some offensive bunch in defeating the Lancers. Marcus Portillo rushed for 208 yards and three scores to lead Montebello. Cantwell 49, Mary Star 0 — The Cardinals shot down the Stars to stay in the hunt for a playoff spot. Corey Collins rushed for 182 yards and three TDs.