Playoff pictures coming into focus

With just two weeks left in the regular season, the first-place battles in the Del Rio, Freeway and Almont leagues became a little clearer Thursday and Friday.
La Serna and El Rancho are both 3-0 in the Del Rio League, and they’ll meet Nov. 7 – that’s a Thursday – with the league championship likely at stake, although both have to win next week to make that happen. La Serna plays Whittier at Cal High on Nov. 1 while El Rancho hosts Santa Fe.
In the Freeway League, La Habra and Buena Park are both 3-0, and they’ll meet at La Habra on Nov. 8. After Friday’s victory over Troy, La Habra has won 33 consecutive Freeway League games.
Rivals Montebello and Schurr are also hurtling toward a Nov. 8 first-place showdown in the Almont League after each posted a decisive victory Friday. Both are 3-0 and both should roll to blowout victories next week – Montebello hosts Alhambra (1-2) and Schurr visits Keppel (0-2 entering Friday’s game vs. San Gabriel).
La Mirada throttled Cerritos on Thursday to improve to 3-1 in the Suburban League, and the Matadores will host first-place Norwalk (8-0, 4-0) on Nov. 1. The Lancers are ranked No. 1 in the CIF-SS Southeast Division.
In the Olympic League, Whittier Christian (2-1) visits Maranatha (2-0) next week. Cantwell-Sacred Heart’s loss Friday dropped the Cardinals to 2-2 in the Del Rey League, which means next week’s home game vs. first-place La Salle (4-0) is critical.

This week’s scores
Thursday
La Serna 62, Pioneer 7
La Mirada 42, Cerritos 8
Friday
La Habra 42, Troy 14
El Rancho 22, Cal 15
Montebello 29, Bell Gardens 7
Whittier Christian 41, Heritage Christian 34
Santa Fe 24, Whittier 21
Schurr 47, Alhambra 0
Verbum Dei 46, Cantwell-Sacred Heart 10
Chaminade 64, St. Paul 13

Next week
Thursday
Pioneer at Cal
Friday
Alhambra at Montebello
Schurr at Keppel
La Salle at Cantwell-Sacred Heart
Santa Fe at El Rancho
Whittier vs. La Serna at Cal High
Sonora at La Habra
Cathedral at St. Paul
Whittier Christian at Maranatha
Norwalk at La Mirada

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St. Paul tastes victory for first time since last season

It’s time to celebrate at St. Paul High!

The Swordsmen secured their first victory of the season Friday night, defeating Harvard-Westlake 31-23 in the Mission League. St. Paul had lost 13 consecutive games dating back to 2012, and won a league game for the first time since 2011.

Cantwell-Sacred Heart also earned a victory Friday, 54-7 over winless Bosco Tech in the Del Rey League. The Cardinals improved to 2-5 overall and 2-1 in league play.

La Mirada suffered its first Suburban League loss, falling 28-21 to visiting Mayfair. The Matadores are now 2-5 overall and 2-1 in league.

Montebello and Schurr each earned Almont League victories Friday to improve to 2-0, and El Rancho improved to 2-0 in the Del Rio League by walloping Pioneer 62-21. Cal evened its Del Rio League record at 1-1 by defeating Whittier 17-14.

Here are all the area scores from this week.

Thursday

Whittier Christian 41, Village Christian 21

Friday

La Habra 55, Sunny Hills 0

La Serna 37, Santa Fe 0

Mayfair 28, La Mirada 21

El Rancho 62, Pioneer 21

Montebello 42, San Gabriel 0

Cal 17, Whittier 14

Schurr 10, Bell Gardens 0

Cantwell-Sacred Heart 54, Bosco Tech 7

St. Paul 31, Harvard-Westlake 23

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Heralds drop Olympic opener, extend losing skid to three games

Defending Olympic League champion Whittier Christian suffered a 35-27 loss to visiting Valley Christian on Friday in the league opener for both teams, the Heralds’ third consecutive setback after three victories to open the season.
Other defending league champs from the area had better nights, with La Serna and La Habra each earning victories. La Serna topped rival Ca 35-14 to open the Del Rio League, and Freeway League power La Habra overcame a slow start to beat Fullerton 48-21.
In the Almont League, Montebello and Schurr both scored decisive victories their opener. Montebello continued its excellent play of late by whipping Keppel 55-6, and Schurr rebounded from last week’s disappointing effort vs. Whittier by thrashing San Gabriel 47-9.
In other games, Santa Fe beat Pioneer 49-15 to open the Del Rio League, St. Paul fell to 0-6 after a 63-18 loss to St. Francis in the Mission League, and Cantwell-Sacred Heart fell to 1-1 in the Del Rey League after a 21-16 loss to Mary Star.

How the Top 10 Fared
La Habra (5-1, 1-0): Defeated Fullerton 48-21
La Serna (4-2, 1-0): Defeated Cal 35-14
Santa Fe (4-2, 1-0): Defeated Pioneer 49-15
La Mirada (2-4, 2-0): Bye
El Rancho (3-3, 1-0): Defeated Whittier 17-3 Thursday
Whittier Christian (3-3, 0-1): Lost to Valley Christian 35-27
Montebello (3-3, 1-0): Defeated Keppel 55-6
Whittier (3-3, 0-1): Lost to El Rancho 17-3 Thursday
Cal (2-4, 0-1): Lost to La Serna 35-14
Schurr (2-4, 1-0): Defeated San Gabriel 47-9

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This week’s football schedule

Thursday
El Rancho vs. Whittier at Cal High

Friday
La Habra at Fullerton
La Serna at Cal
Santa Fe vs. Pioneer at Cerritos College
Valley Christian vs. Whittier Christian at Whittier College
Keppel at Montebello
Schurr at San Gabriel
Cantwell-Sacred Heart vs. Mary Star at Daniels Field
St. Francis at St. Paul, 7:30 p.m.

Bye
La Mirada

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Pioneer’s injured QB still out front in passing yards

PASSING
Jonathan Jimenez, Pioneer, 96 of 155, 1,153 yards, 14 TDs
Ryan Araujo, El Rancho, 65 for 115, 906 yards, 1 TD
Frankie Palmer, La Serna, 62 for 107, 898 yards, 5 TDs
Ryan Esslinger, Whittier Chr., 83 of 138, 898 yards, 6 TDs
Kevin Dillman, La Mirada, 76 for 117, 821 yards, 6 TDs
Christian Lara, Santa Fe, 59 of 104, 818 yards, 8 TDs
Matthew Valencia, Cantwell-Sacred Heart, 70 for 144, 760 yards, 4 TDs
Carlos China, Montebello, 34 of 68, 590 yards, 5 TDs
Jared Reza, Whittier, 24 of 50, 404 yards, TD
Andy Garibay, Pioneer, 23 of 39, 201 yards, TD

RUSHING
Isaac Mendibles, Montebello, 870 yards, 7 TDs
Jean Lue Dauphiney, Cantwell-Sacred Heart, 645 yards, 3 TDs
Adam Carrasco, La Mirada, 568 yards, 7 TDs
Aaron Escareno, El Rancho, 534 yards, 10 TDs
David Fischer, Whittier Chr., 407 yards, 4 TDs
Ryan Araujo, El Rancho, 381 yards, 7 TDs
Frankie Palmer, La Serna, 327 yards, 3 TDs
Eddie Orta, Whittier, 323 yards, 9 TDs
Bryce Oliver, La Serna, 279 yards, 5 TDs
Christian Lara, Santa Fe, 261 yards, 4 TDs

RECEIVING
Noah Evans, Whittier Chr., 33 rec., 504 yards, 3 TDs
Dallis Todd, La Mirada, 29 rec., 458 yards, 3 TDs
Matthew Rodriguez, Pioneer, 28 rec., 420 yards
Matthew Rosales, La Serna, 18 rec., 358 yards
Brandon Takata, Santa Fe, 24 rec., 337 yards, 2 TDs
Chase Busse, Cantwell-Sacred Heart, 27 rec., 321 yards, 2 TDs
Julio Reynoso, Pioneer, 29 rec., 309 yards
Julian Espitia, Pioneer, 23 rec., 309 yards, 3 TDs
Edgar Gonzalez, Montebello, 8 rec., 282 yards, 2 TDs
Max Mora, Cantwell-Sacred Heart, 21 rec., 276 yards, 3 TDs

Stats taken from MaxPreps.com

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How the Top 10 Fared

How the Top 10 Fared
1. La Habra (4-1): Bye
2. La Serna (3-2): Bye
3. Santa Fe (3-2): Lost to Chaparral 41-14
4. La Mirada (2-4): Defeated John Glenn 49-6
5. El Rancho (2-3): Bye
6. Whittier Christian (3-2): Bye
7. Montebello (2-3): Bye
8. Schurr (1-4): Lost to Whittier 19-8
9. Cal (2-3): Defeated Warren 21-7
10. Whittier (3-2): Defeated Schurr 19-8

Next week’s schedule
All times 7 p.m. unless noted
Thursday

El Rancho vs. Whittier at Cal High
Friday
Keppel at Montebello
Schurr at San Gabriel
La Serna at Cal
Santa Fe vs. Pioneer at Cerritos College
La Habra at Fullerton
St. Francis at St. Paul, 7:30 p.m.
Valley Christian vs. Whittier Christian at Whittier College
Cantwell-Sacred Heart vs. Mary Star at Daniels Field
Bye
La Mirada

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Cardinals will enter Del Rio play with momentum

Whittier High will enter next week’s Del Rio League opener with a winning record after Friday’s 19-8 victory over Schurr.
The Cardinals forced five turnovers and played stifling defense at times, improving to 3-2 before Thursday’s league opener against El Rancho at Cal High. Gerry Pantoja intercepted two passes, Luis Valero recovered a pair of fumbles and Whittier’s Gabriel Martinez recovered a fumbled kick return in the third quarter. Schurr rushed for 189 yards, but 80 yards of that came on a Abel Troncoza touchdown run in the second quarter.
Eddie Orta scored a pair of rushing TDs for the Cardinals and Pantoja added a 65-yard TD run in the second half. Quarterback Jared Reza completed just one pass in seven attempts, but it went for 36 yards and set up the Cardinals’ first TD.
“The offense did enough to survive,” Whittier coach Visko Ancich said, “and the defense played well.”
The Spartans fell to 1-4 and will open Almont League play next week at San Gabriel. Other than Troncoza’s long run, Schurr’s only other points came on a third-quarter safety.
“The turnovers put us in a big hole,” said Schurr coach Marco Ramirez. “When you turn the ball over like that, you can’t win. That’s the bottom line.”
In other area games, Cantwell-Sacred Heart earned its first victory of the season by topping Bishop Montgomery 19-17 in the Del Rey League. La Mirada won for the second week in a row, routing John Glenn 49-6 in the Suburban League.
Cal improved to 2-3 with a 21-7 victory over winless Warren and Santa Fe was beaten by Chaparral 27-14. Both will open Del Rio League play next week, with Cal hosting rival La Serna and Santa Fe facing Pioneer at Cerritos College.

Friday’s scores
Whittier 19, Schurr 8
La Mirada 49, John Glenn 6
Cantwell-Sacred Heart 19, Bishop Montgomery 17
Cal 21, Warren 7
Chaparral 27, Santa Fe 14
Byes
La Habra
La Serna
Whittier Christian
El Rancho
Montebello
Pioneer
St. Paul

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Highlanders hold on to No. 1 spot in WDN football poll

DAILY NEWS FOOTBALL TOP 10
1. La Habra (4-1)
2. La Serna (3-2)
3. Santa Fe (3-1)
4. La Mirada (1-4)
5. El Rancho (2-3)
6. Whittier Christian (3-2)
7. Montebello (2-3)
8. Schurr (1-3)
9. Cal (1-3)
10. Whittier (2-2)

THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE
Friday

Chaparral vs. Sante Fe at El Rancho High
La Mirada vs. John Glenn at Excelsior Stadium
Warren at Cal
Whittier at Schurr
Bishop Montgomery at Cantwell-Sacred Heart

Byes
La Habra
La Serna
El Rancho
Montebello
Whittier Christian
Pioneer
St. Paul

SEASON LEADERS
PASSING

Jonathan Jimenez, Pioneer, 96 of 155, 1,153 yards, 14 TDs
Ryan Araujo, El Rancho, 65 for 115, 906 yards, 1 TD
Frankie Palmer, La Serna, 62 for 107, 898 yards, 5 TDs
Ryan Esslinger, Whittier Chr., 83 of 138, 898 yards, 6 TDs
Matthew Valencia, Cantwell-Sacred Heart, 61 for 132, 683 yards, 3 TDs
Kevin Dillman, La Mirada, 58 for 92, 634 yards, 2 TDs
Carlos China, Montebello, 34 of 68, 590 yards, 5 TDs
Jared Reza, Whittier, 23 of 43, 367 yards, TD
Andy Garibay, Pioneer, 22 of 37, 186 yards, TD

RUSHING
Isaac Mendibles, Montebello, 870 yards, 7 TDs
Adam Carrasco, La Mirada, 543 yards, 6 TDs
Aaron Escareno, El Rancho, 534 yards, 10 TDs
Jean Lue Dauphiney, Cantwell-Sacred Heart, 449 yards, 2 TDs
David Fischer, Whittier Chr., 407 yards, 4 TDs
Ryan Araujo, El Rancho, 381 yards, 7 TDs
Frankie Palmer, La Serna, 327 yards, 3 TDs
Bryce Oliver, La Serna, 279 yards, 5 TDs
Eddie Orta, Whittier, 273 yards, 7 TDs
Ruben Rios, La Serna, 260 yards, TD

RECEIVING
Noah Evans, Whittier Chr., 33 rec., 504 yards, 3 TDs
Matthew Rodriguez, Pioneer, 28 rec., 417 yards
Dallis Todd, La Mirada, 23 rec., 369 yards, 2 TDs
Matthew Rosales, La Serna, 18 rec., 358 yards
Julio Reynoso, Pioneer, 29 rec., 309 yards
Chase Busse, Cantwell-Sacred Heart, 25 rec., 305 yards, 2 TDs
Julian Espitia, Pioneer, 23 rec., 297 yards, 3 TDs
Edgar Gonzalez, Montebello, 8 rec., 282 yards, 2 TDs
Max Mora, Cantwell-Sacred Heart, 19 rec., 244 yards, 2 TDs
Andy Garibay, Pioneer, 22 rec., 229 yards

Stats taken from MaxPreps.com

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