Friday Gameday Countdown: La Mirada, La Habra and El Rancho look to take care of business; St. Paul faces major task vs. St. Francis

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Welcome to Week 8, which can take the tune of Takin’ care of Business, because that’s what La Mirada, La Habra and El Rancho need to do tonight as they chase their respective league championships. Meanwhile over at St. Paul, the Swordsmen have a major task at hand, facing Southeast Division No. 1, which sees the Swordsmen as one of its stepping stones toward league, division and state championships. I’ll provide live updates via @SteveRRamirez on Twitter. You can also join our live chat, here, or on the Daily News preps webpage. At 11 p.m., we’ll wrap it up on PrepXtra Live.

HIGH SCHOOL SCOREBOARD
GAME OF THE WEEK
ST. FRANCIS AT ST. PAUL, 7 P.M.

The week after an emotional win can rattle the nerves of most football coaches.
That’s exactly the sentiment of St. Francis High School football coach Jim Bonds heading into Friday’s road game at 7 p.m. against St. Paul.
“It’s hard, with high school kids you never know what you’re going to get,” Bonds said. “They read the paper and they’re pretty intelligent guys. This is kind of why we try to approach it one week at a time and try to avoid a huge letdown after a win like we had last week.”
St. Francis used a big second half last Friday to get past Cathedral in what was a battle of undefeated teams. It was one of the biggest games of last weekend in the Southern Section and the Knights (7-0, 2-0) now control their own destiny in the Angelus League.
For St. Paul, things are a bit more complicated. The Swordsmen are 4-3 overall and one of four teams in the Angelus with a 1-1 record in league. Needless to say, that makes them a dangerous opponent for St. Francis.
“They’re 3-0 at home (this year) and we have to go there,” Bonds said. “They haven’t lost a game at home yet, so we’re concerned about that.”

FEATURED GAMES PREVIEWS
La Mirada, La Habra and El Rancho look to take care of business

TODAY’S SCHEDULE, PREDICTIONS
Almont League
Alhambra at Keppel, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Alhambra); Aram (Keppel)
San Gabriel at Montebello, 7 p.m. — Robledo (MontebellO); Aram (Monte)
Schurr at Bell Gardens, 7 p.m. — Robledo (BG); Aram (BG)
Angelus League
St. Francis at St. Paul, 7 p.m. — Robledo (St. Francis); Aram (SF)
South Catholic League
St. Bernard at Cantwell Sacred Heart, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Cantwell); Aram (Cant)
Del Rio League
Pioneer vs. El Rancho at La Mirada, 7 p.m. — Robledo (El Rancho); Aram (ER)
Whittier at California, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Cal); Aram (Cal)
Freeway League
Sunny Hills at La Habra, 7 p.m. — Robledo (La Habra); Aram (LH)
Olympic League
Heritage Christian at Maranatha, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Mara); Aram (Natha)
Whittier Christian vs. Village Christian at Whittier College, 7 p.m. — Robledo (VC); Aram (VC)
Santa Fe League
St. Anthony at Bosco Tech, 7 p.m. — Robledo (St. Anthony); Aram (SA)
Suburban League
La Mirada vs. Mayfair at Bellflower HS, 7 p.m. — Robledo (La Mirada); Aram (LM)

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Thursday Final: La Serna stays in the hunt, routs Santa Fe, 52-31

La Serna's Anthony Garcia (24) tries to avoid a Santa Fe defender in their Del Rio League game at California High School in Whittier on Thursday October 23, 2014. (Photo by Keith Durflinger/Whittier Daily News)

La Serna’s Anthony Garcia (24) tries to avoid a Santa Fe defender in their Del Rio League game at California High School in Whittier on Thursday October 23, 2014. (Photo by Keith Durflinger/Whittier Daily News)

By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter

WHITTIER >>
Don’t count out La Serna High School just yet.
Ruben Rios rushed for 143 yards, Anthony Garcia scored three touchdowns and the Lancers stayed in the hunt for the Del Rio League title with a 52-31 victory over Santa Fe on Thursday at California High School.
Kevin Ramos also had 114 yards rushing and two touchdowns for La Serna, which improved to 6-2 overall and 2-1 in league play. Eli Ledesma threw for 189 yards and a touchdown and Edward Cisneros had two touchdown receptions for the Chiefs, who slipped to 2-6 and 1-2.
La Serna, after leading 31-17 at halftime, put it away in the third quarter on two touchdown runs by Garcia for A 45-17 advantage.
The first half lived up to the tradition of the rivalry, with the teams trading scoring drives before La Serna settled on a 31-17 advantage.
Early on, it looked like the Lancers might run away with it.
La Serna, which got 73 yards rushing and two touchdowns from Ramos during the first two quarters, scored on its first two drives. Ramos, following a 63-yard kickoff return from Jonathan Wise, scored on a 7-yard run at 9:43 of the first quarter before Garcia completed an 80-yard drive with a 4-yard run at 2:38 for a 14-0 lead.
Santa Fe, getting an 83-yard pass from Ledesma to Gabriel Cisneros and a 1-yard run by Ledesma, stayed close at 31-17 at halftime.

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Volleyball Top 10 poll

Here is the San Gabriel Valley-area poll for the week:
1. Flintridge Sacred Heart (21-4)
Won prestigious San Diego tournament
2. Pasadena Poly (15-2)
League showdown at Chadwick Wednesday
3. St. Paul (23-6)
Tough stretch in Tempe, Ariz. tourney
4. Gabrielino (22-3)
Lost in finals of own tournament
5. South Pasadena (9-5)
All alone atop Rio Hondo League
6. St. Lucy’s (10-6)
Key game vs. Rancho Cucamonga Tuesday
7. Whittier Christian (14-10)
Critical league game at Village Thursday
8. Arcadia (14-5)
Unbeaten in Pacific League
9. Mayfield (13-7)
Played Westridge in key game Tuesday
10. La Habra (17-6)
Lost to Troy in five games
Others: Glendora (14-6), La Mirada (16-4), San Dimas (15-5), Westridge (19-5), La Canada (7-5), Walnut (11-8), Duarte (20-8), San Gabriel (8-3), La Serna 9-7, Diamond Ranch 13-5.

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California boys cross country moves into No. 1

Here is the San Gabriel Valley-area poll for the week:
Boys Top 10
1. California
2. Arcadia
3. Bishop Amat
4. Flintridge Prep
5. Schurr
6. Covina
7. Los Altos
8. Glendora
9. Walnut
10. San Marino

Girls Top 10
1. Arcadia
2. Bishop Amat
3. Mayfield
4. Flintridge Prep
5. Glendora
6. Covina
7. St. Lucy’s
8. Bonita
9. El Rancho
10. La Canada

Runners of the week:
Brian Ochoa, Whittier, Senior: He won the Del Rio League cluster meet race at La Mirada Park.
Samantha Huerta, La Mirada, Junior: She won the Suburban League’s cluster meet with the third-fastest time in meet history for the Cerritos Regional Park course.

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Montebello still No. 1 in water polo poll

Here is the San Gabriel Valley-area poll for the week:

1. Montebello (19-3)
Made finals of South Bay tournament
2. La Serna (9-8)
Faces El Rancho on Wednesday
3. Damien (10-3)
Lost to Los Osos by goal
4. Los Altos (5-2)
Played Walnut on Tuesday
5. La Canada (6-11)
Record is very deceiving
6. Flintridge Prep (15-5)
Ended losing streak vs. Pasadena Poly
7. San Dimas (14-10)
Impressive tournament showing
8. San Marino (13-3)
Making noise in Rio Hondo
9. Pasadena (12-7)
Still needs to overcome Crescenta Valley
10. Rowland (10-4)
One-point loss to San Dimas
Others: Charter Oak (9-3), Temple City (16-6), Walnut (5-6), Schurr (11-6), Glendora (12-10).

Player of the week
Ian Hernandez, Montebello, Senior: The goalkeeper helped the Oilers to the championship game of the South Bay tournament.

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Daily News Top 10 Football Rankings: No change at the top, La Mirada leads the way

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DAILY NEWS TOP 10 FOOTBALL RANKINGS
1. La Mirada (6-1) –
The Mats, back from a respite, have yet to be challenged since early in the season, and it won’t happen this week against rival Mayfair.
2. La Habra (4-3) – The Highlanders, after struggling with a tough schedule, are back in their comfort zone. They’ve dominated their first two Freeway League games, and no reason it won’t continue.
3. El Rancho (6-1) – No trap game last week for the Dons, who followed up the win over La Serna, with an easy win over Whittier. It’s not if El Rancho wins the Del Rio League title, but when.
4. La Serna (5-2) – The Lancers showed the heart of champion last week, coming back late to beat California. After splitting with their stiffest competitors, they should win out and take no worse than second in the Del Rio.
5. California (4-3) – The Condors, after losing to La Serna, still has designs on a share of the league title, meaning it must take care of business this week.
6. St. Paul (4-3) – The Swordsmen’s playoff hopes were dealt a major blow with the loss to Salesian. It could get even worse, with St. Francis coming into town this week.
7. Cantwell Sacred Heart (6-1) – The Cardinals, after dominating the past few weeks, enters league play this week as the favorite. Nothing changes that view.
8. Montebello (2-5) – Maybe the tough schedule hardened the Oilers for an Almont League title run. This looks like a different team from the one we saw in nonleague play. Will it continue?
9. Santa Fe (2-5) – The real Chiefs finally showed up last week. But to make the postseason, they have to take down either La Serna this week, or El Rancho to close the season. I’m not sure they can do that.
10. Pioneer (3-4) – The Titans were dealt a dose of reality with a big loss to Santa Fe. You can expect more of the same this week vs. El Rancho.

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Friday Night Rewind: La Serna takes Battle of Whittier; El Rancho, La Habra win; Santa Fe breaks through

Kevin Ramos of La Serna (11) is stopped by Thomas Vielma of Cal (33). Ramos scored a 2-yard touchdown run with 30 second left in the game to give the Lancers a 25-19 win on Friday, Oct. 17, 2014. (Photo by Chris Burt/Whittier Daily News)

Kevin Ramos of La Serna (11) is stopped by Thomas Vielma of Cal (33). Ramos scored a 2-yard touchdown run with 30 second left in the game to give the Lancers a 25-19 win on Friday, Oct. 17, 2014. (Photo by Chris Burt/Whittier Daily News)


GAMES OF THE WEEK
LA SERNA 25, CALIFORNIA 19

La Serna High got a 2-yard touchdown run by Kevin Ramos with 30 seconds left to get past rival California 25-19 on Friday night.
The Lancers, who won the Southeast Division last season, were mere seconds away from being upset for the second straight week in the Del Rio League. Instead, quarterback Enrique Pacheco found receiver Curtis Ashton on a 48-yard pass with under a minute to play to set up the winning score.
“It wasn’t necessarily a deep shot, it was a pattern that had someone deep and Enrique made a good throw and Ashton a good catch and we’re fortunate to get that play,” La Serna head coach Margarito Beltran said. “That’s our kids. They’re resilient. We were fortunate to come out with a victory, but we’ll take it.”
La Serna, which lost to El Rancho last week, improved to 5-2 overall and 1-1 in league. California fell to 4-3 overall and 1-1 in league, but the Condors were oh so close to season-changing win.

– Aram Tolegian
EL RANCHO 42, WHITTIER 6
After an emotional win over La Serna High last week, there was no let down Friday night as El Rancho easily defeated visiting Whittier 42-6 in a Del Rio League game.
Dons quarterback Andrew Perea, who passed for a school-record last week, threw for two touchdowns and 158 yards on 7-of-11 passing. He also ran for 51 yards and a 6-yard score. Perea now has more than 2,000 yards of total offense to lead the Dons (5-2, 2-0).
– John Sherrard
ROUNDUP
LA HABRA 42, FULLERTON 7

La Habra High School extended its Freeway League winning streak by taking a 42-7 victory over visiting Fullerton on Friday night.
Carlos Martin rushed for 145 yards and touchdowns of 11 and 53 yards and caught an 18-yard TD pass for the Highlanders (4-3, 2-0). Quarterback Eric Barriere completed 12 of 20 passes for 189 yards and two scores and rushed for two other TDs.

HOW THE TOP 10 FARED
1. La Mirada (6-1), idle
2. La Habra (4-3) def. Fullerton, 42-7
3. El Rancho (6-1) def. Whittier, 42-6
4. California (4-3) lost to La Serna, 25-19
5. La Serna (5-2) def. California, 25-19
6. St. Paul (4-3) lost to Salesian, 21-7
7. Cantwell Sacred Heart (6-1) def. Carpinteria, 28-0
8. Montebello (2-5) def. Keppel, 23-0
9. Pioneer (3-4) lost to Santa Fe, 38-13
10. Santa Fe (2-5) def. Pioneer, 38-13
OTHER SCORES
Cerritos Valley Christian 67, Whittier Christian 44
Schurr 55, San Gabriel 0

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Jacob Maier is putting the St. Paul back on the map


By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter

SANTA FE SPRINGS >> St. Paul High School, after going 1-9 each of the previous two seasons, is enjoying a resurgence so far this season, winning four of its first six, including opening Angelus League play with an overtime victory over La Salle.

A big key for the Swordsmen has been senior quarterback Jacob Maier, who as a multiple threat is the focal point of St. Francis’ offense that opposing defenses must figure how to stop.

But his biggest value to the Swordsmen is not something that can be charted on a stat cheat.

“We regrouped after last year,” St. Paul coach Rick Zepeda said. “We went to work right away and Jake was one of the focal guys to get everyone ready to go. For the most part, it’s showing.

“He’s one of the big leaders on campus. Only a couple of times as a junior been elected captain of the team here at St. Paul, and he’s one of them. He’s been reelected as a captain this year as a senior, so yes, absolutely, he’s a great leader.”

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El Rancho’s Brown ready for repeat

El Rancho sophomore Donald Brown won’t be a surprise for favored California in Thursday’s Del Rio League cluster meet.

Brown won the first race and is ready to face the Condors at La Mirada Regional Park.

Read more: http://www.whittierdailynews.com/sports/20141015/south-pasadena-making-some-noise-in-girls-volleyball

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La Serna scores Del Rio League volleyball victory

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The final stat sheet may reflect a three-set sweep, but the host El Rancho girls volleyball team gave everything it had in the loss.

La Serna (8-7, 3-0), which has won the last five Del Rio League titles, won 25-16, 25-20, 25-23 to register its 13th league victory in a row over the last two seasons.

Leading the way for the Lancers were senior middle blockers Simone Oram with 11 kills and three blocks and Isabelle Von Lockner with nine kills and five blocks. Junior outside hitter Laura Butler added seven kills and had two aces.

Read more: http://www.whittierdailynews.com/sports/20141014/el-rancho-hangs-tough-with-la-serna-in-del-rio-league-vb-loss

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