There are three big games this week in area high school football, but the most unexpected one will pit La Quinta against Rancho Alamitos at Bolsa Grande Stadium on Friday. Rancho has a long and storied football heritage – the Vaqueros made it to the CIF finals in 2014 – but La Quinta has been better known for baseball and SAT scores.
However, the Aztecs, under coach Andy Diaz, are 5-1 this season and 1-0 in Garden Grove League play. They were 4-6 last year and 1-9 in 2014. Michael Nadeau has given LQ a strong passing game; he’s thrown for 878 yards and 11 touchdowns so far and run for 260 more yards and nine more scores. To make matters more delightful for Aztec fans, he’s just a sophomore.
Rancho (4-2 overall and 1-0 in GGL play), can counter with an outstanding quarterback of its own in Blake Culbert, who has passed for 865 yards and seven scores and run for one more.
The winner of the game will likely have to hurdle one more obstacle in the form of a four-time defending champion Garden Grove High team (4-2, 1-0). Rancho will face Grove on Oct. 20 and La Quinta will take on the Argos on Nov. 3, the final week of the regular season.
As we said, there are two other pretty interesting games this week. Orange (6-0) will host Segerstrom (6-0) at Fred Kelly Stadium on the El Modena High campus Friday in a game that may well determine the Golden West League title. The GWL is loaded this season; four of the six teams have at least four wins.
The other big game will also be on Friday. At Veteran’s Stadium in Long Beach, Edison (5-1 overall and 1-0 in Sunset League) will face its strongest challenger, Los Alamitos (4-2, 1-0).
Our High Five of high school football teams for the Garden Grove-Huntington Beach-Westminster area for this week had Edison in the top spot, as it has been all season. Orange is in second, followed by La Quinta in third. Garden Grove, on the strength of its 27-6 win over a good Los Amigos team, moves into fourth and Ocean View, which walloped Loara 42-0, is fifth.
Here’s the local prep football schedule for this week.
Santiago (1-5, 0-1) at Garden Grove (4-2, 1-0)
Segerstrom (6-0, 1-0) at Orange (6-0, 1-0), at Fred Kelly Stadium
Westminster (2-4, 0-1) at Ocean View (4-2, 1-0)
Bolsa Grande (1-5, 0-1) at Los Amigos (3-3, 0-1)
La Quinta (5-1, 1-0) at Rancho Alamitos (4-2, 1-0), at Bolsa Grande Stadium
Pacifica (3-3, 0-1) at Tustin (5-1, 1-0)
Newport Harbor (2-4, 0-1) at Fountain Valley (1-5, 0-1), at Huntington Beach
Edison (5-1, 1-0) at Los Alamitos (4-2, 1-0), at Veteran’s Stadium in Long Beach
Huntington Beach (3-3, 1-0) at Marina (3-3, 0-1), at Westminster High.
And finally, it’s not the inability to score touchdowns that bothers us about the so-so (3-2) performance of the Los Angeles Rams. It’s the dumb penalties that kill drive and give other teams a second chance. That’s a matter of discipline, which comes – in part – from coaching. Jeff Fisher and associates can’t do much about injuries or the limited skills of Case Keenum, but if they can’t keep the players from those sort of mental errors, maybe they need new … well, you get the idea.
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