Chargers, Mariners look to start off fast

IT’S WEEK ZERO for most local high school football teams, which means it’s the season opener.

High school football will kick off this week, with most of our local teams in the Garden Grove-Huntington Beach-Westminster area beginning with “Week Zero” contests Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The colleges are still a week from the starting gun, and the two area NFL teams will clash in the first “Battle for LA” in more than half-a-century. Here’s this week’s glance at America’s favorite sport.

High schools: Edison gets set to charge

The three best-looking games for locals are these:

  • Edison (13-2 last year) at Tesoro (5-6). The Chargers, led by all-everything quarterback Griffin O’Connor, are loaded this year and expect to contend for a CIF title. The Titans had an off year in 2016, but expect to bounce back. Friday, 7 p.m. Edison won last year’s game, 31-14. Our guess: Edison is still the best.
  • Pacifica (6-5) at Trabuco Hills (2-8). With super-athletic QB Ben Jefferson at the helm, the Mariners can truly contend for an Empire League crown, if not more. Fifteen returning starters for PHS will seek to avenge the Mustangs 37-34 win last season. Friday, 7 p.m. Our guess: Pacifica comes all the way back.
  • Garden Grove (9-3) at Santa Ana Valley (6-5). The Argonauts are a bit of a mystery this year. Some observers expect a down year. But with a big line, a stout defense and outstanding receivers, Grove may surprise a lot of folks. Friday, 7 p.m. Our guess: Red-and-white in a close one.

In other Week Zero games:

  • Thursday: Los Amigos at Fairmont Prep of Anaheim, 7 p.m.; Orange at Brea Olinda, 4:30 p.m.
  • Friday: Bolsa Grande at Laguna Beach, 7 p.m.; Canyon at Huntington Beach, 7 p.m.; Dana Hills at Marina (at Westminster High), 7 p.m.
  • Saturday: Fountain Valley at Troy (at La Habra High), 7 p.m.

Pros: Finally, Goff vs. Rivers?

This third week of pre-season games for area NFL teams has a potentially interesting matchup on Saturday at 5 p.m. in the Coliseum. It’ll be the unbeaten Rams (2-0) hosting the unwinning Chargers (0-2) in a contest of the two teams who will be roommates in Inglewood in a few (we hope) years.

The real question is this: will the two starting quarterbacks, Jared Goff for the Rams and Phillip Rivers for the Chargers, play more than a few snaps? That’s what the fans want to see, not some glorified scrimmage between second-stringers who may not be around in September.



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