By Tim Peterson
All kickoffs are at 7:00 p.m. unless otherwise indicated:
Thursday August 22
El Rancho (0-0) at Northview (0-0) (Covina District Field)
Last Year: Northview 48-14
The Dons are looking for a better performance than last year when the Vikings busted out early and never looked back. El Rancho did recover nicely to finish second in the Del Rio and advance to the semi-finals of the Division 10 CIF playoffs. The Dons have had a good summer and are looking for even bigger things in 2019. But they aren’t on Northview’s level yet. The Vikes have nearly everybody back from a team that went 10-0 in the regular season and 12-1 overall. Like a local head coach recently told me “Perez (Marcel) has a lot of toys to play with.” El Rancho will compete but in the end Northview has too much. Vikes get off and running.
Northview 35 El Rancho 14
Friday August 23
Arroyo (0-0) at Bonita (0-0)
Last Year: Bonita 47-24
Arroyo is also looking to turn it around in this game after taking it on the chin from the Bearcats last year. Both teams lost solid quarterbacks to graduation. Bonita’s JP Andrade and Arroyo’s Ernesto Camacho both took the walk in June. The Knights have been throwing it all summer (don’t they always?) and look like they are ready to go offensively. Bonita was active on the summer circuit as well and are finding their groove. Both teams can score. Expect the scoreboard operator to keep busy. Should be a shootout into the fourth quarter but Arroyo will fall behind early and won’t be able to catch Bonita. Bearcats by a touchdown.
Bonita 38 Arroyo 31
Covina (0-0) at Los Altos (0-0)
Last Year: Los Altos 35-27
Interesting game here. Former Los Altos head coach Dale Ziola takes on his former team in his first game as head coach of Covina. The Colts lost quarterback Nin Burns II to Diamond Ranch (Is that transfer official?) but they have plenty of other talent on the field. Plus with Ziola on the sidelines, they’ll find a way. Los Altos looked good in the summer. The passing attack was sharp and was running smoothly. HC Travis Brown says they’re ready to roll. The Conquerors should have the advantage at home. They’ll make a key play late and come out on top. Los Altos…close.
Los Altos 28 Covina 24
Glendora (0-0) at Damien (0-0)
Last Year: Glendora 41-28
Matt Bechtel makes his debut as the head coach of Damien after leading South Hills to a CIF title last year. Glendora is coming off an 11-2 season in which the Tartans advanced to semi-finals of the Division 5 CIF playoffs. Damien will get a surge in Bechtel’s debut before a packed house. Should come down to the wire but the Spartans get it done for the new head coach.
Damien 31 Glendora 27
Monrovia (0-0) at West Covina (0-0)
This would have been a great game…about five years ago. Lately West Covina has fallen on hard times and is trying to get back in the mix. Monrovia, under second year coach Chris Williams, has had a successful run this summer. Some will even say they “punked” Northview in a scrimmage last Friday night. Although I won’t go that far, the Wildcats were laying the wood to the Vikings and made some big plays offensively. Keep an eye on running back Devon Mayes. He could be special. Cats break out early and never take their foot off the gas. Monrovia rolls.
Monrovia 42 West Covina 14
San Marino (0-0) at Charter Oak (0-0)
The post Mike Hobbie era begins for San Marino. After a wildly successful eight-year run, Hobbie retired after last season. Meanwhile at Charter Oak, the Chargers a playing for head coach Lou Farrar who was recently diagnosed with leukemia. While the Titans went 9-2-1 last year and made the post season, Charter Oak struggled through one of its worst seasons in years going 2-9. Although the Chargers did find a way into the playoffs, they got blitzed by Paraclete 38-14 in the first round. Both teams have something to prove – Charter Oak that last year was an anomaly and San Marino that it can win with0ut Hobbie. Good story lines here. The emotion will be high for the Chargers. The Titans will hang around, even into the fourth quarter, but in the end Charter Oak comes out on top.
Charter Oak 28 San Marino 17
Schurr (0-0) at California (0-0)
Last Year: California 63-35
Schurr was rocked by Cal a year ago as the Condors raced out early and dropped 63 on the Spartans. Ironically Schurr went on to finish third in the Almont and make the playoffs while Cal went 1-3 in the Del Rio League and came up short. Kyle Trudell has since stepped down at Cal and has been replaced by DC Louie Zamora. This game had to stick in the craw of HC David Ramos and his team all season long. After struggling early last season Schurr was able to pick it up enough to see the post season. The Spartans should pick up right where they left off.
Schurr 24 California 17
Garfield (0-0) at Montebello (0-0)
Last Year: Garfield 28-7
Difficult opening act for Montebello. Garfield went 13-2 overall last year advancing to the third round of the playoffs and then also won a game in the State playoffs. The Oilers weren’t so bad themselves. They won the Almont but did fall in the first round of CIF to Norte Vista. Garfield is always a tough out and this year is no different. Bulldogs grab the lead in the first half and then hold on.
Garfield 27 Montebello 20