WHO WON STATE GAMES OF THE WEEK

Welcome to the big time, Orange Lutheran. Will its win over Mater Dei be an aberration or will it signal the birth of a perennial state top 20 program? Also, anytime we get to mention the nickname "Gondoliers" is a lot of fun.

1. Los Alamitos 20, Hart (Newhall) 17

Without quarterback Sean Norton for the second half and without WR/DB Ryan Wolfe for the rest of the year, the thought here is that it was a very gutsy effort indeed on the part of Hart to be in the game to the bitter end. And since one of Los Al's scores came on defense -- Randy Estes on a 20-yard fumble return -- any thoughts that the Griffins were going to be unstoppable this year on offense can be put to rest. The CIF Southern Section Division I and Division II title chases may be a little more wide open than first thought.

2. Lutheran (Orange) 35, Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 14

This win for Orange Lutheran reminds us of a win in the 1980s in the Bay Area by a school that was very successful in a smaller division -- De La Salle of Concord -- over an established powerhouse at the time -- Bellarmine of San Jose. Just how much the Lancers have arrived will be proven in the coming weeks.

3. Venice 34, Carson 14

The Gondoliers firmly stamped themselves as the No. 1 team in the L.A. City Section with this easy win. QB Beau Davis, who quit the team at Carson just before a playoff game last year, tortured his former buddies with 14 completions in 20 attempts for 278 yards and four TDs.

4. Lincoln (Stockton) 28, Granite Bay 25

Coach Mike Byerly's squad led 21-0 before Granite Bay rallied. Yes, both teams scored four times and PATs were the difference. But Granite Bay's last touchdown came with 0:00 on the clock and there was no time to even try something extremely goofy on the ensuing kickoff.

5. Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks) 30, Birmingham (Lake Balboa) 6

The CIFSS Division III champs from last year cruised to an easy win over the L.A. City Section champs. Brandon Clayton scored a pair of touchdowns and rushed for 98 yards on 14 carries.

6. Colfax 44, Dimond (Anchorage AK) 7

Everyone got on our case last week for hinting that Colfax was playing one of Alaska's weaker teams, when in fact it turned out that Dimond had moved to No. 1 in the state ratings. Well, we were right about the team being weak. Does this also mean that there are 50 teams in California, at least, that are better than every team in Alaska?

7. Ontario Christian 42, Valley Christian (Cerritos) 6

Sophomore QB Lance Croomer tossed three TD passes for the Knights, who now look like a solid No. 1 for the Division V state rankings. Valley Christian was one of the state's top teams in Division IV a year ago.

8. St. Mary's (Stockton) 29, Jesuit (Carmichael) 28

This might have been the best game among those that were chosen State Games of the Week. Think about this: Jesuit had the ball and was ahead by 28-14 with less than five minutes left. How'd St. Mary's do it? A fumble, a quick 67-yard scoring pass one play later, two dropped passes that helped the Rams get the ball back again with plenty of time left, a game-winning touchdown drive that ended with 1:00 left and then a pick by the defense.

9. South Hills (Covina) 14, Claremont 6

Bryan Payton wound up with the game-winning touchdown on a 65-yard reception from Phillip Guerrero on the first play of the second half. In the first quarter, Guerrero also threw a scoring pass of four yards to Bryan's brother, Jeremy. Claremont fumbled the ball twice inside the South Hills five-yard line in the second half.

10. CCS Doubleheader

This one had Los Gatos beating Aragon of San Mateo, 22-7, in a Friday afternoon matchup, then in the evening it was St. Francis of Mountain View topping Oak Grove of San Jose, 42-35.

11. Helix (La Mesa) 27, Fallbrook 9

After an unimpressive opening-game performance vs. St. Augustine, the Highlanders turned it around against Fallbrook and cruised to a win. Ken Cornist led the ground assault with 170 yards and one touchdown.

12. Kaiser (Fontana) 34, Rancho Cucamonga 0

We really thought this was going to be a close game, but this Kaiser program is beginning to look more and more like the juggernaut head coach Dick Bruich created at Fontana High. Does anybody out there actually think Kaiser wouldn't be able to win the Citrus Belt League title right now?

13. Arroyo Grande 14, Hueneme (Oxnard) 8

The Eagles seemed to grind down the Vikings with a relentless ground game. Arroyo Grande has Santa Maria St. Joseph and Lompoc in the next two weeks.

14. Pittsburg 23, Miramonte (Orinda) 21

These two met for the first time since 1962. Pitt was shaky in the first half, but Vince Seeno got things going after the intermission. The senior QB threw TD passes of 70 and 37 yards to David Clift and the Pirates led 23-14 with 5:39 left. QB Taylor Humphrey did get Miramonte into the end zone again, but the offense never touched the ball again. Pitt was able to run out the clock.

15. Peace in the Valley (Fontana) 28, Desert Chapel (Palm Springs) 16

The Eagles weren't peaceful enough and made new coach Russell White's debut at Desert Chapel an unsuccessful one -- at least on the scoreboard.


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