EAGLES CONTINUE TO SOAR: There are now a reported record of 1,045 football playing high schools in California this season, including two more with the nickname of Eagles - Turlock Christian and Jim Elliott Christian of Lodi. That brings the most popular nickname total of Eagles to 60. From 1973 to 1975, Warriors was the most popular nickname but Eagles surpassed Warriors in 1976, 32 to 31, and has been soaring ever since. Before 1973, the most popular nickname was Tigers, which has now slipped to seventh. The current top 10: Eagles - 60, Mustangs - 35, Warriors and Cougars - 33 each, Panthers and Vikings 31 each, Tigers 29, Wildcats 28, Bulldogs and Knights - 27 each.
EAGLES GROUNDED IN LOUISIANA: There won't be another No. 1 vs. No. 2 national rankings matchup for the De La Salle football team this season. That was obviously the hope of those producing the October 24 matchup between the Spartans and Evangel Christian of Shreveport, La., at Diablo Valley College in a game to be shown on ESPN 2. Evangel was supposed to have John David Booty at quarterback when the game was booked, but now the Eagles are on their third QB since then and last week they got beat, 43-26, by Longview, Texas. Evangel, in fact, could come out to California with three losses already on its schedule as two more tough games are on its schedule in the next two weeks -- at home this Saturday vs. Rockhurst of Kansas City and on the road the following week vs. Hoover of Alabama. De La Salle was No. 1 and Long Beach Poly was No. 2 in the Student Sports FAB 50 in 2001 when those two played at Veterans Stadium in Long Beach. Longview rose to No. 19 in this week's FAB 50 and Evangel fell to No. 31. Another school from the same Texas district as Longview, Lufkin, is now No. 2 in the FAB 50 and is No. 1 in the Texas Class 5A state rankings. If Evangel were to bounce back and beat both Rockhurst and Hoover, it would probably rise back up into the national top 20 and would add at least a little more spice when it plays De La Salle.
A WIN FOR THE ENTIRE STATE: Del Norte of Crescent City ventured into Klamath Falls, Oregon last weekend and came home with an unexpected 40-32 victory over Klamath Union. It was the only California vs. Oregon game last week and the win not only gives California a 5-4 record against Oregon so far this season but gave California a 6-5 record in out-of-state competition for the week and a 26-25 season record. All the other games last week were vs. Nevada.
STATE SACK RECORD?: Modoc of Alturas reportedly had 12 quarterback sacks last week in its 52-13 win over Quincy. Two players had three sacks each and one had two. We don't have a category for team sacks in a game but the state record for individual sacks is eight. We'll start a new team category with this total of 12. Be sure to let us know of any higher team sack totals for one game.
UNBEATEN STREAKS ENDED: Los Gatos at 39-0-1, lost to St. Francis of Mountain View 17-7; Novato at 16-0, lost to Marin Catholic of Kentfield 14-0; Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks at 15-0, lost to Westlake of Westlake Village 31-7; Kaiser of Fontana at 14-0-1, lost to J.W. North of Riverside 28-7.
WINLESS STREAKS ENDED: Monterey at 0-21, defeated Scotts Valley 60-21; Brookside Christian of Stockton at 0-21, defeated Valley Christian of Roseville 48-0, Orange Glen of Escondido at 0-19, defeated Calexico 39-6. There also seems to be hope for Bolsa Grande of Garden Grove this season. The Matadors only lost to Laguna Beach 28-20 last week to extend their losing streak to 0-36, but league rival La Quinta of Westminster lost to Laguna Beach 50-7 the week before. Mark your calender for Oct. 14 when Bolsa's streak may end. Blair of Pasadena, at 0-24-1, is favored this week over Keppel of Alhambra, which comes in at 0-19. Keppel may not be so good in football, but in badminton the Aztecs would smash your shuttlecock.
KISTLER'S WAKE: Escalon High's No. 2 in the state Div. IV football team features not one, not two, but three excellent running backs in Tony Reis, Jesse Miguel and Marcus Kistler. Riverbank isn't expected to be much of a threat in this week's game, but Cougars' head coach Mark Louriero may have a challenge with two of his horses unavailable. Miguel may be out with a shoulder injury, but Kistler's absence is a bit more unusual. He received permission from Louriero before the season began that he could miss this week's game to compete in the USA Wakeboarding Championships in Bakersfield. Kistler is ranked as one of the top 100 wakeboarders in the nation.
FAB FROSH: It's been widely reported how impressive freshman quarterback Jimmy Clausen from Oaks Christian of Westlake Village has become despite his young age. But Clausen is not the only freshman turning heads at Oaks Christian this fall. In last week's 55-20 win over Village Christian of Sun Valley, freshman running back Marc Tyler scored on a 49-yard run. Marc is the son of former NFL running back Wendell Tyler.
EDISON RECORD FALLS TO HALL: Junior quarterback Arkelon Hall from Edison of Fresno tied a school record by completing 23 passes in the Tigers' 7-7 tie against Clovis West last Friday. Hall, who transferred from Buchanan of Clovis and could be one of the top QB talents in Northern California next season, tied the record held by his coach, Tim McDonald. Yes, McDonald was an outstanding quarterback when he was at Edison in the early 1980s before he went to USC and the NFL to be a defensive back.