Game Preview: Irvine vs. University

Irvine hosts University high school this Friday night....

Since D.J. Crumlich has been installed as the starting QB at Irvine, the Vaqueros are 2-0 and are tuned for its Pacific Coast League opener against city rival University on Friday, which is also Irvine's homecoming.


Crumlich replaced senior Danny Hinkson after Irvine (4-2) was defeated, 27-0 by defending CIF D-VII champion Newport Harbor.


Even though Hinkson directed Irvine to a surprising 24-6 win over Elsinore in its season opener, the coaching staff felt the team could better compete in league with the junior, Crumlich at the helm.


When informed that he would now be a wide receiver, Hinkson replied, "if it's going to help the team, it's good for me."


Many high school quarterbacks have quit teams after being pulled from QB duties. 

"Danny showed no resentment," said Irvine assistant coach Matt Blum. "High school athletics need more like him."


Blum said that Crumlich has the "The It factor," including being "cool, calm, and collected."


Nevertheless, no matter who the starting QB, Irvine will have its hands full with University's Parker Thompson, Willie Cunningham, and Bronson Taylor.


University (3-2) lost to common opponent Northwood, 23-10, who Irvine beat two weeks ago 28-18, aided by Chris Sykes' 280 yards and 4 TD's.


At 5-7, 205 pounds, Sykes can be difficult to tackle. He's already plowed in for 13 TD's and churned out 915 yards.


"Yes, we have Chris Sykes and we are very lucky. We could use another Chris Sykes," said Blum. "He's a good worker and always wears a smile."


Irvine and University both also lost to this season's city champion, Irvine Woodbridge.


At home and the hoopla, and Sykes, and a stifling defense, Irvine must be considered the favorite. Patrick Rowe is another scoring possibility for the Vaqueros, having field goal range of better than 40-yards. In addition, Rowe leads Irvine with 12 receptions.


University, without a doubt has more offensive selections. Willie Cunningham and JoJo Galvez both average better than 8-yards per carry. Trojan QB Parker Thompson is 37 of 57 for 542 yards, six TD's, while    favorite receiver Bronson Taylor has caught 14 for 243 yards, five TD's.


University's Robert Hair and Malcolm Gould are proven scorers and placekicker Louis Feinstein is accurate from inside the 30.


Both teams have shown stifling defenses, each allowing an average of 12 points per game.


Irvine's defense is anchored by the ever blitzing strong safety Todd Mills, who leads the Vaqueros in tackles. Justin Reihanifam returned an interception 70 yards for a TD against Elsinore, and on offense serves as the blocking back for Sykes.


Cunningham has been on a roll for University and in the past two games, he's run for 185 and 145 yards.


"University is a multi-set, Wing-T type team and Cunningham is a very good running back," said Blum. 

Golden State Preps Top Stories