Game Preview: Westminster at Orange

Led by all-league defensive end Toa Tuitea and middle linebacker Adam Gutierrez, Westminster travels to Orange this Friday night. Kickoff at 7:00pm...

When Westminster goes to Orange to open Freeway League action on Friday at El Modena High, the fans will see he high-powered ground attack of Orange opposed to the more balanced scheme employed by the Lions.


This game will go a long way to determine very early who might earn the Freeway title. Westminster (2-3) is defending league champion and has won three straight games, including an impressive 34-31 victory over Huntington Beach.


Orange (3-2) will attempt to rebound from a stomach-turning 28-27 loss to Rosemead last week after taking a 27-7 lead into the 4th quarter, before losing in the last minute. The Panthers also lost a 32-27 non-league squeaker to rival El Modena of Orange.


Huntington Beach Marina was a common non-league opponent, with Orange taking the Vikings 42-27, and Westminster victorious 29-7.


Orange will unleash its double-wing which has enabled Matt Contreras and Kirk Jones to put up some of  the best numbers in the county. Panther senior QB Curran Moss missed last week's loss, but should be ready for Friday. Moss, a converted D-back, is still learning his new position and hasn't thrown much.


Westminster has the clear nod at QB with senior Ben Chapple averaging 150 yards passing per game and can run as well. "Chapple is a very good playmaker. He'll make big plays and is a very good scrambler," said Lions' coach Ted McMillen.


Chapple's favorite target, Adam Santana has been slowed by a sprained knee and according to  McMillen, his status for the game is unknown.


Santana had a career game versus Huntington Beach two weeks ago with 11 receptions, 224 yards and 3 TD's. Santana averages 116 yards receiving and his health ways heavy for the Lions, who also need his all-purpose yardage at punt and kick returner.


Unlike the Panthers, Westminster doesn't possess two exceptional running backs, but have a mighty good one in Charles Osgood, who averages 115 yards per game and has scored six TD's. Osgood ran for 180 yards, with 2 TD's against both Marina and Fullerton Troy.


Orange does have another option at running back in Steven Marquez, who has put up some numbers with limited carries.


When it comes down to rushing, the name of that game is called Orange. Jones has already scored 15 TD's and averages 11-yards per carry and can catch the ball if needed. Contreras has scored five touchdowns and rushes for about 130 yards per game.


Contreras rolled up 184 yards against Anaheim Magnolia and 153 versus El Modena. Jones is a scoring machine, reaching the end zone three times each against Marina and El Modena. Jones totaled another five TD's against Santa Ana Valley.


"Every year Orange has two running backs. This year it's Jones and Contreras," said McMillen.


No team has stopped the Orange offense in non-league, but teams have able to slow Westminster, who has taken on the more difficult non-league schedule. The Lions gave Troy (5-0) a bad time and trailed 36-27 late in the game before losing 43-27.


Led by all-league defensive end Toa Tuitea and middle linebacker Adam Gutierrez, Westminster would seem to have the edge defensively and that's what coaches say wins games.


"The game will be very physical. It will be a war," said Mc Millen. 

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