The word we are getting is that six games canceled by the Mission Conference last weekend, due to the wide-spread wild fires will not be made up. Therefore every Mission Conference team will play a nine-game regular season schedule. Mississippi, Kansas and Texas already settle on nine, then go into a playoff mode. One thing for sure, it really messes up season stats, not to mention rankings. Average per game will be the deciding factors, rather than totals.
Several conference playoffs were not listed if their teams were not in the Top-25. In Illinois, big surprise, Harper 6-4 is at Joliet 8-2. The Iowa title chase finds North Iowa 6-3 at Iowa Central 8-1. The two winners will play in the Graphic Edge Bowl second game, while the second-place teams meet in the opener of the doubleheader. In Minnesota Central Lakes 6-3 is at Vermilion 7-2 and Rainey River 5-4 at Rochester 9-0.
ON STREAKS. Snow and Butler have the longest current winning streaks working on 12 in a row. On the losing side, Marin’s slide has reached 43 in a row and Pima has dropped 29 straight.
Cisco’s Jocques Crawford looks like the favorite to win the nation’s JC rushing title. After collecting 225 yards on 36 lugs and scoring twice in the 26-20 upset of Kilgore, Crawford showed 9 game totals of 261 carries for 1,727 yards and 18 TDs. That’s a mighty nifty average of 6.62 per carry and 191.9 yards per game with 2 scores. There are those who are saying Navarro might be the best team in Texas right now after the Bulldogs rolled over defending national champion, Blinn, last week 42-18. First-year coach Ray Woodard will get a chance to prove it since the two teams meet again this weekend in the first round. However, this one will be played on the Blinn turf.
The passing combination of Jeremiah Masoli and Carlton Sanders probably was the prime factor in San Francisco’s 42-20 drubbing of Foothill. Masoli, a 6-0, 200-pounder, who has grey and red-shirted at CCSF while preparing for this season, completed 20 of 22 passes for 327 yards. Sanders, 6-2, 190, freshman, caught 6 for 151 yards and 3 scores. He has 33 for 489 and 7, while Masoli is 168 of 270, 22 TDs and just 3 picks.
And get this...Santa Rosa QB Greg Alexander connected on 40 of 57 for 612 yards with 6 TD passes and 1 INT. 40 completions is a new school record (he had the old mark with 38) and the yardage is a new record (he had the old mark with 512).
CHECK SIGNALS. It seems we have been shorting Eastern Arizona on a victory. According to official WSFL stats the Gila Monsters are 9-0. The missing win I guess was so unimpressive, 36-7 over something called the New Mexico Crush, that we missed it altogether.
Snow, which hosts a critical game Sat. versus the same Eastern Arizona team, takes full advantage of the kicking game. Not their own, although it’s not bad, but rather the opponent’s. Kimball Burton, 6-0, 190, returns kickoffs to the tune of 38.3 yards each (9 for 345 and a TD). Returning punts falls into the hands of freshman Regan Buck, a 5-8, 162-pound scooter, who has a 20.1 yard average on 19 efforts, with one score.
Butler has had an incredible reign at the top of Kansas Juco charts. Naturally Troy Morrell’s lads are at it again. In their 56-0 romp over Highland the defense did its usual stalwart job holding the Scotties to minus 12 yards rushing and just 63 yards total offense. Guess the Grizzlies got even for last year’s shocking 43-29 upset. That one ranks among the all-timers. Fort Scott knocked off Garden City 24-20 and turns right around and plays them again in the first round of the playoffs.
Bakersfield has been wavering just slightly in recent weeks against much inferior competition, accounting for the Gades’ drop to number three in the rankings. Injuries have plagued Jeff Chudy’s troops and it is much more difficult to get up each week against teams over which you would be favored by four or five touchdowns. That’s one reason why I sort of look forward to the new realignment slated for next season. Chudy had to be happy with the performance of freshman RB Ben Estill from Taft High School, who rumbled for 139 yards on 14 carries against West L.A. He’s a solid 5-10, 210-pounder.
L.A. Harbor lost to L.A. Southwest, 34-27, but Seahawk QB Andrew Trudnowski, a 6-2, 190, freshman, put up numbers that topped all others so far this season. Try 486 yards on 32 of 53 attempts and 4 TDs. The 486 tops the 442 notched by Laney’s Matt Dardenne earlier in the year.
Noticed that Andrew Miramontes did not start for Canyons, I believe for the second week. However, replacement Joey Frias, 6-3, 215 freshman, put up some nifty numbers that looked like 15 of 20 for 324 yards and 3 TDs.
Antelope Valley is definitely the “feel good” story of the season. Last season they played 10 games, scored I believe two TDs, had 46 points for the season and extended a 16-game losing streak to 26. The turnaround has been awesome. The Marauders don’t have any stars on offense, but don’t make a lot of mistakes either. The defense, headed by LB Eric Leon, has been rock solid.
Biggest disappointment of the year would have to be Sequoias. Biggest upset? Probably West Hills 42, Reedley 29. Ellsworth 38, Grand Rapids 7, would be right there. Holmes 13-0 at Northeast Miss. , ending a 15-game losing skein. Arizona Western 19, Glendale 18 would be close.