Prep notebook: Rivalry week caps Southern Section football

Eric Sondheimer
·3 min read
Vista Murrieta players celebrate after an upset 51-41 win over Murrieta Valley on Friday night.
Vista Murrieta players celebrate after a 51-41 upset of Murrieta Valley on Friday night. (Jeremiah Soifer)

The final week of the Southern Section spring football season is upon us, and what a week ahead.

It starts with rivalry games on Friday night: Mission Viejo (4-0) at San Clemente (4-0); Oxnard (3-1) at Pacifica (4-0); Downey (4-0) at Warren (4-0). It ends with the biggest game of the year April 17: Bellflower St. John Bosco (5-0) vs. Santa Ana Mater Dei (4-0) at Santa Ana Stadium.

"We talked about this season being a gift and Friday is Christmas," San Clemente coach Jaime Ortiz said.

There are no playoffs because the pandemic limited the spring season to six weeks, but to get this far after the season had been twice delayed is a big win for all involved.

The St. John Bosco-Mater Dei game speaks for itself. The two teams have played for the Division 1 championship four consecutive years.

"I think it's going to be like any other St. John Bosco-Mater Dei game in recent years. It's going to be a great high school football game," Mater Dei coach Bruce Rollinson said.

Friday night's games produced more top performances.

—Vista Murrieta upset Murrieta Valley 51-41 behind running back Gavin Galzote, who rushed for 289 yards.

—Culver City (4-0) ended Palos Verdes' nine-year reign atop the Bay League with a 42-28 victory. Quarterback Zevi Eckhaus passed for 432 yards and four touchdowns. Emari Pait had two interceptions and two touchdowns.

—Jason Thompson of Studio City Harvard-Westlake scored five touchdowns in a 58-40 win over Pasadena La Salle at the Rose Bowl. He returned a kickoff and punt for touchdowns while also catching three passes for scores.

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—Quarterback Kadin Semonza of Mission Viejo completed 20 of 23 passes for 329 yards and five touchdowns in a 49-14 victory over San Juan Hills.

—Huntington Beach Edison and Corona del Mar needed five overtimes before Edison prevailed 44-41 when Braeden Boyles completed a 25-yard touchdown pass to PJ Campbell.

—Palmdale Highland (4-0) won the Golden League championship with a 36-15 win over crosstown rival Knight behind sophomore Brandon Johnson, who rushed for 150 yards and scored four touchdowns.

On the opening night of a four-week City Section season, two of the section's best players put on a show.

—In Banning's 40-14 win over Granada Hills Kennedy, running back Jakob Galloway rushed for 135 yards and scored five touchdowns. In Lake Balboa Birmingham's 55-3 win over Canoga Park, Arlis Boardingham returned a kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown and caught a 42-yard touchdown pass.

—First-year coach Scott Faer of North Hollywood installed the double-wing offense and guided the Huskies to a 52-0 win over North Hills Monroe when attempting only three passes. Anthony Brookins rushed for 217 yards in 21 carries and scored four touchdowns.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.