Reseda running back Larry Looney is quietly putting together a fine season – he’s on pace to reach the 1,000-yard plateau. Looney, a returning All-City selection, has been instrumental for the Regents, rushing for 287 yards in victories over Hamilton of Los Angeles and San Fernando following an 0-4 start. Another 100-yard game Friday against Monroe of North Hills could push Reseda to 2-0 in the Valley Mission League heading into next week’s game against Sylmar. POTENTIAL UPSET TOP 20 Team, Rec., Pvs. 1. Notre Dame 6-0 1 2. Valencia 5-1 2 3. Taft 6-0 3 4. Oaks Christian 5-0 4 5. St. Francis 6-0 6 6. Hart 5-1 5 7. Moorpark 4-2 7 8. Newbury Park 5-1 8 9. Simi Valley 5-1 9 10. Canyon 5-1 10 11. Birmingham 2-4 11 12. Sylmar 6-0 12 13. Thousand Oaks 5-1 13 14. Agoura 4-2 14 15. Crespi 3-3 15 16. Antelope Valley 4-2 16 17. Lancaster 6-1 18 18. Royal 3-3 17 19. Chaminade 5-1 19 20. Kennedy 6-0 20 SMALL SCHOOLS TOP 10 Team, Rec., Pvs. 1. Oaks Christian 5-0 1 2. Grace Brethren 4-2 4 3. Campbell Hall 5-1 3 4. Oak Park 2-3 2 5. Village Christian 4-2 5 6. Vasquez 6-0 6 7. Rosamond 4-2 7 8. Mojave 2-3 8 9. L.A. Baptist 3-1-1 9 10. Malibu 3-3 NR POTENTIAL HERO AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week These are desperate times at Westlake. After finishing first or second in the Marmonte League from 1999 to 2003, the Warriors are in danger of missing the Southern Section Div. IV playoffs for a second consecutive season after opening league play 0-3. Westlake must win its last four games, beginning Friday against visiting Agoura, to keep alive its postseason chances. Maybe coach Jim Benkert can conjure up some of the magic from last year’s thriller, which Westlake won 30-27, returning a kickoff for a touchdown on the game’s final play. GAME OF THE WEEK Birmingham at Taft, Friday, 7 p.m. On paper, the annual showdown between West Valley League powers doesn’t appear as competitive as usual, but No. 11 Birmingham of Lake Balboa’s 2-4 record is misleading. The Patriots’ opponents are 25-11 – and that includes 1-5 El Camino Real of Woodland Hills – so they aren’t likely to be intimidated by the lofty numbers Taft of Woodland Hills keeps putting up. The Toreadors have outscored their past five opponents by an average of 45 points, and they’re thinking about revenge after being eliminated from the City Section playoffs last season by Birmingham. THEY SAID IT “We’ve been practicing for Birmingham this whole week. We didn’t practice for (Granada Hills). We’ve had two weeks to get ready for Birmingham.” – Taft running back Andre Harris following the Toreadors’ 64-15 rout of Granada Hills, their final tuneup before Friday’s West Valley League showdown with rival Birmingham. WHO’S HOT Entering the season’s seventh week, seven area teams remain undefeated. Who has the best shot of running the table and finishing the regular season with a perfect record? 1. Oaks Christian (5-0) The Lions, from Westlake Village, on Friday will face athletic Palmdale, which could mean their first-string offense might have to play three quarters. Barring some monumental misfortune, a 9-0 season is expected. 2. Sylmar (6-0) The Spartans’ closest game has been 21 points. If they get past scrappy Kennedy of Granada Hills on Friday, it should be smooth sailing in the Valley Mission League the rest of the way. Even at 10-0, strength of schedule could hurt Sylmar when City Section playoff pairings are determined. 3. Notre Dame (6-0) The Knights, from Sherman Oaks, have won 28 consecutive games, and that streak likely will reach 30 before a Nov. 4 showdown for the Mission League title at St. Francis of La Canada Flintridge. St. Paul of Santa Fe Springs, the last team to beat the Knights, will provide a challenge Friday, but 10-0 is within reach. 4. Taft (6-0) The Toreadors, from Woodland Hills, won their final nine regular-season games last year following a season-opening loss to Crenshaw of Los Angeles. A perfect regular season this year depends on the outcome of Friday’s game against Birmingham of Lake Balboa, which eliminated the Toreadors in last year’s City Section playoffs. A Taft victory Friday could mean the No. 1 seed for the City playoffs. 5. St. Francis (6-0) The Golden Knights face a serious challenge Oct. 28 at Chaminade of West Hills, which has given St. Francis of La Canada Flintridge trouble in the past. A victory likely sets up a Week 9 showdown against Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks, with the winner capturing the Mission League title. 6. Kennedy (6-0) The Cougars can make a big statement with a victory Friday over Sylmar, one of three other unbeaten teams remaining in the City Section. Kennedy of Granada Hills would still need to get past San Fernando in a Nov. 10 finale to hit perfection. 7. Vasquez (6-0) The freelance Mustangs are a Cinderella story, playing six of nine games on the road. If Vasquez of Acton can get past a tough road test Friday at Boron, a showdown with Rio Hondo Prep of Arcadia in its Nov. 11 finale would be the final hurdle to an undefeated regular season. ‘E’ IS FOR EFFICIENCY Taft of Woodland Hills sophomore Exavier Johnson put himself in the company of some of the area’s great quarterbacks with his performance in Friday’s 64-15 West Valley League victory over Granada Hills. Johnson completed his final 14 passes against the Highlanders, finishing 16 of 17 for 238 yards and three touchdowns. Johnson, who began his varsity career by completing only 9 of 24 attempts against Crenshaw of Los Angeles, can build on his streak when Taft plays host Friday to Birmingham of Lake Balboa. Seven consecutive completions to open the game would give him an area record. La Canada’s Paul Gagliardi completed 20 in a row against San Marino in 1978. Four of the next five area marks belong to Hart of Newhall quarterbacks. Tyler Lyon completed 19 consecutive passes last season against Burbank, Kyle Matter (1999) and Sean Norton (2003) had 18-completion stretches, and Jim Bonds – now St. Francis of La Canada Flintridge’s coach – hit on 16 straight against Alhambra in 1986. Crescenta Valley of La Crescenta’s Hudson Gossard completed 19 in a row against La Canada in 2001. According to Cal-Hi Sports, the state record belongs to Perry Klein, who completed 26 in a row with Palisades of Pacific Palisades in 1987. RAPID FIRE Cal-Hi Sports’ state record book contains the names of several Newbury Park quarterbacks. Keith Smith, Chris Czernek, Nick Czernek and Rudy Carpenter can be found in almost every single-season and career passing list. How Jordan LaSecla measures up won’t be certain until season’s end, but the Panthers senior added his name to the record books in Friday’s 36-35 overtime victory over Simi Valley. LaSecla completed 27 of 60 passes for 413 yards and five touchdowns, connecting with five receivers. His 60 pass attempts were the third-most in state history, tied with Marian of Imperial Beach’s Dan Kelley, who threw 60 in 1978. LaSecla is sandwiched between Carpenter (61) and Nick Czernek (59) in the state record book. Newbury Park QBs are responsible for six of the top 17 single-game attempt marks. Jason Sanborn, who played at Gunn of Palo Alto, holds the state record with 68 attempts in a 1990 game. LaSecla’s volume of passes hasn’t affected his accuracy – he has thrown just four interceptions (vs. 24 touchdowns) in 218 attempts. Last season, LaSecla was intercepted 15 times with 14 touchdowns in 340 attempts. BIG PLANS, LITTLE RETURN Granada Hills has a new turf field, but the Highlanders have had little to celebrate during the first two games at renovated John Elway Stadium. Granada Hills lost 23-0 to Kennedy of Granada Hills on Oct. 7, then were beaten 64-15 by Taft of Woodland Hills at last week’s homecoming game. Homecoming started festively enough. Pink smoke went off as four sky divers, including an Elvis impersonator, landed on the new field, which was installed under the leadership of Chris Davis, vice principal of athletics and special education. Davis said he started exploring the feasibility of upgrading Elway Stadium two years ago. When Granada Hills became a charter school, it gained more freedom in determining how to spend available funds. Davis received approval May 9 to have the $1.2 million Sprint Turf field installed. Still to come is an all-weather track, and more features will be added to the scoreboard. The completed project will be dedicated Nov. 10 before the regular-season finale against Cleveland of Reseda. All alumni, including the stadium’s namesake, are invited. Good thing Taft won’t be there. CONSISTENCY COUNTS With his 117-yard performance in a loss last week to Whittier Christian, Campbell Hall of North Hollywood senior Brandon Scott became the first area player this season to rush for 100 or more yards in six consecutive games. Scott, who scored a touchdown in the Vikings’ 20-19 setback, is one of three area players to gain 100 or more yards in every game they’ve played this season. Sylmar senior C.J. Gable, who rushed for 267 yards in the Spartans’ 77-0 victory over Van Nuys, has accomplished the feat in five consecutive games. Gable, the area’s leading rusher (1,079 yards), likely would have matched Scott’s success, but Sylmar didn’t play its Week 4 game against North Hollywood. La Canada junior Lavelle Peterson, who gained 113 yards in a 25-14 victory Friday over South Pasadena, has gone over the 100-yard mark in five straight games. Peterson was held out of La Canada’s Week 3 game against Gabrielino of San Gabriel with a sprained ankle. Eagle Rock’s V.J. Castanos, who rushed for 166 yards in the Eagles’ 37-29 victory over Marshall of Los Feliz, is among six area players with at least 100 yards in five of six games. Burroughs of Burbank’s Thomas Kyle, Rio Mesa of Oxnard’s Malachi Lewis, Royal of Simi Valley’s Curtis Marsh, Crespi of Encino’s Josh Morgan and Valencia’s Shane Vereen are the others. Lewis matched Gable’s output Friday, rushing for 267 yards and four touchdowns in a 44-28 victory over Hueneme of Oxnard. ALL SHAPES AND SIZES The similarities between St. Francis of La Canada Flintridge’s and Taft of Woodland Hills’ football teams extends beyond unbeaten records. Both have relied on tremendous defenses – St. Francis has allowed 46 points and recorded 27 sacks, and Taft has given up 61 points and posted 22 sacks. Anthony Evans’ speed on the perimeter has created havoc in Taft foes’ backfields. Evans, at 5-foot-10, 180 pounds, has an area-leading 10 sacks, plus 23 tackles and four fumble recoveries. St. Francis has benefited from the strength and agility of 6-3, 230-pound Alex Bonifer to disrupt opposing quarterbacks. Bonifer leads the Golden Knights with nine sacks and has 26 tackles and two fumble recoveries. Teammate Brian Lynch is third in the area with eight sacks. LEAGUE UPDATES Del Rey League Crespi of Encino’s D.J. Holt made the most of his touches in a 47-20 victory Saturday over Cathedral of Los Angeles. Holt caught three passes, all touchdowns, for 65 yards. Crespi quarterback Matt Wabby passed for 344 yards and four touchdowns, one to Josh Morgan, who rushed for two more scores. Morgan had five catches for 103 yards, and Cary Jensen-Madison had five for 143 yards. Foothill League Valencia quarterback Michael Herrick broke the state record for career completions and climbed to fifth on the state list for passing yardage in a 36-21 victory over Burroughs of Burbank. He also didn’t throw a touchdown pass, only the second time in 32 high school games that has occurred. He had found the end zone in 14 straight games since last year’s 33-3 loss to Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks. Oaks Christian of Westlake Village’s Jimmy Clausen has thrown for a touchdown in all 19 career starts. West Ranch High of Stevenson Ranch, a second-year school playing a mix of varsity and JV football games this season, claimed its first official varsity victory with a 36-0 win Saturday at Lakeside of Lake Elsinore. Tyler O’Brien rushed for 123 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries for the Wildcats. Canyon of Canyon Country last week held Burbank’s Marcus Hood, coming off consecutive 200-yard performances, to 69 yards and no touchdowns on 23 carries. The previous week, the Cowboys limited Crespi of Encino’s Josh Morgan, averaging 153 yards per game, to 53. In Week 4, South Torrance’s John Hokama and Davon Brown combined for 62 yards after they totaled 351 yards and five touchdowns the previous week. In Week 3, Simi Valley’s Devin Kelley, the Marmonte League’s second-leading rusher, ran for just 46. Golden League Six running backs went over 100 yards last week, led by Lancaster’s Tony Jackson (186 yards), who scored five first-half touchdowns in the Eagles’ 58-6 victory over Knight of Palmdale. Allan Mohan rushed for 130 yards and D’Andre Goodwin for 123 in Antelope Valley’s 28-20 victory over Highland of Palmdale. Dominic Blood (136) and David Coleman (130) combined for four touchdowns in Palmdale’s 55-24 win over Littlerock. Quartz Hill’s Mike Brandenburg had 137 yards and two touchdowns in a 51-14 romp over Golden Valley. Marmonte League Three of the state’s top eight quarterbacks – Newbury Park’s Jordan LaSecla, Agoura’s Dominick Huerta and Thousand Oaks’ Ryan Cloney – are from the Marmonte League, as are four of the top 25 receivers: Newbury Park’s Josh Baker and Jordan Cameron, Agoura’s J.T. Wright and Thousand Oaks’ Matt Luft. LaSecla leads the state in passing yards (1,995) and touchdowns (24), Baker is second in receiving yards (871), and Cameron is tied for the lead in receiving touchdowns (11). Mission League St. Francis of La Canada Flintridge last week beat St. Paul of Santa Fe Springs for the first time since 1961. St. Paul, which joined the league in 2002, had outscored St. Francis in the previous three meetings by 77 points. St. Francis’ Scott Stephens intercepted his state-leading eighth pass in the victory over St. Paul. Pacific League Crescenta Valley of La Crescenta, which began the season 0-5 for the first time since 1987, won its first game Friday with a 38-12 victory over Hoover of Glendale. It was the Falcons’ 10th consecutive win over the Tornadoes. Glendale’s offensive philosophy wasn’t difficult to figure out clear in last week’s 28-18 loss to Pasadena. The Nitros ran the ball 60 times and passed only twice. James Clay ran for 260 yards on 38 carries with two touchdowns. Rio Hondo League With starting quarterback T.J. Trumbo sidelined with back spasms, La Canada turned to its running game and special teams to defeat South Pasadena 25-14 on Friday. Lavelle Peterson rushed for 113 yards and accounted for 12 of the Spartans’ points on two touchdowns. David Hopkins took care of the other 13 points, scoring a touchdown, kicking two field goals and an extra point. Sunset Six League Verdugo Hills of Tujunga last week beat Grant of Van Nuys for the first time since 1999. The setback was only Grant’s second in its past 26 league games. Grant’s run of four consecutive league titles was halted last year with a 47-18 loss to North Hollywood. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!