All that stands in the way of a perfect 5-0 start for the Valencia football team is a win over Loyola. In past years, that would be a fairly daunting challenge. But the Loyola football team is in a bit of disarray leading up to tonight’s game.
Loyola coach Jeff Kearin resigned unexpectedly last week. His team was 2-2 and coming off a win over St. John Bosco.
He cited personal reasons for his resignation after a little more than three seasons as head coach.
On top of losing its coach, Loyola has been playing without its top running back, Anthony Barr, who is out with a broken leg.
Untested West Ranch
How good is West Ranch? They are a last-second field goal away from being undefeated. The only blemish on the team’s record is a 10-8 loss to Hueneme is Week 1. West Ranch had an 8-7 lead with less than a minute to play. The game was played when the West Ranch players could not practice because of the Station Fire burning in the Angeles National Forest. Poor air quality prevented West Ranch and Hart from running full practices before their first games of the season. That same week, Hart lost to El Camino Real.
Since that first week loss, West Ranch has posted victories against Lancaster, Eastside and Beverly Hills. None have been impressive wins and none of the wins are exactly against the powerhouses of high school football in Southern California. But West Ranch is 3-1, averaging 30 points a game in those three wins and winning on average by more than 10 points per game.
The team’s next test is against 1-3 Los Osos. Los Osos has lost three straight games and hasn’t won since a 31-12 opening night win against Colony.
West Ranch’s first real test will come in a couple weeks when it plays Saugus at College of the Canyons on Oct. 23.
Best player in the Santa Clarita Valley
A number of players can claim best player in the Santa Clarita Valley after four games. Valencia’s Steven Manfro is averaging 173.3 rushing yards per game, 10.3 yards per carry and has scored eight touchdowns.
Collin Keoshian, when healthy, can rush for 300 yards and six touchdowns, like he did against Hesperia Christian last week.
Hart’s Ty MacArthur and Saugus’ Manny Pedrano are two-way players who come up with clutch catches on offense and are expected to shut down opposing receivers.
But Valencia quarterback Alex Bishop is surprisingly putting up the kind of numbers expected of the top play-caller in the Foothill League.
Bishop has already passed for 1,010 yards and 14 touchdowns. That’s 252.5 yards and 3.5 touchdowns per game.
On top of that, he has rushed for more than 100 yards and two touchdowns. Bishop has quietly emerged as the top player in the Foothill League.