Starting the high school football week in Orange County with notes, comments and observations …

1. Sunset showdown: No. 2-ranked Los Alamitos and No. 4 Edison, clearly the two best football teams in the Sunset League, and perhaps the two best public school teams in Orange County, play each other Thursday at Huntington Beach High.

The Griffins, 5-2 overall, averaged 60 points over their past three games.

Quarterback Malachi Nelson and receiver Makai Lemon left last week’s game against Corona del Mar game because of injuries – Lemon an ankle sprain, Nelson a leg cramp – but Los Alamitos coach Ray Fenton said both could have returned if the situation was critical. Both should be good to go against Edison.

Los Alamitos is not going to score 60 points against Edison’s defense. The Griffins’ offense was out of sync in the early going against Corona del Mar, and Edison has the ability to make that out-of-sync phase last longer than the early going.

Los Alamitos is the early pick to win because of its assemblage of speedy athletes all over the field and its defensive line that was already superb before much-recruited defensive tackle T.A. Cunningham became eligible two weeks ago.

2. North Hills League battle: One of the many interesting league games this week is in the North Hills League between No. 8 El Dorado (6-1) and No. 12 El Modena (7-0) on Thursday.

El Dorado’s loss was to No. 8 Yorba Linda. El Dorado is averaging 215 yards rushing per game, led by Isaiah Quintero and Diego Soria, who pretty much split the rushing load. The Golden Hawks defense includes Evan Campuzano, who has three interceptions.

The defense for El Modena (7-0) has allowed only seven points a game. It is led by a bunch of hard-hitting guys like Esteban Choucair, Mayson Hitchens and Owen Smith, who also is a superb running back.

3. A look back at Mater Dei 17, St. John Bosco 7: Mater Dei coach Bruce Rollinson said after the game that “the elephant in the room” was the departure of Braves quarterback Pierce Clarkson in the second quarter because of a concussion. Rollinson was admitting that, sure, if Clarkson played in the second half the outcome might have been different.

Sure, but the way that Mater Dei defense was playing, including three sacks of Clarkson in the first half, the Monarchs were too good to lose the game.

A Mater Dei-Bosco rematch can be expected. The CIF Southern Section Division 1 championship game is Nov. 25 at the Rose Bowl.

4. Closing in: Rollinson has 336 career coaching victories, all at Mater Dei. That’s second-most in county football history behind the 338 compiled by Bob Johnson at, chronologically, Los Amigos, El Toro and Mission Viejo.

5. Playoffs: The top two teams in four- and five-team leagues receive guaranteed entry into the CIF Southern Section playoffs. The top three teams in six-, seven- and eight-team leagues also receive guaranteed playoff berths.

After all the guaranteed qualifiers are placed in the brackets the highest ranked teams — by — with .500-or-better records get any unoccupied berths. If berths remain open then the highest-rated sub-.500 teams get into the playoffs.

6. Playoff projections: If the playoffs began this week and if Division 1 is an eight-team division, which is most likely, the eight teams would be seeded in this order according to the current ratings: 1. Mater Dei; 2. St. John Bosco; 3. Corona Centennial; 4. Long Beach Poly; 5. Mission Viejo; 6. Edison; 7. Chaminade; 8. Los Alamitos.

7. Rise for the brand: The motto at San Juan Hills High is “Ride For The Brand.” The Stallions football team has been unsaddled by an 0-7 start. They play El Toro in a Sea View League opener Friday at El Toro. The Stallions are coming off of a bye week, so it’s a great opportunity for a reset for San Juan Hills.

8. Nine: That is how many undefeated teams there are in Orange County. All of the teams are 7-0: Crean Lutheran, Cypress, Edison, El Modena, Laguna Hills, Mater Dei, Rancho Alamitos, Westminster and Yorba Linda.

9. JSerra at St. John Bosco: A St. John Bosco win Friday looks close to being a sure thing. But JSerra lost to Mater Dei by eight points, and Bosco lost to Mater Dei by 10 points.

10. Overrated?: Of the 31 Orange County football teams that won last week, only one scored fewer than 20 points … Mater Dei.