NO. 12 YORBA LINDA (1-1) VS. NO. 16 TESORO (1-1)

Where, when: Tesoro High, Friday, 1 p.m.

Analysis: Yorba Linda is not as good as it was last year when it went 14-1 and won the CIF Southern Section Division 3 championship, at least it hasn’t been so far. The Mustangs opened with a 31-21 loss to Damien and last week beat La Mirada 40-20. Senior Dylan Gardner has been sensational. He is averaging 32 yards a kickoff return, his only punt return was for 42 yards, he has 16 of the team’s 31 pass receptions and has four tackles. Tesoro, as usual, is playing a challenging nonleague schedule. It lost 17-14 to Newport Harbor last week on a late field goal after opening with a 27-7 win over Murrieta Mesa. Running back Travis Wood has been splendid. He has rushed for 323 yards including 181 yards last week against Newport Harbor. Yorba Linda has new players in important positions. Those players are getting better and the Mustangs are gathering momentum, as this game will prove.

Winner: Yorba Linda


Where, when: Veterans Stadium, Friday, 7 p.m.

Live coverage: Bally Sports West

Analysis: Mission Viejo has two good-looking wins, 38-14 over Citrus Valley last week and 38-13 over El Camino of Oceanside two weeks ago. The Diablos have used two quarterbacks equally, Luke Fahey and Daeden Trudeau. While this observer is not a fan of a two-QB scheme, it does force opposing defenses to essentially prepare to play two different teams, and Mission Viejo excels at developing fine quarterbacks. Sophomore Vance Stafford might be the next great Diablos receiver. He has 13 catches for 174 yards and a touchdown. Linebacker Jack Matranga is averaging nine tackles a game. Long Beach Poly lost big to Bishop Gorman of Las Vegas last week 60-15. Yes, that’s a wipeout of a score but Gorman is ranked No. 2 in the nation by MaxPreps. Poly has a good quarterback, Darius Curry, who threw a touchdown pass and ran for the team’s other touchdown against Bishop Gorman. Mission Viejo has an abundance of skill all over the field, and that will show up strong in this one.

Winner: Mission Viejo

NO. 20 LA HABRA (1-1) VS. NO. 15 NEWPORT HARBOR (1-1)

Where, when: Newport Harbor High, Friday, 7 p.m.

Analysis: La Habra got clobbered by Upland 33-0 two weeks ago. Upland is going to do that to plenty of teams this season. La Habra righted itself last week with a 40-16 win over El Dorado, which was missing running back Isaiah Quintero who is out indefinitely because of a shoulder-area injury. The Highlanders’ Bryce Whitley was great last week, catching five passes for 142 yards and three touchdowns, and Damian Gomez returned a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown. Newport Harbor beat Tesoro 17-14 last week on Jon Richardson’s 36-yard field goal with nine seconds remaining. The Sailors lost a similarly tight one the week before, to St. Paul 24-22. Sophomore quarterback Jaden O’Neal connected with ace receiver Josiah Lamarque for touchdown passes of 28 and 55 yards. Look for the O’Neal-Lamarque combo to continue that production in a Sailors win.

Winner: Newport Harbor

Newport Harbor’s defense piles up on Tesoro’s Travis Wood (24) during the first half of a non-league football game at Newport Harbor High between Newport Harbor High and Tesoro High on August 24, 2023.(Photo by Michael Goulding/Contributing Photographer)

NO. 24 EL MODENA (0-1) VS. NO. 11 CYPRESS (1-1)

Where, when: Western High, Thursday, 7 p.m.

Analysis: El Modena last week lost its season opener, 21-17 to Colony, which, like the Vanguards, was a league champion last season. It was a great 2022 for El Modena, which was 11-0 before losing in the CIF-SS Division 3 quarterfinals. Most of the ‘22 Vanguards’ best players were seniors, so this is a young group that is learning on the fly. One returnee is Xzavior Guess, a junior, dual-threat quarterback. Cypress has a similar quarterback, senior Aidan Houston, who over two games has passed for 448 yards and three touchdowns and has rushed for 266 yards and four touchdowns. The Centurions opened with a 23-0 win over La Mirada and last week lost to O.C. No. 9 Corona del Mar 41-24. Look for another high-production game from Houston and for the Cypress defense to get back on the attack.

Winner: Cypress


Where, when: Crean Lutheran High, Friday, 7 p.m.

Analysis: Trabuco Hills felt jilted by not being in our preseason Orange County Top 25. The Mustangs transformed that into motivation last week when they beat now-No. 25 Huntington Beach 31-28. Ryan Luce caught 11 passes for 212 yards with three touchdowns. Crean Lutheran has one-sided wins against two 0-2 teams, 40-21 over Canyon and 43-0 over Mary Star of the Sea. Senior running back Justin Dominguez has rushed for 293 yards and four touchdowns. Crean’s Carter Jones has a team-high 24 solo tackles and eight receptions, and Ben Byszewski has a team-high nine receptions and returned an interception 40 yards for a touchdown against Canyon. Trabuco Hills is better than what Crean has played so far, especially defensively.

Winner: Trabuco Hills

Fryer on Football last week: 2-3

Season to date: 6-4

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