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Foothill League football roundup preview

By Dan Lovi and Diego Marquez

Simi Valley at Canyon

Coming off a big win against Palmdale last week, the Cowboys are fired up for their homecoming game against Simi Valley tonight.

Despite being in Division 10, the Pioneers are no slouch and are coming off two big wins against Thousand Oaks and Taft. However, those numbers are inflated because the Lancers and Toreadors are winless this year on the field (Taft has a forfeit victory).

Quarterback Aydyn Litz threw four touchdowns last week against Palmdale and showed great rapport with his receivers.

Canyon’s defense also stepped up big time, recording five sacks and 61 total tackles. 

The Pioneers have a sophomore quarterback in Travis Throckmorton who is yet to throw an interception this year, logging 621 passing yards and eight touchdowns through four games. 

They are led on the ground by senior Elijah Leiva who has 208 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 13 carries. 

The game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at Harry Welch Stadium.

Golden Valley at Chatsworth

Beginning the season on a three-game winning streak, the Golden Valley Grizzlies head back out on the road for the third straight week to face Chatsworth High School at 7 p.m. today.

Led by two quarterbacks, senior Austin Garcia and sophomore Jaxson Miner, the Grizzlies’ air attack has been effective so far.

Garcia has thrown for 254 yards and two touchdowns on 16-of-25 passing attempts with one interception while Miner edges him out in touchdowns and yards completing 17-of-30 pass attempts for 283 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.

After skill player, Johnathan Kaelin caught four balls for 145 yards and two touchdowns in the win against Rio Mesa, the air attack should be just as effective this week.

Chatsworth began the season with a loss to Grant, but have since picked things up, squeaking out a two-point win against Poly of Sun Valley and a 42-13 trouncing of North Hollywood last week.

The Golden Valley defense, led by linebackers Shant Melkonian and Luke McCoy, will look to keep the pressure on Chatsworth all game long.

Hart at St. Bonaventure

Hart’s challenging preleague slate continues tonight as the Indians travel to Ventura to face St. Bonaventure, a Division 5 team that has gone 3-1 in its first four games.

Last year, the Seraphs defeated the Indians 39-36 in a game where Hart quarterback Zach Johnson threw for 247 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions.

Coming off its first win of the season, Hart is looking to make it two in a row and get on the positive side before league opens on Oct. 4. 

Last week against Burbank, running back Taden Littleford did serious damage on the ground, rushing for 183 yards and three touchdowns. Johnson added a rushing touchdown as well.

St. Bonaventure is led by dual-threat quarterback Gavin Beerup. The senior has thrown for 482 yards and three touchdowns while also rushing for 105 yards and three touchdowns. 

The Seraphs also feature a dynamic junior running back, Justin Cantu, who has amassed 398 yards and six touchdowns on 68 carries. He’s averaged 99.5 yards per game this season.

The game will be played at Ventura College with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m. 

St. Francis at Saugus

Saugus faces of against St. Francis for the third consecutive year, and is looking to nab its first win against the Golden Knights in that span.

The Centurions came close last year, losing 17-13, and will have their hands full again against the Division 3 team that is two years removed from a 12-2 season.

Saugus has relied heavily on its run game, with four running backs having logged at least 10 carries so far this season. Senior Josh Bond leads the bunch with 38 carries for 278 yards and four touchdowns.

Junior quarterback Colton FitzGerald has showcased his abilities as a passer and runner, throwing for 796 yards and 10 touchdowns while also logging three scores on the ground.

St. Francis is led by junior quarterback Jack Clougherty, who has thrown for 718 yards and seven touchdowns. The running back duo of Kevin Armstead and Max Garrison have combined for 413 yards and three touchdowns on 69 carries.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at College of the Canyons.

Valencia vs Loyala 

Suffering its first loss of the season to Sierra Canyon last week, Valencia will come out hungrier than ever to feast on the Loyola Cubs today.

Powered by an explosive offense led by senior quarterback Ryan Morrison, who has thrown eight touchdowns in three games, coupled with running backs Nick Pham and Jake Santos who combined have rushed for 301 yards and five scores, the Cubs will do their best to contain the skilled players. 

Sitting at the bottom of the Mission League, Loyola has gone through the wringer the past two weeks falling to San Diego’s St. Augustine High School 42-5 and Cathedral 17-13 last week.

The Cubs are young across the board with first-year quarterback junior Brayden Zermeno, a pair of sophomores in Harrison Allen and Tahj Owens in the backfield, and sophomores Jacoby Kelly and Peter Vanis out wide, leading the team in receptions.

Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Valencia.

West Ranch at St. Genevieve

The Wildcats are off to a red-hot start, outscoring their opponents 196-67 in their first four games.

West Ranch are aiming to cap off an undefeated preleague slate, taking on St. Genevieve, a 3-1 team that resides in Division 11. 

The Wildcats defeated the Valiants 46-24 last season behind a strong performance from the running game, and West Ranch senior Reiger Burgin will look to continue that trend tonight.

Burgin is the current rushing leader in the Foothill League with 511 yards and nine touchdowns on 75 carries.

Quarterback Walker Eget also leads the league in passing yards with 1,083 and 12 touchdowns, plus a .680 completion percentage. 

Junior Danny Rodriguez leads the charge for St. Genevieve with 640 passing yards and seven touchdowns. 

Michael Taufahema is the Valiants’ leading rusher with 371 yards and four touchdowns on 43 carries.

The game starts at 7 p.m. at Los Angeles Valley College.

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