By Ryan Menzie
Signal Sports Writer
We are now three weeks into the Santa Clarita high school football season, but some schools are still waiting to play their first game due to a late season start (Santa Clarita Christian School) or COVID-19 (Valencia High School). Regardless, the season continues rolling as we get into September football.
Here are the matchups for the upcoming week.
Valencia vs. Notre Dame
The Valencia Vikings will open up their season at home in the powerhouse matchup versus the Notre Dame Knights (1-1) on Friday at 7 p.m. at Valencia High School. Both schools are currently ranked in the top 150 high school football teams in the state, with the Vikings being ranked No. 39 and, despite the Knights losing their last matchup to JSerra Catholic, 20-0, being ranked No. 140.
The Vikings are coming off a season finishing 4-1 in the Foothill League, good enough for second place in the league but also marking the first time in 11 seasons they did not win the league title, after losing to Saugus 21-7 in the final game of the season. The Knights are coming off a 2-3 season, finishing fourth in the Mission League.
The Vikings will look to senior Zamondre Merriweather, a wide receiver and safety who’s ranked among the top 50 players in the state, and senior Tyler Voss, quarterback who finished with 1,350 total yards of offense and 10 total touchdowns last season, to start their season off right heading into the 2021 campaign.
Saugus vs. Camarillo
The Saugus Centurions (2-0), who are currently ranked No. 63 in the state, will look to keep their season perfect and win their ninth game in a row dating back to the 2019 season against the Camarillo Scorpions (1-0). The Centurions have kept their past two opponents scoreless and have won by a combined 85-0 after a 50-0 victory against Moorpark High School. The Scorpions’ first and only win of the season so far came in a 20-7 victory against Hart High School.
Centurions quarterback Sebastain Dallaire is coming off a 193-yard passing game with one touchdown while also contributing 93 yards on the ground with three more touchdowns. The Centurions’ defenders were also on point, only allowing five first downs the entire game, which included a 3.5-sack game by linebacker Dylan Hampsten and a three-sack game by linebacker Matthew Stirwalt.
The Centurions are scheduled to play the Scorpions at home on Friday at 7 p.m. at College of the Canyons.
Canyon vs. Royal
The Canyon Cowboys (0-1) are scheduled to play the Royal Highlanders (1-0) on Friday at 7 p.m. at Royal High School. The Cowboys are still searching for their first win of the season after a 28-0 loss to St. Genevieve. The Highlanders are coming off a 7-3 victory against Moorpark High School.
The Cowboys tried to hang in there, but St. Genevieve’s rushing attack proved too much, finishing the day with three rushing touchdowns.
The Cowboys will look to turn their season around against the Highlanders.
West Ranch vs. Antelope Valley
The West Ranch Wildcats (1-1) are scheduled to play the Antelope Valley Antelopes (0-1) on Thursday at 7 p.m. at Antelope Valley. The Wildcats are coming off the game of the week, beating Buena 45-31 for their first win of the season. The Antelopes are coming off a 40-0 loss to Oak Hills.
Wildcats quarterback Ryan Staub had himself a day, finishing with 237 passing yards with three passing touchdowns while also finishing with 49 rushing yards to go along with his two rushing touchdowns. Wildcats wide receiver and cornerback Maverick Diaz hauled in two touchdowns of his own on three catches for 53 yards, and was also able to make noise on defense, grabbing one interception.
The Wildcats will look to keep their offensive momentum going against the Antelopes.
Trinity vs. South Gate
The Trinity Classical Academy Knights (1-1) are scheduled to face the South Gate Rams (2-0) on Friday at 7 p.m. at Trinity. The Knights are coming off a 64-0 victory versus Duarte while the Rams have won two games in a row, including a 49-0 victory over Bernstein in their last game.
Knights quarterbacks Will Jackson and Noah Visconti are coming off a combined 149 yard passing night with three total touchdowns, with Jackson also accounting for a rushing touchdown of his own. Knights defensive end Tanner Moore accounted for a forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and a sack on the day, doing it all for the defense.
The Knights will look to cool down the Rams this Friday.
Santa Clarita Christian School vs. Flintridge Prep
The Santa Clarita Christian School Cardinals will open up their season on the road against the Flintridge Prep Wolves on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Flintridge Prep. Flintridge Prep will also be playing its first game of the season.
The Cardinals are the only eight-man freelance team in Santa Clarita but are looking to silence the doubters with their 13-man roster and showing they are ready to compete until the very end. Key returners senior left guard and defensive lineman Tommy Patton, and junior wide receiver, defensive back and linebacker Carter Aispuro will look to make an immediate impact for the team.
Castaic vs. Lancaster
The Castaic Coyotes (0-1) will play their home opener against the Lancaster Eagles on Thursday at 3:15 p.m. at Castaic. The Coyotes are coming off a 44-35 loss to Villa Park.
Coyotes quarterback Tyler Soles finished the day with 183 passing yards with one passing touchdown to go along with his 79 rushing yards on 11 carries with two rushing touchdowns. Coyotes running back Anthony Martinez caught three passes for 39 yards and rushed for 60 yards with one rushing touchdown and one two-point conversion. The Coyotes finished the day with 344 total yards of offense.
Despite the loss, the Coyotes will look to keep their offensive momentum going against the Eagles.
Golden Valley/Hart High School
Golden Valley’s game scheduled for this Friday at 7 p.m. vs Quartz Hill has been canceled due to a COVID-19 issue with Quartz Hill. Golden Valley is still searching for another game to play this week.
Hart is currently on a bye week this week. Their next game will be played next Friday against Moorpark at 7 p.m. at Moorpark High School.