Week 10 football preview 

Hart quarterback Timmy Larkins (16) weaves through Canyon defenders at Canyon on Friday, 101422. Dan Watson/The Signal
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Foothill League Week 9 Standings 

  1. West Ranch (9-0, 5-0) * 
  1. Saugus (6-2, 3-1) 
  1. Golden Valley (6-3, 3-2) 
  1. Valencia (4-4, 2-2) 
  1. Hart (2-6, 1-3) 
  1. Canyon (3-5, 1-3) 
  1. Castaic (1-7 0-4) 

*Clinched playoff berth 

By Justin Vigil-Zuniga and Tyler Wainfeld 

Signal Sport Writers 

It’s do or die in week 10 for several teams on the bubble of a playoff seed. 

West Ranch has an opportunity to cap off its first Foothill League championship with an undefeated regular season. 

Wildcats aim for perfection against Castaic 

The Wildcats have two options to secure the outright Foothill League title: They could lose to Castaic and hope for Saugus to lose its remaining two games. 

The other option would be to win and finish the season undefeated. 

Odds are West Ranch head coach Chris Varner will be looking to go for the latter option heading into a bye week. And it’s hard to see the Wildcats, who have put up 40.8 points per game, doing anything but that. 

The Coyotes have yet to win in league play, and they have to contest with a West Ranch offense that has become much more balanced in recent weeks. Much of that is due to the emergence of senior running back Tyler Scott, who, along with the DePerno brothers, Ty and Luke, has helped to create a trifecta of backs. 

Those three complement a dominant passing offense led by senior quarterback Ryan Staub. He has four senior receivers – Chaz Hilst, Maverick Diaz, Will Seidel and Isaac Ellis – who can all break out at any moment, giving the Wildcats an unpredictable attack. 

Castaic will be hoping to build on the last couple weeks that saw the Coyotes, at times, hold both Canyon and Saugus at bay. The issue will be trying to stop a West Ranch offense that has yet to be stopped by anyone else, whether in league or non-league play. 

West Ranch and Castaic kick off at 7 p.m. on Friday at Valencia High School. 

Signal Staff Picks 

Justin Vigil-Zuniga: It’s 10-0 time for West Ranch. Cats win 42-14. 

Tyler Wainfeld: Wildcats show out in their final regular season game. 45-17 West Ranch. 

Saugus heads to Canyon 

The Centurions can clinch their second straight playoff seed with a win this week. The team has missed quite a few players throughout the year due to injuries but has still found ways to win. Saugus is quite healthier now and ready to take on the Cowboys. 

Both teams welcomed back their star linebackers last week. Saugus’ Jacob Viger returned to action after missing a game while Canyon welcomed back Maximiliano Sanchez, who was out for a few games with a foot injury. 

Saugus’ defensive lineman Dario Sandoval is coming off a three-sack night against Castaic. The Canyon line will have its work cut out for them trying to hold off Sandoval, Viger and edge rusher Deohn Turner. 

Canyon has struggled to put points on the board since September. The Cowboys likely won’t find anything easy against Saugus but if Canyon can keep the penalties to a minimum and move the ball on the ground, they could steal this game. Big runs from Ganisten Turner and Evan Watts will be key. 

Canyon hosts Saugus Friday at 7 p.m. 

Justin Vigil-Zuniga: Saugus clinches playoffs, 27-17 Centurions. 

Tyler Wainfeld: Centurions keep their second-place spot in league. 30-14 Saugus. 

Valencia set for rematch with Hart 

Both teams entering this matchup need a win to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Vikings are in better shape with two league wins to Hart’s one. Valencia may have had this game circled for a while now as Hart took down the Vikings in overtime last season. It would end up not shaking much up as Hart missed the playoffs on a coin flip and Valencia went on to win a CIF title. 

The Vikings will look to avenge that loss and punch their playoff ticket once again. Hart will need another stunner to keep its hopes alive and potentially return to the playoffs for the first time in three years. 

The Indian defense has been stellar in league play. The group has just one Foothill League win but has only allowed 41 points in its last three games.  

The Vikings have been nearly just as good, only allowing 43 points in their last three games. 

Both teams have balanced offenses and defenses on a roll so this could be another tight one. 

The Hart offense looked lethal against Canyon. The team moved the ball effectively while holding the Cowboys to just seven points late in the game. 

Valencia running back Daniel Hernandez will be vital to the Vikings’ success. Hernandez had three straight fumbles in his last outing against West Ranch. If the senior can play a clean game and keep pounding the rock, the Vikings could pull away with the win. 

The Vikings need a win and a Canyon loss to officially clinch their playoff seed. 

Hart hosts Valencia at COC Friday at 7 p.m. 

Justin Vigil-Zuniga: Valencia gets revenge, 34-31. 

Tyler Wainfeld: Vikings’ defense keeps them in third place in league. 28-14 Valencia. 

SCCS to face Milken  

The Cardinals can finish league play with a bang this week. Santa Clarita Christian (4-3, 1-2) will face Milken Community (2-4, 1-2) for both teams’ final Liberty League matchup. 

Both offenses are coming into Thursday’s matchup hot. SCCS has put 145 points on the board in its last three games with two defensive shutouts in that span. 

The Wildcats are on a three-game losing streak but have put up 86 points in their last two outings. 

The Cards have been clicking on all phases of the game as the offense continues to gel while special teams have been scoring as well. 

Both teams will be looking to get back up to .500 in league play in a critical game.  

SCCS will take on Milken at Birmingham Thursday at 7 p.m. 

Trinity looking to rebound against Capistrano Valley Christian 

The Knights (3-4, 0-2) will hit the road after two straight weeks at home, traveling to San Juan Capistrano to take on the Capistrano Valley Christian Eagles (6-1, 3-0). 

Trinity has lost its first three Mesquite League games, failing to keep offenses under check, and the Knights could be facing their stiffest test thus far. 

The Eagles are averaging 34.9 points per game, including 32 points in their three league games. That is to go along with a defense that is nearly impossible to score against, giving up just 9.4 points per game. 

Trinity is on a four-game losing streak, one that has seen sophomore Nick Visconti take more snaps at quarterback as Knights head coach Mike Parrinello is perhaps taking a look at what his future offense could look like. 

Trinity senior Rocco Izzo has been on fire of late, racking up 452 receiving yards and five touchdowns in his last three games, adding 30 tackles on defense. 

The Knights and Eagles kick off Friday at 7 p.m. 

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