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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW: Midseason reports show regular football playoff teams in danger of missing out on Week 11


By Loren Kopff
@LorenKopff on Twitter

Historically, the same area football and girls volleyball teams have advanced to the CIF-Southern Section playoffs consistently year after year. That would be Gahr High, Norwalk High and Valley Christian High for football and Cerritos High, Gahr, Norwalk and Valley Christian for volleyball. But as the midway point approaches, there may be a changing of the guard on the gridiron while one volleyball team, Cerritos, seeks a long-awaited league championship.

FOOTBALL (all games tonight)

El Dorado High (2-2) @ Artesia (3-1)-Senior quarterback Heder Gladden continues to carve through the opposition as he scored three more touchdowns on the ground and threw for two in last Friday night’s 52-27 win over Vasquez High. El Dorado edged El Modena High 29-27 last time out and the Golden Hawks have alternated wins and losses. While the Pioneers have scored 54, 51 and 52 points in their last three games, El Dorado has 62 points on the season. One more win will match Artesia’s total of last season and only twice since the 2013 season have the Pioneers had a winning season.

John Glenn High (2-3) @ Hawthorne High (2-2)-After winning two straight games in which they scored 49 and 46 points, the Eagles stumbled to a 42-28 loss to Western High last Friday night. The Cougars lost to Leuzinger High 50-44 last Friday and like Glenn, can score in bunches. Hawthorne is averaging 40 points a game, five more than what Glenn is averaging. Hawthorne is led by quarterback Kyle Williams (40 of 70, 771 yards, nine touchdowns, two interceptions) and Joseph Taylor III (50 carries, 631 yards, seven touchdowns). The Eagles will need to kick it in gear if they are to match and exceed last season’s 5-5 mark. But, they can’t be looking ahead to next week’s meeting with crosstown rival Norwalk.

Norwalk (0-5) @ Norte Vista High (3-1)-The Lancers are going through their worst start to a season since 2011 when they lost all four non-league games and ended with a 3-8 mark. They were manhandled by California High 45-0 last Friday night and have just seven touchdowns on the season. On the other side of the field, the Braves blasted Corona High 49-22 Friday and have back to back games of at least 42 points. Norte Vista is a run-oriented team, having rushed for close to 1,300 yards. The Braves have five players with over 100 yards rushing, three over 200 yards and two over 300 yards. One more loss will be Norwalk’s first losing season since 2011 and unless it can win at least two Suburban League games, the Lancers will not be going to the playoffs for a 12thstraight season.

La Salle High (0-5) @ Valley Christian (1-4)-Here’s a chance for the Defenders to get a win before tackling the Olympic League competition. V.C. fell to rival Ontario Christian High 40-17 last Friday, the third straight game it has yielded at least 40 points. The Lancers are dismal, scoring just 13 points while being shutout 64-0, 56-0 and 78-0. Three different quarterbacks have combined for 313 yards and the Lancers have rushed for 157 yards. The Defenders got another touchdown from senior running back Curtis Walhof (90 carries, 476 yards) and another touchdown pass from senior quarterback Hayden Ericks (43 of 98, 588 yards, five touchdowns).

Like Norwalk, the Defenders are in jeopardy of missing the playoffs, which would be the first time since 2012 and are on the verge of a non-winning season for the first time since 2013.


It’s been a very long season for Artesia, which has lost all 18 matches thus far and has won only three sets. The Pioneers visit Pioneer High today and will host first place Cerritos on Tuesday. Cerritos is undefeated in the 605 League and are seeking its first league title since 2011. The Lady Dons are also the only football or girls volleyball team currently ranked in any top 10 poll.

Gahr is in a very good position to win the San Gabriel Valley League for the second time in three seasons as the Lady Gladiators improved to 12-6 overall and 4-0 in the circuit following a sweep against Paramount High this past Tuesday. Gahr visited Downey High on Sept. 20 and will travel to Dominguez High on Tuesday before meeting Lynwood High at its place two days later.

John Glenn has also struggled in the new 605 League, dropping to 2-12 overall and winning once in four league matches. The Lady Eagles host second place Whitney High today and Oxford Academy on Tuesday.

Norwalk hosted Mayfair High on Sept. 20 with first place on the line in the revamped Suburban League schedule. The Lady Lancers entered that match at 4-5 overall but 2-0 in the circuit as the first of three rounds ended. Norwalk will visit La Mirada High on Tuesday before hosting Bellflower High on Thursday.

Valley Christian began its tournament on a good note, going 2-1 in pool play action last Friday and defeating Sonora High in the first playoff game last Saturday morning. But the Lady Defenders were then swept by St. Joseph High and Millikan High, then failed to win a set at Whittier Christian High this past Tuesday. V.C. (15-10 overall, 1-2 in the Olympic League) will visit Maranatha High on Tuesday and Village Christian High on Thursday in its final regular season road match.