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Fryer on Football: Previews and predictions for Week 1’s top games

GAME OF THE WEEK

NO. 20 VILLA PARK (0-1) VS. NO. 16 ORANGE (1-0

Where, when: El Modena High, Friday, 7 p.m.

Analysis: One of the most interesting upsets in the short spring 2021 football season was Orange’s 25-16 win over Villa Park. Villa Park got revenge a few months later with a 29-22 victory over Orange in fall of 2021. Villa Park has been the best football program in the Villa Park-Orange-Anaheim Hills area for most of the past 15 years. This is an chance for Orange to take that crown. The Panthers got off to a fine start to this season last week with a 42-7 win over Pacifica. Junior running back Kobe Boykin rushed for 108 yards and a touchdown and had 104 receiving yards and a touchdown reception. Boykin will have many games like that this season. Jonathan Smith added 125 receiving yards with a touchdown. Orange also found out how well its freshman quarterback Oscar Rios can play under the lights. Rios completed 15 of 20 passes for 281 yards and two touchdowns. Villa Park lost its season opener to Silverado 32-29 in Victorville. The Spartans trailed 14-0 quickly, having lost two fumbles in the first three minutes. Villa Park finished with six lost turnovers. The Spartans rallied to make it a close game, a good sign for a team like Villa Park that had many players making their varsity debut. Just the sight of Villa Park uniforms has intimidated area teams in the past. Orange, the home team in this game, will establish itself early as the superior team.

Winner: Orange

OTHER TOP GAMES

NO. 11 SAN JUAN HILLS (0-1) VS. NO. 12 CYPRESS (1-0)

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

Analysis: San Juan Hills’ defense was terrific last week, limiting county No. 3 Santa Margarita to 18 points. San Juan Hills scored only eight. The Stallions offense will be better this week. Sophomore quarterback Michael Tollefson, or “Butter” Tollefson as he also is known, threw for only 83 yards against the Eagles. Keep in mind Santa Margarita was the early choice for third-best team in the Trinity League, so don’t fret about the San Juan Hills offense. Cypress beat Foothill 27-13 last week. All of the expected Cypress strengths showed up. Matt Morrell, last year’s Empire League MVP, had five receptions for 92 yards and a touchdown and the Centurions defense was solid. Cypress is the Empire League favorite. Cypress isn’t Santa Margarita, though, so San Juan Hills should be able to get the sort of momentum going it could not establish against Santa Margarita.

Winner: San Juan Hills

Cypress’ Kaden Hollenbeck makes a big fourth down stop on Foothill’s Christopher Johnson during their game at Tustin High School in Tustin on Friday, Aug. 19, 2022. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Contributing Photographer)

NO. 14 SERVITE (0-1) VS. NO. 2 MISSION VIEJO (1-0)

Where, when: Mission Viejo High, Friday, 7 p.m.

Analysis: This game is set up well for Mission Viejo, and poorly for Servite. The Friars lost many of their  excellent players in 2021 to graduation and transfer departures, so they are in a rebuilding state. The Friars lost to Rancho Cucamonga 27-7 last week. Mission Viejo opened its season Aug. 12 in Hawaii with a 34-21 win over Mililani, one of the islands’ better teams. The Diablos were dealing with what Coach Chad Johnson said was a flu bug, so the team was not at full strength. The break between that game and this one should help Mission Viejo. The Diablos had 13 players in the Register’s Hot 150. Servite trounced Mission Viejo 44-7 last season. While Servite will play with its usual passion and fury that can’t overcome Mission Viejo’s talent advantages.

Winner: Mission Viejo

NO. 1 MATER DEI (1-0) VS. BISHOP GORMAN (1-0)

Where, when: Bishop Gorman High, Las Vegas, Friday, 7 p.m.

Live streaming: https://www.nfhsnetwork.com/affiliates/bn-productions

Analysis: Mater Dei cruised by West High of Salt Lake City 42-0 last week. It won’t be that smooth this week. Bishop Gorman is No. 6 in the MaxPreps.com national rankings that have St. John Bosco at No. 1 and Mater Dei at No. 2. Bishop Gorman was Nevada’s upper-division champion last season, and it started this season with a 42-7 win over Corner Canyon of Utah. Gorman junior quarterback Micah Alejado threw for three touchdowns and ran for another in the win. Gaels defensive lineman Aiden McComber had 17 sacks in 2021. To beat Gorman’s defense a quarterback must make good decisions. Mater Dei quarterback Elijah Brown excels at that. Brown started his junior year last week by completing 20 of 26 passes for 291 yards and five touchdowns. He did throw an interception, but that’s not a concern; Brown threw only six interceptions on 224 passes last year. Look for the Mater Dei offensive line to thrive in the challenge the Gorman defensive front will bring. Brown should have another stellar game.

Winner: Mater Dei

Members of the Mater Dei High School football team are from left: Jack Ressler, #88; Elijah Brown, #12; Brandon Baker, #73; DeAndre Carter, #72, and Leviticus Su'a, #55, on Friday, August 5, 2022, in Santa Ana. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)Members of the Mater Dei High School football team are from left: Jack Ressler, #88; Elijah Brown, #12; Brandon Baker, #73; DeAndre Carter, #72, and Leviticus Su’a, #55, on Friday, August 5, 2022, in Santa Ana. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

NO. 18 FOOTHILL (0-1) VS. TUSTIN (0-1)

Where, when: Tustin High, Friday, 7 p.m.

Analysis: It’s neighborhood rivals time at Tustin High, the home field for both teams. Tustin will be the home team for this game. Last week Foothill was defeated by No. 12 Cypress 27-17. Junior running back Aaron Mitchell showed he might be Foothill’s offensive star, rushing for 129 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries. Tustin lost to No. 15 Capistrano Valley 45-13. The Tillers debuted players in key positions, including junior quarterback Jack Stupin, who transferred from Millikan, and senior receiver Quincy Hankins from Huntington Beach. Stupin and Hankins connected on a touchdown pass, and Hankins at cornerback returned an interception 87 yards. Playing that first game together will lead to better results this week.

Winner: Tustin

Fryer on football last week: 3-2

Season to date: 3-2

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