By Martin Henderson
There's a good slate of games scheduled for this weekend, including an actual, bona fide event. But be forewarned, if you want to attend the game at El Toro High, leave early because parking is going to be a bear—or unbearable, take your pick.
Some of the key games of Week 8 are:
• If Santa Margarita Catholic (3-4, 0-2) doesn't win against Mater Dei (7-0, 2-0) in the Trinity League, there's a chance the Eagles won't reach the Pac-5 playoffs. That's because the Serra League might snag the two available at-large berths. But a victory over Mater Dei will certainly grab the attention of the playoff committee if it comes to that. Still, the Eagles have to get it done on the field, and last week against Servite, they only mounted a rally after replacing starting QB K.J. Costello with Kyle Sweet in the second half.
• South Coast League's Tesoro (6-1, 2-0) has been a Jekyll and Hyde team this season, but last week the Titans put together four solid quarters and dominated El Toro. Tesoro will need that same kind of effort against Mission Viejo (7-0, 1-0), which is ranked No. 1 in Orange County, No. 2 in the Pac-5 Division and No. 16 in the nation. The Diablos have an explosive offense behind Ian Fieber, Alex Suchesk and Sean Modster—brother of Tesoro quarterback Devon Modster. If young Modster and his Tesoro teammates win, they will clinch a share of the league championship.
• The South Coast League tilt between Trabuco Hills (4-3, 0-1) and El Toro (4-4, 1-1) has lost a lot of its marquee value—both have been beaten by Tesoro with Mission Viejo looming on the schedule. But make no mistake, the loser won't make the playoffs, and there's a strong likelihood the winner won't either unless they upset Mission and garner at-large attention. The real entertainment value of this game—apart from two pretty good teams playing—is that it's the first varsity football game under the lights at El Toro's new stadium. Appropriately, the Chargers are playing host to the school that has been the site of its past games. El Toro should be fired up, not only because of the stadium, but because it never showed up in last week's 35-6 loss. Trabuco is trying to salvage a season that has seen it lose three in a row, the last a 37-34 thriller two weeks ago to Tesoro.
• Following the upset Thursday of Los Alamitos over Edison, the Sunset League is Fountain Valley's for the taking. The Barons (6-1, 2-0) are the last unbeaten team in league, but they haven plenty of hurdles in front of them. Among them, Newport Harbor (3-4, 1-1), which is coming off an overtime victory against Los Alamitos. This game is huge.
Here's the schedule for local schools in Patch cities:
Thursday, Oct. 24
Orange Coast League
Friday, Oct. 25
Games at 7 p.m. unless noted
- St. John Bosco vs. JSerra at Saddleback College
- Santa Margarita Catholic vs. Mater Dei at Santa Ana Stadium, 7:30
South Coast League
- Trabuco Hills at El Toro
- Tesoro at Mission Viejo, 7:30
- Fountain Valley at Newport Harbor
Sea View League
- Aliso Niguel at San Juan Hills
- Laguna Hills at Capistrano Valley
Pacific Coast League
- Corona del Mar at University
- Brethren Christian at Sage Hill
- St. Margaret’s at Crean Lutheran
San Joaquin League
- Saddleback Valley Christian vs. Fairmont Prep at Yorba Linda
Saturday, Oct. 26
San Joaquin League
- Capistrano Valley Christian vs. Santa Clarita Christian at Canyon Country Canyon