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Foothill League Football Preview
November, 2014 - Issue #121
Courtesy of Shutterstock
Courtesy of Shutterstock
Of course we have to wait until the final game of the regular season to get resolution.

Five-time defending Foothill League champion Valencia will host Hart on November 7 in a rematch of the 2014 CIF-Southern Section Northern Division championship game - a game that came down to the final minutes and ended in Hart's favor with a 28-21 win.

Over the last decade, it could be argued that this has become the best rivalry in Santa Clarita Valley sports, and it could decide the 2014 Foothill League champion.

Hart has a tandem like no other in quarterback Brady White and wide receiver Trent Irwin.

In Week Three, White broke Hart High School's all-time passing yardage record, and by that point, Irwin was on pace to break the single-season state receiving yardage record.

A young defense, though, had its ups and downs in the pre-league part of the season.

Valencia, meanwhile, dealt with injuries and saw its best player Jay Jay Wilson move from safety to linebacker.

The growth of junior first-year starting quarterback Cole Parkinson will be a big factor into whether Valencia will keep hold of its league title.

Saugus, though, will fight to make sure neither team wins it.

In Week Four, the Centurions dealt with some serious injuries, but by that time found a star in running back Troy Williams.

To compete for the top spot in league, though, Saugus will have to stop opposing offenses.

Teams were regularly scoring 35-plus points against the Cents in the pre-league portion of the season.

Canyon had those same struggles early, but clearly has some talented pieces on the defensive side of the ball - defensive back Israel Cabrera, linebackers Austin Barry and Myron McAfee and defensive end Jordan Sykes.

If the Cowboys score, they could be in this battle.

West Ranch's strength is its ability to score with two quarterbacks - senior Chase Killingsworth and junior Jackson Clark - and depth at the wide receiver position.

But West Ranch will have another challenge in that there are some who think this might be the year where Golden Valley breaks through with its first Foothill League win ever.

The Grizzlies, led by thrilling junior running back Shane Tamura, face West Ranch on October 31.

Could that be the breakthrough game for Golden Valley?

Player of the Year Candidates
• Hart has two with White and Irwin. By regular season's end, White will have nearly 4,000 passing yards. Irwin could have 1,500 receiving yards plus. Both are the team's most valuable players.

• Wilson was quiet for Valencia in the pre-league part of the season. Now that there's some familiarity with Parkinson, he might get noisy on offense and if he gets comfortable at linebacker - look out.

• Vikings running back Stone Jackson can run and catch out of the backfield. If he becomes a bigger contributor on offense and Valencia wins a league title, he'll get some consideration.

• Canyon's Israel Cabrera is more of a weapon on offense this season. The All-Foothill League defensive back's dual-threat ability makes him a bona fide candidate and the same goes for his brother Liam, who has been impressive on defense and is always impressive on offense.

• The unexpected one in this bunch is Saugus' Williams. The running back was averaging nearly 200 rushing yards per game through the year's first four contests. If Saugus leans on him and it wins the big games, he will deserve major consideration.

Key Games this Season

We mentioned two already - the Valencia-Hart matchup and West Ranch-Golden Valley (at Valencia High), but there are some others.

• Canyon at Hart on October 10. The oldest rivalry in the SCV never disappoints. This was a fun matchup between an angry defense and a high-powered offense.

• Saugus at Valencia on October 17. This is a playoff rematch from last year. Valencia beat Saugus easily in the postseason, but had its hands full with the Centurions in the regular season. Saugus could send shockwaves through the Foothill with a win here.

• Canyon at Saugus on October 24. If these two teams don't factor in the league title race, this game could determine a playoff spot.

• West Ranch at Canyon on November 7. Wait a minute. If West Ranch beats Golden Valley with ease, like it did in the past, this could be a very meaningful game for both teams.
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