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La Mirada football faces another tough opponent to end non-league action

By Loren Kopff

@LorenKopff on Twitter

 

For the La Mirada High football team, it’s been tough sledding through the first five weeks of the regular season, but the program is used to it. Now, the Matadores will be closing out their non-league schedule ahead of their by week by facing the nation’s top high school squad.

Tonight, at the Santa Ana Bowl, La Mirada will face Mater Dei High, which has played just two games this season. Meanwhile, the Matadores enter the contest with a 3-2 mark after losing to Foothill High 34-7 last Friday. The loss ended a three-game winning streak that saw La Mirada shutout Chaffey High 28-0 on the road, knock off St. Margaret’s High 31-21 with a 14-point fourth quarter and edge Millikan High 27-26 on the road after trailing 17-6 at the half.

La Mirada junior quarterback Nehuel Garcia has thrown for 863 yards and nine touchdowns with junior wide receiver Xavier Hicks his favorite target, who has hauled in 33 receptions for 474 yards and caught four touchdowns. Senior tight end Aidan Nasser (12 receptions, 125 yards, one touchdowns) and senior wide receivers Edward Lafferre (seven receptions, 74 yards) and John Ojeisekhoba (nine receptions,122 yards, one touchdowns) are also top targets. Lafferre also leads the team in rushing with 67 yards, 430 yards and three scores.

Mater Dei crushed Duncanville (TX) High 45-3 on Aug. 27 and Liberty (Henderson, NV) High 49-7 on Sept. 10 in the Polynesian Football Classic for its only action this season. The Monarchs were scheduled to begin the season on Aug. 20 against Corona Centennial High and had Mililani (HI) High on the docket. Quarterback Elijah Brown has thrown for 472 yards and five touchdowns with C.J. Williams catching 11 passes for 192 yards and scoring twice. Running back Raleek Brown leads the ground game with 14 carries for 171 yards and five scores. The Mater Dei defense also has recorded seven sacks.

This will be the fifth time since 2015 that the teams have faced each other. On Sept. 11, 2015, Mater Dei freshman signal caller J.T. Daniels threw for 290 yards and all six touchdowns in a 42-7 win. La Mirada would eventually win the CIF-Southern Section Southeast Division that season. Two days short of exactly a year later, Daniels completed 30 of 37 passes for 403 yards and five touchdowns in a 48-0 win and the nest season, Daniels went 13 of 15 for 248 yards and three touchdowns as Mater Dei blanked the Matadores 42-0. The last meeting between the two was on Aug. 31, 2018, and the Monarchs blanked La Mirada 49-0 as Bryce Young went 12 of 15 for 250 yards and four touchdowns. Mater Dei also win the CIF-SS Division 1 championship in 2017 and 2018.

In the only other area football game in Week Five besides John Glenn High and Norwalk High (see game story), Artesia High (0-3) hosted Estancia High (2-2) on Sept. 23. The Pioneers had to cancel their Sept. 16 game with Western High and have not played since Sept. 10 when they were blanked by Marquez High 35-0. Artesia has scored just one touchdown in the three games. Estancia is coming off a 36-16 victory over La Quinta High, which ended a two-game losing streak.

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

Artesia knocked off Whitney High in four sets this past Tuesday for the program’s first win over the Lady Wildcats as members of the 605 League. Artesia, which improved to 5-7 overall and 2-2 in league play, stayed in the thick of the playoff race and will visit Pioneer High today and Glenn on Tuesday while Whitney dropped to 4-15 overall and 1-2 in league play. The Lady Wildcats, who went 2-4 in the Bellflower-Valley Christian Tournament last Friday and Saturday, travel to Oxford Academy today and Pioneer on Tuesday.

Gahr High, which also went 2-4 in the Bellflower-Valley Christian Tournament, went to Warren High on Sept. 23 and will be home to Paramount High on Tuesday and first place Downey High on Thursday. The Lady Gladiators are 6-8 overall and 1-1 in the San Gabriel Valley League.

Glenn (1-9, 0-3) dropped its eighth straight match and was swept by Oxford Academy this past Tuesday as it hosts Cerritos today.

La Mirada had a strong showing in the Bellflower-Valley Christian Tournament, losing its first three pool play games before taking two of its next three matches. Then this past Tuesday, La Mirada knocked off Norwalk High 25-20, 25-20, 24-26, 20-25, 15-13 to improve to 7-15 overall and 2-0 in the Suburban League. They visited Mayfair High on Sept. 23 and will travel to Bellflower High on Tuesday before going to Norwalk on Thursday. Norwalk fell to 5-7, 0-2 as it hosted Bellflower on Sept. 23 and will entertain Mayfair on Tuesday.

Valley Christian High, which took four of six matches in its own co-hosted tournament, swept Heritage Christian High this past Tuesday to improve to 15-9 overall and 2-0 in the Olympic League. The Lady Defenders travelled to first place Village Christian High, ranked sixth in the Division 1/2 CIF-SS poll, on Sept. 23 and will venture to Whittier Christian High and Maranatha High on Tuesday and Thursday respectively.

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