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    Fryer on Football: Previews and predictions for Week 10’s top games
    • October 25, 2023


    NO. 9 EDISON (6-3, 4-0) VS. NO. 7 LOS ALAMITOS (7-2, 4-0)

    Where, when: Veterans Stadium, Friday, 7 p.m.

    Analysis: Los Alamitos has won the Sunset League championship the past four seasons, and it can make it five years in a row Friday with a win over Edison. Both teams enter the game 4-0 in league. The Griffins have scored more than 60 points in four games this season including in their past three Sunset League wins over Newport Harbor, Corona del Mar and Huntington Beach. Junior running back Anthony League last week rushed for 156 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries in the 63-13 win over Huntington Beach. The player who really makes the Griffins offense go is junior quarterback Alonzo Esparza, who has thrown for 2,090 yards, which are fourth-most in Orange County, and 23 touchdowns. Edison junior running back Julius Gillick is fourth in county rushing with 1,403 yards. This could be a high-scoring game. It is very difficult for any team to keep up with that Los Alamitos offense lately.

    Winner: Los Alamitos

    NO. 16 YORBA LINDA (6-3, 1-1) VS. NO. 21 FOOTHILL (6-3, 2-0)

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

    Analysis: Foothill can win the four-team Crestview League championship outright with a win over Yorba Linda. The Knights contending for the league championship seemed very unlikely when they lost to El Dorado 41-19 on Oct. 5. The Knights first earned this opportunity with a 22-21 upset win over Villa Park and last week’s 55-0 cruise over Brea Olinda. Foothill senior running back Aaron Mitchell is averaging 124 yards rushing a game and 7 yards a carry. Yorba Linda lost to Villa Park last week 34-33, its first league loss since 2018. The Mustangs have won the league championship outright the past four years. A Yorba Linda win and a Villa Park win over Brea Olinda on Friday would leave Foothill, Villa Park and Yorba Linda in a three-way tie for first place. A three-way coin flip to decide the league’s order of playoff representation was completed Monday. This has the makings of a defense-led game. Yorba Linda will be the better team in that category.

    Winner: Yorba Linda

    NO. 24 LA HABRA (5-4, 3-1) VS. SONORA (8-1, 4-0) 

    Where, when: La Habra High, Friday, 7 p.m.

    Analysis: Sonora is one of the larger surprises this season. The Raiders could be a Freeway League champion for the first time since 1994 when they shared the league title with Buena Park, Fullerton and Sunny Hills. Their most recent outright championship was in the Orange League in 1971. Sonora’s offensive leader is junior running back Anthony Abad, who is averaging 123 yards rushing a game and 8 yards a carry. The Raiders last week beat Troy 34-14, two weeks after Troy beat perennial league champ La Habra 27-21. That right there should make one expect Sonora to beat La Habra. Not so fast. After the Troy loss, La Habra stomped Sunny Hills 45-0 and Fullerton 45-7. That is the mark of a team playing with resolve, a team that does not want to be the one that could not continue La Habra’s streak of six straight Freeway League championships.

    Winner: La Habra

    Qurterback Aidan Houston (15) of Cypress scrambles against the defense of El Modena in a football game at Western High School in Anaheim on Thursday, August 31, 2023. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    NO. 18 CYPRESS (6-3, 4-0) VS. NO. 10 TUSTIN (9-0, 4-0)

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

    Analysis: This is for the Empire League championship. Cypress has won the league title outright three of the past four seasons and shared it with Pacifica and Tustin in 2020. The Centurions have won 15 straight league games. Cypress senior quarterback Aidan Houston, a league player of the year in 2022, is having another excellent season. He has thrown for 1,355 yards and nine touchdowns and is the team’s leading rusher at 535 yards and six touchdowns. Tustin is Orange County football’s only undefeated team. Junior running back Eimesse Essis has burst his way to 1,294 yards rushing, while averaging 11 yards a carry. The Tillers defense is fast and physical. Tustin has outscored its four league opponents 159-7, with an average margin of victory of 38 points. This game won’t be that one-sided, but Tustin’s offense and defensive prowess will get the Tillers to 10-0.

    Winner: Tustin

    Santa Ana’s football team, including (from left) Sergio Torres, Troy Alvarez, Charles Hughes and Christian Murrillo, won its Orange Coast League opener over St. Margaret’s on Thursday at Santa Ana Stadium. (Photo by Steve Fryer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    SANTA ANA (7-2, 5-0) VS. ORANGE (5-4, 4-1)

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

    Analysis: Santa Ana defeated St. Margaret’s and looked sharp in doing so, 49-36, on Sept. 14 in the Orange Coast League opener for both. Eight days later Orange lost to St. Margaret’s 28-22. Santa Ana senior running back Charles Hughes has rushed for 1,025 yards and 20 touchdowns in eight games. Senior quarterback Sergio Torres has rushed for seven touchdowns and has completed 92 of 159 passes for 1,527 yards and 17 touchdowns with only two interceptions. Santa Ana freshman defensive lineman Troy Alvarez has team-highs of eight tackles for loss and five sacks. Orange senior running back Ardwon Morris is the county’s leading rusher with 1,786 yards and 24 touchdowns. He will get plenty of yards against the Saints but the Saints will make enough defensive stops and get enough big plays on offense.

    Winner: Santa Ana

    Fryer on Football last week: 3-2

    Season to date: 34-16

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    ​ Orange County Register