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    Fryer on Football: Previews and predictions for Week 8’s other top games
    • October 11, 2023

    Mater Dei vs. St. John Bosco is the top game in Week 8 of the football season. Steve Fryer will have a separate preview and prediction for that game.

    Here are Fryer’s previews and predictions for the other top games this week:

    NO. 8 SAN CLEMENTE (6-1) VS. NO. 3 MISSION VIEJO (5-2)

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

    Analysis: This major matchup is a South Coast League opener. San Clemente looks to have its best team in a few years. The offensive line that includes Connor Bachhuber and Ben Baker helps quick-footed running back Aiden Rubin lead the county in rushing with 1,175 yards, with an average of 168 yards a game. Mission Viejo’s excellent defense includes junior defensive lineman Jaden Williams, who has team highs of 59 tackles and 15 tackles for loss. Mission Viejo has defeated San Clemente the past two seasons, beating the Tritons 45-0 in 2021 and 49-14 last year. That could create a psychological advantage for Mission Viejo.

    Winner: Mission Viejo

    NO. 6 SANTA MARGARITA (4-3, 0-2) VS. NO. 2 JSERRA (4-3, 1-1)

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

    Analysis: Santa Margarita lost its league opener to St. John Bosco 42-7 then lost to Orange Lutheran 28-21 last week. JSerra beat Orange Lutheran both 24-14 before a one-sided loss to powerful Mater Dei last week 42-0. JSerra junior quarterback Michael Tollefson rushed for 120 yards and two touchdowns in the win over Orange Lutheran. Lions safety Jared Referente had eight solo tackles against Orange Lutheran. Santa Margarita’s offense is good and getting better. JSerra’s defense, though, will be the difference.

    Winner: JSerra

    Running back Steve Chavez eludes the JSerra High defense in the game between Orange Lutheran vs. JSerra in a Trinity League football game at JSerra in San Juan Capistrano, on Friday, September 29, 2023.. (Photo by Michael Kitada, Contributing Photographer)

    NO. 4 ORANGE LUTHERAN (4-3, 1-1) VS. NO. 5 SERVITE (4-3, 0-2)

    Where, when: Cerritos College, Friday, 7 p.m.

    Analysis: Orange Lutheran is better when ace  quarterback TJ Lateef is healthy, and Lateef is getting there after injuries limited his playing time and effectiveness in a few games. In last week’s 28-21 win over Santa Margarita he completed 22 of 30 passes for 288 yards and two touchdowns. Steve Chavez rushed for 120 yards against the Eagles. Servite is much improved after its 1-9 record in 2022. Servite’s famous spirit still will be intact, even after the back-to-back losses. But Orange Lutheran has the talent edge.

    Winner: Orange Lutheran

    NO. 13 NEWPORT HARBOR (3-4, 1-1) VS. NO. 12 EDISON (4-3, 2-0)

    Where, when: Huntington Beach High, Thursday, 7 p.m.

    Analysis: Newport Harbor won its Sunset League opener over Huntington Beach 59-21. Last week the Sailors were trounced by Los Alamitos 62-14. Los Alamitos has the ability to do that against good teams. Newport Harbor is a good team that has nonleague wins over Tesoro and La Habra. The way to recover from a one-sided loss is victory. That’s a difficult task this week, with the Sailors’ opponent being Edison. Edison’s offense for most of the program’s great history has emphasized the pass. This season that emphasis is on the run, led by junior Julius Gillick who is fourth in Orange County rushing with 1,039 yards. Edison’s defense and running game add up to an Edison win.

    Winner: Edison

    Tesoro quarterback Cash O’Byrne throws the ball during a nonleague game against Trabuco Hills on Friday, October 6, 2023. (Photo by Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

    NO. 17 CAPISTRANO VALLEY (7-0) VS. NO. 15 TESORO (4-3)

    Where, when: Capistrano Valley High, Friday, 7 p.m.

    Analysis: Tesoro has played very well in its past two games, a 27-24 loss to undefeated San Juan Hills two weeks ago and last week’s 42-14 win over Trabuco Hills. Senior running back Travis Wood rushed for 146 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries. Junior quarterback Cash O’Byrne coolly completed 16 of 22 passes for 243 yards and two touchdowns. The Titans’ Dalton Hurd-led defense held Trabuco Hills to 50 yards rushing on 22 attempts. Capistrano Valley junior quarterback Tommy Acosta averages 146 yards passing and 104 yards rushing a game. Cougars junior receiver Hudson Campbell has 18 receptions for 240 yards and six touchdowns. Tesoro, which has not lost to Capistrano Valley since 2006, has a defense that can limit Acosta’s effectiveness and get the Titans the win in this South Coast League opener.

    Winner: Tesoro

    Fryer on Football last week: 3-2

    Season to date: 28-12

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    ​ Orange County Register