The Valley Gems: Week One Edition

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The City Section offers some intriguing matchups that could go a long way in showing the true  trajectory of teams with high expectations this season. A matchup between two under-the-radar programs goes down in San Fernando tonight, while a clash between two tough-minded programs looking to move to 2-0 happens in Chatsworth. Granada Hills tests the mettle against one of the young promising gunslingers from the Southern Section, while the spotlight game features the top dogs in the City Section heading to Sherman Oaks looking to make a statement against a Mission League heavyweight. Here is our list of the best storylines to watch in the San Fernando Valley for Week one:

Fairfax Lions (1-0) vs. Sylmar Spartans (1-0) – at Sylmar High School, 7 pm

The Spartans ventured outside of the Valley to post an impressive 40-14 victory at Huntington Park in week zero. Now they face a tough challenge against a top-25 ranked Fairfax in their home opener. The McDonald to Mims combination looked unstoppable against Huntington Park, but they will be up against a defense that pitched a shutout at home against Reseda last week. The Spartans will have to gameplan to keep senior linebacker Israel Butler from wrecking the game. Butler led the Lions in week zero with 10 tackles. If the Spartans can pull out the win, they should jump into the top 25 next week.

Arleta Mustangs (1-0) vs. Chatsworth Chancellors (1-0) – at Chatsworth High School, 7 pm

The Mustangs and the Chancellors had dominant outings in Week Zero, and now they clash in Chatsworth in a game that has fist fight written all over it. The story to this one is simple: Can the Mustangs find a way to slow down Chatsworth’s dynamic running back Isiah Rameau, who put up north of 200 yards on the ground against the reigning East Valley Champs Monroe last week? If they can, the Mustangs can escape with a win and even more confidence that they may be the team to beat in the East Valley.

Chavez Eagles (1-0) vs. San Fernando Tigers (1-0) - at San Fernando High School, 7:30 pm

An intriguing game takes place in San Fernando when the Eagles hit the road to visit the Tigers. San Fernando’s offense looked great on the road at Grant in Week Zero, putting up 45 points. Senior quarterback Adrian Anguiano had a field day against the young Lancers' defense, completing 85% of his passes to the tune of 350 yards. The senior wideout tandem of Angel Frausto and Andrew Munoz were the biggest recipients of Anguiano’s hot night, combining for 11 catches and 201 yards. The Eagles showed that they are a team on the rise with a 50-point blowout against View Park. If the veteran Tigers repeat the performance against another tough East Valley squad, it could bode well for their chances in the Valley mission this year.

Village Christian Crusaders (1-0) vs. Granada Hills Highlanders (1-0) – at Granada Hills High School, 7 pm

Make no mistake about it; the Granada Hills Highlanders intend to be an Open Division squad when the postseason comes around, and they have the schedule to back it up. The Highlanders went on the road in Week Zero to Franklin and came away with a tie. This week they will attempt to put win number one in their back pocket, but it won't be easy against the Crusaders. Sophomore quarterback Chase Everett has talent that belies his age, and his five touchdown tosses in Week Zero against Cantwell-Sacred Heart are further evidence of this. The best remedy to beat him is to keep him on the sideline. If there is any team in the City Section capable of controlling the tempo of the game, it is the Highlanders. This promises to be one of the more entertaining games in the valley this weekend.


VST Game of the Week

Birmingham Patriots (1-0) vs. Notre Dame (SO) Knights (1-0) – at Notre Dame High School, 7 pm

The number one team in the City Section kicked the season off with a bang, heading up to Royal High School and putting on a 60-0 clinic. The competition takes a huge leap forward when they head to Sherman Oaks to face the Knights this week. If you like quarterback duels, this is the game for you. Birmingham’s Kingston Tisdell and Notre Dame’s Steele Pizzella are both exciting players with the ability to carve up a defense. Expect a lot of points to be scored with the talent that both teams possess. If the Patriots can win this game on the road, it may spell trouble for any other teams that think they can challenge them in the city.

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