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North, Serra, Narbonne pick up key season opening wins

High school football finally arrived to the South Bay and there were several key non-league contests.

Last Thursday at Narbonne High in Harbor City, the Gauchos overcame a slow start to down Bay League power Palos Verdes, 49-28.

Last Friday at North Torrance, the Saxons got two big plays from quarterback Chris Kauea and all-around player Mique Juarez for a 13-10 win over Redondo.

While at it, area and Southern California power Gardena Serra had to overcome a rash of penalties and it prevailed, 24-6, against Lakewood.

With a large majority of its players back from last season, while Redondo lost most of its top players and is starting predominantly underclassmen, it was a very good game.

The Sea Hawks broke a 7-7 tie with 1:26 left in the game on a 29-yard field goal by Dominic Eberle.

On the persuing kickoff, though, it went right into the hands of the talented junior Juarez. He sped 96 yards for the winning touchdown.

Kauea, also an outstanding junior, had a 73-yard TD run that tied the game at seven with approximately 3:30 remaining in the contest.

North's win avenged losses to Redondo in its two previous seasons by scores of 42-35 (2012) and 49-12 (2013).

The Saxons will seek their second straight victory as they host an improved Rolling Hills Estates Peninsula team Friday at 7 p.m.

Things will be expected to be overwhelmingly more difficult for the Sea Hawks who come home against a premiere Upland squad, ranked No. 2 in the CIF-Southern Section West Valley Division (ranked the second strongest division behind the prestigious PAC Five), Friday at 7 p.m.

Upland opened with a 71-0 blowout of Palmdale Knight High in their opener last Friday at Upland.

Serra was able to overcome a slow start to defeat Lakewood. The Cavaliers were down 6-0 after the Lancers scored late in the first quarter as they took a 7-6 lead on a 6-yard touchdown run by quarterback Khilil Tate followed by the point after touchdown.

Serra led 14-6 shortly before halftime on a 3-yard TD run from running back Malik Roberson.

The Cavaliers added a field goal in the third quarter, then their other key quarterback, Caleb Wilson scored on a 17-yard run.

It seemed like a typical first game in a stronger fashion. Both teams combined for 40 penalties totaling 393 yards and a major injury to a Lakewood player that forced it to be stopped for approximately 25 minutes caused it to last more than 3 1/2 hours.

Serra plays in the Honor Bowl against Washington state power Bellevue on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Oceanside High.

The season-opening CIF Intersectional rivalry between CIF-Los Angeles City Section power Narbonne and Palos Verdes proved well, for awhile.

The Sea Kings, who are young but are still expected to contend for their fourth straight Bay League championship and a possible Southern Section Western Division crown, took an early 14-0 lead, before the Gauchos scored 28 unanswered points to grab the lead for good.

Narbonne was led by quarterback Roman Ale who completed 23 of 29 passes for 296 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. Ale also scored on a 48-yard run.

Sean Riley ran for 124 yards and a TD.

Palos Verdes was led by quarterback Stanton Gilbertson who completed seven of 16 passes for 59 yards and one touchdown. He also added a 33-yard TD run.

The Sea Kings host Moorpark Friday at 3 p.m.

Last Week's Results:

Thursday, Aug. 28: Narbonne 49, Palos Verdes 28.

Friday, Aug. 29: North Torrance 13, Redondo 10; Serra 24, Lakewood 6; St. Bernard 33, Mission (British Columbia, Canada) 13; Sherman Oaks Notre Dame 70, Mira Costa 34.

Saturday, Aug. 30: San Pedro 35, Morro Bay 7.

This Week's Games:

Friday, Sept. 5: Inglewood at Laguna Hills, 7 p.m.; Animo South L.A. vs. Morningside at Coleman Stadium, 7 p.m.; Peninsula at North Torrance, 7 p.m.; Upland at Redondo, 7 p.m.; Culver City at West Torrance, 7 p.m.; Leuzinger at El Segundo, 7 p.m.; Lynwood at Hawthorne, 7 p.m.; Lawndale at South Torrance, 7 p.m.; Banning at Torrance, 7 p.m.; Westchester at Bishop Montgomery, 7 p.m.; Mary Star at Aquinas, 7 p.m.; St. Bernard at Lancaster, 7 p.m.; Verbum Dei at Gardena, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 6: Serra vs. Bellevue, WA at Oceanside High (Honor Bowl), 7:30 p.m.

Snyder's South Bay Top 10: 1. Serra (1-0)---The Cavaliers lost eight key players to Major NCAA Division I teams but still have plenty of talent. A more prestigious Mission League and CIF-Southern Section PAC Five Division will challenge Serra..

2. Narbonne (1-0)---The Gauchos should continue to be a top CIF-L.A. City Section power. They already have an impressive 49-28 win over Bay League power Palos Verdes.

3. West Torrance (0-0)---The Warriors appear to be Pioneer League favorites and start this season as the top ranked team in the CIF-Southern Section Western Division. They have two premiere players in Brett Ojiwi and Dale Rouse.

4. El Segundo (0-0)---The Eagles made it to the CIF-Southern Section Northwest Division final last year and enter this season as the No. 2 ranked squad in the Southern Section Western Divison. They have premiere quarterback and all-around athlete Lars Nootbar and Company.

5. Palos Verdes (0-1)---The Sea Kings appear to be rebuilding but they should rebound under the outstanding coaching of Guy Gardner. The Sea Kings will continue to be a top Bay League contender.

6. Mira Costa (0-1)---The Mustangs began this season losing to a prestigious PAC Five team Sherman Oaks Notre Dame. Mira Costa, though, continues to have a lot of talent and will be one of the Bay favorites.

7. Inglewood (0-0)---The Sentinels move into the Bay League and have a very good coach in Jason Miller. Inglewood has a lot of speed that includes four backs who ran the 100-meter dash in under 11 seconds in track and field and a very good size line to aid them. The Sents have several Major College prospects.

8. Carson (0-0)---Carson will continue to be a top contender for the Marine League and CIF-L.A. City Section crown. The Colts continue to have great tradition.

9. San Pedro (1-0)---The Pirates began the season with an impressive 35-7 home win over Morro Bay. Look for San Pedro to be among those fighting for the Marine League crown, as well as going far in the CIF-L.A. City Section Division I playoffs.

10. North Torrance (1-0)---After an off-season, the North Torrance High football team will be back in the picture with nearly all of its players back from last season. The Saxons should give West and others a battle for the Pioneer League crown.

Others to watch: Morningside, Redondo, Banning, South Torrance, Torrance, Peninsula and Culver City.

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