Two days before the biggest game of the year for Oaks Christian, coach Bill Redell is still evaluating who he will start at quarterback against St. Bonaventure on Friday night.
St. Bonaventure (2-0) comes in as the No. 5-ranked team in the ESPN Los Angeles prep football rankings with an impressive win over Corona Centennial to open the season.
Oaks Christian (1-1) is the No. 8 team according to ESPNLA and the reigning CIF Southern Section Northern Division champion. The winner of this game will have the early edge for the Marmonte League title.
Luke Falk started the season opener for Oaks Christian against Bellevue (Wash.) and passed for 235 yards and a touchdown in a 31-21 loss.
Oaks Christian sophomore Brandon Dawkins played well against Agoura, going 6-for-6 passing for 121 yards and three touchdowns, in a 50-11 blowout in the league opener last week.
Falk started the game against Agoura but was replaced by Dawkins in the first quarter. Dawkins engineered four touchdown drives in a row to give the Lions a 29-3 lead in the second quarter.
“Both are very talented,” Redell said. “It’s a tough decision.”
St. Bonaventure coach Todd Therrien, meanwhile, is using last year’s 33-32 overtime loss to Oaks Christian as motivation to prepare his team for Friday night’s game.
St. Bonaventure had a 19-0 lead in the third quarter before Oaks Christian rallied back and scored two touchdowns in the final 1:30 to tie the game and send it into overtime.
“We made a crazy amount of mistakes,” Therrien said. “When you get someone down, you need to step on their throat and pull their heart out. We didn’t do that last year.”
Redell said of all the games he has won over the years, last year’s win over St. Bonaventure is one that his team didn’t deserve.
“(St. Bonaventure) gave it away,” Redell said. “They dropped three or four interceptions. They should’ve won the football game. I told Todd after the game that I should have lost. I’m sure Todd is using that as motivation. I’m using it.”
The game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. at Oaks Christian High School.
Here’s a look at some of the other top games in the LA North:
No. 7 Crespi (3-0) at Palisades (0-2), Friday (7 p.m.) – Crespi rolled over Clovis West, 42-28, behind five touchdown passes from quarterback Cody Cordell. Palisades is coming off a 33-15 loss to Santa Monica and gave up 476 yards of total offense to the Vikings.
No. 10 Alemany (2-1) at No. 18 Chaminade (2-0), Friday (7:30 p.m.) – Chaminade is playing Alemany at either the very best time or the very worst time. Alemany is coming off a stunning, 36-35, loss to J.W. North. Chaminade rallied in the second half to beat Valencia, 14-10, last week. Chaminade has a struggling offense that passed for only 18 yards against Valencia and is going up against an Alemany team with something to prove.
No. 13 Westlake (2-0) at Thousand Oaks (2-0), Friday (7 p.m.) – Westlake gets its first test in the Marmonte League. The Warriors shut out Calabasas, 63-0, to open league play. Thousand Oaks needed a last-second field goal to beat Moorpark, 27-24.
No. 21 Canyon (2-0) vs. Camarillo (1-1), Friday (7:30 p.m.) – Canyon crushed Knight, 56-7, behind big games from quarterback Jonathan Jerozal and receiver Drew Wolitarsky. Camarillo beat Buena to open the season, but the Scorpions are coming off a 35-21 loss on the road to Righetti.
No. 22 Sherman Oaks Notre Dame (3-0) at Birmingham (3-0), Friday (7:30 p.m.) – Notre Dame shut out Woodland Hills Taft, 35-0, last week. The Knights play another top City Section team in Birmingham. The Patriots have shut out their last two opponents and are coming off a 56-0 win over Grant.
Woodland Hills Taft (0-2) at Alta of Sandy, Utah (4-1), Saturday (7 p.m.) – Taft is in search of it first win of the season and travels to Utah to try and find it. Alta has a three-game winning streak including a 45-14 win over Crenshaw in the Mission Viejo Football Classic.