Football: It's all about Alemany's linebackers
Everyone knows Mission Hills Alemany can score lots of points with quarterback Devon Dunn (2,701 yards passing, 23 TDs), receiver Steven Mitchell (60 catches, 1,023 yards, 12 TDs) and tailback De Shone Randall (851 yards, 26 TDs).
But if the Warriors are going to get past Santa Ana Mater Dei on Friday in a Pac-5 Division quarterfinal game at Santa Ana Stadium, it's going to be because the linebackers rise up and exceed expectations.
Ever since Alemany suffered a series of injuries, decimating the linebacker corp, the Warriors' defense has been anything but effective in stopping the run, though there's been improvement the last two weeks against Moorpark and Loyola.
David Stone, a converted defensive end, and David Gomez, a converted defensive tackle, have taken over as inside linebackers. Quentin Tartabull, a junior with 108 tackles, has been a standout at outside linebacker. Combine that inexperience with three sophomore starters on the defensive line and you begin to understand why opponents try to run the ball on the Warriors.
Mater Dei showed it could run the ball against a good defense, doing it against unbeaten Narbonne early in the season.
Friday's game is likely to be televised by Fox Sports West at 7:30 p.m.
-- Eric Sondheimer