Bowl games abound for Los Angeles football teams. UCLA is in the Sun Bowl. USC is in the Las Vegas Bowl. Hart is even in a high school bowl game, the CIF South Division II bowl.
While USC and UCLA are capping their seasons with lackluster invitations to minor bowl games, the Hart football team has a chance to make football history in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Only one other team has played in a CIF state bowl game. Canyon beat mighty Concord De La Salle in a CIF bowl game in 2006. Harry Welch coached that team to football glory, then promptly skipped town for greener pastures in Orange County.
Hart has a chance to take the legacy of football in the Santa Clarita Valley to a new level. Now there are two rounds of CIF bowl games. Hart will play for Southern California dominance before having a chance to take a crack at a team from Northern California.
First things first, though. Hart has to get past Chaminade in the South Division II bowl game.
Before breaking down the game between Hart and Chaminade, let’s take a look at the bowl games for USC and UCLA.
USC plays Fresno State in the Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 21. When USC plays Fresno State, it brings up memories of the 1992 Freedom Bowl. Trent Dilfer led the Bulldogs to an upset win over USC in the Freedom Bowl. The Las Vegas Bowl could have similar results.
Fresno State comes into the game as the Mountain West Conference champion, ranked 20th.
The Bulldogs have Derek Carr at quarterback. He only led the nation in passing with 4,866 yards and 48 touchdowns. The Bulldogs are averaging 45.3 points per game.
USC’s last game was a 35-14 loss to UCLA. It cost Ed Orgeron his job as coach of the Trojans. Defensive coordinator Clay Helton will be the USC coach for the Las Vegas Bowl, making him the third coach for the Trojans this season.
The USC players liked playing for Orgeron. Apparently, they just didn’t like playing for him in big games. USC lost only two games under Orgeron, butthey were against the only two teams, UCLA and Notre Dame, that matter for USC fans.
A loss to Fresno State in the Las Vegas Bowl would be a painful end to a tumultuous season for USC.
UCLA at least has a very good chance of winning its bowl game. The Bruins are playing Virginia Tech in the Sun Bowl in Texas on Dec. 31.
UCLA has won four of its past five games. Virginia Tech has lost three of its past five games.
Virginia Tech has trouble scoring points. The Hokies scored a season-high 45 points against Western Carolina in the second week of the season. In four of Virginia Tech’s wins, the Hokies scored less than 20 points. Their biggest win was over Miami, ranked No. 11 in the nation. Their worst loss was against Maryland, 27-24 in overtime.
But one has to wonder if the Sun Bowl is what UCLA fans and players expected. Two glaring losses to Stanford and Oregon brought UCLA fans down to earth.
But losing to Arizona State two weeks ago knocked the Bruins out of the Pac 12 championship game and a chance to play for a Rose Bowl bid.
Still, the Bruins enter the game as the No. 17 team in the nation and can end the season on a winning note.
That leaves the Hart football team. Here’s the skinny on the game between Hart and Chaminade in the South Division II bowl game.
Hart and Chaminade are meeting for the second time this season. Hart beat Chaminade, 55-54 in overtime, in the second week of the season.
Hart earned a spot in the bowl game by winning the CIF Southern Section Northern Division championship over Valencia.
Chaminade is playing in the bowl game after winning the Western Division championship over Serra of Gardena.
Hart and Chaminade were evenly matched in the first meeting. Hart quarterback Brady White needed a record-breaking night to lead the Indians over Chaminade. He tied a school record with seven touchdown passes in the game and threw for nearly 500 yards.
Hart won’t need another record performance out of White to win the game, not with the way running back Connor Wingenroth has been playing. He broke the school record for rushing yards in a game in the first round of playoffs.
He is coming off a 183-yard rushing performance against Valencia in the Northern Division championship game.
But to beat Chaminade again, Hart is going to need strong efforts from both White and Wingenroth.
The winner of the South Division II bowl game will play the winner of the North Division II bowl game between Manteca and Enterprise of Redding.
The CIF State Division II bowl game will be at the StubHub Center in Carson on Dec. 21.
Track – Cross Country
One final note: Samantha Ortega from Saugus is making a little history of her own in cross country.
She was fourth in the Foot Locker West Regional Championships meet at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut and will compete in the Foot Locker National meet this weekend.
Ortega is the fifth runner from the Santa Clarita Valley and the first from Saugus High to reach the Foot Locker Nationals, which is being held in San Diego this year.
She completed the course at Mt. SAC in 19 minutes, 2.4 seconds.
Ortega, a junior at Saugus High, raced in the Nike Cross Nationals in Portland, Ore. last year and finished in 61st place.
Tim Haddock is the sports director for KHTS AM 1220. He writes for the SCV Beacon, the Ventura County Star, the Team USA website and covers auto racing for the K&N website. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @thaddock.