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Insider

What to watch this weekend

12/8/2011

Will ASU or UCLA fill coaching vacancies?

We asked this exact question last week. Fast forward seven days and still neither school has named a new head coach. On Wednesday, it looked like a done deal that June Jones was headed to Arizona State. Reportedly, Jones even had his coaching staff pulled off the road and told to pack their bags for Tempe.

However, the deal fell through in the last hour and where the Sun Devils go from here is anybody’s guess.

UCLA, on the other hand, appears close to signing former Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks head coach Jim Mora Jr. The Bruins made a run at Boise State's Chris Petersen and also talked with Miami coach Al Golden, but were rebuffed in both instances.

Kline vs. Houston for NCS Title

Two of the nation’s top quarterbacks, Zach Kline (Danville, Calif./San Ramon Valley) and Bart Houston (Concord, Calif./De La Salle) will go head-to-head on Friday with the North Coast Section title on the line.

The two teams met in the regular season back in October and it was over quick. The Spartans steamrolled their way to an easy 40-3 win and Houston got the better of the matchup completing 8-of-11 passes for 248 yards and four touchdowns. Kline was sacked nine times and the Wolves were held to 155 yards of total offense.

San Ramon Valley hasn’t lost since and Kline rebounded to have a huge senior year, culminating in winning the Gatorade State Player of the Year. The Spartans are still the heavy favorites and gunning for an incredible 20th straight section championship.

Can Westlake knock off Oaks Christian again?

A year ago, Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian beat Westlake Village (Calif.) Westlake in the Northern Division final after losing to the Warriors during the regular season. The Lions are hoping to repeat that same feat this weekend after getting blown out 43-21 by the Warriors in October.

Westlake has had a magical season at 13-0 and a win over the Lions will put them in the Open Division State Championship game where it will likely face Concord (Calif.) De La Salle. Westlake is loaded up front, have a very talented sophomore quarterback in Justin Moore and one of the top juniors in the region in Dashon Hunt.

The Lions will counter with receiver Jordan Payton and defensive back Ishmael Adams, both of whom will visit Cal over the weekend.

Neal set to check out Notre Dame

Davonte Neal (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chaparral) will take his first official visit this weekend to Notre Dame. Neal played things very close to the vest during the season and had a list of about 15 schools that he recently whittled down to about six or seven.

The fact that the Irish are getting Neal’s first official visit is no coincidence. The family is very high on the tradition in South Bend and one key factor they’re looking for is a school with a strong alumni base to help Neal after he hangs up his cleats.

However, don’t look for Neal to make a quick decision because he will most definitely take all five of his official visits before deciding anything. Ohio State, Arkansas, LSU and USC are all on the short list as well but a good visit this weekend could set the bar high for the rest of the schools.

Battle in the trenches for Pac 5 title

The Pac 5 is regarded by most as the toughest division in the state so it’s only appropriate that the championship game will feature arguably the two best offensive lines in the state. San Clemente (Calif.) is led by Kyle Murphy, the No. 3 player in the state and top recruit in Southern California. The Tritons also have talented junior tackle Sean Harlow, son of former USC All-American tackle Pat Harlow.

Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) Santa Margarita is led by USC commit Max Tuerk, the No. 6 player in the state. Tuerk had as dominant a game as you’ll see at the high school level in the Eagles semifinal win over a very tough Mission Viejo squad. The Eagles line averages over 300 pounds and junior guard Riley Sorenson will be a national recruit next fall.