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Five things to watch this weekend

11/10/2011

Trinity League title on the line

This is the game everyone has been waiting for all year. Anaheim (Calif.) Servite, ranked No. 22 nationally in the Fab 50 takes on Santa Margarita (Calif.), ranked No. 20 in the state with the Trinity League title on the line.

These two teams are considered the two most physical teams in the state and both are very similar in a lot of ways. Both teams love to pound the rock and feature big, physical offensive lines and tough, active defenses. The Friars have already clinched a share of the league title, their fifth in a row and a win would give them the top overall seed in the Pac 5 playoffs.

The Eagles have just one loss, a shocking upset to Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei but have bounced back nicely and had an impressive win over a very good Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco team last week.

Oregon vs. Stanford

We’ll talk more about the recruiting implications of this game in the West notebook later in the week, but this is easily the biggest game in the Pac-12 this year. These are two top 10 programs with national title implications on the line.

When you look at these two programs, you couldn’t find two schools more opposite of each other. While the Ducks are flash and dash, in both playing style and in how they recruit and top-of-the-line facilities, the Cardinal are smash mouth, old school and sell academics more than their football program.

As a result, these two programs rarely go head to head for the same players. Only six players on the Ducks entire roster were offered by the Cardinal and just three starters, including safety John Boyett, tight end David Paulsen and offensive lineman Carson York.

Can USC get back in it with Armstead

Former USC commit Arik Armstead (Elk Grove, Calif./Pleasant Grove) will be at the Coliseum this weekend to watch the Trojans take on the Washington Huskies. Armstead decommitted from SC over a month ago and many felt the big lineman would be going his separate way but the Trojans have continued to recruit the athlete.

Armstead has taken official visits to Notre Dame and Alabama and has scheduled trips to Oregon and Auburn for later this month. He’s not planning to officially visit USC and although there’s a chance he could take another unofficial visit later in the year, this could be the Trojans last crack. The Armstead family has consistently said they plan to take all their visits and then sit down and evaluate what the best option would be. A good impression this weekend could put USC right back in the mix.

Westlake (Calif.) vs. Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure

Westlake is 9-0, and ranked No. 28 nationally in the Fab 50 and No. 3 in the state. St. Bonaventure is 8-1 and ranked No. 11 in the state. Last year, these two teams tied for the Marmonte League title but the Warriors are absolutely rolling and don’t appear to have a weakness on either side of the ball.

The Seraphs' lone loss this year was to a talented Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian squad and they’re the only team that has beaten Corona (Calif.) Centennial. They also knocked off Westlake and Long Beach Poly (Calif.) last season and are used to playing in and winning big games.

The Warriors are led on defense by a trio of BCS prospects in defensive linemen Justin Solis and Johnny Stuart and cornerback Dashon Hunt. The Seraphs have one of the state’s best 1-2 punches at running back in Shaun Wick and Zachary Green.

English to check out the Cougars

Offensive lineman Corey English (Auburn, Wash.) is expected to officially visit Washington State this weekend and a decision could be coming in the next couple of weeks. English has already visited Oregon State and Washington and the three Pac-12 schools make up his top three at the moment.

English, a three-star prospect and the No. 13 rated player in the state is a true center prospect and one of the best in the region. The Huskies were believed to be his early favorite and some felt he could commit over the summer. The lineman decided to play out the process and now appears generally open too his three finalists. The weekend to Pullman will be the final visit for English and a decision could be close.