Southland public high school football teams staying relevant

A public school is unlikely to upend the stranglehold that Santa Ana Mater Dei (3-0) and Bellflower St. John Bosco (2-0) currently hold atop Southern Section high school football, but that doesn’t mean public school teams aren’t finding ways to stay relevant.

Long Beach Poly (3-0) is showing signs of a resurgence with wins over Gardena Serra and Mission Viejo the last two weeks.

Huntington Beach Edison (3-0), which has never feared playing Trinity League teams, knocked off Orange Lutheran 34-13 on Friday night behind Carter Hogue, who scored two touchdowns, rushed for 138 yards and had an interception.

Inglewood (3-0) could be headed to a 10-0 regular season after beating one of the top teams from San Diego County, Carlsbad, 35-18. The Sentinels earlier held off Ventura St. Bonaventure 41-34.

Pasadena (2-1) rallied for a 22-21 win over La Verne Damien. San Diego State commit Baylin Brooks had an interception and touchdown.

Long Beach Millikan (2-1) received 454 yards passing and three touchdowns from Myles Jackson in a 54-28 win over La Cañada St. Francis.

Compton Dominguez (1-1) defeated Long Beach St. Anthony 28-15. Grant Beck scored two touchdowns.

Agoura copes

It was more than a game Friday night at Agoura. The Chargers and their opponent, Ojai Nordhoff, paid tribute to Carter Stone, a 15-year-old Agoura freshman football player who died Aug. 25 after complications involving arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder. It was discovered he had a tumor on his heart from T-cell leukemia.

The Agoura student section wore blue T-shirts that said “Be like Carter” and were chanting his name. Players wore his No. 76 on their helmet. There was a moment of silence before the game that Agoura won 33-3. Stone’s parents attended the game.

“It was an amazing experience,” Agoura coach Dustin Croick said of the community support. “It was more than a football game. You could feel it.”

Wild game in desert

If you like lots of touchdowns and drama, Apple Valley’s 56-51 win over Murrieta Valley had plenty. Apple Valley rallied from a 31-14 halftime deficit behind Dustin Reynolds, who returned an interception for a touchdown and scored a touchdown on a 30-yard run in the fourth quarter. Stanford-bound Tiger Bachmeier of Murrieta Valley returned a kickoff for a touchdown and made 11 receptions for 182 yards and two touchdowns.

Rising in Downey

If you want to know a program on the rise, look out for unbeaten St. Pius X-St. Matthias in Downey. Devah Thomas, a 34-year-old second-year head coach, has his team at 3-0 after a 42-13 win over Santa Fe Springs St. Paul. Linebacker D’Angelo Davis, who played last season at Gardena Serra, had three sacks.

Bragging rights

Thousand Oaks and Westlake are in the same league except for football, so their nonleague game is still a rivalry game. Thousand Oaks won 32-22 to improve to 2-0. Running back-linebacker Chase Martin rushed for more than 100 yards.

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