Eric Lo likes the direction his Huntington Beach Oilers are heading.
Since opening the prep football season Sept. 10 with a loss to Corona del Mar, the Oilers have been impressive in their past two outings. First, they held down former Sea View League nemesis Foothill. Last week, they smothered an Aliso Viejo offense that possesses one of the top passing games in Orange County.
With consecutive wins in the books, Lo is looking for his Oilers to continue that trend Friday when it hosts Westminster at 7 p.m. at Sheue Field.
It's the Oilers' homecoming game.
"I think we are playing really well right now," he said. "Our effort has been great on both sides of the ball. The kids have really focused on their assignments and it's paying dividends. I hope we can continue to play that way this week against Westminster."
Huntington is coming off a 44-3 pasting of Aliso Viejo. The Wolverines had been potent through the air in their three previous games and came into the Sept. 23 game averaging 43 points. But the Oilers shut down the spread and came up with four interceptions. Chris Ogilvie and Zach Hadlock each had two picks, Ogilvie returning one 45 yards and Hadlock racing 94 yards with another.
In addition, Luke Holler had a short "scoop and score" fumble return for the Oilers' final touchdown that pushed the lead to 44-0.
Aliso Viejo avoided a shutout with a field goal in the fourth quarter.
Huntington's defense has given up just two touchdowns and 25 points overall.
"Defensively, we have been playing very well," Lo said. "Everyone did a great job against Aliso and we held down a team that had been averaging a lot of points and had been getting a lot of yards."
Huntington's offense also came up big, especially the running game. The Oilers racked up 362 yards on the ground, led by junior running back Fisher Chavira, who ran for 150 on 15 carries, getting 72 of them on a touchdown run. Quarterback Michael Chislock rushed for 96 yards and scored three times, including on a 49-yard run. Nolan Biegel got 59 yards and scored on a 15-yard run.
Max Talbert kicked a field goal and was five-for-five on point-after kicks.
Chavira, who had been a running back for Huntington's junior varsity team, was subbing for injured starting running back Austin Simpkins.
"Fisher had a great game and really filled a void for us," Lo said. "I thought our offensive line played extremely well and our offensive line did a great jog of pushing through."
Westminster is still seeking its first win in 2010. One of the Lions' three losses was a 28-26 setback two weeks ago to Marina. They aren't lacking for scoring, either, averaging 22 points in those three losses. But they've given up an average of 40 points a game.
"They might be struggling a little bit, but one thing about them is that they're a tough team," Lo said. "They've lost tough games to Garden Grove and Anaheim and played pretty well against Marina and nearly came back to win that game. It's going to be a tough fight."
In other games:
Fountain Valley (2-2) vs. Scripps Ranch (2-1), 6:30 p.m. Friday at Scripps Ranch High: Fountain Valley, coming off a blowout victory, will be out to move above .500 for the first time this year when the Barons travel to San Diego to face Scripps Ranch.
Fountain Valley won its second straight game last week by running roughshod over Long Beach Millikan, winning, 56-7. The Barons rushed for 417 yards, getting 136 yards and two touchdowns from running back Montana Merhoff, 116 yards and two more scores from quarterback Josiah Fernandez and Cristian Calvillo ran for a pair of touchdowns. Defensively, the Barons harassed the Rams and came up with two interceptions and a fumble recovery.
The Barons square off against a Scripps Ranch team that started the season 2-0 but suffered its first setback last week in a 21-14 loss to Point Loma. All three of the Falcons' games have been decided by a touchdown or less.
In the first five weeks of its season, Fountain Valley has traveled to play games in Nevada, San Clemente and San Diego.
Saddleback (1-2) vs. Ocean View (3-1), 7 p.m. Friday at Westminster High: Ocean View goes for its fourth straight win against former Golden West League rival Saddleback.
Last week, the Seahawks earned victory No. 3 by pulling away in the second half to down Costa Mesa, 36-16. Running back Timmy Robinson again had a big outing by rushing for 143 yards and three touchdowns. But the game took a backseat early in the third quarter when sophomore linebacker Garrett Hoffman was injured on the first play of the second half.
Hoffman momentarily couldn't move the left side of his body and was eventually taken off the field by paramedics, then transported to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana where he was released over the weekend, Ocean View Athletic Director Tim Walsh said Wednesday.
Walsh said that doctors diagnosed Hoffman as having bone chips in his neck, a broken neck, adding that doctors are confident that the injury will heal on its own without Hoffman having to undergo surgery.
"He's walking around and doing better," Walsh said. "He's not at school this week, though. The prognosis is good and he'll be returning to school and his teammates in a couple of weeks."
Saddleback has dropped consecutive games, including a 49-14 loss Sept. 23 to Santa Ana Valley, the top-ranked team in the Southern Division. The Roadrunners, who have struggled to score in three games, are led by running back Luis Soto, who comes in averaging a little more than 100 yards a game.
Marina (2-1) vs. Aliso Viejo (2-2), 7 p.m. Friday at Aliso Viejo High: Marina went to Downey last week to upend Warren and now goes deep into south Orange County to try to do the same to Aliso Viejo.
The Vikings ran their winning streak to two last week by rallying in the second half to force overtime and score an eventual, 20-14 double overtime win against Warren. Running back Alex Waked rushed for the winning touchdown in overtime and finished with 121 yards. Quarterback Nick Marshall, who threw for 183 yards, connected with Brayde Hill on a 78-yard scoring play in the third quarter to tie the score at 7.
Aliso Viejo has one of the county's top passers in Andrew Ossola, who has thrown for more than 1,000 yards, and one of the top receivers in Andrew Dimond, who has 636 yards and five touchdown receptions in four games. The Wolverines last week fell 44-3 to Huntington Beach.
Mater Dei (1-2) vs. Edison (3-1), 7 p.m. Friday at Orange Coast College: Edison concludes its nonleague schedule against a Mater Dei team that was a preseason No. 2 in the Pac-5 Division but just that last week picked up its first win.
The Monarchs started the season 0-2 after losses to Carson and Centennial Corona, but rallied to smash previously undefeated San Clemente, 42-14. Quarterback Max Wittek threw for 314 yards and four touchdowns, with two scores going to Victor Blackwell.
"They definitely got back to Mater Dei," Edison Coach Dave White said. "They totally dominated that game. They have a quarterback (Wittek) and receiver (Blackwell) as good as anybody and those two were just dynamite in the San Clemente game."
Edison suffered its first loss last week, falling, 16-9, to No. 2 Servite. Gavin Perdomo kicked a 43-yard field goal and Kyle Finney scored on a fumble recovery in the end zone for the Chargers. Quarterback Chase Favreau left the game in the third quarter with an ankle injury.
White said Wednesday that Favreau suffered a strained a tendon and although not at 100%, will play Friday.
Brethren Christian (2-2) vs. St. Anthony (2-2), 7 p.m. today at Clark Field, Long Beach: Brethren Christian is coming off a 27-14 victory against Saddleback Valley Christian, a game in which Brandon White rushed for 84 yards and scored three touchdowns and Bob Frisch rushed for another. St. Anthony had a modest two-game winning streak snapped last week in a 30-6 loss to Montclair Prep.