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Byline: GERRY GITTELSON

GITTELSON BITS

If you like great high school running backs, this is a good football week.

Two of the nation's top backs, Darrell Scott of St. Bonaventure of Ventura and Ryan Bass of Corona Centennial, face local opponents Friday, as St.

Bonaventure (2-0) plays host to Canyon (0-1) at Ventura High, and Crespi (2-0) plays host to Centennial (2-0) at Pierce College.

A high-profile transfer, Scott played at Moorpark the previous two seasons and helped the Musketeers to consecutive Northern Division finals. As a junior last season, he rushed for 3,194 yards and scored 46 touchdowns, and some experts consider Scott the nation's most coveted college prospect at any position; USC is among the schools recruiting him the hardest.

Bass is a returning Cal-Hi Sports all-state selection after rushing for 2,351 yards with 36 touchdowns as a junior, and 2,137 yards and 34 touchdowns as a sophomore. He has three official recruiting visits scheduled.

Defending CIF State Div. I Bowl champion Canyon has seen Scott before, twice defeating Moorpark last season, including a 24-22 victory in the Northern Division final.

In a victory last week over Atascadero, Scott rushed for 203 yards and scored three touchdowns - two of 65 yards or longer -- and if anything he appears to be as unstoppable as ever.

"He's big, he's fast, and he's strong," Canyon defensive coordinator John DiLuigi said. "He's everything you want in a running back. But we're not going to do anything different. We'll swarm to the ball, attack him and hit him with as many bodies as we can."

Crespi would love nothing more than to shut down Bass because is being televised on Fox Sports West, and a good performance means good exposure for the school.

"We haven't been on television in a long time," Crespi coach Jeremiah Ross said.

Centennial also features a top quarterback in Matt Smith, but the first mission always is to contain Bass.

"He's the real deal, and we've got to give Bass respect because he's very shifty," Crespi defensive back Austin Shanks said.

Expect a large Oaks Christian contingent at the Canyon-Centennial because the Lions of Westlake Village have a bye before playing St.

Bonaventure the following week. Last year, Oaks Christian defeated St.

Bonaventure in a showdown of national significance, and the Lions and their coach Bill Redell want the Seraphs to remain undefeated because that makes the rematch a spectacle once again.

So Oaks Christian will be rooting for St. Bonaventure.

"Absolutely," Oaks Christian coach Bill Redell said. "That would gave our game a much bigger play. You don't want to see St. Bonaventure lose before they play us."

Speaking of Oaks Christian, Wendell Tyler remains an assistant coach this season even though his son, Marc, graduated to USC. The former NFL running back's main purpose at Oaks Christian is to deliver the pregame motivation speech just before the Lions take the field; he's been doing it last season, and of course Tyler has never lost a game, as Oaks Christian has 48 in a row since 2002.

"Wendell is undefeated - he does a good job," Redell said.

Here's a sight: Canyon"s top offensive lineman A.J. Wallerstein, a 6- foot-4, 275-pounder, drives a 1967 MG sports car, one of the smallest cars on the road.

"Actually, the MG has more leg room than you'd think, but my head sticks out the top, so I always keep the top down," Wallerstein said. "That's no big deal. It's a beautiful car, and it drives pretty well. It's all original, too -- except for the sound system."

Lookalikes: Crespi defensive back Mark Watley and a young Snoop Dogg.

Joey Sandrey, a starting offensive and defensive lineman at Antelope Valley of Lancaster, broke his wrist in the first quarter against Saugus last week but played the whole football game.

"He never complained about it, which is kind of shocking when you think about it," coach Brett Pape said. "He's one tough kid, and nobody can ever second guess his courage."

Sandfrey is doubtful this week against Barstow, but if he somehow can be medically cleared, you can bet he'll be out there.

Two baseball commits: Westlake third baseman Shane Kroker has committed to Wake Forest, and Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks third baseman Trevor Gee is headed to LSU.

In other prep baseball news, Christian Lopes, a heavily hyped freshman at Valencia who is among the nation's top 14-year-olds, is taking a year off from football - he was also a dominant youth-football running back -- to concentrate on baseball, though he hasn't ruled out a return to football.

"Christian is pretty much choosing and focusing on baseball this season because we're doing a lot with that with the junior Olympics and a tournament later this month in Nevada," said his mother, Anjelica.

And finally, Matt Moustakas, the former Chatsworth baseball slugger drafted No. 2 overall by the Kansas City Royals, finished the short minor league rookie season at Idaho Falls with a .293 average and 10 RBIs in 11 games - with no home runs in 41 at-bats.

Moustakas, who signed for $4 million, turned 19 on Tuesday.

gerry.gittelson@dailynews.com

(661) 257-5218

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Photo:

Thousand Oaks Maile Hetherington goes for a spike against Chaminade during Tuesday's nonleague volleyball match. Thousand Oaks won 25-20, 25-18, 25-23 to improve to 2-0.

Gene Blevins/Special to the Daily News
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Sep 12, 2007
Words:900
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