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Red-hot St. Francis High football set for powerhouse Serra

Unbeaten Golden Knights will face top-ranked Cavaliers in key Mission League road contest Friday.

October 30, 2013|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com
  • St. Francis' High football Coach Jim Bonds and his unbeaten Golden Knights head to undefeated Serra on Friday at 7 p.m. in a Mission League showdown. (Tim Berger/File Photo)
St. Francis' High football Coach Jim Bonds and his…

It’s not much of a surprise that the St. Francis High and Gardena Serra football teams find themselves among the elite programs not only in the ultra-competitive Mission League but also in the CIF Southern Section Western Division. Going undefeated in the first eight weeks of the season will certainly merit well-deserved recognition for the Golden Knights and Cavaliers, the defending division and state champions.

Records and weekly polls aside, the Golden Knights and Cavaliers will look to settle matters on the field when the teams lock horns at 7 p.m. Friday at Serra while mostly looking to create separation in the quest for the league championship. The Cavaliers (8-0, 3-0 in league) come in ranked No. 1 in the latest Western Division poll, while the Golden Knights (8-0, 3-0) are ranked third behind league rival Chaminade.

“Things are pretty exciting right now,” said St. Francis Coach Jim Bonds, whose team rolled to a 44-14 home league win against Harvard-Westlake on Friday. “We’ve been able to do a great job at staying focused on each week and now we will look to put in our best effort against Serra.

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“We are going to try to not to look at the Serra players as superhuman guys. They are high school kids. Our players are very good, too, and are not afraid. We have an opportunity here to play against a very good team.”

St. Francis and Serra feature their share of prominent athletes on both sides of the line of scrimmage.

For the Golden Knights, they present the lethal offensive punch of quarterback Ty Gangi and running back Joe Mudie. Gangi has completed 93 of 175 passes for 1,543 yards and 18 touchdowns in eight games. Mudie has rushed for 987 yards in 106 carries and nine touchdowns. He’s also caught four touchdown passes. Wide receiver Dylan Crawford and tight end John Carroll have combined for 13 receiving touchdowns for the Golden Knights.

Across the field, the Cavaliers, who cruised to a 45-14 league home win against Cathedral on Friday, have a propensity for producing quality talent. That’s once again the case this season for Serra, which features Boise State-bound quarterback Jalen Greene and wide receiver Adoree’ Jackson. Greene has completed 82 of 136 passes for 1,575 yards and 21 touchdowns. Jackson has caught 31 passes for 621 yards and five touchdowns.

“They will give Jackson the ball any way they can,” Bonds said. “They have a lot of future Division I players on the field.

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