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Football

Friday Night Lights: Week 4

A preview of this weekend's prep football games

Home at last.

The routine will be different for Santa Barbara High's football team on Friday.

For starters, the Dons won't have to get on a bus. They'll get to wear the home jerseys and they'll have a big crowd rooting for them.

Santa Barbara plays its first game at venerable Peabody Stadium, taking on Royal of Simi Valley at 7 p.m.  It's the first of three home dates that were originally scheduled at other venues in the community because the stadium reconstruction project was supposed to be under way. Delays allowed school officials to switch alternate-site home games back to Peabody.

The Dons sure need a break. They've been hit hard with injuries during the non-league schedule. After losing 64-0 at undefeated and highly ranked Lompoc last week 1-3, playing against a winless Royal team on the home turf should boost their spirits.

In other action Friday, Dos Pueblos is home for the third straight, taking on winless San Luis Obispo; San Marcos makes its second straight trip to south Oxnard, traveling to Channel Islands; Carpinteria hosts former Tri-Valley League foe Oak Park, and Laguna Blanca plays Fulton Prep in an 8-man game in Hope Ranch at 4 p.m.

On Saturday, Bishop Diego plays San Diego Section small-schools power Sante Fe Christian of Solana Beach at La Playa Stadium at 7:30 p.m., and Cate hosts Frazier Mountain in an 8-man clash at 2:30 p.m.

Royal (0-4) at Santa Barbara (1-3), 7 p.m. — The Dons hope to open up the offense against a Royal team that's allowed 109 points. The Highlanders lost to Channel Islands, 15-13, last week. Santa Barbara's lone win came against CI two weeks ago, 13-10. The Pick: Santa Barbara.

San Luis Obispo (0-4) at Dos Pueblos (3-1, No. 3 in Division 10), 7 p.m. — DP is honoring its 2001 team that reached the CIF finals. The Chargers lost to San Luis Obispo that year. This year's team should have its way against a Tigers squad that is still working things out. DP's defense has two shutouts and is coming off its best performance of the young season. It allowed Camarillo only 21 net yards rushing last week in a 23-14 win. End Marcellous Gossett has been a terror to opposing quarterbacks. He had four sacks and four quarterback hurries last week. The Pick: Dos Pueblos.

Oak Park (3-1) at Carpinteria (1-2), 7:30 p.m. — Carpinteria will need to be sharp defending the pass as Oak Park quarterback Vincenzo Granatelli has put up some big numbers in the first four games. He's thrown for 812 yards and 14 touchdowns, and the Eagles have scored 172 points. Their only loss came against El Segundo, the No. 1 team in Division 7. The Warriors scored their first points of the season in last week's 10-7 win over Nordhoff. The Pick: Oak Park

San Marcos (0-4) at Channel Islands (3-1), 7 p.m. — The Royals take on a physical Channel Islands team that rebounded from its loss against Santa Barbara by beating Royal, 15-13. San Marcos had some bright spots in the first half of its 39-20 loss at Hueneme. It needs to put four quarters together to give itself a chance to win. The Pick: Channel Islands.

Saturday

Santa Fe Christian (2-1) at Bishop Diego (3-1, No. 6 in Division 5), at SBCC, 7:30 p.m. — The Cardinals experienced some breakdowns on offense in a tight game last week against St. Joseph and suffered a 21-17 loss. This game figures to be similar in competitiveness. Santa Fe Christian is a fundamentally sound team. The Eagles have a beast of a running back in 6-foot-5, 235-pound Demitri Washington. He'll be facing a Bishop defense that has been solid in the first four games. The question for Bishop is:  Did the offense learn from its mistakes last week? The Pick: Bishop Diego.

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