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PREP FOOTBALL: Santee, Jefferson on collision course for Expo League title

If there is a Cinderella team in the area, it might be Santee (7-0) that fits the description. The Falcons travel to Rivera for a 7 p.m. contest on Oct. 20.

Santee, coached by David E. Tejada and John Petty, is led by senior quarterback Brian Escamilla (453 yards passing, seven touchdowns).

Since the school opened in 2005, Santee has often been on the outside looking in when it came to qualifying for the league title and playoffs.

That was one of the common factors for the 70-plus schools that have been built in the Los Angeles Unified School District since 2000 that have eventually fielded football teams. But things have changed at Santee.

Running back Joseph Todd, a junior, is the league’s second-leading ball carrier with 1,079 yards gained, behind West Adams’ Joshua Williams (1,347 yards). Escamilla (890) and Lawrence Mullins (523) help the Falcons fuel a potent ground attack.

When Escamilla goes to the air, his favorite targets are juniors Akili Murry and Andrey Herrera.

Santee’s defense likes to dominate the line, stuff the run and put pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Escamilla rarely leaves the field, contributing three interceptions from the secondary.

Rivera, coached by Raymond Carter, is led by Ajaye Mallory, Raymon Washington, Jason Posadas, Jaymes Faulkner and Matthew DeCoud.

Here are some other selected prep football games involving local teams. All games are scheduled for Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

City Section

Rancho Dominguez (1-6) at Jefferson (5-3)

Jefferson, coached by David Wiltz, might need to have a backup scoreboard handy just in case the old one burns out.

Despite a slow start, the Democrats are scoring in bunches to help build a 4-0 record in the Exposition League.

Jefferson will meet Santee (3-0) on Oct. 27 for what appears to be the Exposition League championship.

Ever since a 63-12 non-league loss to South Gate earlier in the season, Jefferson has scored 64, 40, 55, 48 and 36 during a five-game winning streak.

But for now, Jefferson has business to take care of with Rancho Dominguez. Romeo Doubs is the Democrats’ leader with 1,050 yards and 17 touchdowns.

Jefferson’s high-producing offense also gets lots of contributions from Vel Harvey and Amariya Price.

The Democrats’ defense, led by Bryan Fuentes and Breezian Wilson, has been impressive since the resurgence. Doubs has five interceptions.

Even though its record may look deceiving, Rancho Dominguez quarterback Christopher Ramirez is the Exposition League’s top passer with 674 yards.

South Gate (5-2) at Roosevelt (4-3)

South Gate, coached by Jose Casagran, has virtually come out from the shadows into the spotlight.

The Rams have improved each week since its comeback win over Palisades, South Gate has improved each week on both sides of the ball.

South Gate’s high-performance offense has been buoyed by the leadership of senior quarterback Ernie Arcia (1,830 yards passing, 23 touchdowns, 500 yards rushing).

South Gate’s William Lucas and Carlos Sanchez both make heavy contributions in rushing and receiving. Dondell Findley and Diontai Jenkins also help Arcia stretch out opposing defenses.The Rams’ defense mostly relies on the steady play of Lucio Rodriguez, Mark Banuelos and Sanchez.

Roosevelt, which always seems to be in the thick of the Eastern League championship race in recent years, needs a victory to stay out of the cellar.

Otherwise, the Rough Riders will be looking up at South Gate, Garfield and Huntington Park as they battle for the league crown.

Southern Section

El Segundo (6-1) at Lawndale (7-0)

Lawndale has a chance to seize full control of the Ocean League if it can slow down El Segundo, a perennial contender.

The Cardinals earned a key road victory at Culver City last week, putting themselves in the driver’s seat for now.

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