Game of the Week

Sylmar gets another chance to get its football season off to a spectacular or sobering start with a rematch against the Crespi Celts.

The Spartans opened their 2014 season against Crespi at Crespi, and were blanked 34-0. But they went on to finish with an 11-3 record, win the Valley Mission League, and reached the City Section Division II championship game against Hamilton of Los Angeles. Crespi, meanwhile, went 9-2 and finished in a three-way tie for the Mission League title, but exited the Southern Section Pac-5 playoffs in the first round, losing to Long Beach Poly.

Sylmar moves up to Division I in 2015 and — even though it’s a first game — is eager to prove itself against the kind of team, i.e. Narbonne or Crenshaw, it would have to beat to win the City title.

The Spartans return their top skill players in quarterback Clarence Williams Jr., and running back Marcus Gandy, and have a good enough schedule to warrant a high playoff seed  if it can win nine or 10 regular season games.

The Celts are talented again, led by running back Jalen Starks (who ran for 897 yards and 11 touchdowns as a junior) and defensive linemen Marcus Moore. Both have given verbal commitments to accept scholarships from UCLA

The kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Sylmar High.

Other games include:

Nonleague

Thursday, Aug. 27

Grant at Van Nuys

Friday, Aug. 28

Arleta at Eagle Rock

Bernstein at Chavez

Cleveland at San Fernando

Contreras at Kennedy

Crescenta Valley at Verdugo Hills

El Camino Real at La Salle

Garfield at Alemany

Granada Hills at Venice

Franklin at North Hollywood

Heritage Christian at Ontario Christian

Loyola at Harvard-Westlake

Mountain View (Las Vegas) Christian vs. Village Christian, Occidental College

Newbury Park at Birmingham

Notre Dame at Oaks Christian

Palisades vs. Sierra Canyon, Granada Hills High

Panorama at Dymally

Poly at St. Genevieve

Reseda at Monroe

St. Bonaventure at Chaminade

Taft at Canoga Park

Viewpoint at Chatsworth

All games start at 7 p.m. unless otherwise indicated.

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