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:
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.