WEST VALLEY DIVISION
Mission Viejo (12-0) at Chino Hills (10-2), 7:30 p.m.:
The top-seeded Diablos advanced with a 42-21 win over Murrieta Valley and have had just one game this season decided by single digits. They are the defending CIF champion and have won 24 straight games dating to back-to-back losses to start the 2014 season. The brother tandem of Colin and Brenden Schooler were key last week and are being relied upon more as season progresses. They are transfers from Trabuco Hills, which won Southwest last year. The Huskies don’t have a lot of big name Division I talent but used a solid defense and a workmanlike offense to unseat perennial Baseline League champion Upland. The Huskies rely on the ground game led by Grady O’Donnell and Curtis Price while DE William Hackenberg and LB Anthony Rosales have been the catalysts on defense. The Chino Hills losses were to quality foes in Bishop Amat and JSerra.
Vista Murrieta (11-1) vs. Rancho Cucamonga (9-3), at Los Osos HS, 7 p.m.:
The Broncos are coming off a 21-14 win over Upland while Rancho is coming off a 53-28 thrashing of Tesoro. Vista Murrieta has reached the semifinals for the seventh straight year while Rancho has done so for the sixth time in the last eight years. The Broncos are directed by junior QB Karson Greeley and rely on a punishing ground game. One of the main contributors there is Cole Dubots, whose 93-yard TD run was the difference last week. Senior S Tanner Williams and senior DB Dwayne Johnson are the leading tacklers. Senior Aaron Manning has been the most versatile standout for the Cougars, with junior Jaylon Redd a major contributor on both sides of the ball for the Cougars. Coach Nick Baiz also singles out the play of MLB Cameron Smith, DB Darriel Busby and OL Nathan Thomas Thomas
San Dimas (9-3) vs. Calabasas Viewpoint (7-5), at Agoura HS, 7 p.m.:
The Saints have win five straight games since a loss to Northview that cost them a Valle Vista League title. Coach Mark Holman said two first-quarter turnovers were pivotal in that game and the Saints have done a good job of taking care of the ball and regrouping since then, Junior Jarell Sykes has been a major force both offensive and defensively and on special teams. The coach also singles out LB Steven Ojeda, LB Joey Erickson and Mbanefo Akpom. Viewpoint seems to be putting it together as the right time. It was second in a three-team league and was just 5-5 in the regular season. Viewpoint advanced with a 37-35 win last week over Covina, the same team San Dimas beat in the regular season 42-0.
Pomona (11-2) at Sierra Canyon (12-0) at Granada Hills HS, 7 p.m.: The Red Devils are the reigning CIF champions but have needed late touchdowns in the closing seconds to get by their first two playoff opponents. In both cases it has been senior Darreon Lockett, the most experienced and versatile player from last year’s team, providing the heroics. However, Sierra Canyon is the top seed in the division, and will be looking for a little redemption — it was Pomona that ended its playoffs run in the quarterfinal last year, 33-20. The Trailblazers are led by junior QB Niko Harris, who has thrown for 2,625 yards and 39 TDS with 5 interceptions, Junior Josua Cole has rushed for 1,793 yards and 27 touchdowns.
Summit (12-0) at San Marino (12-0), 7 p.m.: It says something for the Central Division when two undefeated teams, No. 2 Summit and No. 3 San Marino are playing each other in the CIF-SS semifinals. Summit is coming off a lackluster offensive performance in a 13-9 win over Chino. The passing game wasn’t in sync and coach Nick Matheny thinks part of that was because of star WR Damian Alloway’s tight groin. But Matheny said physical therapy this week has done wonders for Alloway. Unlike last week’s opponent, Chino, San Marino’s passing game is its strength. Perhaps the SkyHawks’ best defensive unit is its line, so pressure on QB Carson Glazier (3,237 yards passing, 39 TDs, 1 INT) is likely critical to slowing down the Titans, who average 50.9 points per game. Summit will have to worry about several receivers, most notably J.P. Shohfi, who has 85 catches for 1,586 yards and 23 touchdowns. He has scored a touchdown in every game, and has four straight games of at least 120 receiving yards. The SkyHawks could count on many of their opponents making critical mistakes, but can’t depend on that against the Titans. “They are extremely fundamentally sound,” Matheny said.
INLAND DIVISIONMenifee Heritage (12-0) at Cajon (11-1), 7 p.m.: For a while last week, it looked like three Citrus Belt League teams might make the semifinals, but as it turns out, fourth-seeded Cajon is the last one and the Cowboys have a difficult task in taking on top-seeded Heritage, a team that has made at least the semifinals five straight years. Cajon has had success with long passes this year from Jayden Daniels to WRs such as Tyrone Gasaway, Giovanni Daniel and Phillip Ryan, but coach Nick Rogers thinks that will be much more difficult against a Heritage team that typically keeps two safeties deep. Although Wilbur Murray and Aaron Ortega have both been good running the ball this year for Cajon, Rogers said he plans on using Elijah Lilly, who has 165 yards on just eight carries this season, more in the run game this week because he has big-play capabilities. Cajon will need to cut down on its penalties and take advantage of limited offensive chances against a Heritage team that averages 262 yards rushing per game, led by 5-foot-10, 192-pound Jalen Glover (1,249 yards, 17 TDs).
Aquinas (8-4) vs. Riverside Notre Dame (12-0) at Riverside North HS, 7:30 p.m.: It’s not known whether The Shield, the trophy these rival teams play for, will be up for grabs in this playoff game, believed to be the first time the teams have ever met in the playoffs. But regardless, something bigger is at stake: a berth in the CIF-SS championship game. It’s only been three weeks since these teams played in the Ambassador League finale, as top-seeded Notre Dame won 28-7. Notre Dame only had 246 total yards in the game, but that was plenty because Aquinas turned the ball over five times, all on fumbles. “We turned the ball over five times, and we can’t do that again and give them a short field. They’re really fast and physical,” Aquinas coach Jordan Brusig said.