CIF-SOUTHERN SECTION NORTHEAST DIVISION PLAYOFFS
SATURDAY, 7 P.M.
RIO HONDO PREP (11-0) vs. SADDLEBACK VALLEY CHRISTIAN (7-4) AT ST. MARGARET’S HIGH (31641 La Novia Ave., San Juan Capistrano)
Someone asked if I was going to the Rio Hondo Prep game. To answer your question, yes I will be there live from St. Margaret’s. It’ll be the first opportunity I get to watch the Kares live and in action. I really hope my attending won’t jinx their vibe. Rio Hondo Prep is the defending champion and no doubt have a target on its back. They’ve had it all year with teams gunning for them, but as always the Kares have taken care of business. Saddleback Valley Christian boasts a good quarterback in Zac Rodarmel who’s passed for almost 1,800 yards and 17 touchdowns. He’s also the team’s second leading rusher behind William Hinn’s 1,177 yards and 22 touchdowns. “He’s a tall kid and throws pretty darn good,” Rio Hondo Prep coach Ken Drain said. “Their running back is fast and farily quick. Those guys do 99 percent of the offense; stop those guys and you can stop the offense, that’s the plan.” Rio Hondo Prep will have to go into Saturday nights’ game without Cody Cowell, a 6-foot-1, 225 pound tight end/linebacker. Cowell separated his right arm in the first round. That injury is not new to Cowell. He separated both his shoulders last season, but returned in time to play in all the Kares’ playoff games. Judging from Drain’s words, Cowell is without a doubt Rio Hondo Prep’s best player and heart and soul of the team. “He’s our enforcer on defense and he’s a great tight end,” Drain said. “He’s our lead blocker on a lot of our running plays. He’ll be a big loss.” Rio Hondo Prep defeated Desert Christian 34-0 in the first round. SVC squeezed past Riverside Christian, 21-20.