Friday picks

After a regular season filled with pulse-pounding games and heroic performance, playoff time is here. Before I get too corny and ridiculous, here are picks for tonight’s area postseason games. We’ll see what I’ve learned – if anything.

CENTRAL DIVISION

Don Lugo at Colton
I think this game should be close for a while, as Don Lugo has the weapons necessary in quarterback Charlie Hinojosa and running back A.J. Pickens to spring a few plays on the Yellowjackets. But Colton is just too good and too physical up front and will have its way.
Colton 36, Don Lugo 20

Arroyo Valley at Paloma Valley
This game should be fun if nothing else. You know the Hawks will score with Robert Fuller and company and you know they’ll probably give up some points. I admit I don’t know much about Paloma Valley (I don’t even know their mascot without taking a peek at MaxPreps) but I think Arroyo will win this in a shootout.
Arroyo Valley 35, Paloma Valley 27

Cajon at Pasadena Muir
After a forgettable non-league season, the Cowboys pulled together and notched a 3-1 record in the San Andreas League and a second straight playoff spot. But Cajon missed Arroyo Valley, was blasted by Colton and have a non-league win over 4-6 Kaiser as their most significant win. Against a dominant Muir program, that won’t cut it.
Muir 31, Cajon 14

EASTERN DIVISION
Bloomington at Serrano
The game I will be at tonight will be an interesting matchup. Instead of having some mediocre team to play in the first round, the No. 1 seed Diamondbacks get stuck with a Bloomington team that is dangerous with its double-wing offense. However, the Serrano D has stood on its head all year and I don’t see tonight being much different.
Serrano 29, Bloomington 14

Palm Springs at Silverado
After losing a lopsided game to Serrano in September, Silverado has lied in the weeds, quietly building a 4-0-2 record in its last six games. Whether that’s a product of playing in the Desert Sky League or not is hard to tell, but the Hawks should be tested enough to get past a 4-6 Palm Springs squad.
Silverado 22, Palm Springs 10

Barstow at Hesperia
These teams played to a baseball-like 10-0 score in a non-league matchup in September, but the Hesperia offense is closer to full strength while the Aztecs have improved considerably during that time. The Scorpions’ defense is just as good as it was though, which spells trouble for Barstow.
Hesperia 23, Barstow 8

Rim of the World at Kaiser
Quite frankly, this game could go either way. Rim is a solid, but young, team going against a Kaiser team that is flawed offensively, but still tough enough under coach Dick Bruich to gut out a playoff season. It’s going to take some guts by both teams to slop through this. I’ll give the nod to Rim in a revenge game from last year’s quarterfinal.
Rim of the World 15, Kaiser 10

EAST VALLEY DIVISION
Chadwick at Twentynine Palms
This will be a fun game, as Chadwick throws for nearly 350 yards per game while the Wildcats have one of the most dynamic players in the division in junior wide receiver Montreal Harris. I think Chadwick will get some yards, but I think the desert will be too much for them.
Twentynine Palms 28, Chadwick 25

Big Bear at Rio Hondo Prep
The defending division champions have a tough road to hoe if they hope to repeat their 2006 success, starting with this game on the road. Sophomore quarterback Craig Hall showed signs of progress in replacing injured senior Kriss Proctor. He’ll have to continue if the Bears want to defend their title another week.
Big Bear 20, Rio Hondo Prep 18

INLAND DIVISION
Murrieta Valley at Redlands East Valley
The Nighthawks are a pretty decent first-round opponent and have traditionally battled tough with the Wildcats, tying REV in their last two meetings. However, this REV team has employed a shock-and-awe personality against some good teams and I can’t see the Nighthawks standing up to the Wildcats for the full 48 minutes.
Redlands East Valley 38, Murrieta Valley 17

Damien at Miller
The Spartans have won three straight to qualify for the playoffs, but they look like fodder for the Rebels and quarterback A.J. Springer. Miller is one two-point conversion attempt from being undefeated and it will continue to be that way after tonight.
Miller 36, Damien 14

Yucaipa at Vista Murrieta
This is a bad draw for Yucaipa, who has played well enough to avoid playing the No. 2 team in the division. But I guess it’s better than playing the No. 1 team in the division, which the Thunderbirds did a year ago. Yucaipa is salty, but Vista Murrieta will be too much.
Vista Murrieta 30, Yucaipa 16

Carter at Corona Centennial
This has all the makings of a trouncing. First of all, you have a Centennial team that has the talent to murder any team on its schedule, including a two-time defending CIF champion Norco, who it beat 43-7. Second, you have an inconsistent Carter team that has been hit by the injury bug. Unless the Huskies come down with the flu as a unit, Carter is going down badly.
Centennial 51, Carter 6