All-Area is just around the corner

There is still a week to go before the high school football season ends, but it’s time to start thinking about All-Area selections.
Am interested in comments concerning potential candidates, but please keep in mind the interest is more curiosity than it is seeking help.
Of participating, please include some evidence (heart strings don’t count) to back up your opinion.
Please keep it short, to the point, and as free as possible of rants and raves.
The offensive team is made up of 13 players – QB, RB (2), WR (2), O-line (5), TE, Util, PK.
The defensive team is made up of 12 players – D-line (4), LB (4), DB (3), P.

Pick an entire team, or just individuals.
In either case, please be brief.

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Week 13: The number of teams have dwindled, but not the quality

And the there were four.
The Daily News area began the CIF Southern Section, divisional football playoffs with
10 participants. Four of them are left, three – La Habra, California and Schurr, of the six that began play in the Southeast Division, and one, St. Paul, still alive in the Western Division.

Friday’s game:
Schurr will host Fullerton at 7 p.m.

It will be the gutty Schurr defense trying to contain Fullerton’s Michael Allain, a 5-10, 165-pound whirlwind who has rushed for 580 yards and eight touchdowns in two playoff games. He burned La Serna for 260 yards and three scores last week.Fullerton, the division’s No. 3 seed, doesn’t pass much, but the Indians haven’t had to with Allain performing in spectacular fashion.
The pick from here:
Roger Murray: You stick with the program you believe in – Schurr
Andrew Campa: Injured RB Edwin Molina is the motivation here – Schurr

Saturday’s games:
La Habra at California, 7 p.m.

This isn’t Goliath vs. David, but it’s hard to imagine anyone having a complete enough package to harness all of La Habra’s weapons. Offense, defense, special teams, running the ball, throwing the ball, catching the ball, punting the ball, kicking the ball, blocking, tackling, physical football, finesse football, and the area’s most interesting, fog-shrouded entry to the field … have I left anything out…?

This is not meant to discourage California from showing up. The Condors have enjoyed a mystical season. Eleven-and-one? Obviously, they’re doing most everything right. Operative word there, “most.” That passing game needs some help, and that may be the key to whether California can keep up with the Highlanders. It will be necessary to sustain possession, which will be necessary to keep La Habra’s offense
off the field, which will be necessary to keep them from running away with the game.
Supermen RBs Matt Urquiza and Jasper Meza can’t keep doing it alone offensively.
Hmmmmmm, or can they? Is it fair to ask them to?
Sometimes it’s just better to be the underdog. Motivation comes more easily.
The pick from here:
Murray – Love ‘em both, but La Habra is title-bound – La Habra
Campa – Too much of everything – La Habra.

St. Paul at Gahr, 7:30 p.m.
Defense-dominated St. Paul can’t try to run with the pass-happy, speed-oriented Gladiators, so the Swordsmen defenders must step up one more time to take some pressure off the offense.

There is no question they are capable, but in a game like this the team that makes the fewest mistakes, no fumbles, no ill-timed or foolish, drive-killing penalties, no lack of focus, not even for a split second, most likely will survive to play another week.

The season has been filled with heroes on both sides of the ball. It’s time to ask they be heroic once more, step into the breach once more, dig deep and see what happens.

The pick from here:
Murray – The little engine that could, or make that can – St. Paul
Campa – Not the first time Swordsmen have faced great QB – St. Paul

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Week 12 results: Four of six local footballers reach semifinals

Southeast Division:
La Habra 59, San Gabriel 14
Highlanders erase any doubt which team was really the No. 1 seed.

Schurr 35, Westminster 14
Spartans aren’t giving up division crown easily

California 34, South El Monte 21
Condors earn match with high-flying Highlanders

Fullerton 25, La Serna 7
Lancers run out of luck, can’t overcome mistakes.

Western Division
St. Paul 32, Culver City 26 (2OT)
It’s not pretty, but Swordsmen hang around, find way to win it.

Northeast Division
Calvary Murrieta 14, Whittier Christian 13
Heralds lose chance for rematch with No. 1 seed St. Margaret’s.

Week 13 (semifinals):
La Habra vs. California, site to be determined.
Schurr vs. Fullerton, site to be determined.
St. Paul vs. winner of Gahr-Palos Verdes.

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Week 11 results:Six area football teams advance, four of them will be at home for second round


California’s Jasper Meza tumbles into the end zone after taking a 6-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Cameron Zaharioudakis in 27-0 playoff win over Santa Ana.

Western Division (III)
St. Paul 24, Quartz Hill 14

Host Rebels keyed on RB Aubrey Haynes, made him work for his 161 yards (31 trips),
but Swordsmen defense tough again with two interceptions, two fumble recoveries
while holding Quartz Hill to 145 yards total offense, 65 of it on one drive and 80 on 11
other possessions. St. Paul will host Culver City next.

Southeast Division (VII)
La Habra 55, Ocean View 7

Nothing new here, as Highlanders continue to dominate opponents with solid play on
both sides of the ball. QB Chris Morales 9 for 15 for 167 yards, three TDs passing
as La Habra breezed to 49-0 halftime edge. Coach Frank Mazzotta substituted
freely early in the second half. The Highlanders will host San Gabriel next.

California 27, Santa Ana 0
Condors’ ground game tough enough with just Matt Urquiza carrying the load,
now it’s even better with the return of Jasper Meza. The two combined for 210 yards
that included two TDs by Urquiza, and Meza caught a touchdown pass. Cameron
Zaharioudakis got a start at quarterback and was and efficient 4 for 8 for 100 yards.
The Condors will host South El Monte next.

La Serna 28, Alhambra 27
Lancers’ big play guy Rudy Jordan hooked up with QB Bret Burke on an 80-yard
pass play with 2:27 to play, then intercepted an Alhambra pass with 1:23 left to
seal the deal. La Serna battled back from a 14-0 deficit to tie 14-all at halftime.
The Lancers travel to play Fullerton next.

Schurr 27, Rosemead 6
Opportunistic Spartans turned four Rosemead turnovers into touchdowns. Edwin
Molina had 105 yards and two TDs rushing before leaving the game with a knee
injury in the fourth quarter. Schurr travels to play Westminster next.

Northeast Division (XIII)
Whittier Christian 48, Bellarmine-Jefferson 31

Host Heralds offensive-oriented double-wing attack featured 568 yards total offense
that included 221 yards and four touchdowns by running back Justin Gallagher and
95 yards on 12 carries by wide receiver Aleks Schwerdt, who also had two receptions
for 83 yards. Whittier Christian will host Calvary Murrieta next.

Four locals whose seasons ended with losses Friday were:
(Southeast Division) El Rancho, which lost to host Westminster, 21-14 in overtime;
Santa Fe, which lost to host San Gabriel, 14-7, in overtime; (Southwest Division)
La Mirada, which lost to host South Hills, 59-33; and (Mid-Valley Division) Cantwell
Sacred Heart, which lost to visiting Monrovia, 28-21.

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Week 11: Overall, a pretty good draw for most area playoff teams

Fridays games
(Note: All games 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Mid-Valley Division
Monrovia (5-5, Rio Hondo No. 2) at Cantwell Sacred Heart (7-3, Camino Real No. 2)
Even in a down year, visiting Wildcats can be tough. Home cooking may mean the difference.

Northeast Division
Whittier Christian (5-5, Alpha, At-Large) at Bell-Jeff (9-1, No. 4 seed, Santa Fe No. 1)
Visiting Heralds should be healthiest they’ve been all year. Couldn’t be a better time for it.

Southeast Division
Santa Fe (5-5, Del Rio, At-Large) at San Gabriel (8-2, No. 1 seed, Almont No. 1)
Chiefs (and Pioneer) playing Del Rio League’s best football at the end.

Ocean View (7-3, Golden West No. 2) at La Habra (9-0, Freeway No. 2), 7 p.m.
Golden West’s No. 2 gets Freeway’s No. 2. Surprise awaits visiting Seahawks.

Santa Ana (5-5, Golden West No. 3) at California (9-1, No. 4 seed, Del Rio No. 1)
Host Condors reportedly will make a change at QB, but defense still going to be the key.

Alhambra (7-3, Almont No. 3) vs. La Serna (7-3, Del Rio No. 2, at Whittier College, 7 p.m.)
Moors’ two RBs (Brown, Smith) vs. Lancers’ one RB (Jordan). Doesn’t seem fair. (Louie Lozano may be La Serna’s ace in the hole)

Rosemead (7-3, Mission Valley No. 2) at Schurr (6-4, Almont No. 2)
Doubtful host Spartans (and defending division champions) will let this one go three OTs.

El Rancho (5-5, Del Rio No. 3) at Westminster (7-3, No. 2 seed, Golden West No. 1)
El Rancho surprise of Del Rio League, but host Lions probably not impressed.

Southwest Division
La Mirada (4-6, Suburban No. 3) vs. South Hills (8-2, San Antonio No. 1) at Covina District Field.
South Hills lost its first two games this season, now enjoying an eight-game winning streak.

Western Division
St. Paul (6-4, Mission No. 2) at Quartz Hill (8-2, Golden No. 2)
Like the Del Rio League, selection committee didn’t give Mission League teams much respect.

Best chances to advance to second round?
Best chances to make quarterfinals?
Best chances to reach championship game?
Best chance to win the title?

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Coaches discuss Sunday’s playoff pairings

CIF-Southern Section playoffs
Friday’s first-round schedule

Mid-Valley Division
Monrovia (5-5) at Cantwell Sacred Heart (7-3), 7:30 p.m.

Northeast Division
Whittier Christian (5-5) at Bell-Jeff (9-1), 7:30 p.m.

Southeast Division
Santa Fe (5-5) at San Gabriel (8-2), 7:30 p.m.
Ocean View (7-3) at La Habra (9-0), 7:30 p.m.
Santa Ana (5-5) at California (9-1), 7:30 p.m.
Alhambra (7-3) at La Serna (7-3), 7:30 p.m.
Rosemead (7-3) at Schurr (6-4), 7:30 p.m.
El Rancho (5-5) at Westminster (7-3), 7:30 p.m.

Southwest Division
La Mirada (4-6) at South Hills (8-2), 7 p.m.

Western Division
St. Paul (6-4) at Quartz Hills (8-2), 7:30 p.m.

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Week 10: It’s here already? Are we having fun yet?

The final week of the season with a multitude of scenarios for who makes
the playoffs — and who doesn’t.
And would you want it any other way?
When you speculate on who’s going to make it and who isn’t, be sure
you’ve got the correct info’ about league policies for breaking ties.
And remember that the CIF mandates how many playoffs berths are
automatic, but it is the individual leagues who determine which of their
teams will represent them in the playoffs.

Picking ‘em update:
Roger Murray: Last week – 8-2; Season 76-21
Andrew Campa: Last week – 7-3; Season 63-34

Thursday’s games:
Pioneer vs. La Serna, at California HS, 7 p.m. Murray (La Serna), Campa (La Serna)
Whittier vs. Santa Fe, at Pioneer HS, 7 p.m. Murray (Whittier), Campa (Whittier)
Sonora at La Habra, 7 p.m. Murray (La Habra), Campa (La Habra)

Friday’s games:
El Rancho at California, 7 p.m. Murray (California), Campa (California)
Cantwell at La Salle, 7 p.m. Murray (Cantwell), Campa (La Salle)
Cerritos at La Mirada, 7 p.m. Murray (La Mirada), Campa (La Mirada)
Montebello at Bell Gardens, 7 p.m. Murray (Bell Gardens), Campa Bell Gardens)
Alhambra at Schurr, 7 p.m. Murray (Alhambra), Campa (Alhambra)
St. Paul at St. Francis, 7:30 p.m. Murray (St. Francis), Campa (St. Paul)
Whittier Christian at Maranatha, 7 p.m. Murray (Whittier Christian), Campa (Maranatha)

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Week 9: Cal, La Serna, La Mirada, Schurr – and Pioneer – come up big


La Serna’s Rudy Jordan turns upfield during the Lancers’ 34-7 rout of Santa Fe

California 25, Whittier 8
Urquiza, Zaharioudakis, defense sharp as Condors ensure tie for DRL title.
La Serna 34, Santa Fe 7
Lancers’ defensive effort keeps hopes for share of DRL alive.
Pioneer 31, El Rancho 28
QB Palacios sparkles as Titans stun Dons to gain first DRL victory.
La Mirada 56, John Glenn 7
Matadores get help from Bellflower; playoff hopes faint but alive.
Schurr 27, Bell Garadens 21
Defending CIF-SS Southeast Division champs just won’t go away.
La Habra 56, Buena Park 0
Morales & Co. breezing and sitting alone atop Freeway League
Whittier Christian 69, Marshall 0
Now it gets serious; Edwards out and Maranatha next and title on line.
Cantwell Sacred Heart 34, Verbum Dei 0
Cardinals gain revenge, but cakewalk over with La Salle on the horizon.
Alemany 43, St. Paul 21
Swordsmen can’t stop the run, Mission League title plans dealt a blow.
San Gabriel 51, Montebello 10
Oilers’ program on down slope in what has been a roller coaster season.

Del Rio League schedule:
Thursday:

Pioneer (5-4, 1-3) vs. La Serna 7-2, 3-1), at California HS, 7 p.m.
Friday
El Rancho (4-5, 2-2) at California (9-0, 4-0), 7 p.m.
Whittier (6-3, 1-3) vs. Santa Fe (4-5, 1-3), at Pioneer HS, 7 p.m.

Amazing the number of playoff scenarios that are available.
Pick the winners and explain why.

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