CIF Playoffs: And then there is one.

Locals split a pair of playoff games Friday night:

Southeast Division:
Rowland 52, La Serna 28
Lancers committed eight turnovers. Enough said.

Southwest Division:
La Habra 23, El Dorado 14.
Highlanders and Golden Hawks were tied, 7-7, at halftime. La Habra next plays at home Friday against the winner of Western Trubuco Hills.

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CIF football: A tough day at the office for the locals

Seven began, and then there are two. Only La Habra and La Serna
remain to carry the area’s hopes for a CIF Southern Section football
championship.

Friday’s first round results:

Southwest Division
La Habra 83, Anaheim 0
That’s not a typo, nor does it relate to the Highlanders’ Class of ’83.
No mystery here: La Habra – too much of everything; Anaheim – not enough
of anything. Next up for La Habra, El Dorado, two-time defending
Southwest Division champion, and a 45-19 winner over Huntington Beach
Friday.

Southeast Division
La Serna 42, San Gabriel 14

Kyle Gluck steps with 230 yards and four touchdowns on runs of 9, 58, 68
and 12 yards. Seems like somebody is always filling a role for the
Lancers, Burke, Lozano, Rodriguez, Sanchez, this time Gluck. Impressive
to say the least. Next up for La Serna, Rowland, the division’s No. 4
seed and a 22-21 winner over Burbank Burroughs.

South Hills 40, Schurr 21
Spartans finish season with a 7-4 record after capturing the Almont
League crown with a 5-0 mark. Scurr led, 14-12 at halftime.

Crescenta Valley 22, California 21
Tough loss for the Condors after they led, 21-7, with 7:02 left in the
third quarter, then lost when the Falcons went for a two-point
conversion. California, which got a pair TD passes from QB Greg Perea to
tight end Nathan Blaikie and and Terris Jones on a 12-yard run, finishes
with an 8-3 record.

Burbank 20, Santa Fe 14
Considered an upset according to most pregame observers, visiting
Bulldogs showed a relentless no-huddle ground game and an aggressive
defense that belied their fourth-place finish in the pacific League.
Santa Fe had impressive scoring drives in the second quarter, but
couldn’t muster the necessary efficiemt consistency, especially after
tight end/linebacker Nikolai Crouch was knocked out of the game with a
leg injury. Santa Fe finishes with a 9-2 record.

Southern Division
Corona del Mar 26, La Mirada 15

Visiting Matadores fell behind 26-0 and couldn’t recover, despite QB
Daniel Poncedeleon’s 31 for 42 for 357 yards passing that included TD
tosses to Charles Whitfield for 85 yards and Julian Matta for 22, both
in the game’s final eight minutes. La Mirada finishes with a 4-7 record.

Northwest Division
Santa Maria St. Joseph 42, Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary 12

Maybe it was the long drive to play the division’s No. 3 seed, but more
currently information unavailable. To be updated. Cantwell finishes with
a 6-5 record.

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CIF Playoff Pick’ems

This week’s picks:

Southwest Division (Div. VI)
Anaheim vs. La Habra: Murray (La Habra); Campa (La Habra)

Southeast Division (Div. VII)
California vs. Crescenta Valley: Murray (California); Campa (California)
San Gabriel vs. La Serna: Murray (La Serna); Campa (La Serna)
South Hills vs. Schurr: Murray (South Hills); Campa (Schurr)
Burbank vs. Santa Fe: Murray (Santa Fe); Campa (Santa Fe)

Southern Division (Div. IX)
La Mirada vs. Corona del Mar: Murray (La Mirada); Campa (Corona del Mar)

Northwest Division (Div. X)
Cantwell vs. Santa Maria St. Joseph: Murray (St. Joseph); Campa (St. Joseph)

Just for fun upsets:
Murray - Schurr
Campa - South Hills

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CIF schedules, and more random thoughts …

Note the adjusted start times for some of Friday’s first-round football playoff games:
Four of the seven local entries will play their games starting at 7 p.m.
The CIF office suggests a 7:30 p.m. start, but the time may be changed so long as both coaches agree.
Local teams playing the earlier starting time are Santa Fe (vs. Burbank), La Serna (vs. San Gabriel), La Habra (vs. Anaheim) and La Mirada (vs. Corona del Mar, at Newport Harbor HS).
Local teams with 7:30 starts are California (vs. Crescenta Valley, at Glendale HS), Schurr (vs. South Hills) and Cantwell (at Santa Maria St. Joseph).

More random stuff
If Qb Greg Perea remains sidelined by his ankle injury, should coach Jim Arnold go with a single wing attack? Backup QB Eddie Artiga shows promise for next season, but a beefed up ground attack coming at them in bunches might surprise the Falcons …

Can playoff enthusiasm overcome any potential disorientation for Cantwell caused by the long drive to Santa Maria? Focus will be key, and it often is more easily accomplished at home …

There is much talk — and rightly so — about the huge impact of running back Aaron Turner in Santa Fe’s offense. But don’t overlook the Chiefs’ rapidly improving passing game and the development of junior quarterback Alex Flores. Having tight end Nicolai Crouch and wide receiver Adrian Mahlstede to throw to makes it a bit easier …

Said it before, saying it again: QB Ben Burke may be the catalyst for La Serna’s offense, but wide receivers Jonathon Rodriguez and Freddie Sanchez are the Lancers’ big play guys.

Why does someone feel the need to spread the rumor that St. Paul football coach Pete Gonzalez is leaving. At this point, at least, that is not only untrue, it is without basis even for consideration. As for the innuendo-laden rumor that St. Paul will no longer accept transfer students, someone who would know says there is no change one way or the other. “The critieria is the same as always,” said one source. “The applicant has to be a qualified student and a good kid who can contribute to the community.” No mention of athletic ability was mentioned …

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CIF football: Seven locals in the chase

Southwest Division (formerly Div. VI)
Anaheim (5-5 overall, 2-3 in league, Orange League at-large) at La Habra (No. 2 seed, 8-2, 5-0, Freeway No. 1)

Southeast Division (Div. VII)
California (8-2, 3-2, Del Rio, No. 3) at Crescenta Valley (8-2, 6-1, Pacific No. 2)
San Gabriel (5-5, 3-2, Almont No. 2) at La Serna (9-1, 4-1, Del Rio No. 2)
South Hills (8-2, 3-1, San Antonio No. 3) at Schurr (7-3, 5-0, Almont No. 1)
Burbank (5-5, 3-4, Pacific No. 4) at Santa Fe (9-1, 5-0, Del Rio No. 1)

Southern Division (Div. IX)
La Mirada (4-6, 4-2, Suburban No. 3) at Corona del Mar (8-2, 3-1, Pacific Coast No. 2)

Northwest Division (Div. X)
Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary (6-4, 3-1, Camino Real No. 3) at Santa Maria St. Joseph (9-1, 7-0, Los Padres No. 1)

NOTE: All games 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

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Coin flip eliminates St. Paul from playoffs

Chaminade High School’s upset of St. Francis Friday night created a three-way tie for second in the Mission League and momentarily gave reason for St. Paul to have hopes of a playoff berth despite its 4-6 season record. Alemany (9-1, 3-0) locked up one of the league’s two playoff berths as the league champion. Athletic directors from St. Francis (6-4, 1-2), St. Paul 4-6, 1-2) and Chaminade (2-8, 1-2) had a coin flip late Friday night to determine positioning teams in second, third and fourth places. St. Paul was the odd team out in the coin flip, and according to league bylaws that list head-to-head competition as the first tie-breaker, Chaminade’s win over St. Francis gives the Eagles second place and the league’s second automatic playoff berth. St. Francis will be listed as No. 3 and St. Paul No. 4.

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Santa Fe back on top

Winner of six consecuitve Del Rio League championships before being
knocked off the throne last season, Santa Fe returned to the top of the
heap by handing La Serna its first loss of the season, 21-7, in their
regular season football finale Friday night.

Santa Fe finishes the regular season 9-1 overall and 5-0 in league.
La Serna is 9-1 overall and 4-1 in league.

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Week 10 pick’ems: Take your best shot

This week’s predictions:

Thursday’s games:
Santa Fe vs. La Serna: Murray (La Serna); Campa (La Serna)
La Habra vs. Buena Park: Murray (La Habra); Campa (La Habra)
Whittier Christian vs. Village Christian: Murray (Village Christian); Campa (Village Christian)

Friday’s games:
Whittier at California:
Murray (California); Campa (Whittier)
El Rancho at Pioneer: Murray (Pioneer); Campa (El Rancho)
John Glenn at vs. La Mirada: Murray (La Mirada); Campa (La Mirada)
San Gabriel vs. Montebello: Murray (Montebello); Campa (Montebello)
Schurr vs. Bell Gardens: Murray (Schurr); Campa (Schurr)
St. Paul vs. Alemany: Murray (Alemany): Campa (Alemany)
Cantwell vs. Verbum Dei: Murray (Cantwell); Campa (Cantwell)

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Random thoughts after a great weekend of football

Can anyone contain La Serna’s three receivers – Jonathan Rodriguez, Freddie Sanchez, Kyle Gluck …

Although occasionally erratric, La Serna QB Ben Burke’s performance, that is delivering in the clutch and making big plays at the right times, running and/or passing, was the best in the position I’ve seen this season …

Games starting at 7:30 p.m. are killers for the WDN deadline, especially when the last three or four minutes can take as many as 20-25 minutes …

Teams that win games they are supposed to win should be judged on that basis, and not on the perception of how big the point differential should have been …

La Habra’s (and San Diego State’s) Ronnie Hillman sets the standard for versatility, a superb running back and an outstanding receiver, but the Highlanders’ best ball carrier may be Joshua Quezada. And he’s just a junior …

In terms of dependablity and performance, week in, week out, Whittier RB Daniel Enriquez ranks with the leaders …

Montebello 34, Alhambra 16: Trying to figure out how high Montebello has climbed or how far has Alhambra fallen …

It may be because of the size of his school or the division it’s in, but somebody should be paying more attention to Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary QB Cesar Hernandez, who keeps putting up big numbers. This week, it was four TD passes in a 50-7 rout of La Salle to keep the Cardinals in playoff contention …

Those who question why St. Paul needed a comeback and then overtime to defeat a team with a 1-7 record shouldn’t let the score cloud the fact the Swordsmen needed a W and got it. Consider that underdogs often rise to the occasion in hopes of playing the spoiler …

So much for the rumor Montebello QB Eli Mendibles broke his hand punching someone during the melee following the Schurr game last week and wouldn’t play against Mark Keppel Friday night. He played, the OIlers won and another rumor down the drain …

Disappointing to see empty seats on La Serna’s side of the field. California clearly won the battle of fan support Friday night at Cal High …

Deliver us from public address announcers who seem to think they’re on the radio and feel compelled to explain to the crowd what the spectators can see themselves. And even worse, become very vocal cheerleaders for the home team …

Stay tuned …

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Week 9 Thursday games provide some surprises

Santa Fe 19, Pioneer 7
A surprise here only because of the 12-point differential. Was Pioneer’s defense that much improved (RB Aaron Turner got only 68 yards on 16 carries, well below his season yardage averages of 180 a game and 9 per carry), or is the Chiefs’ offense considerably less than rated without him? It appears the defense turned in another impressive effort against a team averaging 23 points a game.

La Mirada 28, Artesia 20
Kudos all ’round to the Matadores (3-6, 3-2) who put themselves in position for another trip to the postseason playoffs. QB Daniel Poncedeleon led the way with 12 for 19 for 233 yards and two touchdowns. Artesia was 7-2 overall, 4-1 in the Suburban League and ranked No. 6 in this week’s Southern Division poll.

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