Above: Whittier Christian doesn’t want to see this tonight. (Staff Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz)
It’s getting down to the nitty-gritty of CIF-Southern Section football with five area teams looking to punch their tickets to next week’s semifinals with quarter-final match-ups tonight. In the Southeast, La Mirada and La Serna take to the road, with games at Arcadia and Los Altos, respectively. La Habra, seeking its fifth consecutive divisional title, is also on the road, traveling to Brea Olinda, a team it beat 55-2 in Septemeber. Can the Highlanders repeat? Two area teams are at home: Cantwell Sacred Heart hosting Cabrillo of Lompoc in the Northwest and Whittier Christian getting 2010 champ Monrovia at Whittier College in the Mid-Valley, which is where I will be and tweet scoring plays and quarter updates. You can track all the scorers from our SGVN scoreboard and Mike Robledo will be at the Azusa-San Dimas Mid-Valley game at Citrus College with his weekly Cover-It-Live, where reporters will tweet from their games, including Tyler Drohan from the La Serna-Los Altos game. Below you will find links to the scoreboard and the Cover-It-Live.
PREP XTRA LIVE POSTGAME SHOW: Don’t forget to tune in to the postgame show, with host Aram Tolegian and crew, where we look at the games and try to explain what happened.
Tonight’s schedule and predictions:
La Habra (8-3) at Brea Olinda (9-2), 7:30 p.m. — La Habra
La Mirada (7-4) at Arcadia (9-2), 7:30 p.m. – Arcadia
La Serna (8-3) at Los Altos (8-3), 7:30 p.m. – La Serna
Monrovia (8-3) vs. Whittier Christian (7-4) at Whittier College, 7 p.m. – Monrovia
Lompoc Cabrillo (9-2) at Cantwell-Sacred Heart (8-3), 7:30 p.m. — Cantwell
And here’s a little tip from Rocky Balboa of what to do tonight when it gets tough!
Here is Eric Terrazas’ advance to tonight’s Monrovia-Whittier Christian game.
Whittier Christian will face a familiar foe in tonight’s CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley Division second-round game.
The Heralds (7-4) will host Monrovia (8-3) at 7 at Whittier College. It marks the third consecutive playoff meeting between the teams.
The Wildcats defeated Whittier Christian, 38-8, in last year’s championship game and 35-32 in the 2009 semifinals. After those disappointing losses, the Heralds will look for payback tonight.
“We met them two years ago in the semifinals and we had a close game with them,” Whittier Christian coach Sergio Gradilla said. “Last year in the CIF championship, they took it to us. They were definitely the better team that night.
“We’re excited with a third opportunity to play them. We’ll be ready (tonight).”
The Olympic League champion Heralds are coming off an impressive 40-16, first-round victory over El Monte last week. They feature a balanced offense that averages 196 passing yards and 168.6 rushing yards per game.
Heralds quarterback Daniel Chacon has thrown for 2,147 yards and 15 touchdowns while connecting on 173 of 299 attempts. Chacon is also the team’s second-leading rusher with 410 yards on 105 carries. He has run for four scores.
Ryan Morales paces the Heralds’ ground attack, rushing for 812 yards and 17 touchdowns on 144 carries. Johnathan Marquez has also played a key role, running for 403 yards and nine scores on 98 rushes.
Cody Bronkar and Grant Escobar have formed a productive 1-2 receiving punch for the Heralds. Bronkar has posted team highs of 61 receptions, 818 yards and seven touchdowns while Escobar has added 57 receptions, 735 yards and six scores.
Whittier Christian’s defense has produced 37 sacks. Jack Huitt leads the Heralds with 7.5 sacks while Jacob Hughes and Joel Rhone have seven each.
Daniel Abernethy, who has 5.5 sacks, has recorded a team-high 96 tackles.
Monrovia, the Rio Hondo League champion, brings a potent offense that averages 219.4 passing yards and 160.4 rushing yards per contest.
Wildcats quarterback Blake Heyworth has thrown for 1,860 yards and 18 touchdowns while completing 96 of 175 attempts.
Marquise Bias has posted solid rushing numbers for the Wildcats, running for 1,164 yards and 15 touchdowns on 129 carries.
Monrovia’s top receiver is Luke Williams, who has 33 receptions for 667 yards and six scores.
Brett Walsh leads the Wildcats’ defense in both tackles (134) and sacks (six).
Gradilla has been pleased with how the Heralds’ season has developed.
“We’re doing really well,” Gradilla said. “We were picked to finish in the bottom half of the league and we ended up winning it. Many people didn’t expect us to be in this position.
“We’re excited for the opportunity to play a good team (tonight). We’re going to give it our all.”
The winner of tonight’s game will advance to next week’s semifinals against top-seeded Valle Vista League champion Covina or Almont League runner-up Alhambra.