What at night!
It paid Friday night if you’re an area high school team with a name that begins with ‘La,’ as La Habra, La Mirada and La Serna all advanced to the semifinals with close victories in the quarterfinals. La Serna rallied in the final moment to beat Los Altos, 42-38; La Mirada held off Arcadia, 31-28; and La Habra, seeking its fifth consecutive divisonal title, won a surprising close game in a 28-21 victory over Brea Olinda. Whittier Christian and Cantwell bowed out with losses of 67-21 to Monrovia and 49-22 to Lompoc/Cabrillo, respectively.
Here’s a brief rundown of each game.
La Serna 42, Los Altos 38 — Sophomore quarterback Frankie Palmer continues to play like a senior, accounting for 304 yards and four touchdowns, including scoring the game-winner with a 5-yard run with 1:06 to play. The Lancers, who lost to Bonita in the semifinals last season, held off a Los Altos drive at the end forcing a fumble inside their own six. They will host Muir at California High School on Friday. The Mustangs, who entered the playoffs as an at-large entry, followed up last week’s victory over No. 2 Santa Fe by beat Diamond Ranch, 48-0.
La Mirada 31, Arcadia 28 — Johnny Hills wasn’t the Matadores No. 1 running back when the season began, but he showed his worth by rushing for 219 yards and two touchdowns as La Mirada advanced to the semifinals for the first time since winning the Southern Division in 2009. The Mats, who rallied back from a 28-10 deficit, will host top-seed and 2010 division champion West Covina in next week’s semifinals. The Bulldogs routed Pasadena, 55-12.
La Habra 28, Brea Olinda 21 — It’s back to the semifinals for the Highlanders, who used two third-quarter interceptions before holding off a furious rally against Brea Olinda. La Habra, seeking a fifth consecutive divisional title and its sixth overall, will host El Toro, which routed Yorba Linda, 58-20. Aaron Porter rushed for 114 yards and quarterback Sean Sparling threw for 115 yards to lead the Highlanders.
Monrovia 67, Whittier Christian 21 — The Heralds were no match for the 2010 divisoin championships, who led 21-0 after the first quarter, 41-7 at halftime and 61-14 after three quarters. De’Shawn Ramirez ran for 129 yards and scored four touchdowns, including a 98-yard interception return, to lead Monrovia. Joel Rhone rushed for 124 yards and a touchdown in garbage time to lead Whittier Christian.
Cabrillo/Lompoc 49, Cantwell 22 — For the second consecutive season, a team from Lompoc did in the Cardinals. Cantwell, after committing five turnovers, where never in it, trailing 35-0 by halftime and 49-0 in the third quarter.Tim Walsh threw for 109 yards to lead the Cardinals.