Many of the very best teams at the top of the state had first-round section playoff byes this week, but starting with No. 10 Edison of Huntington Beach and moving down there were some super close thrillers that ended the season for many deserving teams, including the Chargers. Up north, No. 4 Serra (San Mateo) made history on Saturday and De La Salle of Concord showed on Friday that reports of its demise in the CIF North Coast Section may have been greatly exaggerated.
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(After games of Saturday, Nov. 4)
(Thanks to correspondent Daniel Poulter for contributing writeups and scores this season.)
1. Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 10-0
Does not play. There was no four-team bracket at the top of the CIF Southern Section Division I playoffs, so the Monarchs will probably get to play three more times in the 10-team bracket. They still have a first-round bye this weekend and will meet JSerra next week in the quarterfinals after the Lions won on Friday, 27-20, over Santa Margarita.
2. St. John Bosco (Bellflower) 9-1
Does not play. Similar to Mater Dei, the Braves had a first-round bye as the No. 2 seed in the CIFSS D1 playoffs. They will play next in the quarterfinals next week against Lutheran of Orange, which topped Edison of Huntington Beach, 38-37, on Friday in the other first round game in the 10-team bracket that was played.
3. Centennial (Corona) 9-1
Does not play. Husky coaches didn’t even have to go out and do any live scouting on Friday night in one of the two CIFSS D1 first-round games. As the No. 3 seed, they already know that their quarterfinal opponent next week will be No. 8 seed Mission Viejo. It also will be a matchup between two of the state’s three best public school programs over the last 20 years (along with Folsom).
4. Serra (San Mateo) 10-0
Head coach Patrick Walsh’s squad played on Saturday in its regular season finale and defeated Sacred Heart Cathedral (SF) 43-7. Junior QB Maealiuaki Smith passed for 221 yards and three TDs. The Padres also completed the first 10-0 regular season in school history, which dates back to 1944 and of course includes some rather famous alums (Tom Brady, Lynn Swann and more).
5. Los Alamitos 8-2
Does not play. The other CIFSS D1 quarterfinal next week that already was set up in last Sunday’s pairings was the No. 4 seed Griffins playing Long Beach Poly next Friday at Veterans Stadium in Long Beach. That figures to get a big crowd since the two teams are close to each other.
6. Folsom 9-1
Does not play. The Bulldogs (only loss to Serra of San Mateo and wins over both De La Salle and Pittsburg) have a first-round bye this week in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D1 playoffs. They will play Sheldon of Sacramento next week in the quarterfinals after the Huskies defeated Lincoln of Stockton on Friday, 33-22.
7. Long Beach Poly (Long Beach) 10-0
Does not play. What a difference a year makes. Last year, Poly was playing and rolling to a title in the 16-team CIFSS D4 playoffs. This year, the team is back up in D1 where it wants to be and getting ready for a showdown next week in the first round against Los Alamitos.
8. Mission Viejo 9-1
Does not play. This is the fourth CIFSS D1 playoff team that sat out this week and also knows which team it is playing next week in the quarterfinals. For the Diablos, it will be state No. 3 Corona Centennial.
9. Inglewood 11-0
Defeated Apple Valley, 35-21, in CIFSS D2 playoffs. Husan Longstreet continued his fine play by passing for 266 yards and three TDs. The Sentinels are playing Rancho Cucamonga next in the semifinals.
10. Edison (Huntington Beach) 9-2
LOST on Friday to No. 16 Orange Lutheran, 38-37, in CIFSS D1 playoffs. Parker Awad tossed a 13-yard TD pass to Tucker Tripp with six seconds left to make the score 38-37, but the Chargers could not convert on a game-winning two-point play.
11. St. Mary’s (Stockton) 10-0
Does not play. The Rams are the No. 2 seed in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D1 playoffs behind state No. 6 Folsom. They had a first-round bye this week and will play next in the quarterfinals next week against Turlock, which advanced on Friday with a 35-0 victory at home over Edison of Stockton.
12. De La Salle (Concord) 7-3
Defeated Clayton Valley (Concord) on Friday, 42-6. There were those in the Bay that thought the Spartans were in big trouble facing an Ugly Eagles’ club that has won several recent games by larger margins over common opponents. Even though Clayton got out to a 6-0 lead, DLS put together a complete performance after that. Derrick Blanche’s two TDs helped get a 21-6 lead and then it went to 28-6 after a fourth down stop by the defense and a 6-yard TD by QB Toa Faavae. The win should give DLS the top seed for the NCS Open/D1 playoffs. Clayton Valley could still get to a NorCal bowl game by beating the runner-up in the Open Division (likely either DLS or Pittsburg) in the NCS D1 final.
13. JSerra (SJ Capistrano) 6-5
Defeated No. 17 Santa Margarita of Rancho SM, 27-20, on Friday in CIFSS D1 playoffs. It was a scary start for the Lions as head coach Scott McKnight went down after being hit in pregame warmups and had to be taken to the hospital. He was reportedly suffering from a concussion. JSerra then rallied from a 20-5 deficit in the second half. The big play was 33-yard fumble return TD by Clarence Chaney. Jack Munro also broke up a pass when Santa Margarita had fourth and goal with 10 seconds left.
14. Pittsburg 9-1
Defeated Antioch, 48-21, latest edition of the two schools’ long rivalry. Big-time QB Jaden Rashada didn’t play due to illness, but sophomore Marley Alcantara hit on 15 of 24 passes for 322 yards and five TDs. Head coach Vic Galli (in his 21st season) said earlier this week he would be retiring at the end of the season.
15. Lincoln (San Diego) 9-1
Does not play. The Hornets are not the top seed for the CIF San Diego Section Open Division playoffs, but all four of the teams involved are not playing until next week. Lincoln will face league rival Madison in a 2 vs 3 game and in a rematch of a 24-12 win just last week.
16. Lutheran (Orange) 7-4
Defeated No. 10 Edison of Huntington Beach, 38-37, on Friday in CIFSS D1 playoffs. The Lancers had to stop a two-point play with six seconds left and got good pressure on Edison’s quarterback on a pass attempt into the end zone. Sophomore QB T.J. Lateef passed for three TDs and ran for two. OLu also avenged an earlier 34-13 loss to the Chargers. Up next in the quarterfinals will be No. 2 St. John Bosco.
17. Santa Margarita (Rancho SM) 5-5*
LOST to No. 13 JSerra on Friday, 27-20, in CIFSS D1 playoffs. The Eagles couldn’t beat the Lions for a second time after taking a 20-5 lead in the second half. They won in a Trinity League game earlier this season, 29-28.
18. Carlsbad 9-1
Does not play. With junior QB Julian Sayin freshly committed to Alabama, the Lancers are off until their CIF San Diego Section Open Division semifinal next week against unbeaten Poway. They are the top seed and Poway is fourth.
19. Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 7-4
Defeated No. 23 Warren of Downey, 22-21, on Friday in CIFSS D2 playoffs. Alonzo Esparza tossed a 13-yard TD pass to Jaylen Sumlin with 1:39 left and then hit on a two-point conversion pass to Cameron Brandt to account for the winning points. The Trailblazers take on league rival Serra (Gardena) next in the quarterfinals.
20. Serra (Gardena) 8-3*
Defeated Norco on Friday, 28-14, in CIFSS D2 playoffs. Last year’s CIF D1-A state champs (which surely will be D1-AA if they keep winning) were led by RB Cincere Rhaney, who rushed for 275 yards and three TDs.
21. Oak Hills (Hesperia) 11-0
Defeated St. Bonaventure of Ventura, 26-20, on Friday in CIFSS D2 playoffs. It’s the second win of the season by the Bulldogs over the Seraphs, who fell 35-21 earlier this season.
22. St. Bonaventure (Ventura) 7-4
LOST to No. 21 Oak Hills on Friday, 26-20, in CIFSS D2 playoffs. It was a great comeback attempt by St. Bonaventure, which was down 26-7. The Seraphs got it to 26-20 and then got the ball back and drove to the 25-yard line of the Bulldogs in the closing seconds before they were stopped on a fourth down play.
23. Warren (Downey) 9-2
LOST to No. 19 Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth, 22-21, on Friday in CIFSS D2 playoffs. The career of Tennessee-bound QB Nico Iamaleava ended with about as tough of a loss as he and the Bears had in last year’s D2 playoffs to Corona del Mar. They had a chance to get the win with a field goal attempt as time expired but the kick was just a bit low and just a bit to the right of the goal post.
24. Monterey Trail (Elk Grove) 7-2
Does not play. As the No. 4 seed in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D1 playoffs, the Mustangs had a first-round bye this week. They will face Central Catholic of Modesto next week in a rematch of last year’s D2 section final that the Raiders won. They did play on Friday and got past Stagg of Stockton, 58-19.
25. Chaminade (West Hills) 9-2
The No. 2 seed in CIFSS D2 playoffs survived a 27-26 thriller in the first round at home Friday against San Clemente. The Tritons had scored in the closing seconds and had a chance to win on a two-point conversion but the run was stuffed clearly short of the goal line.
TEAMS ON THE BUBBLE
Apple Valley 8-3
LOST to No. 9 Inglewood on Friday, 28-14, in CIFSS D2 playoffs. The Sun Devils did not have No. 1 QB Noah Celie available in the second half due to a wrist injury.
Bishop Amat (La Puente) 8-3
Defeated Murrieta Valley of Murrieta, 70-49, in CIFSS D2 playoffs. The host Lancers did what other top teams often do against the Nighthawks and that’s score tons of points while giving up a lot in a win. Aiden Ramos set a school record by scoring seven touchdowns and rushed for 302 yards (according to San Gabriel Valley Tribune).
Cajon (San Bernardino) 9-2
LOST to Citrus Valley (Redlands) Friday, 34-16, in CIFSS D2 playoffs.
Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) 5-5
Does not play. The Dons had a byeB in the SD D1 playoffs. They play local rival Torrey Pines next, which won on Friday 24-0 over Rancho Bernardo.
Central Catholic (Modesto) 7-4
Defeated Stagg of Stockton, 58-19, in CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D1 playoffs. The Raiders advanced for an attractive quarterfinal matchup vs. state No. 24 Monterey Trail.
Citrus Valley (Redlands) 9-2
Defeated Cajon (San Bernardino) 34-16 in CIFSS D2 playoffs. Head coach Dick Bruich’s squad also avenged a 28-7 loss to the Cowboys in the Citrus Belt League.
Clovis West (Fresno) 9-1
Does not play. It was a first-round bye for the Golden Eagles as the top seed for the CIF Central Section D1 playoffs. They are playing their rivals from Clovis once again in the quarterfinals. Clovis advanced with a 21-20 victory vs Garces of Bakersfield.
Liberty (Bakersfield) 8-2
Does not play. The Patriots had a first-round bye in the CIF Central Section D1 playoffs. They will play St. Joseph of Santa Maria next in the quarterfinals. St. Joe topped Clovis East in the first round, 41-6.
Madison (San Diego) 9-1
Does not play. The No. 3 seed in the CIF San Diego Section Open Division faces No. 2 Lincoln next week in the semifinals of the four-team bracket.
Does not play. Coaches from the school went to see Vacaville defeat Lodi, 35-20, in a SJS D2 playoff game. The Buffs (top seed in the bracket and had a bye) are playing Vacaville next in the quarterfinals.
McClymonds (Oakland) 7-1*
Defeated Castlemont (Oakland) 60-6. Not much to add in another rout by the Warriors.
Oaks Christian (Westlake Village) 7-4
LOST to Rancho Cucamonga, 14-10, in CIFSS D2 playoffs. The Lions were stopped on a fourth down play with 23.8 seconds left as they were looking to win at the end.
Does not play. The Titans are the fourth seed in the four-team SD Section Open Division. They play No. 1 seed Carlsbad next week in the semifinals.
Rancho Cucamonga 9-2
Won Friday at home vs Oaks Christian, 14-10, in CIFSS D2 playoffs. Up next will be 11-0 Inglewood in the quarterfinals.
San Clemente 7-4
LOST to No. 25 Chaminade of West Hills, 27-26, Friday in CIFSS D2 playoffs. The Tritons were stopped on a two-point conversion try in the closing seconds that would have won the game.
San Joaquin Memorial (Fresno) 8-2
Does not play. The Panthers were on a first-round bye in the CIF Central Section D1 playoffs. They will play next week in the quarterfinals vs. Central of Fresno, which did play and defeated Redwood of Visalia, 48-21.
St. Francis (Mountain View) 7-3
Defeated Archbishop Mitty of San Jose, 35-13, in regular season final. The Lancers also wrapped up 2nd place in the WCAL combined with Serra winning Saturday vs Sacred Heart Cathedral.
West Ranch (Valencia) 11-0
Defeated St. Pius X-St. Matthias (Downey), 42-21, in CIFSS D3 playoffs. This was a No. 1 seed vs No. 16, but St. Pius X is more of a legit small school and should have been in a lower division (D5 or D6). Ryan Staub scored four TDs rushing for the Wildcats.
Yorba Linda 11-0
Defeated Charter Oak (Covina), 31-21, in CIFSS D3 playoffs. Charter Oak also entered the game 10-0.
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