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Playoff previews and predictions

11/20/2013, 8:54pm PST
By John Maffei, Craig Malveaux

Open Division through Division V.


Ramona running back Nathan Cherek helps lead a Bulldogs ground game that is averaging 196.2 yards a game.

OPEN DIVISION SEMIFINALS

(4) Helix (9-2) at (1) Mission Hills (10-1)

Kickoff: Friday, 7 p.m.

Preview: Helix beat La Costa Canyon 41-7 last week. Highlanders QB Michael Austin had three TD passes in that game and RB Nathan Stinson scored twice. Helix has won six in a row. Mission Hills beat Steele Canyon 56-35 last week with QB Connor Wynn throwing five TD passes to give him 24 on the season. Scott Higgins and DeChaun Holiday each caught two TD tosses. The Grizzlies have won four in a row, scoring 190 points. Mission Hills and Helix last met in the 2011 Division II semifinals, won by the Highlanders 21-0.

Next: Winner plays Oceanside-Eastlake winner in final Dec. 2.

Prediction: Mission Hills 21, Helix 20.

(3) Oceanside (9-2) at (2) Eastlake (10-1)

Kickoff: Friday, 7 p.m.

Radio: 1090-AM.

Preview: Oceanside blanked Torrey Pines 35-0 last week. QB Matt Romero has thrown for 24 TDs. Thai Cotttell has more than 1,800 total yards. WR Mikah Holder has 918 receiving yards. Oceanside has won six in a row, outscoring opponents 223-30. Eastlake beat La Costa Canyon 41-6 last week. The Titans have thrown just 77 passes all season. Isaiah Strayhorn leads the run game with 1,131 yards while Traylon Reed has 986. The Titans average 9.17 yards on 442 rushing attempts. Eastlake has won 10 in a row with four shutouts.

Next: Winner plays Helix-Mission Hills winner in final Dec. 2.

Prediction: Oceanside 27, Eastlake 24.

JOHN MAFFEI

DIVISION I QUARTERFINALS

(8) El Camino (5-6) at (1) San Pasqual (9-1)

Kickoff: Thursday, 7 p.m.

Preview: The Eagles hold quality wins over Mission Hills, La Costa Canyon and Torrey Pines. Had not it been for a 38-36 heartbreaker in which Rancho Buena Vista overcame an 11-point halftime deficit, San Pasqual would be undefeated. From there, the Eagles have outscored opponents 75-7. After three consecutive league losses, El Camino eked out a 14-13 victory in the first round behind two touchdown passes from quarterback Adam Baker. The versatile, two-way star forced a fumble that halted Point Loma’s late fourth-quarter drive.

Next: Winner plays Grossmont-Carlsbad winner in semifinals Nov. 27.

Prediction: San Pasqual 28, El Camino 13.

(5) Grossmont (9-2) at (4) Carlsbad (8-2)

Kickoff: Thursday, 7 p.m.

Preview: In the last five games, Foothillers quarterback Anthony Lawrence has thrown for 1,548 yards and 20 touchdowns, aiding in four victories and four games of 35 or more points. Carlsbad’s defense is a spectacle, shutting out five opponents in addition to two, single-touchdown games. On offense, Dylan Rutledge and Damaris Pulido Christovale pack a punch on the ground, providing balance for SDSU-commit Christian Chapman at quarterback.

Next: Winner plays El Camino-San Pasqual winner in semifinals Nov. 27.

Prediction: Carlsbad 21, Grossmont 17.

(6) Olympian (8-3) at (3) Cathedral Catholic (8-2)

Kickoff: Thursday, 7 p.m.

Preview: It’s no secret what the Dons bring to the table. Using the wing T offense, Cathedral Catholic runs it down opponents’ throats using a variety of backs including Chris Moliga. The senior has tallied 1,319 yards and 16 touchdowns. Like Cathedral Catholic, Olympian thrives using a stable of backs featuring Manny Rodriguez and William Lampkin, who have combined for 1,300 yards and 12 touchdowns on 189 carries.

Next: Winner plays Mt. Carmel-Ramona winner in semifinals Nov. 27.

Prediction: Cathedral Catholic 14, Olympian 13.

(7) Mt. Carmel (7-4) at (2) Ramona (9-1)

Kickoff: Thursday, 7 p.m.

Preview: The strength of this Ramona team is on the ground where the Bulldogs average 196.2 yards per game, attacking with a two-headed monster of Nathan Cherek and Brandon Gansch. Mt. Carmel avenged a regular-season 45-13 rout to Westview, pacing itself each quarter for a 26-14 victory. The Sundevils feature 1,000-yard rusher Davion Fuller and 1,000-yard passer Lucas Johnson, who has thrown just two interceptions this season.

Next: Winner plays Olympian-Cathedral Catholic winner in semifinals Nov. 27.

Prediction: Ramona 31, Mt. Carmel 17.

CRAIG MALVEAUX

DIVISION II QUARTERFINALS

(8) Mission Bay (10-1) at (1) Madison (9-1)

Kickoff: Thursday, 7 p.m.

Preview: Mission Bay beat Brawley 41-16, giving the Bucs five wins in a row. Mission Bay’s last loss was 42-7 to Madison in Week 6. Madison is the defending state Division III bowl champion. QB Kareem Coles has thrown for 1,174 yards and 11 TDs with just one interception. RB Kevin Moore averages 10.2 yards on 85 carries. The Warhawks, who are 55-7-1 over the last five years, have won six in a row since a loss to Eastlake.

Next: Winner plays Rancho Buena Vista-Mount Miguel winner in semifinals Nov. 27.

Prediction: Madison 35, Mission Bay 14.

(5) Rancho Buena Vista (8-3) at (4) Mount Miguel (8-2)

Kickoff: Thursday, 7 p.m.

Preview: Rancho Buena Vista beat Serra 54-21 last week with Chad Woolsey rushing for 172 yards and four TDs. Diego Rodriguez scored three times, twice on 15-yard runs and once on a 25-yard pass reception. The Longhorns are 14-9 in two years under Paul Gomes after going 0-10 in 2011. Mount Miguel QB Brad Moreno has thrown for 1,251 yards and nine TDs. He hasn’t thrown an interception this season. RB Ben Lomibao has 1,169 rushing yards and 17 TDs.

Next: Winner plays Mission Bay-Madison winner in semifinals Nov. 27.

Prediction: Rancho Buena Vista 27, Mount Miguel 24.

(6) El Capitan (10-1) at (3) Imperial (10-0)

Kickoff: Thursday, 7 p.m.

Preview: El Capitan beat Del Norte 45-21 last week. QB Brad Cagle has completed 133 of 219 passes for 2,412 yards and 28 TDs with only five interceptions. RB Dennis Smith has 802 yards on 85 carries. Scott Root has 819 receiving yards and Isaiah Capoocia 703. The Vaqueros average 425.4 yards total offense. Imperial RB Royce Freeman leads the way with 2,426 yards on 200 carries with 38 TDs. He averages 12.1 yards a carry. QB Chris Carter has thrown for 1,123 yards and rushed for 1,023. Imperial averages 505 yards a game total offense.

Next: Winner plays West Hills-St. Augustine winner in semifinals Nov. 27.

Prediction: El Capitan 31, Imperial 27.

(7) West Hills (8-3) vs. (2) St. Augustine (8-2)

Site: Mesa College.

Kickoff: Thursday, 7 p.m.

Preview: West Hills beat Scripps Ranch 31-17 last week. QB Stephen Schindler has thrown for 1,373 yards with 15 TDs and only two interceptions. WR Dennis McManus has 25 catches. He’s also the team’s kicker with 28 of 29 PATs and 14 of 17 field goals. He has 42 touchbacks on 50 kickoffs. St. Augustine is the defending Division III champion. The Saints have won five in a row. QB Joe Joe Hudson has thrown for 1,395 yards and 13 TDs. RB Elijah Preston has rushed 134 times for 1,004 yards and 12 TDs.

Next: Winner plays El Capitan-Imperial winner in semifinals Nov. 27.

Prediction: St. Augustine 24, West Hills 12.

JOHN MAFFEI

DIVISION III QUARTERFINALS

(8) Granite Hills (6-5) at (1) Francis Parker (10-0)

Kickoff: Friday, 7 p.m.

Preview: Granite Hills inched over .500 for the first time since Week 4 with its 28-14 victory against Bonita Vista in the opening round last week. The Eagles have won two in a row. Top-seeded Francis Parker is undefeated this season, having outscored opponents 424-137, including six games allowing 13 points or fewer. Led by quarterback Khaleel Jenkins and running back Jesse Brookins, who have tallied 3,212 total yards combined, the Lancers have scored 41 or more points seven times.

Next: Winner plays San Marcos-Santa Fe Christian winner in semifinals Nov. 29.

Prediction: Francis Parker 35, Granite Hills 14.

(5) San Marcos (7-4) vs. (4) Santa Fe Christian (6-4)

Site: Torrey Pines High.

Kickoff: Friday, 7 p.m.

Preview: Tony Miro — one of the top running backs in the section — bolsters a Santa Fe Christian rushing attack that has tallied 1,355 yards and 19 touchdowns while scoring 157 points the last four games. San Marcos picked apart Fallbrook’s defense with balance. James Harwell tossed for 281 yards and five touchdowns while the Knights’ crop of backs produced 227 rushing yards.

Next: Winner plays Granite Hills-Francis Parker winner in semifinals Nov. 29.

Prediction: Santa Fe Christian 24, San Marcos 20.

(6) Hoover (8-3) at (3) Hilltop (9-1)

Kickoff: Friday, 7 p.m.

Preview: Something has to give. Hoover has scored 30 points or more six times this season behind Damonte Holiday, who has accounted for 16 offensive touchdowns. The Lancers, however, have surrendered eight or fewer points seven times this season, including two shutouts.

Next: Winner plays Morse-Christian winner in semifinals Nov. 29.

Prediction: Hoover 16, Hilltop 13.

(7) Morse (5-6) vs. (2) Christian (9-1)

Site: Granite Hills High.

Kickoff: Friday, 7 p.m.

Preview: Christian is a juggernaut, outscoring opponents 474-83 this season behind an impressive campaign by quarterback Michael Carrillo, who has passed for 2,122 yards and 27 touchdowns with only one interception. Morse has found its offensive stride, scoring 41 points or more in four of its five games.

Next: Winner plays Hoover-Hilltop winner in semifinals Nov. 29.

Prediction: Christian 38, Morse 17.

CRAIG MALVEAUX

DIVISION IV QUARTERFINALS

(8) University City (4-6) at (1) Monte Vista (5-5)

Kickoff: Friday, 7 p.m.

Preview: University City beat Castle Park 20-0 last week, the first shutout of the season for a team that has surrendered 298 points. RB Dominic Lewis leads an offense that averages 244.4 yards a game. Monte Vista nailed down the No. 1 seed with a 44-3 win over Santana on the last night of the regular season.

Next: Winner plays Mater Dei Catholic-La Jolla winner in semifinals Nov. 29.

Prediction: Monte Vista 27, University City 14.

(5) Mater Dei Catholic (4-7) at (4) La Jolla (4-6)

Kickoff: Friday, 7 p.m.

Preview: Mater Dei Catholic beat El Cajon Valley 55-7 last week with QB Marco Morales throwing three TD passes. Two went to Iman Chatman-Dixon for 68 and 92 yards. La Jolla QB Collin Rugg has thrown for 2,035 yards and 21 TDs. The Vikings have three receivers with 450 or more yards. RB Reid Martin has rushed for 861 yards.

Next: Winner plays University City-Monte Vista winner in semifinals Nov. 29.

Prediction: La Jolla 24, Mater Dei Catholic 21.

(11) EC Southwest (3-7) at (3) Central (5-5)

Kickoff: Friday, 7 p.m.

Preview: Southwest, a team that had given up 337 points, upset No. 5-seeded Montgomery 10-7 last week. Central lost two in a row to end the regular season. Central beat Southwest 23-12 in Week 8.

Next: Winner plays Clairemont-Sweetwater winner in semifinals Nov. 29.

Prediction: Central Union 27, EC Southwest 24.

(10) Clairemont (5-6) at (2) Sweetwater (6-4)

Kickoff: Friday, 7 p.m.

Preview: Clairemont, which has thrown for just 371 yards this season, beat La Jolla Country Day 28-14 last week. The Chieftains, however, have three RBs with more than 500 yards — Alex Beaubien (608), Alessandro Baldassare (536) and Josh Urbonas (527). Sweetwater had a bye last week. The Red Devils have thrown just 21 passes all season. RB Antonio Garcia has 1,026 rushing yards while Angel Reyes has 892 and Raven Middleton 545.

Next: Winner plays EC Southwest-Central winner in semifinals Nov. 29.

Prediction: Sweetwater 28, Clairemont 17

JOHN MAFFEI

DIVISION V SEMIFINALS

(4) Palo Verde (5-6) vs. (1) Crawford (11-0)

Site: San Diego High.

Kickoff: Friday, 7 p.m.

Preview: The top-seeded Colts haven’t rushed for less than 232 yards in a game this season, feeding backs Ray Lyons (1,100 yards, 18 touchdowns) and Musa Musa. The Yellowjackets’ defense has lacked sting, allowing 197 points in the last four games, which could pose huge problems if not corrected.

Next: Winner plays Mountain Empire-Holtville winner in final Nov. 30.

Prediction: Crawford 42, Palo Verde 14.

(3) Mountain Empire (7-4) at (2) Holtville (9-2)

Kickoff: Friday, 7 p.m.

Preview: Since defeating Mountain Empire 33-12 in Week 7, Holtville has compiled 1,496 total yards and 23 touchdowns and has scored 40 or more points four times. Entering the fourth quarter against Escondido Charter last week, the Redhawks held a one-point lead but sealed the victory with a touchdown and two-point conversion.

Next: Winner plays Palo Verde-Crawford winner in final Nov. 30.

Prediction: Holtville 30, Mountain Empire 21.

CRAIG MALVEAUX

Maffei season record: 69-20.

Malveaux season record: 70-19.

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