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Best Friday of the season

11/02/2014, 1:50pm PST
By John Maffei

Final week gives prep football fans first-place showdowns as well as rivalry games

Helix Highlanders defeated Del Oro Golden Eagles in the match up for the Honor Bowl.

This is the best Friday of the high school football season.

First place is on the line in no less than eight league races. And there are at least seven arch-rival games on the schedule.

It doesn't matter where you live in the county, a good game is only a short drive away.

Here's a look at some of Friday's big games:

Avocado East - No. 5 Mission Hills (7-2, 3-0) is at No. 6 San Marcos (9-0, 3-0) in a game that pits crosstown rivals with the league title at stake. Mission Hills leads the series 9-1 and has won nine in a row, outscoring the Knights 400-58. Mission Hills has had one coach - Chris Hauser - the entire series while San Marcos has had five - Rick Ashby, Desi Herrera, Pulu Poumele, Robert Cendro and Jason Texler. Texler, however, has the Knights 9-0 for the first time since 1966. Also in the Avo East, crosstown rivals Vista (4-5, 1-2) and Rancho Buena Vista (1-9, 0-3) play for the 29th time.

Avocado West - No. 1 Oceanside (9-0, 3-0) is at crosstown rival El Camino (5-4, 1-2). A win gives Oceanside the league title, city bragging rights and will tie the all-time series at 20-20.

City - Hoover (7-2, 3-0) is at San Diego (1-8, 0-3) in what shouldn't be much of a game. But this rivalry started in 1933. Hoover is 6-0-1 against the Cavers since San Diego's last win in 2003.

Coastal - Bishop's (9-0, 3-0) is at La Jolla Country Day (4-5, 0-3) in a battle of the La Jolla Schools. Win or lose, Bishop's is the No. 1 seed in the Division IV playoffs. LJCD is battling for its playoff life in Division V. Bishop's lead the series 7-3.

Grossmont Hills - The Grossmont Conference realigned this season, putting in strongest teams in this leagues and got exactly what it wanted - a first-place showdown with No. 3 Helix (8-1, 3-0) and No. 4 El Capitan (9-0, 3-0) It's offense vs. defense with El Capitan, which has scored 371 points, against Helix, which has allowed 56. This series started in 1969.

Grossmont Valley - Monte Vista (6-3, 3-0) is at West Hills (7-2, 3-0) with the league title on the line. The Grossmont Conference got exactly what it wanted, championship showdowns in two leagues.

Imperial Valley - Central (5-4, 3-1) can grab a share of the league title when it visits Brawley (8-1, 4-0).

Metro Pacific - Montgomery (3-6, 2-0) is at Castle Park (6-3, 2-0) with the league title on the line. Montgomery could use a win to secure a playoff spot.

Metro South Bay - No. 10 Sweetwater (9-0, 2-0) is at Mater Dei Catholic (5-4, 2-0) to decide the league title. Sweetwater, the defending Division IV champion, has a county best 19-game winning streak.

Palomar - Rancho Bernardo (7-2, 3-0) is at Poway (1-8, 0-3) in what looks like a mismatch. But RB needs to beat its archrival to capture its first outright league title since 2004. Also, Mt. Carmel (5-4, 1-2) plays at Westview (2-7, 1-5). The schools are one exit apart on Highway 56.

Valley - Escondido (1-8, 1-2) is at San Pasqual (1-8, 1-2) in what looks like a terrible game. But both teams have beaten Orange Glen, so this is for the city title. San Pasqual leads the series 25-17-2. Neither team makes the playoffs. In addition, Valley Center (5-4, 2-1) is at Orange Glen (6-3, 0-3). Valley Center opened in 1998 and took most of the school's football coaches, players and administrators. OG hasn't been the same since. The series stands 14-2 VC.

Western - Point Loma (8-1, 3-0) is at Madison (6-3, 3-0) in a title showdown. Point Loma has played well all season while Madison has won six in a row after a three-loss start.

Plea to coaches

The sportswriters use the all-league teams to help in choosing All-CIF teams. So we'd like to appeal to league reps to send all-league teams - in all sports - to Steve Brand at the San Diego Hall of Champions at steveb@sdhoc.com.

Also, I'd like to appeal to the football coaches to send a list of possible All-CIF selections to me to carry to our meeting. And don't be afraid to add stats and thoughts to your e-mail. We try our best to do a good job and be honest, but I'd like coaches to be proactive and send nominees instead of complaining afterward that we missed something. We especially need help in choosing offensive linemen. Send those nominees to john.maffei@utsandiego.com

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