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John Maffei's prep football championship picks

11/21/2018, 8:05pm PST
By John Maffei

Helix running back Elelyon Noa will try to find an opening in the St. Augustine defense.


Tickets: $15 adults, $9 student/seniors (online sales at cifsds.org)

Parking: $10 at Southwestern (Bonita Vista High will not be available for parking)

Online: All games streaming at nfhsnetwork.com

Next: All winners advance to Southern California Regionals


(4) St. Augustine (9-3) vs. (3) Helix (8-4)

When: Saturday, 7 p.m.

Where: Southwestern College

Radio: 97.3-FM

St. Augustine preview: St. Augustine averages 357.7 yards and 30.2 points a game on offense, led by QB Angelo Peraza, who has thrown for 2,249 yards and 24 TDs with 10 interceptions. RB Byron Cardwell has 1,350 yards total offense, 1,009 rushing. Cole Barry has 645 yards total offense, 544 rushing. WR Samuel Scaife has 47 catches for 774 yards and 13 TDs. The defense allows 13.2 points a game with 4 shutouts. LB JT Penick leads the way with 103 tackles while Connor Heffler has 80 tackles and 81/2 sacks, Eavan Gibbons has 78 tackles and Will Simon has 72 tackles and 12 sacks. As a team, St. Augustine has 54 sacks and 123 tackles for losses.

Helix preview: The Highlanders are led by RB Elelyon Noa, who has 178 attempts for 2,180 yards, averaging 12.2 yards a carry, and 24 TDs. QB Daniel Amon has 913 yards passing. QB-RB Delshawn Traylor has 191 yards passing and 587 rushing. The defense is led by San Diego State-bound Michael Shawcroft and OLB Jacob Ray. The defense has 16 INTs. PK Elijah Lang has made 56 of 60 PATs and all 3 FGs.

First meeting: The teams played on Sept. 14 with Helix winning 35-14. Peraza threw for 140 yards, but was intercepted 4 times. Noa rushed for 177 yards.

Championship history: Helix has won 8 San Diego Section titles, including the Open Division last season. The Highlanders won a state championship in 2011. St. Augustine has 4 section titles.

Prediction: Helix 27, St. Augustine 21


(7) Mira Mesa (10-2) vs. (5) Lincoln (9-4)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Where: Southwestern College

Radio: 97.3-FM

Mira Mesa preview: QB Noah Tumblin has 2,818 yards total offense — 1,819 passing — and has accounted for 35 TDs. Javelle Brown has 1,458 all-purpose yards — 644 rushing, 523 receiving and 291 on kickoff returns. Elijah Thomas leads the defense with 64 tackles and 3 INTs. Stephen Noche had 58 tackles and 4 sacks. The defense has 23 sacks and 12 INTs.

Lincoln preview: Colorado-bound Don Chapman has 199 yards rushing, 401 receiving and 836 on kick returns. Plus he has 48 tackles. QB Raymond Spriggs has thrown for 1,771 yards and 18 TDs. RB Carlito Nothaft has 147 carries for 1,120 yards and 14 scores. WR Jamahd Monroe has 52 catches for 1,192 yards and 13 TDs. LBs Kenneth Stevenson and T’ray Kirkland lead the defense with 64 and 56 tackles, respectively.

Common opponents: Both teams have wins over Madison and La Jolla — Mira Mesa by 24-20 and 44-0, Lincoln by 24-14 and 42-14.

Championship history: Mira Mesa has never won a section title. Lincoln has 8 championships, the last a Division III crown in 2012.

Prediction: Mira Mesa 31, Lincoln 30


(5) Morse (8-4) vs. (2) Central Union (12-0)

When: Saturday, 1 p.m.

Where: Southwestern College

Radio: 1230-AM in El Centro

Morse preview: The Tigers average 36.9 points on offense behind 1,700-yard RB Shamar Martin. LB Devin Brown is a force on defense with 140 tackles and 7 sacks. The team has 30 sacks. DB Michael Wright has 70 tackles, 5 INTs. and has defended 22 passes.

Central preview: The Spartans average 39.1 points a game behind QB Deniro Osuna, who has more than 2,500 passing yards. RB Jonathan Medina has more than 1,000 rushing yards. WR Joseph Tarango has nearly 1,000 receiving yards. DB Thadeo Campbell has 9 INTs, while Angel Nava-Esparza is the leading tackler.

Common opponents: Both teams have played La Jolla and Brawley. Morse has 54-25 and 25-14 wins. Central won 40-14 and 14-10.

Championship history: Morse has 4 section titles, the last in 1994. Central Union has never won a San Diego Section championship.

Prediction: Morse 31, Central Union 28


(2) Kearny (11-1) vs. (1) San Diego (9-2)

When: Friday, 1 p.m.

Where: Southwestern College

Kearny preview: The Komets are led by QB Kenyon Williams, who has thrown for more than 2,300 yards. RB Duce Reynolds has more than 2,000 yards rushing and receiving. Devon Jones and Demieko Hill are skilled WRs. LBs Hayden Lundy and Shakir Swenson lead the defense. The Komets average 46.8 points on offense while the defense allows just 5.6.

San Diego preview: Cavers QB Quinn O’Connor has thrown for 945 yards and 16 TDs. But San Diego does the bulk of its damage on the ground behind RBs Raiden Hunter (1,000 yards on 101 carries), Mo Jackson (952 yards on 80 carries) and Jayden Wickware (595 on 75 carries). The team averages 9.4 yards on 333 rushes with 42 TDs on the ground. The Cavers average 41.8 points on offense while allowing 10.1.

First meeting: The teams played on Oct. 19 with San Diego handing Kearny its only loss, 21-13. San Diego built a 21-0 lead before Kearny rallied to make it a game, losing a fumble late in the contest. Reynolds rushed for 102 yards for Kearny while the Cavers had 41 rushes for 247 yards.

Championship history: San Diego last won a section title in 1969, tying Escondido in the Division II game. Kearny has 3 titles, the last in 1973.

Prediction: San Diego 21, Kearny 20


(3) Francis Parker (11-1) vs. (1) Orange Glen (8-3)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Where: Otay Ranch High

Francis Parker preview: The Lancers have turned it around after a 3-7 2017 season. Do-everything Parker QB Ryan Sanborn has 2,497 yards total offense, 1,909 passing, and has accounted for 39 TDs. He has 77 tackles, 3 INTs, has missed just one of 57 PATs and FG attempts and averages 41.7 yards punting. WR Jonathan Gordon has 1,302 yards receiving and on returns. RB Sam Camposeco has 646 yards and 126 tackles. Trevor Brokowski has 750 yards rushing and receiving while Russell Childs has 697. Peter Bowden and Apolo Samikoglu have 111/2 of the team’s 20 sacks.

Orange Glen preview: The Patriots were 1-9 last season. RB Cael Patterson, who has 2,129 yards and 27 TDs rushing, is the leader. QB Ethan Villalobos has thrown for 622 yards. MLB Julien Lesa has 95 tackles while LB Carlos Galan has 64 and Ruben Ramirez 60.

Common opponents: There are 6 common opponents — Clairemont, Hoover, Army-Navy, Tri-City Christian, Maranatha Christian and Escondido Charter. Parker is 6-1 (having played Tri-City twice) and has outscored those teams 230-73. Orange Glen is 6-0, including a forfeit win over Escondido Charter, holding a 193-60 scoring advantage.

Championship history: Parker has 8 section titles, including 8-man championships. The Lancers’ last 11-man crown was in 2009. Orange Glen has one section title, winning 2A in 1967.

Prediction: Orange Glen 31, Francis Parker 28

Last week: 7-4. Season: 122-38.

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