Game Of The Week:
Los Angeles (Calif.) Crenshaw at Van Nuys (Calif.) Birmingham at 7:00 p.m.
The top-seeded Patriots welcome the defending City Champion Cougars in a matchup of the top two running backs in the City. Birmingham will rely on elite junior running back Milton Knox while the Cougars will counter with senior Raymond Carter, who did what Knox is hoping to do: lead his school to the City title as a junior. The Patriots will also use the talents of senior receiver Willie Chandler while the Cougars will use the hands and legs of Kemonte Bateman. No player though has the star power of Crenshaw defensive tackle Brian Price.
Duarte (Calif.) at Los Angeles (Calif.) Verbum Dei at Compton Centennial at 7:30 p.m.
The Eagles will host the Falcons in the CIF Division XI semifinals. The Falcons, led by running back Chris Harris, two-way threat Jermaine Thomas and offensive tackle Mike Harris will try to get the road win against an Eagles team playing their best football of the Year. Verbum Dei has won its two playoff games 103-13, giving up those points last week against top-seeded Temple City in a blowout win over the top seed. Harris will go up against potential future teammate Akeem Ayers while the matchup between Thomas and Reggie Dunn is one of the more intriguing matchups of the playoffs.
Orange (Calif.) Lutheran vs Long Beach (Calif.) Poly at Home Depot Center at 4:30 p.m.
The winner of this game moves on the CIF Finals for Division I, but more importantly, each has a chance to take the SoCal spot in the State Championship Game. Poly has bounced back after a season-opening loss to Santa Margarita and is on pace to get the Division I berth for SoCal. The Lancers are in line for the Division II berth, but the loser of this game will likely kiss those chances goodbye. The matchup to watch will be elite cornerback Donovan Warren against rising receiver Austin Pettis, though the matchup in the trenches with Kenny Rowe and elite junior Jurrell Casey and Lancer lineman Mike Reardon and tight end Blake Ayles will be one to watch as well. Lancer QB Aaron Corp will face the fastest defense he has all year.
Fontana (Calif.) Kaiser at Riverside (Calif.) J.W. North at 7:30 p.m. at Riverside C.C. on Saturday
The Cats are hoping to get past the semifinals this year, the place their season ended a year ago, but need to have a big game to get past top-seeded J.W. North. The North offense is a high-powered machine but the Cats defense, led by defensive end Chris Carter, has been stout all season long.
Thursday Night Scores
San Diego (Calif.) St. Augustine def. Lakeside (Calif.) El Capitan, 51-43 in the San Diego Section Div. III semifinals.
Other Games of Note:
Carson (Calif.) at San Pedro (Calif.) at 7:00 p.m. (QB Dominique Blackman)
Compton (Calif.) Dominguez at West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday (RB Brandon Johnson, RB Marcus Darden, LB Maurice Simmons, LB Marquis Simmons, CB David Ross, WR Aaron Hester, WR Aubrey Smith)