Game Of The Week:
Van Nuys (Calif.) Birmingham def. Los Angeles (Calif.) Crenshaw, 20-6
The top-seeded Patriots ensured that there would be a new champion in the City Section this year, knocking off defending champion Crenshaw by two touchdowns in the semifinals. Patriots junior running back Milton Knox set a new Birmingham single-season rushing record, running on Crenshaw for 284 yards on 32 carries and scored three touchdowns. The Patriots defense was geared to stop UCLA-bound running back Raymond Carter, and it worked to perfection, limiting Carter to 20 yards on 10 carries. The Patriots will move on to play San Pedro in the City Finals at the Coliseum.
San Diego (Calif.) St. Augustine def. Lakeside (Calif.), 51-43 & Point Loma, 17-7
The Saints, the defending Division III champions in San Diego, ousted top-seeded El Capitan from the playoffs and moved on to the San Diego Section Finals thanks to a steady performance by UCLA's committed quarterback Chris Forcier. The Saints jumped on El Capitan early, and ended their perfect season, but not before having to hold on in the end. Forcier threw for 116 yards and two touchdown passes and ran one. On Monday night, the Saints defended their title and won their second straight CIF San Diego Section Div. III Championship. Forcier ran for 87 yards, including a 66-yarder for a touchdown. The Saints stuck to the ground game for their gameplan, and it worked to perfection, amassing over 300 yards on the ground.
Los Angeles (Calif.) Verbum Dei def. Duarte (Calif.), 48-8
The Eagles cruised to another blowout victory in the CIF playoffs, winning their third game by at least 40 points, in fact, this game being the closest of their three wins. UCLA-bound Akeem Ayers again was the star of the day, catching four passes for 90 yards, three of which he scored touchdowns on and added 13 tackles including one for loss. Reggie Dunn had 7 carries for 23 yards and three catches for 33 yards and scored a touchdown, while recording six tackles, two for loss. Justin Edison had nine tackles and two for loss, Jonathan Calhoun had six tackles and two breakups and Curtis Wilson was 9-for-14 for 158 yards and four touchdown passes, carried the ball eight times for 78 yards and two touchdowns and had seven tackles. Maxwell Lacy added nine tackles (one for loss), a breakup and two interceptions. The Eagles will face league foe La Salle, a team they dropped a 37-36 contest to in October in the CIF Division XI finals. In three games, Verbum Dei has outscored its opponents 151-21.
Orange (Calif.) Lutheran def. Long Beach (Calif.) Poly, 23-22
The Lancers knocked Poly out of the chase for the SoCal Division I spot in the State Championship Game and at the same time, kept their hopes for the Division II spot alive in a wild game at the Home Depot Center. The Lancers had a 23-0 lead, only to see the Jackrabbits come back to cut it to 23-16 after a pair of touchdowns and two-point conversions. Poly then scored on a touchdown pass from Gabriel Thomas to Rickey Johnson to make it 23-22, but the snap on the PAT was mishandled and they couldn't run in the two-point conversion. Poly's attempt at recovering the onside kick failed, and the Lancers ran out the clock, putting them in the CIF Division I Finals next week against Edison of Huntington Beach.
Compton (Calif.) Dominguez def. West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade, 26-19
Brandon Johnson rushed for 259 yards on 33 carries and scored two touchdowns to rally Dominguez to a 26-19 win over Chaminade, and put them in the CIF Division III finals next weekend against West Torrance. Junior quarterback prospect Ryan Griffin, completed 14 of 32 passes for 203 yards and a touchdown pass and ran one in.
Riverside (Calif.) J.W. North def. Fontana (Calif.) Kaiser, 42-7
Top-seeded North made easy work of the Cats, who saw their CIF championship hopes end in the semifinals for the second straight year. The Cats had been shutting teams down for the past six games, but couldn't stop the North offense, who moves on to face La Quinta (Calif.) in the Division VIII finals.