Two weeks ago, the Tarbabes were entertaining thoughts of the top seed from the Pac-5 Division. Then they lost their last two games and now find themselves on the road. Edison on the other hand, was mired in a mid-season slump but as soon as Nick Crissman emerged with his health, the Chargers caught fire, and now they're primed for a return to the CIF Pac-5 Championship game. Compton's defense was stout the first eight games, but the last two have been rough on them. Meanwhile, Edison's offense slumbered before catching fire. This game will feature Bruin commits on both side, with Datone Jones leading the charge on defense for Compton and aiming for his future teammate Crissman, who looks to keep his hot streak going.
Leuzinger at Culver City
The Olympians squeaked into the playoffs with an at-large berth but it wont be easy because they'll face top-seeded and undefeated Culver City. Uona Kaveinga leads the Leuzinger defense but they'll face their stiffest challenge against the Centaurs prolific offense, led by quarterback Darius Banks and do-it-all two-way threat Antwon Moutra, who is quietly having what may be the best season of any of UCLA's commits.
Arcadia at Rancho Verde
Rancho Verde started strong before a late slump and some wins were forfeited and comes in reeling to the playoffs. Arcadia was in much the same boat, winning their first seven before losing two straight to ruin their Pacific League title hopes. Rancho Verde is led by the top offensive tackle in the country, Tyron Smith, a commit to USC. Arcadia is hoping that UCLA commit Kevan Walker is healed from an ankle injury that sidelined him in the regular season finale. Todd Golper, a 2009 prospect, will anchor the Apaches defense.
Don Lugo at Colton
The winner of this game will face the winner of Arcadia-Rancho Verde, and this game also involves Pac-10 players on each side. Don Lugo is led by the versatile A.J. Pickens, who has a number of Pac-10 offers. Colton meanwhile comes in as the #3 seed in the Central Division playoffs and is paced by UCLA commit Damien Holmes, the #1 defensive end in the state and a strong candidate for CIF Player of the Year honors.
Santiago at Etiwanda
This game will feature the #3 receiver in the West, Etiwanda's Marvin Jones, a commit to Cal, against the #2 cornerback in the region, Anthony Dye of Santiago, a Bruin commit. Though Dye may focus on safety, there is a good chance Jones and Dye will match up 1-on-1. Dye will also carry the ball for the Sharks, and he's coming off a 126-yard, 3-touchdown performance in a must-win game.
Long Beach Millikan at Crespi
The Celts earned the #2 seed in the Pac-5 playoffs after routing Notre Dame last week, and a potential game with Mater Dei looms in the second round, but they'll need to get past Millikan, the third place team from the Moore League. Crespi completed an impressive 8-2 regular season, with wins over Birmingham and St. Bonaventure, despite losing quarterback Kevin Prince in the opener. But injuries to key players sent them home early last year, so they'll be remembering that in the opening playoff game. E.J. Woods, a UCLA commit, paces a stingy Celts defense.
Mission Viejo at Orange Lutheran
The Lancers begin their Pac-5 title defense with an intriguing first round game with Mission Viejo, who failed to win the league title for the first time in the 2000's. One of the best matchups of the night will take place in the trenches, where UCLA commit Jeff Baca will try to keep elite junior quarterback Allan Bridgford protected from USC verbal Blake Ayles, who while being one of the elite tight ends nationally, has had a big year at defensive end.
Bakersfield Liberty at Fresno Edison
The top game in Central California sees top-seeded Edison, fresh off a bye, welcome Liberty HS of Bakersfield. Stellar Liberty quarterback Byron Campbell will face his toughest test yet: the vaunted Edison secondary, led by UCLA recruit Robert Golden, Georgia Tech commit Brandon Leslie and the elite junior tandem of Cliff Harris and T.J. McDonald. Where Liberty will need production is from fast-rising defensive end Matt Akers, who will need to pressure Edison quarterback Jerry Davis before Davis can his stud junior receiver Rolando Jefferson, already one of the top prospects in the country.
Other games for Week Nine (November 8th-10th):
Thousand Oaks at Hart (UCLA commit Patrick Larimore-out)
Oakland Tech at McClymonds (UCLA recruit Allen Carroll)
Palmdale Highland at Dominguez (UCLA commit Aaron Hester)
Rancho Bernardo at El Camino of Oceanside (UCLA commit Nelson Rosario)
San Luis Obispo at St. Bonaventure (UCLA recruits Darrell Scott & Vaughn Dotsy) Strake Jesuit at Katy (UCLA commit Aundre Dean)
Torrance at Harvard-Westlake (UCLA commit Jonathan Martin)
Valencia (UCLA commit Marlon Pollard) at Oxnard
Warren at Palmdale (UCLA commit Connor Bradford)
Thursday Night Scores:
Birmingham (UCLA commits Donovan Carter & Milton Knox) def. Kennedy, 60-0
Dorsey (UCLA commits Rahim Moore & Johnathan Franklin) def. San Pedro, 21-7
Venice (UCLA commit Jerry Johnson) def. Locke, 38-14