Division 1 final, Friday, 7:30pm, Fox Sports Net West, pre-game show at 7:00pm
This is the first finals meeting between the two traditional powers (schools are located 12 miles apart). Both teams lost to Div 2 finalist Mission Viejo earlier in the year for their only setback. Poly lost in week 4 41-14, Los Al lost in week 1 55-21. The teams were ranked #3 (Los Al) and #4 (Poly) in the final regular season rankings by the LA Times. Poly is ranked #10 in the nation by USA Today.
LB Poly (12-1)
Poly features some of the best skill position players in the area with some top wide receivers and defensive backs. The Jackrabbits have a long history of players being recruited by USC and this year is no exception as there are several Poly players getting long looks from the Trojan coaches:
#1 Desean Jackson (WR) – the most electrifying player on the field, the Rabbits will need to get the ball in his hands in order to come away with the victory. Jackson has also played defense at times this year and he'll likely play more in the secondary in this game to help counter the 4 WR offense of Los Al. In terms of recruiting, Desean is still saying USC and Cal are his favorites ahead of LSU and Oklahoma.
#4 Terrance Austin (WR) and #17 Travon Patterson (WR) – these two speedy juniors will be the starters next year and both will be highly recruited players.
#33 Vincent Joseph (CB) – The Poly coaches say they have no problem matching Joseph one on one with any receiver and not worrying about it. Only a junior, he's a member of the Poly 4x100 relay team and will also be highly recruited next season.
#11 Donovan Warren (CB) and #99 Kenny Rowe (DL) – a couple sophomores who will be players to watch in the coming years.
Los Alamitos (12-1)
The wide receiver talent in this game is impressive as not only does Poly bring their group but Los Al counters with perhaps the top pair of senior starters in the area. Both Jeremy Childs and Orlando Scandrick have put up big numbers but a key in this game will be the fact that both guys (along with RB Cortes Rice) will have to go both ways in what is expected to be a hard fought battle.
#11 Jeremy Childs (WR) – the OC career reception leader (204), Childs has been a steady producer since his sophomore year and he's known as a receiver who knows how to go get the football. Currently is leaning heavily to UCLA with Oregon and ASU also in the mix.
#1 Orlando Scandrick (WR) – Los Al coach John Barnes says Scandrick runs with the football as well as any receiver he's ever coached and Orlando has proven to be a dangerous weapon for those teams paying too much attention to Childs. Orlando is expected to commit to Washington State sometime soon.
#26 Cortes Rice (RB) – the Los Al players say Rice really turned a corner this year in his development on the field and his coaches praise his intelligent play in the secondary. Cortes set a school single season record for rushing yards this year.
#14 Jimmy Barnes (QB) – the son of the Los Al coach, Barnes is committed to Alabama. He makes good decisions (school record for completion % and TD's this year) but is not mobile so it stands to reason that Poly will try to put a lot of pressure on him.
#42 Kevin Linehan (DT) – the Los Al coaches say Linehan is "Patterson-like" for his ability to make tackles behind the line of scrimmage. At 220 pounds, however, he certainly doesn't resemble Mike physically.
#12 John Hale (LB) – a strong and physical linebacker who set a school record early this year with 21 tackles in a game against Esperanza.
Mission Viejo Diablos vs Valencia Vikings
Division 2 final, Saturday, 7:30pm, Fox Sports Net West, pre-game show at 7:00pm
The Diablos come in as the overwhelming favorite after blowing through the regular season with a 13-0 record, including a tough early season schedule that featured both Division 1 finalists as well as DeLaSalle and Mater Dei. They are ranked as the top team in the state and #3 in the nation by USA Today. Valencia was ranked as the #5 team in the area in the final regular season LA Times rankings.
Mission Viejo (13-0)
Mission Viejo coach Bob Johnson is known as a passing guru so it surprises many people when they see his team play for the first time because his offense is so balanced. They have the top rated QB in the nation while also featuring a power running game with an amazing junior runner. The Diablo defensive line is expected to put a lot of pressure on the Viking quarterback.
#6 Mark Sanchez (QB) – Mark gave a verbal commit last summer to the Trojans and then went out this fall and did everything that could be expected from him as the leader of this team. He has the complete package as a QB with size, a good arm and good decision making. Sanchez is also known for his calm demeanor in big games and he's poised to end his senior year on a high note with a victory in this game.
#42 Chane Moline (RB) – a 235 pound junior who has dazzled with his tough running and surprising ability to break long runs against top opponents. Chane "The Train" has a natural running style that makes him hard to bring down and Sanchez is expected to be working him hard to come to USC when the time comes.
#88 Konrad Reuland (TE) – Also a junior, Reuland has become the favorite choice for Sanchez as a receiving target with his terrific size and athleticism. Konrad is a former basketball player at Mater Dei and he should be one of the top recruits in the area next year.
#50 Chase Moline (OL) and #61 Kevin Bemoll (OL) – Bemoll is headed to Ohio State while Moline, brother of Chane, is considered the most valuable lineman on the team (also stars at DT).
#4 Nick Reed (DE) and #61 Ryan Williams (DE) – Reed is headed to Oregon and Williams will attend Ohio State. Poly will have their hands full trying to stop this pair.
The Vikings come into this game with a high powered passing offense featuring one of the top junior quarterbacks in the area. They beat City finalist Birmingham and perennial power Hart this year (the win ended the 65 game league win streak for the Indians) but they face a stiff test against the powerful Diablo team. Valencia lost big in an earlier televised game vs Notre Dame.
#7 Michael Herrick (QB) – Herrick is a junior with big numbers in the four wide receiver offense for Valencia. He is expected to be a top recruit next year and he's known for his good decision making with the ball.
#11 Shane Morales (WR/DB) – Morales will be one of the keys as a two way player.
#54 Torrey O'Brien (LB) and #4 Gary Cox (LB) – Valencia coach Brian Stiman says the play of his linebackers will be key for this game and this pair will lead the way along with #19 Anthony DeFilippo.