2. No. 12 in the state Hart of Newhall 23, No. 14 in the state Loyola of Los Angeles 16. Hart scored on three straight possessions in the first half to storm back after the Cubs scored on their opening drive. It was one of those games in which the Hart offense seemed to do well when it was in "attack" mode, but once the play-calling got a little conservative in the second half the tone of the game changed in Loyola's favor. Sure, two turnovers contributed to Loyola's fourth-quarter comeback hopes, but Hart just wasn't doing what it does best and that's the short to mid-range passing game. Nobody better write off Loyola as a CIFSS Div. I team to contend with, either. The Cubs still seem to be tinkering with how much to throw and how to use impressive 6-3, 245-pound junior George Hypolite. When the weather turns cold, Loyola usually starts to find its rhythm and this team could fit that description very well. For Hart, Daniel Howell continues to emerge as an intriguing college prospect. He has deceptive speed, excellent strength and at 6-2, 200 pounds can catch the ball as well as break tackles. He may have more potential on defense, however. He had one sack off a blitz and deflected a pass on another blitz. If Howell continues to grow, we could even see him as a linebacker for the next level.
3. No. 6 in the state Westlake of Westlake Village 24, No. 10 in state Div. II Agoura of Agoura Hills 0. The best chance for Agoura to score against Westlake came early on, but a drive to the three-yard line was halted. The Warriors didn't allow much more after that as Agoura QB Bryan Walker threw two interceptions and Westlake DB Marcus Mattocks held Agoura WR Braden Lepisto to just three catches. Westlake, which now looks real solid to complete a 10-0 regular season heading into the CIFSS Div. IV playoffs, led 14-0 at halftime on the strength of a 14-yard TD pass from Rudy Carpenter to Jimmy Miller and on a six-yard run by Jeff Rapoport. Westlake's leading ground gainer was Tahj Mowry, who had 142 yards on 18 carries.
4. No. 7 in state Div. II Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks 24, previously unbeaten Valencia 23. It was the second straight one-point verdict for Valencia, which won 14-13 two weeks ago over Arroyo Grande. This time, the Vikings fell short when sophomore Michael Herrick's attempt to complete a two-point conversion pass with three seconds left sailed over the head of his intended target. Herrick had scored on a one-yard sneak with 10 seconds left to set up the potential game-winning two-pointer. Notre Dame trailed 14-7 at halftime, but used a potent ground game to put the Vikings on their heels. Cary Harris led the Golden Knights with 14 carries for 146 yards and one TD. Teammate Brandon Clayton added 13 carries for 127 yards and one TD. Herrick completed 22 of 41 passes for 168 yards and one TD for Valencia. Notre Dame improved to 4-1 with its only loss coming to No. 6 in the state Westlake of Westlake Village.
5. Unbeaten Edison of Stockton 32, No. 10 in NorCal St. Mary's of Stockton 27. The account by Stockton Record reporter Jason Anderson sounded spectacular enough: 14 carries for 167 yards and one TD, two pass receptions for 33 yards, two passes completed for 13 yards, a 92-yard kickoff return for a score and runs of 58 yards (TD), 21 yards (TD) and 39 yards called back due to penalties. Watching the rebroadcast on local cable TV, however, revealed even more about the night Edison's Lavelle Hawkins had at the Rams expense. The 6-0, 170-pound junior also intercepted a pass on defense and made about six or seven tackles. Even with all that, St. Mary's still had a chance in the game's final moments, but a final pass by quarterback Barry Enright was knocked down by -- who else -- Hawkins. You really have to credit Edison's coaches, led by head coach Elliott Burke, for doing whatever they could to make sure Lavelle got his hands on the ball in situations where he would be dangerous. Hawkins, one of the nation's top wide receiver prospects, only lined up as a wideout about half the time in this game. Edison just needs to cut down on its penalties -- the Vikings had 20 for 157 yards against St. Mary's -- to improve its chances of beating defending SJAA champ Lincoln. Edison has not been to the playoffs since 1982 and this win, assuming it doesn't go to the players' heads too much, will just about clinch one. For St. Mary's, Enright completed 11 of 15 for 211 yards and two TDs, including a 72-yard TD to Roger Brunswick early in the fourth quarter that gave the Rams a 27-26 lead. Edison scored the go-ahead TD with 50 seconds left on a eight-yard TD pass from Tony Gomez to Marty Balderama.
6. No. 1 in the state De La Salle of Concord 28, La Costa Canyon of Carlsbad 7. It was an atypical performance by the Spartans in the San Diego Section on Saturday night. Maybe they were lulled into thinking they wouldn't get much of a challenge from a team that lost its previous game 23-0 to Torrey Pines or whether you credit inspired play from the Mavericks, the bottom line is that De La Salle easily could have been behind by 10-7 at halftime. Then in the third quarter, it was only 14-7 before a pair of Terrance Kelly touchdowns finally gave the Spartans some breathing room. With wideout Cameron Colvin and running back Jackie Bates still not in the lineup, the De La Salle offense struggled against La Costa Canyon's defense. They still outgained the Mavericks 410-130, but only led 7-0 at halftime. La Costa Canyon had a missed field goal and was stopped on a fourth-down play from the 1-yard line, otherwise the score would have been different. Kelly was the star of the game for De La Salle. He not only scored all four touchdowns, but he was the one who met Kaylan Hurt head-on on that big fourth-down play. La Costa Canyon's touchdown came on a 29-yard pass off the halfback option from Vinnie Perretta to Tim Paulin.
7. No. 5 in the state St. Bonaventure of Ventura 27, previously unbeaten Burroughs of Ridgecrest 20. This was one of those games in which the losing team played so close that it will gain a ton of respect from throughout the state. Nobody really knew much about the Burros coming into the game, other than that wideout Anthony Celestine has major college skills. Celestine did his thing, catching 13 balls for 216 yards and a pair of scores from QB Karsten Sween, and the rest of the Burroughs squad gave St. Bonnie all it could handle, too. The Seraphs had to stop a final drive by the Burros to seal the win and they did when Chris Diaz intercepted a pass at the two-yard line. And if St. Bonnie didn't score on a screen pass with four seconds left in the first half -- one that went for 47 yards by junior Matt Lee -- who knows how this one would have turned out?
8. Unbeaten Colton 46, previously unbeaten Redlands East Valley 29. In a game billed as the best of the San Andreas League vs. the best of the Citrus Belt League, it was the SAL team that dominated. Although REV assumed a 27-26 lead in the third quarter on a TD pass from Nate Johns to Chris Santiago, it was short-lived as Colton sophomore Shamon Wright blazed to a 91-yard touchdown return on the ensuing kickoff. Wright also had a 51-yard TD catch during the night. The Yellowjackets' leading player was running back Tory Kennard with 209 yds rushing and two TDs. Johns finished 13 of 31 for 205 yards for REV, which fell to 3-1-1.
9. Crenshaw of Los Angeles 28, McClymonds of Oakland 6. The Cougars won the battle of legendary basketball schools and gave L.A. at least a sliver of extra respect compared to the Bay Area. Wonder how they'd do against Skyline, though?
10. No. 8 in Div. IV Garces of Bakersfield 10, No. 9 in Div. IV Taft 7.A 22-yard field goal by Noe Flores with 10 minutes left turned out to be the difference as the Rams defeated the Wildcats, 10-7, in a South Sequoia League showdown. This was one of those games in which the perennial power (Garces) that lost a major part of its previous team faced an opponent with a lot of returning firepower. Taft had its moments, but turnovers -- four interceptions, one fumble -- ruined the night. The game's top ground gainer was Taft's Daniel Kerr, who had 109 yards rushing on 18 carries and scored one TD.
11. No. 5 in Div. V Middletown 28, Cloverdale 18. Quarterback Cody Smith passed for 188 yards and two touchdowns and running back Steven Rodriquez scored on an 11-yard run in the final two minutes as the Middletown Mustangs (5-0) held off non-league rival Cloverdale before a packed house in Cloverdale. The Mustangs got scores from Brad Finley on a 27-yard run and a 55-yard completion from Smith to Rodriquez to take a 14-6 lead at halftime. Perennial small school power Cloverdale came back strong in the second half, scoring with 9:49 left to cut Middletown's lead to 21-18. The Mustang defense, however, came up big when needed, forcing a Cloverdale punt from its own end zone with less than three minutes remaining. Five plays later, Rodriquez' 11-yard run sealed Middletown's victory. Cloverdale was intent on stopping the Mustangs' high powered running game and forced the Mustangs into a somewhat unfamiliar passing attack. Middletown pounded out 115 yards on the ground but it was the play-action passing of Smith that turned out to be the difference between the two closely matched small school Redwood Empire powers.
12. Vista 7, Carlsbad 0.This rematch of last year's CIF San Diego Section Div. I final featured long ball-control style marches from both teams. Vista converted one of those drives into a touchdown on Nick Coppedge's 22-yard touchdown run in the first half. The Panthers went on another seven-minute plus drive in the fourth quarter and when Carlsbad finally got its hands the ball for a possible game-tying score, Travis Goethel preserved the shutout by intercepting a pass thrown by Carlsbad junior Sean Canfield. Vista improved to 2-3 (3-2 on the field). Carlsbad, which got a 14 of 26 for 191-yard night from Canfield, is now officially an up-and-down team. The Lancers won previously, 32-20, over Rancho Bernardo, but before that they lost 34-7 to Chula Vista.