PLAYOFFS COMING UP IN CALIFORNIA
It's fun for the players and the fans, but what a pain in the foot it is going to be for the COA to unravel the numerous scenarios possible for the California State Bowls and Playoffs. You have three 8-1 really good teams up North in CCSF, FOOTHILL and SANTA ROSA. One of them will be the NorCal champ, but if all three win Sat., and they certainly are all favored, how do you declare a winner? Check these past scores: FOOTHILL 42, Santa Rosa 35; SANTA ROSA 35, San Francisco 34; SAN FRANCISCO 27, Foothill 24.
But, there is more. Take the VALLEY CONF. FRESNO beat Sequoias 31-24; SEQUOIAS 33, Reedley 31. Now if REEDLEY beats Fresno Sat. in Fresno we have a similar 3-way conference tie, if COS gets by Sierra. Oh well, one of those three vs. one of those NorCal three should be a dandy Northern Calif. championship match.
There are so many scenarios in Southern California that we won't even attempt to line up all the various possibilities for their playoffs. Right now, CITRUS is the only team assured of a spot and that is because the Owls have won the Southern Division of the Western State Conf. and will be 7-3 if they beat West L.A. Sat. GROSSMONT looks like a sure thing to nail down the Foothill title, having only to defeat 2-7 San Diego Mesa, Sat. to finish 9-1 and perfect in conf. play. After that it gets complicated in both Mission Conf. divisions and the Western State North.
BAKERSFIELD will be a top seed in the latter with a win at HANCOCK, 7-2, but that isn't going to be easy. MOORPARK is rooting for a Renegades win. If that happens and MP whips L.A. Pierce, the Raiders could win the North. VICTOR VALLEY looks like the best bet from the Foothill to fill an 8-spot perhaps. However, they must beat a real tough MT. SAN JACINTO eleven Sat. If MSJC wins it throws possibilities to CHAFFEY and themselves for an at-large role.
The Mission Conf. title is on the line Sat. night at 5 p.m. when EL CAMINO invades SADDLEBACK. If the Gauchos finish with a perfect record they will be the no. 1 seed of all and the Warriors will be a top at-large contestant. If ECC wins I want to wish all those voters and the COA a lot of luck figuring it all out. However, the bottom line is that we can look forward to some really good playoff competition and bowl match-ups.
NOTES AND STUFF
What is this FORT SCOTT team all about? Rion Rhoades, in his first year of coaching there, has the Greyhound players believing in themselves. They bounced Rhoades' former employer, COFFEYVILLE, out of the playoffs with a 21-6 win, have captured 7 of their last 8 games, and play Butler Sunday for the Kansas title. The Hounds give up just 105 yards per game in the air and 230 overall. Meanwhile a "mighty-mite" named Jovani Franklin, all 5-4, 165 of him, leads the rushing brigade with 138 carries for 775 yards and 6 TDs. His 129.2 yards per game led the KJCCC. BUTLER easily bounced a tiring Garden City 42-7 to comeback from the startling loss the previous week to Highland. Beau Johnson and Brandon Barnett will severely test Ft. Scott's rush defense.
THE MISSISSIPPI playoffs favor the South since both PEARL RIVER and COPIAH-LINCOLN hail from Rebel land. Both won handily last week, PR 32-21 over Northwest and Co-Lin 38-10 over Itawamba. When these two met earlier in the season, Co-Lin won 31-21, when PRCC QB, Mike Greco, broke his collarbone at the end of the first half. Looks pretty much like a toss-up.
GRAND RAPIDS 27, JOLIET 24 championship finals in OT. This game went back and forth with both kickers getting in their knocks. Steve Ivanisevic toed a 39-yarder for JOLIET with 4 seconds remaining in regulation to knot the score at 24. Then LBers Daunte Akra, 6-3, 235, and Fr. Jarrell Herring, 6-2, 250, blocked a Joliet FG attempt in OT and Evan Muldoon kicked the game-winner 25 yards for GRAND RAPIDS. The Red Raiders won the Illinois Region 4 title, by beating Joliet for the 2nd time. Don't know if they will face NORTH IOWA AREA, 20-19 winners over IOWA CENTRAL now, or in the Graphic Bowl perhaps. As usual ROCHESTER has found it's way into the Minnesota playoffs and will face VERMILION for the championship. Vermilion is one of only 4 teams in the U.S. still unbeaten, but I wouldn't bet a truck full of hay on them remaining that way. Rochester has a habit of coming to life in playoffs.
JUST WONDERING – How do you get a 42-28 score in triple OT? SACRAMENTO and MERCED were tied at 28 after two OT sessions. SAC scored on a 2-yard run by Devon Crawford (10 for 138) and went for two on a Midura pass to Pierce. 36-28. Merced then had a pass picked off by Doug Faatliga and returned 85 yards for a TD. No kick. Final score: 42-28. Robert Hill had 178 yards on 34 carried for MERCED.
KANSAS PLAYOFFS – BUTLER ran all over Garden City, 42-7, rushing for 270 yards to 17 for GC. Beau Johnson went 16 for 132 and Brandon Barnett made the most of 8 carries for 105. FORT SCOTT defeated Coffeyville 21-6 and it wasn't much of a surprise. QB Greg Gross led the way with 11 rushes for 82 yards and added 52 passing as the Greyhounds scored in each of the first three periods. CHAMPIONSHIP game is Sunday at 1:30 at Cessna Stadium in Wichita.
ALUMNI REPORT – Mickey Pimental, PIMA, playing sharp LB for California. Marcel Marquez, CANYONS, playing great QB for Sacramento State was Big Sky POW last week. CALIFORNIA honored the late Joe Roth, GROSSMONT, Sat. Nice going Bears.
SANTA ROSA 35, C.C. SAN FRANCISCO 34
First win for the Bear Cubs over the Rams since the late 1980s according to ex-coach Marv Mays. It was a doozy. The Bear Cubs trailed 34-14 in the 3rd period and 34-21 to start the fourth. Greg Alexander fired away for 32 of 48 completions for 363 yards even though the team managed just 9 yards rushing all day. Mark Gray chipped in with 7 of 11 for 59 and each was picked off once. In his past 3 games Alexander has hit on 82 of 116 (71%) for 1,192 yards 12 TDs and just 1 INT. The SRJC defense rose up to do a job in the 2nd half and helped the team to outscore CCSF 21-7. Winning TD was a 22-yard pass Alexander to Amos Carter (6 for 88 and 4 TDs) with 2:51 left and then the "D" stopped Zac Lee on 4 plays. The winning margin was the result of a blocked PAT by DB Mike Long. Fr. WR Aubrey Quarles, a 6-1, 185, had 10 catches for 169 yards and ran 2 kickoffs back 111 yards. Lee tossed for 30-44-385 stats with Kenny O'Neal grabbing 12 for 148 yards, but the key was holding Tyreece Jacks to just 45 yards rushing on 13 efforts. Just another routine JC football game.
SHORT NOTES – Sat. night is the 30th "Battle of the Pump" between Fresno and Reedley. The first one was at Ratcliff in 1972 and was wild with DB Rod Perry and the Rams prevailing 22-19. FCC leads the Pump series 22-7 and is 37-11 overall. SEQUOIAS is at SIERRA in another vital Valley Conf. tiff. REEDLEY welcomed back RB/WR/RET Jose Garcia from an injury and he bolted for 139 yards on 18 carries to lead 39-18 win over Sierra. COS had 548 total yards vs. West Hills, who had a nice 1,200 turnout for the game. MT. SAN JACINTO allowed Southwestern just 28 yards rushing behind DL Jason Boyce and Collin Baker.