By Mike Sciacca
1:49 PM PST, November 7, 2012
The 2012 prep football season continues this week for three local teams, each who have qualified for the CIF Southern Section playoffs.
Sunset League champion Edison and Huntington Beach play first-round Southwest Division games at 7 p.m. Friday . Brethren Christian starts East Valley Division postseason play at 1 p.m. Saturday .
Esperanza (6-4) vs. Edison (9-1)
(7 p.m., Orange Coast College)
Edison heads into postseason play as the No. 1 seed in the Southwest Division. The Chargers also put their six-game win streak up against the Aztecs.
"We're excited for the playoffs," Edison Coach Dave White said. "Getting the top seed is a reward for what we've done the first 10 weeks of the season. It's nice, but we have to win four more games before we can end up No. 1."
Esperanza, a one-time rival of Edison's in the Sunset League before departing two years ago to align with the Century League, received an at-large bid. The Aztecs finished in a tie with El Dorado and Brea Olinda for third place. They ended the regular season with a 44-34 loss last Friday to Century League champ Villa Park (9-1), a team whose only loss came to Edison in September.
"It'll be like old times," White said of facing the Aztecs. "They are a well-coached team and their tailback is really good. They always play hard-nosed football."
That running back is Troy Poole who is the Aztecs' leading rusher with more than 1,300 yards with a team-high 10 touchdowns. The senior ran for 159 yards and two scores in last week's loss to Villa Park.
Edison showed great balance on offense during the regular season. The Chargers average 184 yards passing and 161 yards rushing, and put up an average of 29 points per game in their first 10 games.
The defense, with a school-record five shutouts to its credit, is limiting opponents to an average of just four points a game.
The Chargers could be missing an explosive element of their offense Friday. Senior Marquis Ross, the team's No. 1 tailback, was injured early in the second quarter last Friday against Huntington and didn't play during the second half of the Chargers' 34-0 victory. White said that Ross, who is the team's rushing leader with 714 yards and eight touchdowns, is "probably out" for the first-round game.
Seniors Donald Rice (367 yards, eight TDs) and Elijah Herrera (310 yards, two TDs) are two other weapons in Edison's backfield rotation. Herrera, who had an interception on defense that set up one Edison score, came on to rush for 58 yards on nine carries in Ross' absence against Huntington.
Quarterback Aleksander Torgersen has thrown for 1,605 yards with 13 touchdowns and six interceptions in 10 games.
Huntington Beach (5-5) at Capistrano Valley (8-2)
(7 p.m., Capistrano Valley High)
Huntington hits the road for its first-round Southwest Division game for a matchup with Capistrano Valley.
The Oilers are the No. 3 team from the Sunset League. They were in contention for a share of the league title but dropped their season finale, 34-0, last Friday to Edison.
Capo Valley is co-champion with Dana Hills of the Sea View League and is returning to the playoffs for the first time in 16 years. Last week, the Cougars came up big in the second half and pulled away to a 62-27 victory over Aliso Niguel. The Cougars withstood a 405-yards passing performance by Aliso Niguel quarterback Nathan Cole, to get the win.
Capo Valley senior quarterback Mason Dossey has thrown for 2,226 yards. His favorite targets are Cole Robinson (782 yards)and Michael Mullen (518 yards).
One of the Cougars' two losses came in nonleague play to Esperanza.
"It's a good draw for us," Huntington Coach Eric Lo said of his team's first-round date. "I think we match up pretty well with them. I've seen them twice on film, but not in person. They have a really good quarterback and a very athletic receiver [Robinson]. They're a solid team."
Junior quarterback Kai Ross spearheads the Huntington offense. Ross is the team leader in rushing yards (695, eight TDs) and passing yards (1,211, 15 TDs), and, as a cornerback, is one of the team leaders in tackles. Senior running back Bo Breunig has rushed for 515 yards with two scores, and senior Marco Valenzuela is tops in receiving yards with 406 with four touchdowns.
Brethren Christian (6-4) at Big Bear (8-2)
(1 p.m., Big Bear Middle School)
Brethren Christian returns to East Valley Division postseason play for the second time under head coach Pat McInally.
Both BC and Big Bear finished second in their respective leagues. BC took the runner-up spot in the Academy League last Friday by winning, 21-7, at Crean Lutheran in a game that determined second place. Record-setting junior quarterback Jack McInally has thrown for 2,093 yards and 31 touchdowns. Junior Austin Gorrell is BC's leading receiver with 707 yards and eight touchdowns.
Big Bear finished second to Twentynine Palms in the De Anza League. The Bears opened the season with five wins, lost two straight, then closed out the season with three straight wins. They have scored 41 or more points in six of their 10 games and last week scored a season-high 63, in a 63-14 win against Desert Mirage.
Collectively, the Bears have amassed 3,303 yards and 49 touchdowns on the ground. Senior Lucas Jenkins leads the rush attack with 862 yards. Senior John Hawkins (667) and junior Taylan Seaman (644) both are approaching the 700-yards mark.
"Our defense has played very well the past few weeks," BC Coach Pat McInally said. "If we can stop [Big Bear's] dive game, their run game, and be more balanced ourselves on offense, then we'll be right there. Big Bear's a very good, very physical team."
The CIF Southern Section football playoffs continue with quarterfinal games on Nov. 16. Division semifinals are Nov. 23. The Southwest Division championship game is at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 30 at Angel Stadium. The East Valley Division title game is also Nov. 30 with the game time and site to be determined.
The CIF State Bowl Championships (Divisions I, II, III, Small Schools) are Dec. 14-15 at The Home Depot Center in Carson.