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Nine area teams qualify for CIF pigskin playoffs Phillip Brents | Fri, Nov 19 2010 03:15 PM

A total of nine South County teams (10, if you count eight-man play) received invitations to this year’s San Diego Section football playoffs. The figure is higher than in most years and double the region’s entry count in lean seasons.

Eleven East County teams gained entry to post-season play by comparison.

Nine South Bay teams finished the season with winning records (including eight-man teams) and two more teams finished regular season play with .500 records.

Eight of the teams with winning records received a playoff bid and one of the two .500 teams also got in.

Of the area’s five teams with sub-.500 records, one was admitted to this year’s playoff field.

To no one’s surprise, both Eastlake (10-0) and Otay Ranch (6-4) made the Division I field. Eastlake, the defending division champion, received the No. 1 seed while Otay Ranch was seeded ninth, with a rematch pending against the Titans should the Mustangs get past Friday’s opening round game at El Camino (5-5).

It was thought Otay Ranch would be in line to host a first-round game but when El Camino posted a 24-14 upset against defending Division II champion Oceanside last Friday, that obviously rearranged the stature of teams in the middle of the division bracket.

The top four teams in each of the five enrollment divisions receive byes to the quarterfinals, with teams seeded fifth through eighth hosting first round games. El Camino was seeded eighth behind Grossmont (8-2, fifth seed), Poway (6-4, sixth seed) and Carlsbad (5-5, seventh seed).

Torrey Pines earned the No. 2 seed in the division despite falling from the ranks of the undefeated with a 24-21 loss to La Costa Canyon in last Friday’s Beach Bowl. The Vista Panthers (9-1) were seeded third in the division while the Mira Mesa Marauders (5-5) drew the No. 4 seed.

Eastlake defeated Vista, 21-14, in last year’s division title game.

At midseason, there was speculation that both Bonita Vista (3-7) and Hilltop (5-5) might not crack the Division II field. But the Barons and Lancers managed to stave off elimination by garnering enough wins in the second half of the season while the other teams near the bottom of the division collectively tanked.

Bonita Vista drew the No. 11 seed and will play at sixth-seeded Rancho Bernardo (8-2) in Friday’s opening round, with the winner to engage third-seeded Mission Hills (7-3) in the quarterfinals.

Hilltop, led by quarterback Omar Hernandez with 1,418 passing yards and 14 TDs, drew the No. 12 seed and will play at fifth-seeded La Costa Canyon (6-4 with one forfeit loss) in Friday’s opening round, with the winner advancing against fourth-seeded Oceanside (7-3) in the quarterfinals.

Helix received the No. 1 seed in the division, followed by No. 2 Steele Canyon (8-2). Those two teams met last Friday for the Grossmont Hills League championship, with the Highlanders posting a dominating 26-7 victory.

Mar Vista earned automatic entry into the Division III playoffs by virtue of winning this year’s Metro-South Bay League championship. The Mariners join two other area teams in the divisional playoffs: the Montgomery Aztecs (7-3) and Castle Park Trojans (6-4).

Of the 12 teams admitted to the Division III playoffs, eight teams have seven or more wins while 10 have won at least five games. In a show of force for the region, both Montgomery and Mar Vista earned home games for Friday’s opening round.

St. Augustine (8-2) is seeded first, followed by No. 2 Mt. Miguel (8-1-1), No. 3 Cathedral Catholic (5-5) and No. 4 Ramona (5-5).

The Olympian Eagles earned automatic entry into the Division IV playoffs by winning the inaugural Metro-Pacific League championship. The Eagles, who are currently riding an eight-game winning streak, earned the No. 2 seed in the division on the strength of their 9-1 record.

Valley Center (10-0) is seeded first while Madison (9-1) is seeded third and Santa Fe Christian (6-4) is seeded fourth.

Olympian will play either La Jolla (2-8) or Imperial Valley League co-champion Brawley (8-2) in the quarterfinals.

Of the 13 teams in the Metro Conference, eight qualified for this year’s playoffs. Chula Vista Calvary Christian Academy, which finished fifth in the Southern League standings, earned the final berth in the Division V playoffs based on its 6-4 overall record and last Friday’s 27-20 season-ending victory against Ocean View Christian Academy, another South County team bidding for a post-season berth.

OVCA kicked off the season 6-0 but finished 7-3 with losses in three of its final four games to drop out of playoff contention.

The Royal Knights earned a pat on the back under first-year coach Gene Rheam by securing a playoff berth despite finishing behind Calvin Christian, Borrego Springs and Julian in the league standings.

Foothills Christian won its second Southern League title in three years by topping Calvin Christian, 32-20, in a game played Nov. 5. But Calvin Christian’s season-ending 34-29 loss at Borrego Springs (3-7) proved disastrous to the Crusaders’ playoff fortunes, leaving them with a 5-5 record.

But Calvary Christian ended the season on a high note with wins in its final two games, including last Friday’s rivalry game at Junior Seau Field in La Mesa against the Patriots and a 43-0 shutout victory at the San Diego Jewish Academy the week before.

Trace Scheckel threw two touchdowns passes and rushed for two more in last Friday’s win to lead the Royal Knights, who recorded six sacks in the game — three by Tony Madrid and two by Nick Seydel.

Calvary Christian will play at fifth-seeded Tri-City Christian (9-1) in Friday’s opening round, with the winner advancing to play at fourth-seeded Christian (5-5) in the quarterfinals.

The Bishop’s Knights, led by Chula Vista resident Joey Moreno at quarterback, earned the No. 1 seed in the Division V playoffs with their 10-0 record. Horizon Christian (6-3), Francis Parker (4-6) and Christian were seeded in that order, second through fourth, following the Knights.

Moreno threw three scoring passes and ran for three more touchdowns in last Friday’s 56-44 win over Christian

Eight-man final
Kuyper Prep of National City advanced to meet Warner Springs for the Citrus League playoff championship last Saturday, with Warner Springs (9-1) avenging a regular season loss to the NC school with a 60-14 championship game victory. Kuyper Prep finished the season 5-2 overall after posting a 3-0 league showing.

Maranatha Christian defeated Vista Calvary Christian Academy, 51-6, in last Friday’s third-place game.

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