Seven Metro Conference high school football teams earned positions in this year’s San Diego Section playoffs. The immediate goal for each team: keep winning.
The Eastlake Titans and Olympian Eagles, both with 7-3 records, received byes to the quarterfinal round in their respective playoff divisions as brackets were finalized following Saturday’s section seeding meeting.
Metro-Mesa League runner-up Eastlake received the No. 2 seed in the Division I field while Metro-Mesa League champion Olympian received the No. 3 seed in the Division III field.
Both teams will next play on Nov. 25.
The remainder of the Metro’s contingent of playoff qualifiers will participate in Friday’s opening round. Kick-off is 7 p.m.
A total of 60 teams in five enrollment divisions (12 teams in each division) qualified for this year’s playoffs. Championship games in Division I through Division IV are scheduled Dec. 5 at Qualcomm Stadium. The Division V final is scheduled Dec. 9 at Mesa College.
The Titans defeated the host Otay Ranch Mustangs, 26-7, on Nov. 10 to wrap up regular season play.
Tavarus Green made a triumphant return to the line-up after being knocked from Eastlake’s previous gridiron outing, a 16-7 loss to Olympian on Nov. 4, by rushing for 117 yards and scoring two touchdowns.
Josh Palet completed eight of 13 passing attempts for 152 yards and one touchdown (a 58-yarder to Isiah Olave). Seven Titans caught passes, including a pair by Darran Hall for 48 yards.
Jalen Mondane (four carries, 11 yards) also scored a rushing touchdown for the Titans, who surrendered a lone score to Otay Ranch’s Chris Martin on a breakaway catch-and-carry.
The decisive victory helped Eastlake secure a higher playoff seed than No. 3 Vista (5-5) and No. 4 San Pasqual (7-2-1) in what should be a highly competitive playoff bracket.
The loss — the Mustangs’ third consecutive to end the season — likely kept them out of the playoffs. Otay Ranch finished 5-5 overall, 1-3 in league play. A 28-17 setback at Chula Vista on Nov. 4 might have been the clincher.
Poway (9-0-1) enters the Division I playoffs as the top seed.
The Titans will host the winner of Friday’s first-round match-up pitting seventh-seeded El Camino (4-6) and 10th-seeded San Diego (6-3).
Eastlake defeated El Camino, 21-7, earlier this season, though the Wildcats appear to be playing at a higher level late in the season based on narrow losses to Division II powerhouses La Costa Canyon (17-14 on Nov. 4) and Oceanside (14-0 last Friday).
LCC (8-2) received the No. 2 seed in the Division II field behind top-seeded Helix (9-1) while Oceanside (7-2-1) is seeded third.
The Eagles, who have won titles in three different leagues in as many years, will host either sixth-seeded Kearny (8-2) or 11th-seeded Serra (3-7) in the quarterfinals.
Kearny is coming off a 6-0 showing as the City Central League champion.
Olympian secured undisputed rights to this year’s Metro-Mesa championship after shutting down visiting Bonita Vista, 20-7, on Nov. 10. The Eagles won despite being out-gained 334-237 yards in total offense.
Kevin Ehm (14 carries, 66 yards) scored two rushing touchdowns and teammate Aikeem Foxworth (six carries, 18 yards) scored once to lead the hosts, who collected 187 yards on 46 rushing attempts.
QB Christopher Humphrey was just four of 13 for 50 passing yards.
Defense once again figured prominently in the Olympian win. Isaiah Gibson had one interception and one fumble recovery while Arturo Cuevas also recovered a fumble and Lucky Sansano had one sack. Gibson’s pick went for 40 yards.
The Cathedral Catholic Dons (9-1) earned the No. 1 seed in Division III while St. Augustine (9-1) was seeded second. The teams met in last Friday’s Holy Bowl for the Eastern League championship, with the host Dons claiming a 17-3 victory.
Teams competing in Friday’s opening round include the Chula Vista Spartans (5-5) in Division I, Bonita Vista Barons (3-6-1) in Division II; Metro-South Bay League champion Mar Vista Mariners (9-1) and Montgomery Aztecs (5-5) in Division III; and Metro-Pacific League champion Mater Dei Catholic Crusaders (8-2) in Division IV.
Chula Vista, which finished 2-2 in Metro-Mesa play, received the No. 8 seed and will host the ninth-seeded Escondido Cougars (4-6) in Friday’s opening round. The winner advances against top-seeded Poway in the quarterfinals.
Tenth-seeded Bonita Vista will play at seventh-seeded Westview on Friday, with the winner advancing to meet second-seeded La Costa Canyon in the quarterfinals.
Seventh-seeded Mar Vista, winners of six consecutive games, will host 10th-seeded Montgomery in the opening round, with the winner slated to meet No. 2 St. Augustine in the semifinals.
The Saints eliminated Montgomery in last year’s quarterfinals. Mar Vista lost to Point Loma in last year’s opening round.
As the Metro-Pacific champion, Mater Dei received a measure of respect with a home field playoff game in the opening round. However, should the Crusaders defeat visiting Palo Verde Valley on Friday, they will have to go up against the second-seeded Madison Warhawks (9-0-1) in the quarterfinals.
The Warhawks, defending Division IV champions, feel somewhat slighted after being bumped out for the No. 1 seed in the division by the Grossmont Valley League champion Mt. Miguel Matadors (8-1). The Matadors’ lone loss this season has been to Helix.
Madison defeated Metro-Mesa power Olympian, 42-28, in a scoring fest earlier this season to prove its mettle. The Warhawks remain in contention for a State Bowl berth should they continue winning.
Valley League champion Valley Center (9-1) is the division’s No. 3 seed, and also has something to prove to the section seeding committee. The Jaguars finished as last year’s division runner-up team.
Semifinals in Division I through Division IV are scheduled Dec. 1 and in Division V on Dec. 2.
For playoff updates, visit the Web site at www.cifsds.org.