Thom Hofman 11 a.m., April 1
Top four seeds receive first round byes
(1) Poway (9-0-1)
(8) Chula Vista (5-5) vs (9) Escondido (4-6)
(5) Mira Mesa (5-4-1) vs (12) Grossmont (5-4-1)
(4) San Pasqual (7-2-1)
(3) Vista (5-5)
(6) Carlsbad (6-4) vs (11) Granite Hills (5-5)
(7) El Camino (4-6) vs (10) San Diego (6-3)
(2) Eastlake (7-3)
First Round Friday, Nov. 18, 7 p.m. (top four seeds receive bye)
Quarterfinals Friday, Nov. 25, 7 p.m. at home site of higher seed
Semifinals Thursday, Dec. 1, 7 p.m. at home site of higher seed
Finals Monday, Dec. 5, 7:30 p.m. at Qualcomm Stadium
Favorite (1) Poway
Poway was tabbed as a contender before the season started and the Titans have lived up to the hype, completing the season undefeated to earn the top seed in Division I. The Titans are the most balanced team in the bracket, capable of winning with offense, defense and special teams. Poway’s last title came four years ago and the Titans appear primed to return to top as the postseason begins.
Sleeper (5) Mira Mesa
Few teams played a tougher schedule this than Mira Mesa, and as a result the Marauders had an up and down season with four losses to teams with a combined 34-4-2 record. Mira Mesa has yet to break through against a quality opponent, but that was the case a season ago and the Marauders went on to upset undefeated Eastlake in the semifinals. Mira Mesa has the talent to play with any of the higher seeds in the bracket.
Star Watch QB Tyler Tony, Sr., San Pasqual
Few teams in the section run a true triple option, and San Pasqual makes it look good. At the center of the Golden Eagles’ attack averaging 30.1 points per game is Tony, the elusive 5’9” quarterback that gives opposing defenses fits. Tony is an entertaining player and San Pasqual will go as far as he can take them.
Early Upset (10) San Diego over (7) El Camino
No three-loss team is closer to perfection than San Diego, whose losses have come by a combined five points. The Cavers have gone 2-2 since losing quarterback Khari Kimbrough for the season, and travel to face an El Camino team that has been equally inconsistent. This game will be close, and San Diego has the best chance of pulling an upset of the four lower seeds in Division I.
Potential Matchup to See Semifinals – (2) Eastlake vs (3) Vista
A rematch of the 2009 Division I finals, this semifinal would be an entertaining North County-South Bay clash. The Titans and Panthers went about their seasons in almost completely different fashion – Eastlake started fast and slowed because of injuries while Vista bounced back from an 0-4 start – and both teams have the pedigree to make a deep postseason run. Vista doesn’t want to give up its Division I crown, either.
Pictured: Poway quarterback Gabriel Isaak