Matthew Lickona 11:49 p.m., Dec. 10
Quarterfinals High Five
Game of the Week
(6) Mira Mesa (7-4) at (3) Escondido (7-2-1) (Division I)
Expect an old-fashioned, physical game in this quarterfinal that features two teams that usually pass on the pass. Two of the section’s best rushers – Cougars’ section career rushing leader Ricky Seale (2,163 yards, 31 TDs) and Marauders back Damien Williams (2,287, 24) – are a big reason why. Though the Marauders come in having won four straight, they will need to tighten up their defense allowing 30 points per game in order to have a shot at the upset. Mira Mesa is also somewhat of a statistical oddity, having a winning record despite being outscored by their opponents by 17 this season. The team best able to control the line of scrimmage in this one will punch a ticket to the semis.
Best of the Rest
(5) Olympian (11-0) vs (4) Santa Fe Christian (9-1) at Torrey Pines High (Division IV)
Olympian was the only undefeated team not to get a bye headed into the playoffs. They responded with a 45-7 drubbing of Santana, raising their average margin of victory to 26 points per game. No matter how they feel now, the Eagles will be facing their toughest test of the season when they play Santa Fe Christian. Which flock of Eagles will fly higher?
(6) Mount Miguel (8-2-1) vs (3) Point Loma (7-3) at Mesa College (Division III)
Of all the top-four seeds in the section, Point Loma may be the biggest unknown. The Pointers get the chance to show their value against a Mount Miguel team that is unbeaten in its last five. This matchup features two of the section’s better running backs – Point Loma’s Leslie Rogers and Mount Miguel’s Derall Hunter.
(7) Helix (7-4) at (2) Valhalla (8-2) (Division II)
Four weeks ago, Valhalla thought they’d seen the last of Helix when they beat them in the midst of a perfect Grossmont South campaign. Not so fast, as the Highlanders get a shot at revenge in the quarterfinals following a narrow one-point win over Westview. Helix has made the Division II semifinals each of the past three seasons, a streak that will be in jeopardy if Pete Thomas (225 yards per game) can get the Valhalla passing attack going.
(11) Foothills Christian (7-4) vs (3) Bishop’s (6-4) at La Jolla High (Division V)
When it comes to small school football in San Diego, the Coastal League that Bishop’s calls home sets the standard. Foothills Christian and dual threat quarterback Garret Campbell will look to strike a blow for the Southern Conference. Can the Knights pull off an upset two weeks in a row?