By JP Raineri
Sports Editor 

HS Football: Playoff football fills the air, top teams embark on postseason journey


Last updated 11/1/2018 at 11:24pm

Jerry Soifer

Vista Murrieta players celebrate their 35-21 win over Murrieta Valley that clinched the Southwestern League title for the Broncos.

One of the first goals a high school football program makes is to be better than they were the year before, and right after that, the next goal is to make it to the postseason. There are plenty of other goals, but the final one is to be the last team standing. The regular season ended last week, and even though there were a handful of local teams that won league titles, there is one player in the valley that had the biggest win of all. Alex Ruiz, a senior QB at Linfield High School, took the field Friday, Oct. 26, in what was his first outing of the season and one that was 385 days in the making. Ruiz returned to the football field after he dislocated his right knee and tore an artery – an injury that led him to amputate a portion his right leg. Wearing a prosthetic, Ruiz was greeted by a roaring crowd and took to the field in the first quarter with just minutes remaining. On his second play, Ruiz connected with Travion Brown for a TD, a feat that could have only happened to someone as determined as Ruiz.

Week Ten did prove to be one of the weeks where teams should never underestimate their opponents and that was definitely the case in the Southwestern League this week. After a two-year drought, the league title is back in the hands of the Vista Murrieta High School Broncos (8-2, 5-0), who defeated crosstown rival Murrieta Valley High School, 35-21, Thursday, Oct. 25. Bronco QB Robert Coleman threw for four touchdowns and ran one in while the Broncos' defense stepped up to end Murrieta Valley's two-year reign as league champs. Murrieta Valley quarterback Hank Bachmeier was intercepted three times and was sacked five times on the night, but he also threw the 153rd TD of his career and broke the CIF Southern Section record for most career touchdown passes when he hit Emilio Valencia in the end zone in the second quarter. Coleman completed seven of 12 passes for 122 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 151 yards on 27 carries. Bachmeier ended the night 14 of 31 passing for 288 yards and two scores.

With so many other games and league winners to mention, we still must make some room for print, and now that the CIF-SS brackets are out, the real fight to the finish begins. Here is the tale of the tape for Week Ten, plus a look at the postseason draw for the local teams in our coverage area:

Thursday 10/25

Big VIII League

Norco – 63, Corona – 0

Centennial – 84, Roosevelt – 14

Santiago – 48, King – 11

Southeastern League

Rancho Christian – 41, Santa Rosa Academy – 0

Southwestern League

Chaparral – 28, Great Oak – 7

Temecula Valley – 18, Murrieta Mesa – 13

Ambassador League

Linfield Christian – 78, Desert Christian – 0

Inland Valley League

Lakeside – 48, Perris – 6

Orange Vista – 63, Canyon Springs – 0

Ivy League

Rancho Verde – 17, Heritage – 10

Valley View – 44, Paloma Valley – 42

Mountain Pass League

Citrus Hill – 48, Beaumont – 0

San Jacinto – 35, Tahquitz – 14

Hemet – 44, West Valley – 0

South Valley League

Calvary Murrieta – 44, Nuview Bridge – 7

California Military Institute – 60, Hamilton – 28

Southeastern League

Temecula Prep – 35, Carnegie – 6

Sunbelt League

Temescal Canyon – 43, Elsinore – 7


Academy of Careers & Exploration – 60, San Jacinto Valley Academy – 24

Hillcrest Christian – 65, Cal Lutheran – 28

Playoff Bound

The Division 1 bracket is full of talent with several nationally-ranked teams hungry for that final game of the season and also features quite a few rematches from the regular season. Centennial High School (10-0), the No. 2 seed, will host Orange Lutheran High School in the opening round. The Huskies are 5-0 all-time against Orange Lutheran, including a 45-28 win already this season.

Vista Murrieta High School will host Rancho Cucamonga High School in a Division 1 showdown of league champions. It's been almost four years since the programs last met in the Division 2 semifinals in 2015. Both teams battled through five overtimes as Vista Murrieta pulled out a 62-56 victory when the dust cleared.

Murrieta Valley, one of the other local teams in Division 1, will take on a familiar face when they travel to San Clemente High School. It will be the fourth time these two schools face each other in the last three seasons. San Clemente beat Murrieta Valley in the 2016 Division 2 championship game and also beat the Nighthawks in a regular-season game last year. This year Murrieta Valley beat the Tritons 55-38 in a preseason match-up that turned some heads.

Linfield Christian School, coming off a lopsided win in Week 10 over Desert Christian High School, is No. 1 in Division 12 and will host Mary Star of the Sea High School this week in the first round. Looking way up Interstate 15, Cajon High School, who were the Division 4 section champions last year, went 9-1 during the regular season and took the No. 1 seed in Division 3. They will host Paloma Valley High School in the opening round, a rematch of a game won by Cajon 48-7 earlier this season.

Rancho Verde High School, who was one of the only local teams to claim a CIF Southern Section football title last year in Division 3 find themselves in a familiar spot. After going undefeated in the regular season and taking out the Heritage High School Patriots for the Ivy League title last week, the Mustangs secured the No. 1 spot in Division 2. Rancho Verde opens the playoffs at home Friday against Tesoro High School.

There are quite a few other local teams that also received seeds when the CIF Southern Section pairings were released Sunday, Oct. 28, including Citrus Hill High School (Division 3) and Orange Vista (Division 13), who are No. 2 seeds and San Jacinto High School (Division 7), who took a No. 3 seed.

The first-round schedule will be as follows, and game times are set for 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted:

Division 1

Murrieta Valley at San Clemente

Rancho Cucamonga at Vista Murrieta

Orange Lutheran at No. 2 Centennial

Division 2

Tesoro at No. 1 Rancho Verde

Heritage at Upland

Division 3

Paloma Valley at No. 1 Cajon

Murrieta Mesa at Santiago

Damien at No. 2 Citrus Hill

Division 4

Chaparral at No. 4 Oak Hills

Division 5

Corona at No. 2 St. Paul

Division 6

No local teams

Division 7

La Quinta at No. 3 San Jacinto

Elsinore at No. 2 Valencia (Placentia)

Division 8

Temescal Canyon at Arroyo

Temecula Valley at Woodbridge

Division 9

No local teams

Division 10

No. 4 Bonita at Rancho Christian

Division 11

Colton at Hemet

Beaumont at Twentynine Palms

Division 12

Mary Star at No. 1 Linfield Christian

Division 13

Fairmont Prep at Calvary Murrieta

California Military Institute at No. 3 St. Bernard

Santa Rosa Academy at No. 2 Orange Vista

At-Large bids

Division 1: No local teams

Division 2: No local teams

Division 3:  Paloma Valley

Division 4: Chaparral

Division 5: Corona

Division 6: No local teams

Division 7: Elsinore

Division 8: Temecula Valley

Division 9: No local teams

Division 10: No local teams

Division 11: Beaumont

Division 12: No local teams

Division 13: No local teams

*All stats, schedules, photos and scores are supplied by local high school athletic directors, MaxPreps, CIF-SS, contributing writers/photographers and countless fans of the games via social media. Is your team's score missing? Let us know if your school is inside our coverage area and would like to be mentioned.

JP Raineri can be reached by email at [email protected]

Alicia Salcedo

Andrew Morris looks up field on his way to score a late touchdown for the Murrieta Mesa Rams in their Week 10 loss to the Golden Bears.


Reader Comments


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2019

Rendered 04/19/2019 21:23