Valley News -

By JP Raineri
Sports Editor 

HS Football: Playoff action intensifies; local teams tested in postseason hunt

 

Last updated 11/16/2018 at 12:21am

David Canales

Kenric Jameison (5) leaps over a Bell Gardens defender on his way to the endzone in Linfield's 69-33 playoff win last week.

Many of the local high school teams have now fallen as the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section playoffs approach, but there is still some light shining down on one local team, as well as quite a few from our surrounding coverage areas.

Linfield Christian school beat visiting Bell Gardens, 69-33, in a CIF-Southern Section Division 12 quarterfinal matchup last week, but it wasn't without being tested. The game went back and forth through the first half, in fact, Bell Gardens made it a one-score game at the half with back-to-back touchdowns as the Lancers gained some momentum. With a mighty big pep talk during halftime, the Lions stepped up their game in the third quarter, outscoring Bell Gardens 28-7.

Linfield is averaging 55 points per game and their defense is mirroring that accolade by allowing fewer than 7 points per game when the smoke clears. Senior quarterback Kaleb Maresh was 13 of 18 for 173 yards, threw two touchdown passes and had two TD runs among his 140 yards rushing for the Lions while Travion Brown, who had four catches for 93 yards on offense, pulled down an interception and had a QB sack and four tackles on defense. The Lions (11-1) will travel to Xavier Prep this week in what should be a semifinal match-up not to miss.

Moving to the school next door, Temecula Valley (6-6) suffered a heartbreaking loss to Santa Ana, but not without making a statement in the Southwestern League this year. Temecula Valley head coach Bert Esposito, who came in this year and brought some life to the Golden Bears program, took the underdogs of the SWL from 0-10 in 2017 to the section quarterfinals in 2018. In their final game against Santa Ana the excitement roller coaster lasted until the final seconds of the game, which seemed fitting. Temecula Valley's Easton Gibbs' launched a 35-yard touchdown pass to Anson Pulsipher with no time remaining, but the Golden Bears would need a two-point conversion to send the game to OT. A deflected pass allowed the Saints to escape a 21-19 victory over the host Golden Bears in their CIF-SS Division 8 quarterfinal match-up and now Santa Ana (10-2), the division's No. 3 seed, will face Kaiser in next week's semifinals.

The Hemet Bulldogs continue to roll on one of the best seasons they have ever had, one that has been 49 years in the making. During last week's quarterfinals, Hemet took out Irvine, 38-17. Quarterback Nick Thornburg was 14 of 18 for 192 yards in the first half and finished 18 of 24 for 273 yards with a touchdown when all was said and done. One of the biggest plays of the night involved a fake punt by Dawson Powers, a converted soccer player, who then fired a 46-yard pass to Garrett Arnold and later hauled in a 61-yard scoring pass from Thornburg and scored on a short run. Kalin Whitfield also had a big night, rushing for 119 yards, including 107 in the second half while Frankie Castillo had a 50-yard interception return for a score. Hemet will travel to Peninsula of Rolling Hills Estates for a Division 11 semifinal match-up this week.

Down the street, San Jacinto's Kajiya Hollawayne outran the defense with a 19-yard game-winning touchdown on a fourth-and-9 play with less than 3 minutes to play, leading San Jacinto to a 42-40 win over Notre Dame in the quarterfinal round of the CIF Southern Section Division 7 playoffs. The sophomore found the end zone twice in the game, rushed for 66 yards on 12 carries and went 22 of 40 passing for 283 yards. The Tigers had a good 16-point cushion midway through the third quarter, but Notre Dame fought back scoring 20 straight points to take a four-point lead when San Jacinto gained control of the ball with 5 minutes to play in the game. In what was a dramatic fourth-down play, Hollawayne hit the sideline and put the game away. Sophomore Kelvin Davis led San Jacinto with 135 yards rushing on 23 carries. Wayne Thomas had nine receptions for 122 yards and senior Kaleb Hervey added six receptions for 109 yards. The Tigers will now face Valencia in semifinal action this week.

The other big semi-local showdown involved No. 1 seed Rancho Verde in last Friday's quarterfinal match-up against Arcadia. The Mustangs scored 28 unanswered points behind Xavier Ugorji who rushed 20 times for 111 yards and will now move on to face Notre Dame this week. Rancho Verde won the Division 3 title a year ago and look to do it again with head coach Pete Duffy back in charge. Freshman quarterback AJ Duffy completed 14 of 24 passes for 172 yards, two touchdowns and had an interception.

Here is the tale of the tape for the quarterfinal round of playoff action, plus a look at what's next for the local teams advancing in our coverage area:

Thursday Nov. 8

Division 13

Orange Vista – 43, Loara – 0

Friday Nov. 9

Division 1

Centennial – 58, Rancho Cucamonga – 20

Division 2

Rancho Verde – 42, Alemany – 14

Division 3

Citrus Hill – 35, Downey – 28

Division's 4 through 6

No local teams

Division 7

San Jacinto – 42, Notre Dame – 40

Division 8

Arcadia – 38, Temescal Canyon – 17

Santa Ana – 21, Temecula Valley – 19

Division 9 & 10

No local teams

Division 11

Hemet – 38, Irvine – 17

Beaumont – 20, Pasadena – 17

Division 12

Linfield Christian – 69, Bell Gardens – 33

CIF Southern Section high school football semifinal playoff schedule. (Games at 7:30 p.m. unless noted. Sites and times are subject to change.)

Friday, Nov. 16

Division 1

Centennial vs. Mater Dei at Santa Ana Stadium

Division 2

Rancho Verde at Sherman Oaks Notre Dame

Division 3

Sierra Canyon at Citrus Hill, 7 p.m.

Division's 4 through 6

No local teams

Division 7

San Jacinto at Placentia Valencia

Division's 8 through 10

No local teams

Division 11

Hemet vs. Peninsula at South Torrance HS, 7 p.m.

Western at Beaumont

Andrez Imaging

Temescal Canyon fell in the quarterfinal round of the CIF Southern Section Division 8 playoffs to Arcadia 38-17.

Division 12

Linfield Christian at Xavier Prep, 7 p.m.

Division 13

Orange Vista at Garey

8-Man, Division 1 & 2

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]

 

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