Sunday, November 19, 2017
High School Football: Playoffs First Round this Friday
By Jason Lewis (Sports Editor)
Published November 16, 2011

Darrin Palmer and the Westchester Comets did themselves the great service by knocking off Fairfax 31-21 on Friday night.  The winner of the game would get to avoid one of the powers in the City Section in first round of the playoffs.  Westchester’s reward is a match up with West Adams, which is a tough game, but Fairfax will have to travel to Dorsey.  Photo by Jason Lewis

By Jason Lewis
Sentinel Sports Editor

High school football players have battled it out for the last couple of months, and for the best of them, it has become win or go home, because the playoffs are here. 

From this point on every game is good.  Every game will be pressure packed.  Every game will be played with the entire season on the line.  And as the weeks go by, the best of the best will be playing for championships. 

In the City Section, there was no surprise when undefeated San Pedro earned the top playoff spot in the Division I bracket, but it was a surprise to see the Marine League take three of the top five spots. 

The Marine League is the toughest in the City Section with San Pedro, Narbonne, and Carson.  The Coliseum League is next in line with Dorsey and Crenshaw.  It appeared that Dorsey, who finished 9-1, would be the obvious choice for the second seed, but it was given to a 7-3 Narbonne team instead. 

Both Dorsey and Narbonne played tough non-league schedules, where Dorsey finished with a 4-1 record, and Narbonne finished 3-2.  Dorsey went undefeated in the Coliseum League, while Narbonne finished 4-1, losing to San Pedro. 

Both teams seem even, but Dorsey’s record in both league and non-league should have given them that spot. 

The City Section has used a new format to determine the playoff seeds.  They took it out of the coaches’ hands, which may have been a good idea, but instead of using league play as the main deciding factor, with non-league play being a secondary factor, they used the computers.  Namely computer rankings from Calpreps and Maxpreps websites.  Were representatives from either of those websites at the bulk of the games?  If not, then their ranking systems may not be the best barometer to use. 

The playoff seeding should not be like a ranking system.  Wins and losses should play more of a factor.  The seeding committee said that they gave more weight to teams who took on tougher schedules, which is a good thing.  But they did not seem to have an issue with San Pedro playing a very light non-league lineup. 

If having a tough schedule was that big of a factor, then Dorsey should have been the top seed.  And the committee should not just award teams good seeds for playing a tough non-league schedule, because some teams have bitten off more than they can chew, such as Carson and Venice. 

Venice, who went 1-4 with a tough non-league schedule, was rewarded with the fourth seed after going 5-0 in league play. 

Crenshaw dropped after being upset by West Adams last week by one point.  Before Crenshaw’s one point loss to Dorsey the week before, they had not lost a City game since 2008, and all of those victories had been by 20 points or more.  But back-to-back losses dropped them to the eighth seed. 

San Pedro may not like seeing Crenshaw in that spot, because if both teams advance, San Pedro will have to play the two time defending champions in the second round of the playoffs.  Crenshaw may not be what they were the past two years, but they are Crenshaw, which means San Pedro will have more to deal with than what they probably expected that early in the playoffs.

The City team that did themselves the most good was Westchester, who knocked off Fairfax 31-21 on Friday night.  Both teams were going to make the playoffs, but the winner of that game would get one of the middle seeds, which would allow them to avoid one of the power teams.  The loser would get a low seed, meaning that they would have to play one of the powers. 

Westchester was given the tenth seed, and they will play West Adams.  It will be a tough game, but they are in a better position than Fairfax, who because of the loss will have to play at Dorsey in the opening round. 

In Division II, Washington Prep is out of the playoffs.  It has been reported that representatives from their coaching staff did not exchange game film with their opponent at the scheduled time.  It has been reported that nobody from Washington ever showed up even though phone calls were made.  Belmont has been given their spot. 

In the Southern Section, Long Beach Poly will be in the mix for the Division I title.  They are the third seed after posting a 9-1 record.  Their only loss was a close one to Mission Viejo, who is the second seed. 

Gardena Serra took the top spot in the Division IV bracket.  They held off Chaminade on Friday night to win the Mission League title, and that gave them the top seed.  Chaminade is the third seed, who will host Inglewood in the first round.

First round playoff schedule

City Section
All games are Friday at 7 p.m.

Division I

#16 Gardena (3-7) at #1 San Pedro (10-0)
#9 El Camino Real (8-2) at #8 Crenshaw (5-4)
#12 Garfield (5-5) at #5 Carson (5-5)
#13 Taft (4-6) at #4 Venice (6-4)
#14 Fairfax (6-4) vs. #3 Dorsey (9-1) at Rancho Cienega Park
#11 Arleta (9-1) at #6 Birmingham (8-2)
#10 Westchester (7-3) at #7 West Adams (5-5)
#15 Reseda (8-2) at #2 Narbonne (7-3)

Division II

#16 Grant (4-6) at #1 South East (9-1)
#9 Fremont (4-6) at #8 Verdugo Hills (7-3)
#12 Eagle Rock (4-6) at #5 Canoga Park (6-4)
#13 Bell (4-6) at #4 Jefferson (9-1)
#14 Los Angeles University (3-7) at #3 Granada Hills (5-5)
#11 Belmont (5-5) at #6 Van Nuys (8-2)
#10 Manual Arts (4-6) at #7 Lincoln (8-2)
#15 Santee (5-5) at #2 Los Angeles Marshall (8-2)

Southern Section
All games Friday at 7:30 unless noted

Division I

Newport Harbor (5-5) vs. #3 Long Beach Poly (9-1) at Veterans Stadium
Lakewood (7-3) at San Clemente (9-1)
Long Beach Cabrillo (7-3) at #2 Mission Viejo (8-2)

Division IV

Culver City (7-3) at #1 Serra (8-2), 7 p.m.
Dominguez (7-3) at #4 Ventura (10-0), 7 p.m.
Inglewood (5-5) at #3 Chaminade (8-2)
Verbum Dei (5-5) at #1 Lompoc (10-0), Saturday, 7 p.m.
Compton Centennial (7-3) at Bishop Montgomery (6-4), 7 p.m.
South Torrance (5-5) at #2 St. Bernard (10-0)

Sentinel Top 10

1.    Long Beach Poly (9-1)
2.    Dorsey (9-1)
3.    San Pedro (10-0)
4.    Narbonne (7-3)
5.    Lakewood (7-3)
6.    Gardena Serra (8-2)
7.    Crenshaw (5-4)
8.    Venice (6-4)
9.    St. Bernard (10-0)
10.  Westchester (7-3)


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