In CIF-Southern Section playoff action, one does not see two high schools only a half of mile apart playing much in the first round of Western Division action.
That was the case as host and Bay League runner-up Redondo took on Pioneer League co-champion West Torrance, located right down the street on the corner of Del Amo Blvd. and Victor Street, last Friday. In the end, the Sea Hawks rallied from a 14-point second quarter deficit to top the Warriors 35-28 in what could be a non-league and, possibly a playoff rivalry. It was Redondo’s second win over West this season. In a non-league contest at West on Sept. 18, the Sea Hawks won a defensive battle over the Warriors 14-3.
Down 21-7 early in the second period, Redondo, which improved its record to 9-2, finally got things going with 40 seconds left before halftime. After quarterback Jacob Silvera connected with wide receiver Preston Faecher, the same two went on to connect a 5-yarder cutting West’s lead to 21-14.
The Sea Hawks tied the game in the third quarter before Redondo finally finished off the Warriors, scoring two touchdowns just 17 seconds apart late in the fourth quarter. Malik Spencer had two straight runs from 20 and two yards, the latter that gave Redondo a 28-21 lead with 1:59 remaining.
After an interception by linebacker Faecher, the Sea Hawks could not move as a field goal was missed. West got the ball back but, immediately, returning first team all-Bay League defensive end Cedric Muzik sacked Warrior quarterback Drake Peabody, who fumbled away the ball to defensive lineman Dan Zimmerman. Zimmerman, a two-way lineman and standout baseball player who keyed the Sea Hawks to the CIF-Southern Section Division III title last June, took the ball 20 yards for a TD and Redondo had a 35-21 lead with 1:11 to go.
West cut Redondo’s lead to 35-28 when Peabody, a junior who is the son of Long Beach City College head football coach Brett Peabody, completed a 26-yard scoring pass to Kris Loften. The Warriors’ onside kick was recovered by the Sea Hawks’ Warren Jackson that preserved the Sea Hawks’ win.
Redondo took a 7-0 first quarter lead when sophomore running back Jermar Jefferson sprinted 80 yards for a touchdown, but West went on to score 21 unanswered points on a TD runs of three and 14 yards by Peabody and a 30-yard interception return from Denver Silverlake.
The Sea Hawks will look for their first 10-win season since 1942 and their first Southern Section semifinal appearance since 1997 when they host Oxnard in the quarterfinals Friday at 7 p.m. The Yellowjackets are coming off a 28-7 home win over Agoura Hills Oak Park in the first round last Friday. Redondo, which is No. 4 seed in the playoffs, will have to contend with the fifth seed Yellowjackets, who have a lot of depth with no players going both ways, compared to the Sea Hawks who have seven players going both ways. According to reports, Oxnard, the Pacific View League champion, has both size and speed.
All three Bay League teams got through the first round. Champion Palos Verdes rolled over Simi Valley 45-7 at Mira Costa High and the third place Mustangs coming from behind to defeat host and last year’s Western Division runner-up Ventura 34-24.
Mira Costa will host the Mique Juarez-led North Torrance team, while the Sea Kings visit Pacifica High in Oxnard in the quarterfinals Friday at 7 p.m.
Juarez figured in six touchdowns, running for five of those, in the Saxons’ 48-14 home rout of Agoura last Friday. North tied with West for the Pioneer League title but the Saxons won the league due to their 35-17 Pioneer win over the Warriors on Oct. 16 at West.
Pacifica eliminated host and Ocean League champion Culver City 45-20. The Tritons are the Pacific View League runner-ups.
Serra rallies past Westlake: In the first round of last Friday’s CIF-Southern Section PAC Five Division playoffs, Serra High’s football team received a big first quarter scare as Westlake High started off well with a 14-0 lead.
The Cavaliers were able to overturn that. They went on to outscore the Warriors 38-6 from there for a 38-20 victory last Friday at Serra.
After a very good punt return by Brandon Burton early in the second period, Serra began its comeback and 21-point quarter completing its short drive on a one-yard run by running back Job McGinty. With 3:06 left before halftime, the Cavaliers caught Westlake with a 14-14 tie on a 4-yard run by quarterback Khalil Tate, then with 1:37 remaining in the second period, he gave Serra (9-2) the lead for good on a 20-yard touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Kobe Smith.
Serra added a field goal by Eric Escamilla of 33 yards and a 31-yard TD pass from Tate to Isaiah Diego-Williams to complete a 31-0 run for a 31-14 lead with 5:41 to go in the third period.
Westlake, which ended its season at 7-4, scored on a 5-yard pass from quarterback Grant Bunker to wide receiver Blaze McKibbin with 32 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Serra finished off the Warriors on Tate’s third scoring pass of the game to Khalid Chapman with 9:47 left in the game.
“We didn’t play very well early,” Serra head coach Scott Altenberg said. “We got to watch out. If we do that, again, it will be over.”
Playing in the prestigious PAC Five, that includes two nationally ranked teams in Corona Centennial (third) and Bellflower St. John Bosco (seventh), is going to get even tougher. The Cavaliers will host always powerful Mater Dei from Santa Ana in the quarterfinals Friday at 7:30 p.m. Serra is seeded fourth, while the Monarchs are No. 5. Mater Dei is coming off a 66-14 rout of Lakewood in the first round last Friday at the Santa Ana Bowl.
Routs marred the PAC Five playoffs as the top two seeds won easily. The No. 1 Huskies blew away Chaminade, a team that upset Serra 38-21 in their Mission League finale, 70-29, and the Braves crushed Corona 72-7.
If Serra gets by Mater Dei, it could have a rematch of last year’s PAC Five first round game and the Sept. 5 Honor Bowl game with Centennial, which defeated the Cavaliers in both of those contests by 68-64 and 52-13 scores, in order, on Nov. 27. In Serra’s Honor Bowl loss to the Huskies on Sept. 5 at Oceanside High, the Cavaliers were without Tate, who was ineligible for the game due to an ejection in their Aug. 28 season opener against Lakewood after a scuffle with a Lancer player. Serra won that game 41-15.
Lawndale rolls over Buena: After being stunned on having to forfeit four of its wins of its now 10-1 on the field season (officially 6-5), a mad and hungry Lawndale High football team began the CIF-Southern Section Western Division playoffs with a 40-7 blowout of host Buena High last Friday in Ventura.
The “Big Three Seniors” of quarterback Chris Murray, wide receiver Bryant Perkinson and running back Zach Cooper sparked the Cardinals’ easy victory. Perkinson had a 52-yard interception return and a 50-yard punt return for touchdowns.
Murray scored two TD’s from six and 20 yards out. Cooper added TD’s on a 15-yard run and a 45-yard punt return.
The win sends Lawndale back home but it will be pitted against the division’s top seed Calabasas in the quarterfinals Friday at 7:30 p.m. The Coyotes, who easily won the Canyon League, are 10-1 after a 56-17 home first round rout of Oxnard Rio Mesa last Friday.
Last Week’s Results:
CIF Sectional Playoffs, Round I:
Friday, Nov. 13:
CIF-L.A. City Section:
Division I: Narbonne 54, Eagle Rock 0; San Pedro 43, South Gate 18; Crenshaw 54, Banning 27; Dorsey 35, Carson 28.
Division II: Gardena 60, Rancho Dominguez 56; Jefferson 64, Westchester 48.
PAC Five: Serra 38, Westlake 20.
Western: Lawndale 40, Buena 7; Mira Costa 34, Ventura 24; Redondo 35, West Torrance 28; North Torrance 48, Agoura 14; Palos Verdes 45, Simi Valley 7; Oxnard Pacifica 45, Culver City 20.
Northwest: Maranatha 17, Bishop Montgomery 16.
East Valley: Grace Brethren 61, Mary Star 7.
This Week’s Quarterfinals:
CIF-L.A. City Section:
Division I: San Pedro at Narbonne, 7 p.m.
Division II: Gardena at Fairfax, 7 p.m.
PAC Five: Mater Dei at Serra, 7:30 p.m.
Western: North Torrance at Mira Costa, 7 p.m.; Oxnard at Redondo, 7 p.m.; Palos Verdes at Oxnard Pacifica, 7 p.m.; Calabasas at Lawndale, 7:30 p.m.