L.A. North: Pick six games of the week

November, 17, 2011
11/17/11
3:52
PM PT
Eastside(4-6) vs. No. 2 Westlake (10-0), Friday (7 p.m.)
The top-seeded team in the Southern Section Northern Division playoffs eases into postseason with a first-round game against Eastside, the fourth-place team from the Golden League. The Lions have lost three games in a row. They don’t run the ball well -- the Lions' leading rusher is Kevin Teate with 691 yards and two touchdowns. They don’t pass the ball well, averaging a notch over 31 yards per game. They don’t score many points, averaging 16.6 points and were shut out in three of their last five games. Westlake is undefeated, averaging 45.5 points and coming off a 35-14 win over St. Bonaventure, the No. 11 team in the ESPN Los Angeles prep football Top 25 rankings.

Mira Costa (4-6) vs. No. 9 Oaks Christian (8-2), Friday (7:30 p.m.)
Oaks Christian, the reigning Northern Division champion and the second-seeded team in the Northern Division playoffs, opens against the third-place team from the Bay League. Mira Costa is another team that hasn’t scored much, only 17.7 points per game, and lost its league finale, 21-7, against Redondo Union. Oaks Christian stumbled a bit into the playoffs, playing two close games in the final three weeks of the Marmonte League season. Both of Oaks Christian’s running backs, Carlos Mendoza and Ishmael Adams, were nicked up in the final weeks of the season. Still the Lions are averaging 35.3 points and should be in good position to make another run at a CIF championship.

No. 11 St. Bonaventure (8-2) vs. Redondo Union (5-5), Friday ( 7:30 p.m.)
The Sea Hawks finished in second place in the Bay League and won four of the last five games of the season. Two of their toughest games were a 21-0 loss to Gardena Serra in Week 2 and a 33-13 loss to Orange Lutheran in Week 5. St. Bonaventure, the No. 3 seed in the Northern Division playoffs, has been ranked higher than Serra and OLu all season in the ESPNLA rankings. The Seraphs might be playing with some chips on their shoulders, too. Coach Todd Therrien was definitely not happy with the way his team lost to Westlake in the Marmonte League finale. Don’t get him started on how his team lost to Oaks Christian.

Inglewood (5-5) vs. No. 24 Chaminade (8-2), Friday (7 p.m.)
Chaminade Coach Ed Croson said his players were “disheartened” after losing to Gardena Serra in the Mission League finale and, as a result, dropping from the No. 1 to No. 3 seed in the Western Division playoffs. The Eagles run the ball well and can score against any team. Running back Terrell Newby has 1,533 yards and 24 touchdowns. Quarterback Logan Scott is efficient, passing for 1,490 yards and 11 touchdowns at a 65 percent completion rate. The wild card in the Chaminade offense is speedster wideout Elijah Dunston. He caught 34 passes for 412 yards and a team-high five touchdowns among the receivers. Inglewood, the second-place team from the Ocean League, has won four games in a row. The Sentinels also lost five of their first six games. Two of those losses were to Palos Verdes and Mira Costa, the top two teams from the Bay League. It could be a long night for Inglewood.

Birmingham (8-2) vs. Arleta (9-1), Friday (7 p.m.)
Birmingham is the No. 6 seed in the City Section Division I playoffs and takes on Arleta in the first round. It is East Valley vs. West Valley. Birmingham was the surprise champion of the West Valley League after upsetting El Camino Real in the second to last game of the season. Arleta won the East Valley League championship with an undefeated record. The only loss for the Mustangs was against Chatsworth, 28-12, in the second week of the season. It was also be a matchup of two of the best running backs in the San Fernando Valley. Arleta’s Dejon Coleman is one touchdown away from setting the City Section for touchdowns in a season. Birmingham’s Isaiah Hastings has outplayed the top tailbacks in the West Valley League all season.

Cresnshaw (5-4) vs. El Camino Real (8-2), Friday (7 p.m.)
El Camino Real opens the City Section Division I playoffs against the reigning champs. This is a winnable game for El Camino. Crenshaw is the No. 8 seed in the playoffs. El Camino is No. 9 and home for the playoff opener. The Conquistadores won four of their last five games but stumbled a bit into the playoffs. They lost to Birmingham and, as a result, lost the West Valley League championship. In the West Valley League finale, they narrowly beat Granada Hills, 35-34, and had to erase a 20-point halftime deficit. Crenshaw finished in third place in the Coliseum League and lost its last two games of the season.

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