- Blair Angulo, Reporter, WeAreSC.com
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San Clemente (8-2) at Lakewood (9-1), Friday, 7:30 p.m.
This is only the third true test for Lakewood, so you have to wonder if the Lancers are ready for the Pac-5 playoffs. Lakewood beat St. John Bosco (Trinity League) behind a stout defensive performance, but lost to Moore League champion Long Beach Poly thanks to a second-half breakdown. Quarterback Tyler Schultz is as gutsy as they come, but don't be shocked if Lakewood falls at home.
Mater Dei (6-4) vs. Long Beach Poly (8-2) at Veterans Stadium, Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Long Beach Poly coach Raul Lara remained calm when he was drenched by his team following its win against Lakewood on Oct. 8. It was as if he expected the Gatorade bath and didn't want to appear blindsided. Well, the Jackrabbits will need similar composure Friday against Mater Dei in perhaps the most attractive first-round matchup in the state. Lara can only hope he gets wet again.
San Dimas (6-4) at Arroyo (9-1), Friday, 7:30 p.m.
As the defending Mid-Valley champion, San Dimas has been here before. But not on the road and definitely not as an underdog. Still, the Saints might very well pull off the upset over No. 3-seeded Arroyo, which fell in the first round last year. Arroyo played one challenging nonleague opponent this season -- Newhall Hart (5-5) -- and lost 44-3 at home.
Diamond Ranch (5-5) at Mayfair (6-4), Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Here's an interesting note: Both teams began the year with a dreadful 0-3 mark. Another interesting note: Both teams bounced back to win the next five. The two sides played tough schedules to start and are too similar for it not to be a good game. Diamond Ranch, the Hacienda League's third-place team, has history on its side after reaching the division championship game the last two years.
1155dBlair Angulo and Tim Haddock