1. The announcement of Long Beach Poly's 26-10 loss to Mater Deicreated an uproar at the Lakewood High bleachers on Friday night. It was hard to tell if fans there were happier that Moore League rival Poly had lost in the first round, or that Lakewood would be moving on. Clearly, the rivalry has grown into something special. You couldn't walk up and down the Lakewood sideline without hearing fans asking others for updates on Poly-Mater Dei. "Poly's losing at the half," one fan said to another. The response: "Let's head over to that one."
2. Those concerned, or more interested, with what was going on at Veterans Stadium might have missed the intricacies of Lakewood's dominant win against visiting San Clemente. Coach Thadd MacNeal knows his offense gets most of the publicity. Quarterback Tyler Schultz's consistency, Allie Long's shiftiness and Rashad Wadood's versatility warrant the notoriety. But MacNeal mentioned something that was particularly astounding: Lakewood's defense doesn't get any of the headlines. Ever. Following a win at St. John Bosco back in September, MacNeal said he believed he had the defense to compete for a Pac-5 title. So how does a defensive unit anchored by four-star defensive tackle Todd Barr go overlooked? Big Red was good all season, surrendering more than 14 points just twice.
3. Poly wasn't the only Pac-5 team to flounder and fall flat on Friday. Bishop Amat was also eliminated at home, losing to Tesoro 31-21. Remember, Amat had won nine straight before losing the Serra League finale to Alemany. The Lancers will be back next year, perhaps better than they were this season. Two important pieces are in place -- unless quarterback Rio Ruiz makes a full-time switch to baseball. Tailback Jalen Moore is the other cornerstone. He might be the best back in the San Gabriel Valley next fall.
4. The Mid-Valley Division's top seed is out. Previously-unbeaten Azusa, which allowed just 30 points allseason, was upset at home by Sun Valley Village Christian, 31-24. The Aztecs sealed their fate by allowing two fourth-quarter touchdowns and failing on a fake punt late. Elsewhere in the Mid-Valley, San Dimas scored a last-minute touchdown to knock off No. 3-seeded Arroyo. Covina, ranked No. 10 in last week's L.A. South rankings, moved on with an easy 42-14 win over La Canada.
5. With the exclusion of Pac-5 Division flops Bishop Amat and Long Beach Poly, the eight other teams in last week's L.A. South top 10 rankings fared extremely well. Serra, the region's top-ranked team according to ESPNLA.com, blew past Beverly Hills, 48-7. In the City Section, top-seeded Carson beat Sylmar, 42-6, No. 2 Crenshaw cruised to a 44-0 win against Granada Hills and No. 4 Dorsey disposed of Gardena, 37-7. Compton Dominguez escaped with a 28-25 win over St. Francis.