1. The Lakewood High marching band probably didn't plan on playing holiday music at Friday night's Pac-5 Division playoff game against Alemany, but it broke out the carols when the Lancers trailed big in the second half. Lakewood players, coaches and fans surely expected chants of "Big Red" to echo across the field until the final whistle blew. Heck, even Alemany coach Dean Herrington thought the game would come down to the wire. He was surprised by the 42-21 final score. Give Alemany all the credit. An early touchdown off a blocked punt sucked the air out of the home crowd before spectators could even warm their seats. And it only got colder for the red contingent when quarterback Vernon Adams got his hands on the ball.
2. Think Dorsey ever recovered from its brutal 53-12 home loss to rival Crenshaw? Woodland Hills Taft stormed into Jackie Robinson Stadium at Rancho Cienega Park on Friday and avenged its early-season loss, advancing to the semifinals of the City Section Division I playoffs with a 35-18 victory. Dorsey's Joseph Gray (Washington) put on a show on Sept. 9, but Taft's Michael Bercovici (Arizona State) took the rematch between the two elite quarterbacks. Gray was picked off four times; Bercovici threw for 211 yards and two scores.
3. Compton Dominguez traveled up the California coast to Arroyo Grande only to get a dose of its own medicine in a 17-7 loss. The No. 2-seeded Dons (10-2) had surrendered 17 or more points three times heading into Friday. An equally strong defensive unit finally did Dominguez in, eliminating the possibility of a juicy Serra offense vs. Dominguez defense matchup that many had hoped to see in the Western Division championship game.
4. If you've ever attended any Serra sporting event, you've heard superfan Alfred Burke's unmistakable "Let's goooooooo, Serraaaaa!" yell. You can't miss it; he has that sort of presence. Serra's Athlete of the Year Award is even named after him. You can only imagine what the mood was like when Burke suffered a heart attack in the third quarter of Serra's 40-7 win at Camarillo on Friday night. The game was delayed 35 minutes while he was attended to. Burke was revived by paramedics after his heart had stopped beating. Here's to a speedy recovery.
5. Does anyone stand a chance against top-seeded West Covina in the Southeast Division? The Bulldogs are running past, around and through the competition, with Friday's 47-7 win over Santa Fe just the latest example of their dominance. Chris Solomon, West Covina's Mr. Everything, scored four touchdowns -- two on defense -- to set the pace. An all-Hacienda League championship is still a possibility, but Bonita, which lost to West Covina 55-21 on Oct. 29, has to get past La Serna on Saturday.