Los Angeles Preps: South East

Robert Lewis still mulling his options

January, 25, 2012
1/25/12
4:01
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Robert LewisCourtesy of Jackie SattiSouth East's Robert Lewis says he will announce his college choice on Friday night.

LOS ANGELES -- It appeared as if Robert Lewis had, at long last, made up his mind about his final destination for college when the senior from South Gate South East gave a verbal commitment to Washington State a couple of weeks ago. Questions about the pledge, however, remain.

Lewis plans to put a stop to all of the second-guessing and make things official on Friday night when a ceremony will be held on his high school campus and the 5-foot-10, 160-pound running back will decide between his final three schools, Oregon, Southern Methodist and Washington State.

“I'm going to make my announcement this weekend at my school and pick the hat of my college choice in front of all my family and friends,'' Lewis said. “I'm still exploring all my options, but the recruiting process is almost over for me. Anything can happen in the next two days.''

There was some who thought San Diego State had recently emerged as a player. When Lewis decided to cancel a visit earlier this month, the talk about the Aztecs subsided.

Utah made a last ditch effort to lure him Salt Lake City. The same thing can be said about Texas Tech and the Red Raiders' desire to wow him with everything Lubbock had to offer.

“We've talked plenty about recruiting in the past, and I know Robert likes Washington State, but I don't think it's a lock that he'll commit to the Cougars,'' South East coach Derwin Henderson said. “He also likes SMU, that program has been high on his list since the beginning. We're all in the dark about his decision. I can tell you this, we'll find out on Friday night when he decides.''

The Mustangs and coach June Junes initially received a verbal commitment from Lewis in February. At the time, all signs pointed to the program, essentially, being the frontrunner.

(Read full post)

L.A. South: All-region football teams

December, 20, 2011
12/20/11
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Here’s an all-encompassing look at the top performers in south Los Angeles County for the 2011 prep football season.

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER

Troy Williams, Narbonne, Junior -– Williams was superb in managing Narbonne's no-huddle spread attack. He did it with his arm (3,247 passing yards, 34 touchdowns), he did it with his legs (587 yards, 11 scores), and he made the right decisions with the football. The junior quarterback guided the Gauchos to the City Section Division I title.

OFFENSIVE MVP

Robert Lewis, South East, Senior -– Opposing coaches schemed to stop Lewis but the electrifying tailback still averaged 10 yards per carry and amassed 2,023 yards and 30 touchdowns for the City Section Division II champs. Coach Derwin Henderson pegged him as the city's best all-around talent. Lewis has verbally committed to Southern Methodist.

DEFENSIVE MVP

Ellis McCarthy, Monrovia, Senior -– The mind-boggling numbers aren't quite there because the big guy faced double- and triple-teams on a weekly basis. Coach Ryan Maddox built his defense around the 305-pound defensive tackle and it paid off with Monrovia capturing its second straight Mid-Valley Division championship. McCarthy has offers from all over, including Cal, USC, Florida, Oregon and Washington.

SPECIAL TEAMS MVP

Jack Schneider, Charter Oak, Junior -– With 89 total points, Schneider was the region's top scorer among kickers. In 12 games he made 65 extra points for the Sierra League champions.

COACH OF THE YEAR

Manual Douglas, Narbonne –- By the end of the season, Douglas had his Gauchos playing as well as any team in the area. Narbonne finished 11-3 and reached its third City Section title game in the last four years. Douglas scheduled tough with games at Long Beach Poly and Tesoro, and the strategy paid dividends.

FIRST TEAM OFFENSE

QB – Steven Rivera, Arroyo, Sr. –- Rivera capped his stellar four-year stay at Arroyo by passing for 3,408 yards and 38 touchdowns, leading the Knights to the Mission Valley League title.

RB – Tray Boone, Narbonne, Sr. –- The shifty back rushed for six touchdowns in the City Section Division I title game to finish with 1,400 yards and 22 touchdowns. He did all of this in an offense that primarily throws the ball.

RB – Marquise Bias, Monrovia, Sr. -– The powerful Bias pounded his way to 260 yards and three touchdowns in the Mid-Valley Division title game, and finished with more than 1,500 yards for the season.

WR – Bryce Treggs, St. John Bosco, Sr. –- The Cal commit made Trinity League defenses look foolish, hauling in 11 touchdowns to go along with 1,377 receiving yards.

WR – Darreus Rogers, Carson, Sr. –- Rogers, a USC commit, was the City Section's leading receiver with 1,251 yards. He had a monster performance in the title game but it wasn't enough for the Colts.

WR – Alex Villalobos, San Gabriel, Sr. -– The slot-type Villalobos was the state leader with 2,001 receiving yards. He added 21 touchdowns for the Mid-Valley Division runner-up Matadors.

OL - Beau Leati, Narbonne, Sr. -- City Section coaches selected Leati as the lineman of the year and for good reason. He anchored a line that opened gaping holes for Boone and protected Williams.

OL – Lacy Westbrook, Dominguez, Sr. -– The UCLA commit was out when the Dons started the season with two losses, but his added a major spark to their ground attack.

OL – Beau Boyster, St. John Bosco, Sr. -– The Braves averaged more than 400 yards of offense per game and the Arizona commit was in the middle of it, with his protection of strong-armed Rene Medina.

OL – Gerrad Kough, Pomona, Sr. -– The Colorado commit spearheaded a Pomona running game that averaged more than 215 yards per game.

OL – George Castro, West Covina, Sr. -– West Covina was 25th in the state in rushing yards per game (332) and Castro was a big reason why.

PK – Mason Bryant, Monrovia, Jr. -– Bryant did it all for the back-to-back champion Wildcats as a receiver, defensive back and kicker, totaling 117 total points.

P - Conrad Ukropina, Loyola, Sr. –- Six of Ukropina's 25 punts were downed inside the 20-yard line, and he averaged 43 yards per punt, the best in the Pac-5 Division.

SECOND TEAM

QB – Travis Santiago, Charter Oak, Sr.
RB – Jimmy Frazier, West Covina, Sr.
RB – Kurt Scoby, Charter Oak, So.
WR – Richard Smith, Long Beach Poly, Sr.
WR - Antoine Anderson, Narbonne, Sr.
WR – Hunter Duran, Arroyo, Sr.
OL – Chase Eldredge, Palos Verdes, Sr.
OL – Chad Wheeler, Santa Monica, Sr.
OL – Justin Johnson, Dorsey, Sr.
OL – Alec Zenner, San Dimas, Sr.
OL – Nico Falah, St. John Bosco, Jr.
PK - Ret Tilman, Culver City, Sr.
P – Hayden Hunt, Long Beach Poly, Sr.

FIRST TEAM DEFENSE

DL – Demetric McKinney, West Adams, Sr. -– McKinney recorded a state-leading 26 sacks in only 12 games.

DL – Jeremiah Allison, Dorsey, Sr. -– Allison will be used as a linebacker in college but he was fierce coming off the three-point stance for Dorsey. Allison had 14 sacks for the Coliseum League champions, giving him 34 over his last two seasons.

DL – Jesse Ojeda, San Dimas, Sr. -– He only measures 5-feet, 7-inches but Ojeda was a force for the Saints, getting to the quarterback 17 times.

LB – Brett Walsh, Monrovia, Jr. -– Walsh was second in the entire Southern Section with 192 tackles, thriving behind McCarthy's havoc up front. He added eight sacks, and figures to garner attention during the offseason.

LB – Sergio Gonzalez, Ganesha, Jr. -– The outside linebacker led the Mid-Valley Division with 17 sacks.

LB – Nuoye Clemmons III, West Adams, Sr. -– Clemmons ranked second in the City Section with 146 tackles.

LB – Salamo Fiso, Long Beach Poly, Sr. -– The Arizona State commit spearheaded a strong Jackrabbits defense with 117 tackles.

DB – Kevin Page, Dorsey, Sr. -– Page intercepted six passes, including a big one on the road to clinch a victory at Alemany.

DB – Tyrone Taylor, Torrance, Sr. -– The Cal State Fullerton baseball signee had 190 tackles from the safety position.

DB – Shane Baumann, St. John Bosco, Sr. -– Baumann was in the middle of every defensive play, it seemed. He ranked fifth in the Pac-5 Division with 126 tackles and also had five interceptions.

DB – Mark Wright, Rolling Hills Prep, Sr. –- Wright had 10 interceptions in nine games, good for a tie for second place in the state.

SECOND TEAM

DL – Alonzo Williams, Long Beach Poly, Sr.
DL – Robbie Haines, Arcadia, Sr.
DL – Daniel Rios, Rosemead, Jr.
LB – Keishawn Haley, Culver City, Jr.
LB – Matt Rowe, Long Beach Poly, Sr.
LB – Jabari Ruffin, Downey, Sr.
LB – Thomas Brown, Gardena Serra, Sr.
DB – Trayvon Watson, West Adams, Sr.
DB – Gabriel Marks, Venice, Sr.
DB – Naijel Hale, Lakewood, So.
DB – Chris Solomon, West Covina, Sr.

ESPNLA prep football final Top 25

December, 19, 2011
12/19/11
12:22
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LA PrepESPN.com Illustration

Santa Margarita moves into the top spot after winning the CIF State Division I bowl in thrilling fashion. Westlake's stay atop the rankings was short-lived as the Warriors were overwhelmed by a superior Northern California power. The final ESPN Los Angeles prep football Top 25 rankings:

1. Santa Margarita (13-2)
If we learned anything about junior quarterback Johnny Stanton it's that he thrives when the lights shine the brightest. Stanton's go-ahead score with 16 seconds remaining secured the CIF State Division I bowl championship, and it'll be remembered for a long time. Coach Harry Welch won his third bowl game with the third different school. Last week: Beat San Jose Bellarmine, 42-37.

2. Vista Murrieta (9-5)*
The Broncos were a perfect 14-0 on the field but weren't selected for a state bowl game. They could reach the spotlight next year with the dynamic Su'a Cravens returning for the Inland Division champs.

3. Westlake (14-1)
Not exactly how coach Jim Benkert envisioned the CIF State Open Division bowl game, but consolation lies in the fact that it wasn't the first time De La Salle embarrassed a team, and it won't be the last. The Warriors figure to be in the mix again next year, with top playmakers Dashon Hunt and Justin Moore returning. Last week: Lost to De La Salle, 35-0.

4. Narbonne (11-3)
The City Section Division I champions are favored to repeat in 2012, if only because they've got the section's leading passer in Troy Williams (3,247 yards and 34 touchdowns).

5. Corona Centennial (12-2)
Quarterback Hayden Gavett exceeded expectations in his first year as starter following Michael Eubank's graduation. Running back Romello Goodman finished seventh in rushing in the section.

6. San Clemente (12-2)
The Tritons reached the Pac-5 Division championship game but must replace Utah-bound quarterback Travis Wilson next season.

7. Mission Viejo (10-3)
Safety Max Redfield, one of the top defensive backs in the 2013 class, has already bagged an offer from USC. He'll draw plenty of interest next season.

8. Upland (12-1)
No matter what you call them -- the Highlanders or Scots -- Baseline League champion Upland has a good group returning, led by quarterback Nate Romine.

9. Oaks Christian (11-3)
The Lions could take the next step if quarterback Brandon Dawkins, only a sophomore, develops the way many expect him to.

10. St. Bonaventure (10-3)
The Seraphs finished in third place in the Marmonte League and will have to find replacements for leading offensive standouts Shaun Wick and Marc Evans.

(Read full post)

L.A. South: The final Top 10

December, 19, 2011
12/19/11
12:19
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There were no south Los Angeles County schools involved in the state bowls, so the rankings remain as they did last week. The area's sectional champions were Narbonne (City Section Division I), West Covina (Southeast Division), Monrovia (Mid-Valley Division) and South East (City Section Division II). The final top 10 rankings:

1. (1) Narbonne (11-3)
The City Section Division I champions are favored to repeat in 2012, if only because they’ve got the section’s leading passer in Troy Williams (3,247 yards and 34 touchdowns).

2. (2) Long Beach Poly (10-2)
The Jackrabbits got their second straight Moore League championship but will have a lot of offensive talent to replace.

3. (3) St. John Bosco (8-4)
The third-place team from the Trinity League made its first playoff appearance since 2006, and leading running back DaVonte Young returns next season.

4. (4) Charter Oak (10-2)
The Chargers won the Sierra League and have a dynamic talent in tailback Kurt Scoby for the next two years.

5. (5) Carson (8-6)
The Colts lost in the City Section Division I title game for the second straight year. And, according to reports, they’ll have to replace energetic coach Elijah Asante.

(Read full post)

ESPNLA prep football Top 25

December, 12, 2011
12/12/11
12:10
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LA PrepESPN.com Illustration

Shiny trophies were handed out to sectional champions, led by state-bowl selections Westlake (Northern Division) and Santa Margarita (Pac-5 Division). Harbor City Narbonne claimed the City Section Division I title, moving up to the No. 4 spot in the ESPN Los Angeles prep football Top 25 rankings. Our list heading into the state bowl games:

1. Westlake (14-0)
The Warriors won their second Northern Division championship in three years behind Dashon Hunt's five touchdowns. Westlake is going bowling. Last week: Beat Oaks Christian, 49-42. Next: Open Division state championship game vs. Concord De La Salle at Home Depot Center, Saturday, 8 p.m.

2. Vista Murrieta (9-5)#*
Junior quarterback Nicholas Stephens scored the Inland Division championship-winning touchdown with 26 seconds remaining. They were undefeated on the field, but they didn't get the nod for the Division I state bowl. Last week: Beat Corona Centennial, 35-28.

3. Santa Margarita (12-2)
Coach Harry Welch won his ninth overall championship and first with the Eagles. Quarterback Johnny Stanton had 240 total yards. The Eagles are heading to state. Last week: Beat San Clemente, 27-13. Next: Division I state championship game vs. San Jose Bellarmine at Home Depot Center, Friday, 8 p.m.

4. Narbonne (11-3)*
Emotional leader Tray Boone usually talks the talk, but he backed it up Friday with six touchdown runs and 316 total yards to lead the Gauchos to the City Section Division I title. Last week: Beat Carson, 48-32.

5. Corona Centennial (12-2)*
Quarterback Hayden Gavett and running back Romello Goodman finally ran into the team that could keep up. Last week: Lost to Vista Murrieta, 35-28.

6. Oaks Christian (11-3)*
The Lions were closer to Westlake this time around, but it still wasn't enough in the Northern Division championship game. Last week: Lost to Westlake, 49-42.

7. San Clemente (12-2)*
The Tritons had to settle for a pair of first-half field goals, and it was the difference at Angel Stadium. The Tritons could have put the Eagles on their heels. Last week: Lost to Santa Margarita, 27-13.

8. Mission Viejo (10-3)*
The South Coast League champions have Max Redfield coming back next year. He's projected as one of the top safeties on the West Coast.

9. Upland (12-1)*
Quarterback Nate Romine returns next year for the Baseline League champs.

10. St. Bonaventure (10-3)*
The third-place Seraphs must replace departing seniors Shaun Wick and Marc Evans.

(Read full post)

L.A. South: The Top 10

December, 11, 2011
12/11/11
11:45
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With no south Los Angeles County schools heading to the state bowls, we can label this a collective down year in the region. Narbonne (City Section Division I), West Covina (Southeast Division), Monrovia (Mid-Valley Division) and South East (City Section Division II) are champions. The top 10 rankings heading into the final week of play:

1. (1) Narbonne (11-3)
Emotional leader Tray Boone usually talks the talk, but he backed it up Friday with six touchdown runs and 316 total yards to lead the Gauchos to the City Section Division I title. Last week: Beat Carson, 48-32.

2. (2) Long Beach Poly (10-2)
A quick exit from the Pac-5 bracket but at least order appears to have been restored for the back-to-back Moore League champions.

3. (3) St. John Bosco (8-4)
The third-place team from the Trinity League made its first playoff appearance since 2006, and leading running back DaVonte Young returns next season.

4. (4) Charter Oak (10-2)
The Chargers won the Sierra League and have a dynamic talent in tailback Kurt Scoby for the next two years.

5. (5) Carson (8-6)
For the second straight year, the Colts stumbled in the City Section Division I title game when mistakes turned costly. Last week: Lost to Narbonne, 48-32.

(Read full post)

City Div. II: South East 51, Marshall 34

December, 10, 2011
12/10/11
12:32
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MONTEREY PARK -- Derwin Henderson looked over his left shoulder, then over his right. The South East coach promptly pulled the hood of his sweatshirt over his head, knowing exactly what was coming next.

Nothing like an icy bath to kick off the celebration.

Henderson and top-seeded South East captured the City Section Division II championship Friday afternoon with a 51-34 victory against second-seeded Marshall at Weingart Stadium on the campus of East Los Angeles College. South East (13-1), in only its seventh year of existence, shattered its previous school record of eight wins.

The disbelief was evident on junior quarterback Jonathan Santos’ face. He passed for 317 yards and five touchdowns, and added a season-high 135 rushing yards and another score to pace the explosive Jaguars attack.

“I wouldn’t trade him for the world,” Henderson said.

Highly regarded Robert Lewis, the Southern Methodist-bound tailback who had 2,004 rushing yards and 30 touchdowns heading into the game, had difficulty finding running lanes but made his presence felt in a different way. He caught a 24-yard touchdown and returned an interception 36 yards for a score in the second half to help Eastern League champion South East pull away.

“Back in February Robert could have left to any other school he wanted, but he stuck around, stuck with me,” Henderson said.

Santos’ 71-yard touchdown pass to Ramone Smith was the dagger, making it 38-20 early in the fourth quarter. In the stands, newspaper scraps fluttered in the air, serving as makeshift confetti.

“This is everything,” said Santos, who fell just 31 yards short of 3,000 for the season. “Since I was little this is what I’ve been dreaming about. We never thought it’d be reality.”

(Read full post)

Preview: Marshall vs. South East

December, 7, 2011
12/07/11
7:27
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CITY SECTION DIVISION II CHAMPIONSHIP

Marshall Barristers (11-2) vs. South East Jaguars (12-1)

When: Friday, 4:05 p.m.

Where: Weingart Stadium at East Los Angeles College

Broadcast: Live on Time Warner Cable channel 101

How they got here: Second-seeded Marshall beat Santee (37-6), Lincoln (49-10) and Granada Hills (37-34). Top-seeded South East beat Grant (56-14), Fremont (42-19) and Canoga Park (42-20).

School history: Marshall has one title to its name, but that came back in 1982. South East is only in its seventh year of existence and, this season, shattered its previous school record of eight wins.

Key players: The Barristers are led by quarterback Anthony Benitez, who has averaged 290 total yards per game, and tailback Walter Moctezuma, who has 19 total touchdowns. Southern Methodist-bound tailback Robert Lewis has 30 rushing scores and quarterback Jonathan Santos adds 35 total touchdowns to form an explosive combination for Eastern League champion South East.

Prediction: South East 42, Marshall 34

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

December, 1, 2011
12/01/11
1:40
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No. 7 Oaks Christian (10-2) vs. No. 8 St. Bonaventure (10-2) at Ventura High School, Friday (7 p.m.) – Oaks Christian is on the road for its Northern Division semifinal game against St. Bonaventure and coach Bill Redell probably prefers it that way. The two teams met in the second week of Marmonte League play at Oaks Christian and the game was delayed nearly 30 minutes when the lights went out at the football stadium in the middle of a punt in the second half. Redell said if his team faced St. Bonaventure again in the playoffs, he would like to play the game during the day and anywhere but at Oaks Christian. Even though Oaks Christian won by 12 points, the game was much closer than that. St. Bonaventure cut Oaks Christian’s lead to three points, 27-24, in the fourth quarter before the lights went out. Oaks Christian scored the last nine points of the game on a safety and a 59-yard touchdown pass from Brandon Dawkins to Chris Davis. Oaks Christian had 400 yards of total offense to St. Bonaventure’s 401. Dawkins passed for 177 yards. St. Bonaventure quarterback Marc Evans had 156 yards passing. Oaks Christian gained 223 yards on the ground to St. Bonaventure’s 245. Oaks Christian running back Ishmael Adams had a big game with two rushing touchdowns and 77 yards on 11 carries.

No. 18 Chaminade (10-2) vs. No. 19 Arroyo Grande (11-1), Friday (7 p.m.) – Arroyo Grande eliminated Chaminade, 52-19, in the semifinals of the Western Division playoffs last year. Chaminade coach Ed Croson is not looking forward to a second long road trip in a row in the playoffs. His Eagles had to rally in the fourth quarter to beat San Luis Obispo in the quarterfinals. Arroyo Grande, on the other hand, is home for the third week in a row in the playoffs. Arroyo Grande is coming off a 49-28 win over St. Francis in the quarterfinals, but the game was much closer than the final score indicated. Arroyo Grande scored 25 points in the fourth quarter to turn a four-point deficit into a 21-point blowout. Two of the touchdowns Arroyo Grande scored were of the defensive variety. Garrett Owens intercepted a pass and returned it 32 yards for a touchdown. Seth Jacobs returned a fumble 55 yards for another touchdown. Chaminade running back Terrell Newby is closing in on 2,000 yards rushing for the season. He has 1,885 yards and 30 touchdowns and is coming off a 282-yard, three-touchdown performance against San Luis Obispo.

Canoga Park (8-4) vs. South East (11-1), Friday (7 p.m.) – Canoga Park, the fifth-seeded team in the City Section Division II playoffs, needed double overtime to eliminate Bell in the quarterfinals. Running back Khyree Morgan leads Canoga Park with 1,179 yards and 14 touchdowns, but was held to 39 yards in 16 carries against Bell. South East, the top-seeded team in the Division II playoffs, blew out Fremont, 42-19, in the quarterfinals. Running back Robert Lewis gained 157 yards and scored two touchdowns for South East against Fremont.

Granada Hills (7-5) vs. Marshall of Los Angeles (10-2), Friday (7 p.m.) – Granada Hills turned it on in the second half against Van Nuys in the quarterfinals of the City Section Division II playoffs. The Highlanders outscored Van Nuys 20-0 en route to a 44-22 win. Granada Hills had 290 rushing yards against Van Nuys. Brian Sanchez was the leading rusher with 181 yards and three touchdowns. Marshall was actually down 10-6 in the first quarter against Lincoln in its quarterfinal game before rattling off 43 unanswered points and winning 49-10. Marshall quarterback Anthony Benitez threw for 313 yards and five touchdowns, two to Jonathan Mina. He caught five passes for 113 yards.

Bishop Diego (11-1) vs. Sierra Canyon (12-0) at Granada Hills High School, Friday (7 p.m.) – Sierra Canyon eliminated Bishop Diego, 48-17, in the first round of the East Valley Division playoffs last year. They meet again in the East Valley Division semifinals. No. 1 seeded Sierra Canyon is coming off a 38-0 shutout over Ontario Christian. Bishop Diego has won 11 games in a row, including 21-14 over Twentynine Palms in the East Valley Division quarterfinals.

Paraclete (10-2) vs. Rim of the World (7-5), Friday (7 p.m.) – Fortune is smiling on Rim of the World in the East Valley Division playoffs. The Fighting Scots knocked third-seeded St. Margaret’s out of the playoffs, 23-13, in the quarterfinals. They are home for their semifinal game against Paraclete, the reigning East Valley Division champion. Rim of the World running back Jacob Taylor is coming off a monster game. He rushed for 264 yards on 47 carries and scored three touchdowns. The Spirits eliminated Aquinas, 42-7, in the quarterfinals last week. Paraclete running back Ryan Davis scored two touchdowns and rushed for 73 yards. James Holland returned the opening kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown and Joshua Adams returned a fumble for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

L.A. South: The Top 10

November, 27, 2011
11/27/11
10:50
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Long Beach Poly fell out of the region's top spot for the first time this season following its second-round loss to Santa Margarita. Last week's second- and third-ranked teams -- St. John Bosco and Charter Oak, respectively -- also stumbled. Now, three of the region's top four squads come from the City Section. Marine League champion and top-seeded San Pedro is the only remaining undefeated team in the south Los Angeles County top 10 rankings heading into the third round of the playoffs:

1. (4) San Pedro (12-0)
The top-seeded Pirates eliminated the two-time defending City Section Division I champs Friday, securing another matchup with fifth-seeded Carson. The Marine League champs defeated the Colts 21-0 on Oct. 28. Last week: Beat Crenshaw, 31-7. Next: semifinals vs. Carson, Friday.

2. (1) Long Beach Poly (10-2)*
The lack of consistency from the quarterback positions was a season-long concern for coach Raul Lara. That turned into a nightmare Friday when the Jackrabbits were intercepted five times. The good news: Gerard Wicks returns next season. Last week: Lost to Santa Margarita, 49-16.

3. (5) Narbonne (9-3)
Junior quarterback Troy Williams had six total touchdowns, and the emerging Tray Boone had two more to propel the Gauchos to their third straight 50-point performance. They now face perhaps the city's top defense. Last week: Beat West Adams, 59-20. Next: semifinals vs. Dorsey, Friday.

4. (6) Dorsey (11-1)
The fast and talented Dons defense had six takeaways Friday, and USC-bound receiver Jaydon Mickens had four total touchdowns to go along with six receptions and 82 yards. Last week: Beat Birmingham, 45-13. Next: semifinals at Narbonne, Friday.

5. (2) St. John Bosco (8-4)*
Bosco twice cut its deficit to four on Friday but the defense couldn't come up with stops. Still, the Braves made their first playoff appearance since 2006, so they've got nothing to hang their heads about. Last week: Lost to San Clemente, 42-24.

(Read full post)

Football: City Section Div. II seedings

November, 12, 2011
11/12/11
4:59
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South East, the champion of the Eastern League, earned the No. 1 seeding in the CIF City Section Division II football playoffs. South East (9-1) didn’t exactly end league play on a high note though, losing to Jordan, 49-47, for its only loss.

South East will play Grant of Van Nuys in the first round of playoffs. Grant (4-6) finished in third place in the East Valley League and won its league finale, 22-13, over Poly of Sun Valley. All four of Grant’s win were against East Valley League opponents.

Marshall (8-2) is the No. 2 seed will play Santee in the first round. Marshall won the Northern League championship with a 5-0 record and has won seven games in a row. The last game Marshall lost was to Bonita, 50-22, on Sept. 23.

Santee (5-5) finished in a tie with Belmont for second place in the Southern League. The Falcons won their league finale, 27-13, over Bernstein to finish 4-2 in the Southern League.

Granada Hills (5-5) earned the No. 3 seed in playoffs and will play University in the first round. The Highlanders are the fourth-place team from the West Valley League with only two wins in league play. They have a three-game losing streak heading into playoffs, but only lost by one point, 35-34, to El Camino Real in the West Valley League finale.

Granada Hills opened the season with a 14-7 win over Reseda, the Valley Mission League champs.

University (3-7) didn’t win a game against Western League opponents and finished in last place in league. The Wildcats lost six games in a row to finish the regular season.

Jefferson (9-1) is the No. 4 seed and the Southern League champs. The Democrats went undefeated in the Southern League at 5-0 and finished with two shutouts. They beat Santee, 55-0, and then beat Hollywood, 63-0, in the Southern League finale.

Jefferson’s only loss came against Arleta, 45-7, on Oct. 28. The Democrats will play Bell (4-6), the fourth place team from the Eastern League. Bell finished with two wins in a row, including 14-0 over Roosevelt in the league finale.

All first-round playoff games are scheduled to start at 7 p.m. on Friday.

Fairfax won the City Section Division II championship last year. The Lions are the No. 14 seed in the City Section Division I playoffs and will play No. 3 seed Dorsey in the first round.

Here’s a look at the CIF City Section Division II first-round playoff games:

No. 16 Grant at No. 1 South East

No. 9 Fremont at No. 8 Verdugo Hills

No. 12 Eagle Rock at No. 5 Canoga Park

No. 13 Bell at No. 4 Jefferson

No. 14 University at No. 3 Granada Hills

No. 11 Washington at No. 6 Van Nuys

No. 10 Manual Arts at No. 7 Lincoln

No. 15 Santee at No. 2 Marshall

(Read full post)

L.A. South: Helmet stickers, Week 8

November, 1, 2011
11/01/11
4:28
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The top five performances in south Los Angeles County for Week 8:

Robert Lewis
Blair Angulo for ESPN.comRobert Lewis of South East continued his big season for the Jaguars.
RB Robert Lewis (South East): Lewis rushed for 306 yards and scored three touchdowns Friday, leading the Jaguars to a 38-7 win at Bell. Lewis has 1,264 yards for undefeated S.E.

RB Anterio Bateman (Serra): The highly regarded junior has shouldered a heavy load for the Cavaliers. Bateman rushed for 213 yards in 19 carries in Friday's victory over St. Paul.

WR Bryce Treggs (St. John Bosco): The electric Treggs hauled in six passes for 155 yards and two touchdowns, but it wasn't enough as Bosco fell at home to top-ranked Servite, 35-27.

RB Devin Barnes (St. Bernard): Barnes made the most of his 11 carries, rushing for 147 yards and four touchdowns in a 63-26 rout of Verbum Dei. St. Bernard is a perfect 8-0.

RB Desmond Reed (Azusa): Reed had his second straight four-touchdown performance, leading the Aztecs to their 24th consecutive Montview League victory. He ran for 135 yards.

Blair Angulo covers preps for ESPN Los Angeles. Following him on Twitter.

South East 42, Roosevelt 21

October, 7, 2011
10/07/11
11:31
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South East football helmetsBlair Angulo for ESPNLA.comSouth East players honored slain student Cindi Santana with a decal on their helmets for Friday's game against Roosevelt.

SOUTH GATE -- For a few hours Friday night, the community got lost in a game of football.

There were tears before South East's 42-21 victory over visiting Roosevelt. There were hugs and distraught faces. The school had a moment of silence in memory of Cindi Santana, the South East student who was fatally stabbed on campus on Sept. 30. Cheerleaders held each other. Jaguars players commemorated Santana by sticking pink 'CS' decals on the back of their helmets.

Brutal violence had shaken the six-year-old school a week before. On this night, unity was the prevalent theme. The wounds were still fresh but, after kickoff, the home crowd cheered on its undefeated team.

"This team has been through a total roller coaster," South East coach Derwin Henderson said. "They decided, as a team, to not only play for Cindi but to play for this community, play for this school. It's destiny. They feel like they can go out and beat anybody."

With the way Jonathan Santos threw the ball, the Jaguars (6-0) could very well be the favorites to capture the City Section Division II title. The junior quarterback completed 21 of 33 passes for 319 yards and three touchdowns. Christian Quiñones had three touchdown catches and Juan Nevarez added 144 yards receiving to help South East pull away.

"We're sad," Santos said. "Everything is happening so fast. But every week we've got to work hard. God is watching us and everyone else is watching us. Hopefully we have their support."

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South East's Garcia hailed as a hero

October, 5, 2011
10/05/11
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Jorge GarciaCourtesy of Jackie SattiSouth East junior football player Jorge Garcia intervened during a fatal stabbing on campus last week and helped subdue the accused attacker.

SOUTH GATE -- Football instincts took over.

One second, Jorge Garcia was sitting with a group of friends during lunch at South East High, having a good time, seemingly without a care in the world. Moments later, the high school junior was in the midst of a battle for his very life.

During an on-campus altercation last Friday, Garcia did his best but couldn't prevent fellow South East student Abraham Lopez, 18, from fatally stabbing Cindi Santana, 17, Lopez's one-time girlfriend and also a South East student. Santana died later that night at a local hospital during surgery from the injuries sustained during the attack.

By most accounts, Garcia, a lineman for the Jaguars, without heisitation went into gridiron mode at the time of the incident. In his mind, he said, his own safety was an afterthought.

Garcia said he tackled Lopez, blindsiding the accused attacker in an effort to prevent further harm to Santana. Garcia, himself, suffered stab wounds during the skirmish and was treated at a nearby hospital to receive stitches and close his wound. Days after the fatal tragedy, Garcia continues his road to recovery. He is being hailed as a hero at South East.

“I was with my boys, goofing around like always, then I heard a scared crying noise from a girl,'' the 16-year old Garcia recounted. “I didn't wait around, I jumped in and sacked [Lopez]. I wanted to get him away. My adrenaline was pumping, like it does in football. Thinking about it now, I think my background on the field helped me out.

“After everything happened, I knew I was cut pretty bad. But it didn't hurt. People were telling me I was lucky to be alive. I'm not going to lie, I was calm. I'm not sure why I felt that way. My mom was worried, but she's a mom. My dad told me I did a good thing."

Garcia said he did not personally know Lopez or Santana.

"I never saw them at school," Garcia said. "Still, I was put in that position for a reason. A lot of people would have froze if they saw something like that going on. I didn't. It could have been anyone, I would have helped out. I'd do it again too.''

As the incident unfolded, the dire, echoing scream for help caught his attention first. The commotion taking place nearby was undeniable. Garcia did not have time to think. He merely reacted.

But by the time Garcia subdued Lopez, the damage was done. Santana was rushed to St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood. With family and friends by her side throughout, she fought to survive, but was pronounced dead at 7:45 p.m.

Garcia was taken to the hospital as well. He first went to St. Francis in an ambulance and later to Kaiser Permanente in Downey for further observation. Garcia received 12 stitches on his right shoulder, six underneath the skin to repair a damaged muscle and another six on the surface to close the gaping gash.

Not overly concerned about his own well being, Garcia said his thoughts were with Santana during his trying time. He says others have always come first in his mind, and he worries about himself second. That mentality best explains why Garcia came to the aid of a peer in desperate need, no questions asked.

Christina Ordonez, the Dean of School at South East, along with a campus police officer also were injured during the incident. However, both are reportedly recovering well, according to school officials.

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L.A. South: Five games to see live

October, 5, 2011
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As part of our running feature, here are five of this week’s must-see games in south Los Angeles County:

Los Osos vs. South Hills at Covina District Field, Thursday, 7 p.m. -- Don't let the South Hills Huskies' mediocre 2-2 record fool you. They've been in every game, losing to Ontario Colony by one and defending Southeast Division champ West Covina by two. Workhorse Jamel Hart is a threat to score any time he touches the ball. Los Osos is also 2-2, but its two losses came against a couple of undefeated teams, Orange Lutheran and Vista Murrieta.

Rio Ruiz
Blair Angulo/For ESPNLA.comQuarterback Rio Ruiz will lead Bishop Amat into its Thursday road game at Venice.
No. 8 Bishop Amat at Venice, Thursday, 7 p.m. -- A final hurdle for the Bishop Amat Lancers (4-1) before they begin what promises to be a grueling Serra League slate. Matching up against Venice (1-3) might not be a day at the beach, though. The Gondoliers have lost three straight but, after facing the likes of Chaminade, St. Francis and La Mesa Helix, they won't be wide eyed when a Pac-5 squad lines up across from them.

Diamond Ranch at Diamond Bar, Friday, 7 p.m. -- Childhood friends (turned enemies) will face off when these rival schools meet for just the second time ever. Diamond Ranch (2-3), which sits in Pomona near the Chino Hills and Diamond Bar borders, won the inaugural game last year, 41-0. The stakes have been raised this season, with the winner set to capture the newly introduced Mayor's Cup trophy. The Diamond Bar Brahmas (2-3) have lost two straight.

Narbonne at Culver City, Friday, 7 p.m. -- Battle tested Narbonne (2-2) continues its preseason gauntlet of tough opponents. Junior quarterback Troy Williams carried the Gauchos to a victory against Gardena Serra last week and, like always, figures to be the focal point of that uptempo attack. Culver City (4-0), which has allowed only 14.5 points per game, will be well aware.

Roosevelt at South East, Friday, 7 p.m. -- Undefeated South East (5-0) has one of the area's most electrifying players, Robert Lewis. The Southern Methodist commit already has 12 rushing touchdowns and four performances of more than 150 yards. The Jaguars are one of only three undefeated City Section Division II teams and, if they win Friday, gain control of the Eastern League.

Blair Angulo covers preps for ESPN Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter.

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