Pac-5 Playoff Predictions

1. St Bonaventure vs 16. Cabrillo
The Seraphs are hungry to prove they belong in the upper-echelon of Southern California football. The jump to the Pac-5 might not be easy for most, but the Seraphs are the No. 1 seed and have beat the likes of Corona Centennial, Oaks Christian and Westlake. St. Bonaventure has struggled in recent years in the semifinals, but I feel this is a team of destiny this time around. Arizona commit Zack Green leads the attack rushing for more than 116 yards per game and 8.9 yards per carry. This brand of smash mouth football will be too much for Cabrillo to withstand.

Sobes Prognostication: 52-7 St Bonaventure. Continue reading

iBN Football Weekly Preview

iBN Sports Weekly Football Preview

Mission Viejo vs San Clemente

The Diablos (7-0) have fared quite admirably without their star Tre Madden, but all signs point to him coming back this Friday night in a huge South Coast League battle. While he has been gone, new stars emerged including RB Dallas Kessman (120 rushing yards a game), Jahleel Pinner (80 rushing yards a game) and QB Alex Bridgford, who not only manages the game, but has the arm to beat his opponents deep (17.6 yards per completion.) On the other side, the Tritons (7-1) are hungry for the upset and league championship that should very well go along with it. QB Travis Wilson has been lighting it up all season throwing for 203 yards per game, but he will need his defense to stifle one of the best offenses in the nation if he has any chance of winning this game. Chad Foster, Julian Perry and company will need to pressure Bridgford to force turnovers. I don’t see Mission Viejo losing this game, in fact, I’m not sure I see them losing all season.

Prediction: Mission Viejo 45 San Clemente 24

Mater Dei vs Servite

More than 20,000 people should be on hand at Angel Stadium to witness one of the best rivalries in Southern California. The Monarchs (5-2) started out the season in ugly fashion, losing their first two games, but have rebounded nicely. Servite (7-0) is looking to win its second consecutive game against Mater Dei after overcoming two decades of losing to their rivals last year. The Friars are led by RB Sean DeRosa, who averages 100 yards a game. On defense, Matthew Inman leads the charge. Pound-for-pound, you won’t find too many stronger linebackers than him. Inman benches 365 lbs and squats 585 lbs, while weighing 215. Mater Dei QB Max Wittek will be looking to avoid Inman’s pressure, while gunning to his favorite target and future USC teammate Victor Blackwell. Wittek has averaged 217 yards per win, while only averaging 111 yards in the Monarchs two losses. He, and his offensive line, will be the key in this game. If the Monarch big uglies can win the battle in the trenches, giving Wittek time to throw, there’s no reason why Mater Dei couldn’t pull off the upset. Problem is, Servite’s defense may very well be the best in the nation.

Prediction: Servite 28 Mater Dei 14

Carson at Mission Viejo

Carson at Mission Viejo – The Diablos (3-0) are ranked as high as 16th nationally in the poll and could make it even higher in the rankings when the season is all said and done. The Diablos will be without Tre Madden for the second consecutive week, but that didn’t hurt them in last week’s 37-7 blowout victory over Long Beach Poly. Jahleel Pinner and Dallas Kessman picked up the slack rushing for 122 and 143 yards respectively. QB Alex Bridgford needs to find his game against Carson. He wasn’t very efficient against the Jackrabbits going 8 for 19 with an interception. This team will need him to perform to his highest level later on in the season. Carson (2-1) comes into this game rested after its bye week. The Colts will need all the rest they can get if they want to stay competitive with the Diablos. The Colts will need a strong running game to milk the time of possession and keep the Diablos off the field, but that’s much easier said than done. Between Dion Lewis, QB Justin Alo and Myles Johnson they have three capable ball carriers who have rushed for 223 yards a game. This will be too tough of a task for Carson too handle.

Prediction: Mission Viejo 45 Carson 13

Edison vs Mater Dei

Edison at Mater Dei – USC bound QB Matt Wittek finally showed his potential last week throwing for more than 300 yards and four touchdowns. If Mater Dei (1-2) wants to stay in the hunt, they’ll need these kinds of performances week in and week out from Wittek. It’s not too difficult when he has a receiver like Victor Blackwell, who will join Wittek at USC next year. Blackwell caught 6 passes for 183 yards last week and has explosive 4.4 speed. Edison (3-1) is coming off a tough loss to Servite. Nicholas Masaniai was held in check for the first time this year rushing 15 times for only 43 yards. The defense will need its star Charles Burks (32 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 forced fumbles and 2 fumble recoveries) to wreak havoc on the interior line. Burks already has offers from Stanford, Boise State and San Diego State among others. This is my toughest pick of the week, but I’m leaning toward Edison.

Prediction: Edison 17 Mater Dei 14

San Clemente at Newport Harbor

San Clemente at Newport Harbor – Buzzy Yokoyama rushed for 260 yards last Friday against Corona del Mar, but believe it or not, it wasn’t even his top rushing performance of the season. That came against Loyola when he rushed for 283 yards. Yokoyama is averaging an astounding 223 yards per game. Defensively, Stanford commit J.B. Salem, along with leading tackler Blair Luchs lead the charge for the Sailors (3-0). San Clemente (4-1) comes in looking to get rid of the bitter taste in its mouth after losing its first game of the season 42-14 to a struggling Mater Dei team. The Tritons boast the ultimate running back by committee with four different players over 100 yards for the season. It makes sense considering two of their offensive linemen, Andrew Strange and Thomas Olds, should be receiving Division One scholarships.

Prediction: Newport Harbor 31 San Clemente 24

Long Beach Poly at Mission Viejo

LONG BEACH POLY at MISSION VIEJO – USC commit Tre Madden will be out for the next two to three weeks with fractures in his right foot, but plans to be back for South Coast league play in a couple of weeks. He will not only be missed at linebacker, which is what USC recruited him for, but he will also be missed as the wildcat quarterback on offense. Madden is explosive, carrying 11 times for 155 yards and even completing two passes in the set this season. Look for QB Alex Bridgford to step his game up. In the long run, this Madden’s injury may help the offense in allowing Bridgford to not have to look over his back every single play about whether or not he’s going to stay in. It’s paramount that Bridgford gains confidence in throwing the ball down the field. He has a great completion percentage (69%) and hasn’t thrown any interceptions, so he’s already a great game manager. But now it’s time to open up the offense and become a legitimate deep threat like his older brother Allan, who set almost every passing record in Mission Viejo history two years ago. “Little” Bridgford won’t have to carry his team though, he has two explosive backs he can hand it to in Jahleel Pinner (237 yards, 4 TD) and Dallas Kessman (231 yards, 3 TD) who should be able to loosen the secondary. Long Beach Poly (2-1) has a great defense led by Washington-bound DB Kameron Jackson and top-tier recruit LB Corey Waller. The Jackrabbits have challenged themselves as much as anyone in their non-league schedule. Mission Viejo will be their fourth consecutive top 100 team in the state they face, but some think Poly is still a little suspect after the pummeling they took from St. Bonaventure. If they want to beat the Diablos, Coach Raul Lara will need a strong game from QB Chaiyse Hales and his favorite target Richard Smith.

Prediction: Mission Viejo 35 Poly 14

Mission Hills at Dana Hills

MISSION HILLS at DANA HILLS – If you want to see a kid who does it all, look no further than at the Dolphins’ QB/DB Trent Mason. He’s averaging 212 yards in the air, 125 yards on the ground and has 14 tackles on defense too. He is receiving some talk about being named the Orange County player of the year, but his receiver Chris Kearney is no slouch himself. Kearney also goes both ways and has four touchdowns rushing and four more receiving, while also recording nine tackles and punting for good measure. Mission Hills (1-1) should have their hands full with these two superior athletes. They will need to lean on QB Hunter Moore to have a better performance than the two picks he threw in their first big game of the year against St. John Bosco. The defense will also have to tighten up if they want to stop the Dolphins.

Prediction: Dana Hills 42 Mission Hills 28