Football: Pac-5 first-round playoff predictions
Here are my picks for the first round of the Pac-5 Division playoffs:
Millikan vs. Edison at Orange Coast College: As I wrote in the final version of the rankings, Moore League teams not named Long Beach Poly have gone 6-21 in the playoffs since 2001. Prediction: Edison 42, Millikan 3.
Orange Lutheran at Dana Hills: Orange Lutheran's Mike Markovsky has filled in capably at quarterback for the injured Bobby Wheatley, and as tempting as it is to go with the upstart Dolphins here, I think Lutheran's recent playoff experience makes the difference. Prediction: Orange Lutheran 31, Dana Hills 21.
Mater Dei at Bishop Amat: Bishop Amat Coach Steve Hagerty said Mater Dei receiver Victor Blackwell could "single-handedly" beat the Lancers, but the Monarchs have been inconsistent for most of the season and their signature victory over Corona Centennial came two months ago. Plus, Bishop Amat's defense made Sherman Oaks Notre Dame standout Ryan Kasdorf look like an average high school quarterback last week. That's no small feat. Prediction: Bishop Amat 35, Mater Dei 24.
Newport Harbor at Lakewood: The Southern Section playoff selection committee won't be able to save the Sailors from Jesse Scroggins, Kevin Anderson, etc. Prediction: Lakewood 28, Newport Harbor 17.
San Clemente vs. Servite at Cerritos College: Don't foresee a lot of suspense here. Prediction: Servite 38, San Clemente 10.
Long Beach Poly vs. Los Alamitos at Long Beach Veterans Stadium: Jackrabbits defenders will be keyed up to go against former teammate Dylan Lagarde, who transferred earlier this season to play for Los Alamitos. If Lagarde is off his game, the Griffins can turn to steady running back Nick Richardson, who has been a handful for every defense he has encountered. Predition: Los Alamitos 30, Long Beach Poly 21.
Fountain Valley at Sherman Oaks Notre Dame: The Knights were embarrassed last week, but nothing soothes the soul like playing at home in the first round of the playoffs. Fountain Valley will need someone besides running back Kyle Middlebrooks to step up for the Barons to have a chance. Prediction: Notre Dame 31, Fountain Valley 17.
Long Beach Wilson at Mission Viejo: See note above on the Moore League. It's hard to tell whether this is one of the best Mission Viejo teams ever or just a pretty good one, and we still won't know after this week. Prediction: Mission Viejo 48, Wilson 12.