It’s championship week in high school football. A look at some of the top matchups:
Division 1: Santa Ana Mater Dei (12-0) vs. Bellflower St. John Bosco (11-1) at the Rose Bowl, 7:30 p.m. Friday. This rematch should be another defensive classic. Mater Dei won the first meeting 17-7 this season. But it’s tough to beat a good team twice in a season. It still comes down to whether St. John Bosco quarterback Pierce Clarkson can deliver in the fourth quarter, a time when Mater Dei quarterback Elijah Brown (29-0 as a starter) is always good. The pick: St. John Bosco.
Division 2: Inglewood (13-0) at Chatsworth Sierra Canyon (9-4), 7:30 p.m. Saturday. The first thing Sierra Canyon needs to do is tackle 6-foot-5, 250-pound receiver-wildcat quarterback Jamari Johnson. Then there’s quarterback Husan Longstreet and receiver Terrell Bradshaw to deal with. Sierra Canyon’s best strategy is to run the ball with super sophomore Dane Dunn. The pick: Sierra Canyon.
Division 3: Yorba Linda (13-0) at Upland (9-4), 7:30 p.m. Friday. Yorba Linda has a powerful running attack that sets up the pass. Upland’s defense is physical and aggressive. It’s power football at its best. The pick: Yorba Linda.
Division 4: Downey (11-2) vs. Cypress (13-0) at Western, 7:30 p.m. Friday. Two quarterbacks who used to be at Los Alamitos — Aidan Chiles (Downey) and Aidan Houston (Cypress) — lead their respective teams in a game that could be an offensive shootout. The pick: Cypress.
The rest of the schedule:
Division 5: St. Francis (10-3) at Etiwanda (8-5), 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Division 6: San Jacinto (11-2) vs. Orange (11-2) at El Modena, 7 p.m. Friday
Division 7: Laguna Hills (12-1) vs. Golden Valley (9-4) at Canyon Country Canyon, 7 p.m. Saturday
Division 8: Northwood (12-1) at Lakewood (8-5), 7 p.m. Saturday
Division 9: Laguna Beach (10-3) at Diamond Bar (12-1), 7 p.m. Saturday
Division 10: Salesian (10-3) at Muir (7-6), 7 p.m. Saturday
Division 11: Walnut (10-3) at Bellflower (11-2), 7 p.m. Friday
Division 12: Cerritos Valley Christian (6-7) at Lancaster (8-5), 7 p.m. Saturday
Division 13: Bishop Montgomery (10-2-1) at San Gabriel (9-3), 7 p.m. Friday
Division 14: 10 Lynwood (9-4) vs. Whittier Christian (9-4) at Whittier College, 7 p.m. Friday
8 man, Division 2: Avalon (5-5) at Hesperia Christian (10-2), 6 p.m. Saturday
Open Division: Garfield (10-2) vs. Birmingham (8-4) at Valley College, 7 p.m. Saturday. Birmingham has a 33-game winning streak against City Section opponents and has reached peak form as the No. 7 seed, having knocked off the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds in the last two games. Peyton Waters is a game changer at receiver and defensive back. Garfield is a young team also reaching peak form behind running back Damian Cornejo, who has scored 25 touchdowns. The pick: Birmingham.
Division I: Palisades (10-3) vs. Granada Hills (10-2) at Valley College, 3 p.m. Saturday. Give Palisades credit. The Dolphins graduated so many players last year that few expected them to reach any final. They’ve made it, and their reward is to try to tackle the speedy Dijon Stanley, a Utah commit who has been turning in 200-yard rushing performances like it’s as easy as competing in a 40-yard dash. The pick: Granada Hills.
Division II: Granada Hills Kennedy (8-5) vs. Panorama (12-1) at Birmingham, 7 p.m. Friday. Kennedy was the No. 8 seed but is very dangerous. Running back Gabriel Argott has been picking up yards in bunches. Panorama’s defense has played well throughout. The pick: Kennedy.
Division III: Wilson (7-5) vs. Crenshaw (5-7) at Birmingham, 3 p.m. Friday. The Cougars have come back from the brink to slowly rebuild a program that didn’t even have enough players to field a team. Coach Robert Garrett is having fun again. The pick: Crenshaw.