Should we just pencil in La Serna and La Mirada for the Southeast Division Championship right now? When you look at the records of these two teams and how they have achieved them, there’s really nobody close.
La Mirada is 7-1 with its only loss coming against Bishop Amat, which is 7-1-1. The Matadores lost to Amat by ten, 34-24, and were in it the entire game. They took care of La Habra, St. Francis and St. Paul in non league and although St. Paul and St. Francis haven’t had the typical seasons that we’re used to seeing, they’re always tough outs. La Mirada has only been tested once in the Suburban League; a 29-23 win over Norwalk in the league opener.
Since then the Mats have averaged over 41 points per game in blowouts of Bellflower, Artesia and Glenn. And they’ve done it without running back Johnny Hills who went out with a ACL injury against St. Francis. Guys like Gerry Myres, Kevin Dillman, Adam Carrasco, Dallas Shipp and Tyler Luatua have delivered all season for Mike Moschetti’s crew.
The only thing the Matadores have to worry about now is rust. With Cerritos dropping it’s program and a bye, they haven’t played since October 12.
“The kids have been working hard,” said Moschetti. “We’ll see Friday night (against Mayfair) if the layoff affects us.”
As for La Serna, well the Lancers (8-1) are still upset because they lost to Norco back in September. They beat Westlake, (yeah Westlake!) 38-9 on September 14. That tells you all you really need to know. In a game that was billed as the championship game for the Del Rio last Thursday night against Santa Fe, La Serna jumped on the Chiefs early and never looked back in a 31-3 blowout.
The Lancers can run, (Nick McCarty, Luke Gonzalez and Gio Long have combined for almost 1200 yards), they can throw (Frankie Palmer has 1365 yards and 13 TD) and they have a defense that is allowing just over ten points per game in league play. They’ve outscored their four league opponents 205-43.
Who’s going to beat either one of them? Muir is undefeated in the Pacific but the Mustangs only beat Burbank by a touchdown and a struggling Burroughs team by seven as well. As is always the case, Muir has the athletes but an extended playoff run is a different story. The Hacienda League is all over the place. Bonita was the best team but just lost to Diamond Ranch. Two-time CIF Champion West Covina has four losses overall including two in league.
Paramount looks like the king of the San Gabriel Valley League but the Pirates haven’t been overwhelming. They beat Warren (0-9) last week by two touchdowns.
So let’s just line up the Lancers and the Matadores and get it over with. Of course this message is not endorsed by Moschetti or La Serna HC Margarito Beltran.
If you would have told me Temple City would be in the playoffs a month ago, I would have asked you what you were drinking. But here they are on the brink of a playoff spot after beating La Canada Friday night. Even if the Rams lose to Monrovia this week, which they will, they’ll still be 3-2 in league and 5-5 overall. Mike McFarland for Coach of the Year?
If it’s not McFarland’s hardware how about Northview’s Marcel Perez? He has guided the Vikings to a 7-2 record to set up a battle for the Valle Vista League title with San Dimas Friday night. Northview’s only losses have been to Gladstone (8-1) and Rowland (7-2).
El Monte quarterback Brandon Martinez made his weekly highlight appearance on Fred Roggin’s “The Challenge” Sunday night. He has another challenge in front of him Thursday night – beat South El Monte in the Griffin Bowl.
That’s my principle.
Tim can be reached at email@example.com.