By Tim Peterson
It looks like Northview has bigger fish to fry. Last year the Vikings won the Valle Vista League and advanced to the second round of the playoffs before falling to Pomona.
They finished the season with a 10-2 record. This year, with key pieces coming back, Northview again won the Valle Vista and again has just one loss heading into post season. But after a 38-6 dismantling of Chino Friday night the Vikes won’t be satisfied with a second round bounce. They have their eyes on a bigger prize.
“Absolutely. We’ve been knocking at the door. We’ve been league, league,league, and playoffs. But now it’s our turn. We got to go get it,” said Northview Coach Marcel Perez.
The Vikings only loss came against Charter Oak back in August and they’ve been taking it out on everybody ever since winning ten straight. With quarterback Steven Comstock, now in his third year as a starter, and receiver Antwuan Ayers who has been doing everything for Northview except build the new banquet facility at Covina District Field, the Vikes are ready for the next step.
“Yeah definitely. We really want that CIF championship. That’s our main goal. That’s what we want the most and that’s what we’ve been working for since we lost to Pomona last year,” Comstock said. “We’ve just been grinding and grinding and everyone’s bought in what we’ve got to do. So that’s our first step. And we want a shot at that State title. I know that’s a lot to say and that’s a lot to bite off but we’re definitely going to go out there and bang heads just like we did tonight against one of the biggest and most physical teams.”
Chino was the only the first hurdle for the Vikings in what they hope is an extended journey. Next up is a home date with Burbank Friday night.
A lot of people questioned Adrian Medrano’s move from Bonita to El Rancho last summer. In this column I personally wondered why Medrano would leave a stable program where he had success to a school that was in flux, a school that let’s face it, had a disastrous season in 2015. Of course Medrano was an ER alum, but Bonita is well…Bonita – a program that has always produced talent and a team that is consistently in the hunt.
Look at El Rancho now. In just one season, Medrano has the Dons in the second round of the playoffs after Friday night’s win over Norwalk, a team that ER lost to in Zero Week. They won their last two Del Rio games to finish third in league and get in the dance and now have started off with the first round playoff win
Quarterback Adam Chandler and receiver Gabriel Huerta have set school passing and receiving records in an offense that is really starting to click. This week the Dons get the number one seed in Division 9, Valley Christian.
“There’s a reason why they’re the number one team in the division. We have our work cut out for us and it should be a great experience for our young men,” Medrano said.
Well, Medrano had his work cut out as well taking over a team that was in disarray after going 1-9 last year and that hasn’t been a problem. Anything is possible.
West Covina’s season ended Friday night in Fontana with a one-point loss to Summit. “I figured it would be close. They made one more play than we did,” said West Covina Coach Mike Maggiore. “It’s a very tough loss but I’m really proud of the guys this year. They worked hard and played with great effort. It’s no fun being out of the playoffs especially when we feel we were one of the top 4-6 teams. I told our kids and coaches that I was proud of them. We were consistent with effort for the last nine games.”
So much for La Mirada being tested by Paso Robles. Did you know that game had a running clock…in the third quarter? La Serna, winners over Serrano, has a chance to avenge last year’s 45-20 loss to the Matadors in the Southeast Division Final when the Lancers again travel to La Mirada for a second round match up. Can La Serna pull something? Is it impossible? No. But is it probable? No.
The best game of the weekend might be in Downey as the Vikings welcome Charter Oak into town. Charter Oak dispatched Glendora while Downey, now 10-1, was laying the wood to Damien.
Charter Oak can be beat when faced with a physical team. Los Altos showed that. Downey is physical and hasn’t lost since September 2 – only a 10-point loss to Hart. The home team Vikings should prevail.
I’m not in love with the new division formats but it has produced two great local battles with Arroyo traveling to Schurr and Covina hosting Montebello.
The Oilers swept the Almont League and then beat Coachella Valley while the Colts finished third in the Valle Vista and escaped with a one-point win out in the desert.
“I feel offensively we have to stay away from negative plays because the constant pressure they bring can make that a problem,” said Montebello OC Pete Gonzalez Jr. “But if we are able to catch them in it will give us some big plays too. Our quarterback (Gabriel Tapia) has gotten better every week and he’s really playing well right now, so that’s exciting.”
Just a scheduling note: The game is at Covina District Field on Thursday night.
Three years ago Arroyo went to Schurr and knocked off the Spartans 28-14 in the second round. The Knights were then knocked out by San Dimas the following week in the semis. Both teams are evenly matched. The only common opponent is El Monte as the Spartans belted the Lions 44-6 while Arroyo took care of them 41-13. You want a prediction? I give a slight edge to Arroyo. Why? The nickel came up tails.
That’s my principle.
Tim can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @tspeterson40.