It was an emotional contest when these cross-town rivals met in the final game of the regular season Nov. 16 at the Rose Bowl. Little did anyone suspect that they would be playing again this week. When they clash at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Glendale High, the stakes will be high: a berth in the CIF Coastal Conference finals. Muir, seeded No. 1 in the conference, has an 11-1 record, and Pasadena is 8-4. Muir's Mustangs easily won the first meeting (27-7), so Coach Jim Brownfield expects Pasadena to have revenge on its mind. "They're out to prove something, and now they don't have to wait a whole year," Brownfield said. The game matches contrasting offenses. Pasadena has relied on rushing and Muir on passing. Pasadena, with a wishbone backfield, has attempted only one pass in its two playoff games. The Bulldogs are led by speedy quarterback Ray Murphy and halfbacks W. C. Morrison and Anthony Wallace. Pasadena rolled up 284 yards rushing in its 20-6 upset of Schurr last week. With injuries in its backfield and offensive line, Muir has relied on the passing of senior quarterback James Dunn and the catching of speedsters Cary Grant and John Hardy. Dunn completed 17 of 23 passes for 233 yards and 4 touchdowns in a 41-0 victory over Rio Mesa in the quarterfinals.
Claremont vs. Norco
After a surprisingly difficult 6-3 victory over Arlington last week, top-seeded Claremont could have problems when it faces Norco in the CIF Eastern Conference semifinals at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Ramona High. Norco, which finished second behind Ramona in the powerful Ivy League (Arlington finished third), is 10-2 overall, and Claremont is 11-1. Norco has one of the top passing attacks in the CIF Southern Section in quarterback Chris Kruswicki and wide receiver Dave Kelly, who caught a CIF high 78 passes for 1,299 yards and 7 touchdowns in the regular season. Kruswicki passed for two touchdowns in a 13-8 triumph over Upland in the quarterfinals last week. Claremont does not have to take a back seat to Norco's passing attack, though, not with its potent combination of 6-8 quarterback Dan McGwire and wide receiver Travis Watkins, two of the top college prospects in the Southland. McGwire passed for 2,112 yards and 22 touchdowns in the regular season, and Watkins caught 65 passes for 1,087 yards. Claremont has a strong defense headed by linebacker Sean Telish and defensive end Bobbie Warren.
Damien vs. Ramona
With eight triumphs in its last nine games, Damien has been playing as well as any team in the valley. But the Spartans will receive a strong test in the CIF Eastern Conference semifinals at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Citrus College. Ramona, which won the Ivy League, and Damien have 8-4 overall records and appear to be peaking at the right time. The key player for Damien is junior tailback Eric Henley, who has rushed for 266 yards and 5 touchdowns in playoff triumphs over Temple City (33-0) and South Hills (19-12). Henley will be matched against Ramona's strong defense, which held El Rancho to 47 yards rushing in a 26-0 victory last week. Two other top players for Damien are quarterback Bob Fresques and flanker Kenny Korn, who caught 5 passes for 102 yards against South Hills. Ramona is led by junior running back Rick Cavazos, who rushed for 218 yards in 29 carries against El Rancho, and his brother, junior Ross, at quarterback.
Diamond Bar vs. San Dimas
Diamond Bar had a few close calls in the regular season, but the Brahmas have looked sharp in their two playoff games. They have recorded easy wins over Indio (45-0) and Apple Valley (27-7) to roll into the CIF Southeastern Conference semifinals against San Dimas at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Mt. San Antonio College with a 26-game winning streak. Diamond Bar, defending conference champion, is 12-0, and San Dimas is 10-1. Perhaps the top player for Diamond Bar in postseason play has been senior running back Kraig Washington, who has rushed for 448 yards and 6 touchdowns in 41 carries against Apple Valley and Indio. The defense also has looked sharp recently, allowing only seven points in four games. Two leaders are defensive backs Larry Vladic and Troy Porter. San Dimas is led by the running of Shawn Clark and Robert Alo, who combined for 261 yards in a 16-6 victory over Central of El Centro last week, and quarterback Tim James.
Charter Oak vs. Arroyo
You might say that Charter Oak has proved its point this season. In building an 11-0 record, the Chargers have established themselves as the highest scoring team in the CIF with 475 points (43.1 average). The closest game was a 33-14 victory over Montclair last week. That could give Arroyo Coach Don MacKinnon an ounce of hope going into this match-up in the CIF Southeastern Conference semifinals at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Covina District Field. That is not to diminish Arroyo, which pulled off a 16-12 upset of La Sierra last week to improve its record to 11-1. Arroyo has a strong defense led by end Mike Holguin. The offense is headed by sophomores Mark Chavarria at quarterback, Jason MacLellan at tailback and Jeff Noelte at fullback. But the Knights may be hard-pressed to move the ball against Charter Oak's defense, which has allowed only 68 points this season.