Pasadena (5-5) at Antelope Valley (9-1): The top-seeded and defending Division II champion Antelopes are breathing a mild sigh of relief now that multipurpose back Trymon Redick has been cleared to play after he was declared academically ineligible on Monday. Redick is one of several offensive weapons for the Golden League champions.
Running back Jermaine Lewis has 1,734 yards and 22 touchdowns, and a school-record 4,713 yards in three seasons. Poor grades claimed fullback Justin Reinier (410 yards, six touchdowns), but Ken Nelson (445 yards) will help pick up the slack. Quarterback Bobby Brown has thrown for 1,023 yards and 12 touchdowns. Top offensive lineman Michael Deagon is nursing a sprained ankle.
Pasadena, the No. 3 team from the Pacific League, qualified for the playoffs by upsetting Muir, 14-7, last week. Chidi Iwuoma has rushed for 651 yards and five touchdowns and has 11 receptions for 269 and two scores. Quarterback Jamal Strong has completed 55 of 117 for 808 yards and six touchdowns.
Santa Monica (6-4) vs. Saugus (5-4) at Canyon High: Coach Dan Escalera has transformed a Santa Monica team that was 0-10 two seasons ago, but the Vikings will face a bitter team in Saugus. The Centurions didn't expect to get blown out, 47-7, by Hart in last week's Foothill League championship game.
Quarterbacks Kevin Carrasco and Chris Kobe have combined for 1,479 yards and 12 touchdowns, but they need to bounce back from a combined eight-for-29 performance against Hart. The Centurions are smarting from the loss of defensive end Derek Lyons, a leading tackler who had a team-high 12 sacks before he suffered a broken right thumb in practice last week. Receiver Chad Hilton and linebacker Kevin Giberson are hobbled with leg injuries.
Santa Monica, the Bay League's No. 2 team, has come from behind to win four games and gave champion Hawthorne a scare, losing, 26-24, after trailing, 21-7. Juniors Dylen Smith and Keyon Smith (no relation) share time at quarterback in a wing-T offense. Greg Morena (736 yards, 10 touchdowns) leads the ground attack. On defense, Bobby Pacheco and Jamaal Cole have a combined 13 sacks.
Canyon (5-4) at Downey (9-1): Facing the fourth-seeded team in the playoffs, the Cowboys likely will be at disadvantage in size and speed. And they will be without a key player: Ahjeron Palmer, a senior who has played quarterback, running back and receiver but is now academically ineligible.
Taking Palmer's place at quarterback is Rick Thomas (17 of 38 for 270 yards and three touchdowns). Shaun Kelso (763 yards rushing, 10 touchdowns) and Sammy Morfin (357 yards, four touchdowns) will carry the rushing load.
The San Gabriel Valley League champion Vikings have big-play potential but also have been inconsistent. Quarterback Ariel Guitron, who has passed for more than 800 yards, can be hot or cold.
Canyon must stop Dorae Lewis, a top college recruit who has rushed for 1,539 yards and 18 touchdowns. "I think we've a pretty good chance to upset them," Canyon Coach Larry Mohr said. "We just can't get anybody hurt."
Inglewood (7-3) vs. Hart (8-2) at College of the Canyons: Five-time Foothill League champion Hart plays at a higher level than most of its opponents. The third-seeded Indians average 38.8 points while allowing 12.6 and have held six opponents to seven points or fewer. After the Indians lost to Antelope Valley in last year's Division II final, nothing short of a section title in '95 will satisfy them.
Steve McKeon has passed for 2,387 yards and 24 touchdowns, and rushed for 317 yards and two scores. Ted Iacenda has rushed for 1,372 yards, averages 8.7 yards per carry and has 24 touchdowns. Iacenda has 84 touchdowns in three varsity seasons. McKeon's three top receivers, Cody Joyce (30-722), J.B. Nelson (31-540) and Kevin McLaughlin (24-513), have caught 20 of his scoring passes.
Hart's defense, led by linebacker Marc Zimmerman (four interceptions) must stop quarterback Damien Ward, who has passed for 2,005 yards and 17 touchdowns. Inglewood's offense, which operates out of a shotgun formation with four receivers, resembles Hart's run-and-shoot.
Dominguez (3-7) at Quartz Hill (8-2): Quartz Hill's reward for losing only to Antelope Valley, 27-0, and unbeaten Kennedy, 13-7, is the toughest matchup in the playoffs. The Dons were 10-0 on the field, but an ineligible player, receiver Vincent Starks, cost them seven forfeits.
The Rebels must get strong performances from Jeremiah Harris (1,286 yards rushing, 14 touchdowns), Brian Woodworth (863 yards passing, 10 touchdowns) and tight end Andy Rethi (32-449, seven). Jacob Waasdorp (nine sacks) and a Rebel defense that allows 8.7 points a game must neutralize the Dons' speed.