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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL

Bishop Amat and Lakewood square off in second round of Pac-5 playoffs

In other action, Long Beach Poly looks for redemption against Anaheim Servite, and Redlands East Valley and Temecula Chaparral reprise last year's quarterfinal matchup in the Inland Division playoffs.

November 27, 2009

No. 9 La Puente Bishop Amat (10-1) at No. 5 Lakewood (10-1), 7 p.m.

Lakewood has been on an extended roll since a one-point loss to Los Angeles Crenshaw in its season opener. Only Long Beach Poly has come within a touchdown of Lakewood, who overwhelmed Newport Harbor, 41-17, in the first round of the Pac-5 Division playoffs. Bishop Amat knows all about close games. Bishop Amat has won two overtime games and pulled out a 28-21 victory over Santa Ana Mater Dei last week when receiver Rio Ruiz scored on a 40-yard touchdown pass with 28 seconds left. Bishop Amat will face quarterback Jesse Scroggins, one of the most prolific passers in Southern California. The USC-bound standout has passed for 2,043 yards and 29 touchdowns with only four interceptions. The pick: Lakewood.

No. 4 Anaheim Servite (10-1) vs. Long Beach Poly (6-5) at Long Beach Veterans Stadium, 7 p.m.

It might feel like returning to the scene of a crime for Poly, which was mugged by Servite's defense during a season-opening 30-7 loss that marked Raul Lara's second-worst defeat in his nine seasons as coach of the Jackrabbits. Poly enters the game with Chris Leachman at quarterback and improved offensive continuityamong a group largely composed of sophomores and juniors. Tailback Kaelin Clay rushed for 163 yards and two touchdowns during Poly's 24-7 first-round victory over Los Alamitos. Servite quarterback Cody Fajardo is an efficient passer who completed 11 of 13 passes for 123 yards last week during the Friars' 38-10 victory over San Clemente. Servite will be without junior two-way lineman Troy Niklas, who is out for the season because of a concussion. The pick: Servite.

No. 8 Redlands East Valley (11-0) at Temecula Chaparral (8-3), 7:30 p.m.

These teams also met in the quarterfinals of the Inland Division playoffs last year, with Chaparral rolling to a 20-0 victory in which Jonathan Diaz rushed for 120 yards. Diaz is back for the Pumas, who have knocked Redlands East Valley out of the playoffs in two of the last three years. Wildcats quarterback Tyler Shreve is a dangerous runner and passer, rushing for 81 yards and three touchdowns last week against Riverside La Sierra. The pick: Redlands East Valley.

No. 18 Corona Centennial (9-2) at No. 20 Moreno Valley Rancho Verde (11-0), 7 p.m.

Rancho Verde linebacker Ronald Powell, a four-year varsity starter, is hoping to help his team advance to the semifinals of the Inland Division playoffs for the first time in his career. The Mustangs lost in the first round last season and in a quarterfinal in each of the last two years. To advance to the next round, Rancho Verde must get past Centennial, which appears a notch less formidable than the Huskies teams that went to CIF state championship bowl games in each of the last two years. Centennial's senior tailback Denzel Hawkins rushed for three touchdowns and the Huskies scored 36 unanswered points in the first half last week during a 53-20 victory over Fontana Miller. The pick: Centennial.

-- Ben Bolch

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