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Friday high school football playoff games to watch

Taft vs. Dorsey, Narbonne at Crenshaw, Mission Viejo vs. Santa Margarita and Servite at Crespi are compelling matchups. And don't forget Mater Dei-Tesoro and Lakewood-Alemany.

November 26, 2010

Woodland Hills Taft (8-3) vs. Los Angeles Dorsey (10-1) at Jackie Robinson Stadium, 7 p.m. — When these teams played on Sept. 9, Dorsey won, 37-24. It was the first game for Taft quarterback Michael Bercovici, who has passed for 3,240 yards and 34 touchdowns. To win this City Section quarterfinal game, Taft's defense must play better. The Toreadors gave up 42 points last week against West Adams. Dorsey quarterback Joseph Gray has passed for 2,830 yards and 30 touchdowns. The pick: Taft.

Harbor City Narbonne (6-5) at Los Angeles Crenshaw (9-2), 7 p.m. — It's a rematch of last year's City Section Division I championship game won by Crenshaw, 34-14. Narbonne needs to move the ball and protect sophomore quarterback Troy Williams. They also have to make sure Crenshaw running back De'Anthony Thomas doesn't break any big plays. That's easier said than done. The pick: Crenshaw.

Mission Viejo (11-0) vs. Santa Margarita (9-2) at Saddleback College, 7:30 p.m. — Besides the coaching matchup of Bob Johnson vs. Harry Welch, the key is which team's big-game players will come through. Can Tre Madden of Mission Viejo make the wildcat offense work? Can Dallas Kessman of Mission Viejo ram his way for tough yardage? Can Adam Young of Santa Margarita continue to throw passes more accurately than Carson Palmer? Can Mission Viejo's linebackers stop the Eagles' running game? The survivor should make it to Angel Stadium on Dec. 11. The pick: Mission Viejo.

Anaheim Servite (11-0) at Encino Crespi (8-3), 7:30 p.m. — Crespi quarterback Kenny Stenhouse and receiver Devin Lucien face a defense that does not allow big plays. Will the Celts be patient enough to move the ball slowly and consistently to stay in the game against a team that loves to hit and create turnovers? The pick: Servite.

Santa Ana Mater Dei (7-4) at Rancho Santa Margarita Tesoro (8-3), 7:30 p.m. — When Mater Dei plays with emotion, it can compete with anybody, and Coach Bruce Rollinson seems to be pushing the right buttons. Quarterback Max Wittek will need to lead with his arm and legs. Tesoro is a young team that might be a year away from winning a championship. There will be a lot of pressure on sophomore quarterback Matt Adam to keep his team in the game. The pick: Mater Dei.

Mission Hills Alemany (11-0) at Lakewood (10-1), 7:30 p.m. — Alemany's speed and athleticism have led to 11 consecutive victories. Junior defensive linemen Pablo Torres and Kyle DeVaughn have nine and eight sacks, respectively. They'll need to pressure Lakewood quarterback Tyler Schultz, who has thrown 31 touchdown passes. Lakewood has its own sack threat in Todd Barr, who has 17 1/2 sacks. The pick: Alemany.

—Eric Sondheimer

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