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Football: Pac-5 quarterfinal matchups should be exciting

November 17, 2013|By Eric Sondheimer
  • Coach Bob Johnson has guided Mission Viejo to an 11-0 record this season.
Coach Bob Johnson has guided Mission Viejo to an 11-0 record this season. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles…)

The Pac-5 Division quarterfinal matchups are filled with big-time games that should produce lots of intrigue and some exciting finishes.

From Mater Dei and Coach Bruce Rollinson taking on Mission Viejo and Coach Bob Johnson to Long Beach Poly traveling to Ventura to take on St. Bonaventure and Alabama-bound quarterback Ricky Town, it's going to be one heck of a Friday night.

The matchups:

Tesoro (9-2) vs. St. John Bosco (11-0) at Veterans Stadium: The best strategy for beating St. John Bosco is to try to run the ball straight down the Braves' throat while keeping the offense off the field. That's what Tesoro will try to do with running back Jon Rivera, who rushed for 257 yards in 30 carries and scored five touchdowns in a playoff win over Long Beach Cabrillo. But who's going to stop SJB quarterback Josh Rosen, who had five TD passes against Agoura?

Alemany (9-2) vs. Servite (6-5) at Cerritos College: Alemany has struggled against teams it takes lightly and played well against good teams, so look for the Warriors to be ready. Versatile quarterback Alif Grayes' ability to run and pass will test the Friars. Alemany needs to get the ball to its big-play weapon, receiver Desean Holmes. Alemany has had trouble at times stopping the run, and that's what Servite will try to do with quarterback Travis Waller and running back Tate Beachley.

Long Beach Poly (10-1) vs. St. Bonaventure (8-3) at Ventura College: For Poy to pull out a victory in a game it should have lost on Friday against Orange Lutheran is good news for the Jackrabbits. They hadn't played a top team in weeks and to survive means they might just start to go on a long winning streak in the playoffs. St. Bonaventure didn't exactly stop the run very well in losses to Corona Centennial and Alemany, and that's a Poly strength. Town is healthy and will do his best to challenge a very strong Poly defense that fears no one.

Mission Viejo (11-0) vs. Mater Dei (9-2) at Santa Ana Stadium: The battle of Orange County powers will be intense and go down to the wire. Mater Dei's defense is very good at taking away strengths. Mission Viejo hasn't been challenged in weeks. The key for both teams will be to avoid turnovers, limit penalties and have a good week of practice executing game plans. The play at quarterback will be decisive. Mission Viejo has Ian Fieber. Mater Dei has Chase Forrest. One will get to play in the semifinals.

Eric.sondheimer@latimes.com

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