The Breakdown: Southern
November 11th, 2007 Post a Comment posted by carias
Seeded teams: 1. Western (8-1-1), Orange League champion; 2. Laguna Hills (6-2), Pacific Coast League co-champion; 3. Valencia (6-2-1), Empire League tri-champion; 4. University (9-0), Pacific Coast League co-champion.
At-large teams: Savanna (7-3), Orange League; Cypress (6-3), Empire League.
Darkhorse: Kennedy (6-3) won the Southern Division title last year, so it’s hard to call the Fighting Irish a darkhorse, but they enter the playoffs as the No. 3 team from the Empire League.
Players to watch: Los Amigos LB/RB James Boyer; Anaheim RB Matt Contreras; Garden Grove WR Danny Crisantos; Kennedy QB Zack Emde; Valencia RB Wes Fletcher; Laguna Hills RB/LB Reece Ludwig; Estancia RB Carlos Mendez; Santa Ana Valley RB Darius Nacoste; Western RB Ruben Ortega; Pacifica WR Tyler Ortiz; Santiago RB Danny Rujchanarong; Cypress WR Ryan Saumur; University QB Parker Thompson; Savanna RB Dominique Williams.
Best first-round matchup: Savanna at Valencia. Tough draw for the third-seeded Tigers.
Western - The Pioneers lone loss was to Los Altos and they tied third-seeded Valencia in another nonleague game. Western runs a wing-T offense and has four backs with at least 400 rushing yards, led by Ruben Ortega (1,154 yards, 14 TDs).
Los Amigos - The Lobos were 0-4 against teams that qualified for the playoffs.
Pacifica - The Mariners had victories over Troy and Kennedy, which means they are capable of making a deep run in the playoffs. A potential matchup against top-seeded Western in the second round could change the complection of the upper half of the bracket.
Costa Mesa - The Mustangs were 0-5 against teams that qualified for the playoffs.
Santiago - The Cavaliers closed out the regular season with five consecutive victories to take the Garden Grove League title. Danny Rujchanarong has five 100-yard rushing games this season.
Kennedy - The Fighting Irish closed out the regular season with a 20-0 victory over Valencia, which got the No. 3 seed.
University - The Trojans went undefeated in the regular season for the first time, but had to share the Pacific Coast League title with Laguna Hills. University’s game against Laguna Hills got cancelled because of the wildfires, so a coin flip decided which team would be the league’s No. 1 representative and Laguna Hills won. A potential quarterfinal matchup against Kennedy could be very interesting.
Santa Ana Valley - The Falcons closed out the regular season with impressive victories over Magnolia and Savanna to clinch the Orange League’s third playoff berth.
Valencia - The Tigers tied top-seeded Western in a nonleague game and pulled out a 21-20 victory over Pacifica in an Empire League. A 20-0 loss to Kennedy in the regular-season finale is a bit troubling, but the Tigers have the potential to make a run in the playoffs.
Savanna - The Rebels went 7-1 to start the season, which included an impressive 35-21 triumph over Anaheim, but the closed out the regular season with back-to-back losses against Western, 65-7, and Santa Ana Valley, 37-26. Which Savanna team will show up for the playoffs?
Estancia - The Eagles won the Orange Coast League title, but the Orange Coast happens to be the weakest league in the Southern Division. Estancia would have had a hard time finishing in the top three in the Empire, Pacific Coast or Orange Leagues.
Irvine - The Vaqueros only two losses were against second-seeded Laguna Hills and fourth-seeded University. Irvine should get past Estancia to set up a good quarterfinal matchup against the Valencia-Savanna winner.
Anaheim - The Colonists gave top-seeded Western all it could handle in a 22-17 loss in the regular-season finale. The Colonists, who reached the Southern Division finals last year, have the potential to make some noise in the playoffs.
Garden Grove - The Argonauts struggled outside of the Garden Grove League, but they won five of their last six games to close out the regular season and take the league’s No. 2 spot. Getting past Anaheim in the first round will be a tough task.
Laguna Hills - A victory over Trabuco Hills, the No. 3 seed in the Southwest Division, and three dominant victories over Corona del Mar, Beckman and Irvine in league games helped the Hawks nab the No. 2 seed in the Southern Division.
Cypress - The Centurions performed admirably in their losses against Fullerton, Pacifica and Kennedy, who all qualified for the playoffs, and they closed out the regular season with back-to-back victories over Loara and Katella.