Fryer: JSerra omission a bigger head-scratcher


ORANGE – JSerra's football players might be thinking, “We could have done better than that.”

They would be talking about Mission Viejo's 45-0 win over Crespi of Encino.

Crespi got an at-larger berth in the Pac-5 playoffs that many, including yours truly, thought belonged to JSerra. So Crespi's first-round assignment was a road game against Mission Viejo.

JSerra probably would have lost to Mission Viejo, too. But 45-0? JSerra, a team that beat Santa Margarita and Servite in back-to-back weeks to conclude the regular season, would have delivered a better challenge than that.

It was wondered what kind of challenge the Sunset League would have in the Southwest Division after it was dropped from the Pac-5 Division to the Southwest before the 2012 season. Edison of the Sunset League won the Southwest Division championship last year.

Sunset League teams went 3-1 in the Southwest first round last year and went 4-1 this year. Edison, Huntington Beach, Newport Harbor and Los Alamitos won. Fountain Valley was the lone Sunset loser, but by only one point, 28-27, in an away game at San Juan Hills.

Edison's win over Cypress was expected. It was figured Los Alamitos had a good chance against Foothill. But coming off of a 10-7 loss to Fountain Valley, and looking uninspired in doing so, Los Al's 42-0 win over Century League co-champion Foothill was more one-sided that anticipated.

Huntington Beach scored one of the county's bigger wins. The Oilers, a 5-5 at-large team from the Sunset League, beat Yorba Linda, 31-14. Yorba Linda was 10-0 and outright champion of the Empire League. But in our predictions this week, we had Huntington Beach beating Yorba Linda.

The Empire League was not strong, and Yorba Linda had played a nonchallenging nonleague schedule. Yorba Linda might not have been sufficiently sharpened for the playoffs.

There is a chance for another Sunset League win next week. Newport Harbor plays Southwest Division No. 1 seed La Habra. It is a Newport Harbor home game.

Los Alamitos, which earned its first playoff win since 2004, plays Fullerton, which defeated fourth-seeded Valencia, 29-21. Edison plays an away game against Villa Park.

The county's Trinity League teams went 2-1. Mater Dei and Servite won their away games, with Mater Dei beating Oaks Christian of Westlake Village and Servite beating Westlake of Westlake Village.

Orange Lutheran lost to defending Pac-5 Division champion Long Beach Poly in a wild one, 18-16.

Villa Park advanced with a basketball-score-like, 66-40 win over Buena Park. The game marked the end of the high school career of Buena Park standout running back Deven Boston.

Villa Park held Boston to 57 yards on 23 carries. But Boston did finish with 2,112 rushing yards this season, after running for 1,928 last year. That's 4,040 yards over two great years.

The Southern Division pretty much went to script. Two-time defending division champion and top-seeded Corona del Mar trampled the division's at-large entrant Loara, 44-3.

Fourth-seeded Westminster won a lopsided game against Rancho Alamitos, second seeded Garden Grove beat Orange by the expected large margin of 32 points and third-seeded Irvine cruised to victory against Calvary Chapel.

It very much looks like the Southern Division's top four seeded teams will be the final four in the semifinals in two weeks. But first it's on to the second round — Mission Viejo vs. Mater Dei at Santa Ana Stadium; Edison vs. Villa Park at El Modena High; Tesoro at St.John Bosco; La Habra at Newport Harbor; Westminster vs. Woodbridge at Irvine High; and much more.

JSerra did not get a chance to make it to the second round because the Lions were not invited to the first round. A win over Mission Viejo would have been unlikely, but the Lions did deserve the opportunity to give it a try.

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