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Southwest: Previews & predictions for Friday's games

STAFF WRITER

OCVarsity's previews and predictions for Friday's second-round football playoff games.

La Habra (10-1) vs. Laguna Hills (8-3)

Where, when: Laguna Hills High, 7 p.m.

Live coverage: CASportsZone online radio (www.casportszone.com)

Outlook: Make that three consecutive shutouts for La Habra’s defense. The top-seeded Highlanders opened the postseason by blanking Kennedy, 49-0, making it 13 consecutive quarters since it allowed a point. Laguna Hills needed a fourth-quarter field goal to beat Woodbridge, 13-10, in the first round. The Hawks will need to stop another capable ground attack to advance to the semifinals. La Habra’s Cortlin Taylor is averaging 14.2 yards a carry over the last three games, while Laguna Hills has surrendered 170- and 162-yard performances to the opposition’s top rusher the past two weeks. If the Hawks have trouble containing Taylor and quarterback Eric Barriere, this could be the end of the road for their beloved coach, Bruce Ingalls, who is retiring after this season.

Prediction: La Habra

Villa Park (11-0) vs. Valencia (11-0)

Where, when: El Modena High, 7 p.m.

Live coverage: Foxsports.com Prep Zone

Outlook: Somebody’s walking out of the stadium with their first “L” tonight. Villa Park and Valencia make up two of the county’s five unbeatens and have had such success because of their defensive efforts. The Tigers have held every opponent to 14 points or less, while the Spartans have done the same to all but one opponent. Because both offenses are run oriented, the team with the better line play will likely win what is expected to be the division’s most physical second-round matchup. With running back Ramon Chaves coming off his best game to date, look for the Spartans to continue to pound away on the ground, which could set up a big play or two in the play-action attack.

Prediction: Villa Park

Corona del Mar (9-2) vs. Buena Park (9-2)

Where, when: Buena Park High, 7 p.m.

Live coverage: CA Sports Zone Online Radio (www.casportszone.com)

Outlook: The Coyotes continued to rack up the yards and the points last week in a 49-7 blowout win over Yorba Linda, making it four straight outings in which they have scored at least 42 points or more. Third-seeded Corona del Mar shares a similar streak, having topped 42 points in five consecutive games. While a shootout would seem logical, CdM’s defense doesn’t figure to let that transpire. Tesoro is the only team that has scored more than 21 points against the Sea Kings. Buena Park had problems against the two elite defenses – Edison and La Habra – it played against. With quarterback Chase Garbers having a hot hand recently, the Sea Kings go on the road and flex their muscles against the Coyotes.

Prediction: Corona del Mar

Sonora (9-2) vs. San Clemente (9-2)

Where, when: La Habra High, 7 p.m.

Outlook: The biggest shocker of the first round might have been Sonora soundly defeating Tustin on the road. Jacob Fimbres and Cole McDonald each ran for 120 yards or more in the 42-13 victory that set the stage for tonight’s game against the second-seeded Tritons. Sonora and San Clemente have played two common opponents - Aliso Niguel and Sunny Hills. The Raiders own one-point wins over both the Wolverines (47-46) and Lancers (35-34). The Tritons beat those squads by a combined 122-28 margin. With quarterback Jack Sears spreading the wealth to a field full of game changers, San Clemente proves to have a little too much firepower the Raiders defense.

Prediction: San Clemente

Contact the writer: kconnolly@ocregister.com


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