Outlook: The Foothill League champion Vikings feature a high-powered spread offense and a battle-tested resume. Quarterback Aaron Thomas has passed for 2,851 yards and 25 TDs for a unit averaging 40.8 points. Running back Moises Haynes has rushed for 1,574 yards and 21 TDs. Valencia’s only losses are against SoCal powers Chaminade (42-15) and Calabasas (37-21). San Clemente’s defense has allowed 27 points in two playoff victories. The Tritons are seeking to reach a third consecutive CIF final and capture the first section title in school history.
Murrieta Valley (9-2) at La Habra (8-4)
Where, when: La Habra, Friday, 7 p.m.
Outlook: The Highlanders face their third consecutive elite quarterback in Hank Bachmeier. The sophomore follows Matt Corral of Oaks Christian, a USC commit, and Armando Herrera of Redlands East Valley from the first two rounds of the playoffs. Bachmeier has passed for 3,240 yards and 38 TDs. But Murrieta Valley’s high-octane attack also features wide receiver Marquis Spiker (75 catches, 1,415 yards, 20 TDs) and running back Olita Palmer (1,987 yards). Spiker is a rising junior with several Pac-12 offers. The Nighthawks are ranked 10th in the state by CaHiSports.com. They lost to Rancho Cucamonga, 41-20.
Capistrano Valley (11-1) at ML King of Riverside (5-7)
Where, when: ML King, Friday, 7 p.m.
Outlook: The Cougars are seeking their first trip to the finals since 1990 but don’t be deceived by King’s record. They finished fourth in the difficult Big VIII behind Centennial of Corona, Roosevelt and Norco, two of which also are playing Friday. The Wolves lost to Norco, 36-35, and Roosevelt, 38-35. They also fell to Santa Margarita, 44-14. But in the first round of the playoffs, King avenged an earlier loss against Paloma Valley by posting a 45-35 victory. Not surprisingly, King has played a tougher schedule than Capistrano Valley. But the second-seeded Cougars counter with a stingy defense. They have allowed only 18 points in two playoff games. ML King quarterback Bradley Kleven has passed for 2,477 yards and 27 TDs. Chris Venable has a team-leading 152 total tackles for the Wolves. “This will be a tough matchup,” Capistrano Valley coach Ernie Bucher said.