NO. 9 TESORO (6-3, 2-1) VS. NO. 4 SAN CLEMENTE (8-1, 2-1)
Where, when: San Clemente High, Thursday, 7 p.m.
TV: Cox3 (Friday, 11:30 p.m.)
Outlook: Both teams have clinched playoff berths. Will both teams be focused, then, on this week's game? Or will they be thinking about Sunday, when they find out who they will play in the first round of the Pac-5 Division playoffs? That is a good challenge for two good coaches, Tesoro's Brian Barnes and San Clemente's Jon Hamro.
Speaking of Hamro … considering what he had to do, with the sudden departure of longtime head coach Eric Patton there and being shorthanded, for some weeks, for assistant coaches, Hamro has to be in the conversation when it comes to selecting county coach of the year. Tesoro gave league-champion Mission Viejo quite a battle last week, a 14-7 loss to the No. 2-ranked Diablos. San Clemente lost to Mission Viejo by a similar margin in a 29-21 defeat two weeks ago. San Clemente had last week off, a good thing to have between playing Mission and Tesoro. Both teams need some momentum going into the playoffs. Both teams are fine defensively, but San Clemente, with Travis Wilson at quarterback and Mike Elespuru at running back, is better offensively.
Winner: San Clemente
OCVarsity Gridiron preview of Tesoro vs. San Clemente (3:00 mark of video):