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Villa Park defenders Christian Castro, Rudy Hurtado, and Grant Klasna, from left, team up to bring down Esperanza running back Troy Poole during a game earlier this month.

Tustin wary of rematch with Villa Park


Familiar foes will meet Friday night in one of the CIF-SS Southwest Division game as Tustin and Villa Park meet for the third consecutive season.

The second-seeded Tillers (12-0) have won both of the previous meetings, but it hasn't come easy.

In 2010, the Tillers scored a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns, including one on a 16-play, 80-yard drive in a 20-7 victory.

Last year, the Spartans scored the first touchdown, but the Tillers responded with a four-touchdown outburst in the third quarter to lead them to a 35-7 victory.

What does Tustin coach Myron Miller expect in 2012?

"Every year is different," he said. "This might be the best of their three teams. Their offensive and defensive lines are really good and they have really good special teams.

"They're a big, strong physical team that will knock you around."

More importantly, Villa Park (11-1) is hungry.

"They've been knocking on the door for years," Miller said. "They have to feel that they're due to win one of these big games."

Villa Park has had a lot of success this season in winning the close the games, with five of its 10 victories coming by 10 points or less.

"They're playing tough and winning tough games," Miller said of Villa Park. "I expect it will be a great game ... To get back to the finals, we're going to have to play a great game Friday night."

The top four seeds are still alive in the Southwest Division, as the Tillers will be host to third-seeded Villa Park and top-seeded Edison faces fourth-seeded Foothill at Orange Coast College.

"We have four really good teams left," Miller said. "Look at it ... Foothill lost two games to us (Tustin) and Villa Park. Villa Park lost to Edison. Edison lost to Mater Dei, who is still alive in the Pac-5 and we haven't lost ... the four best teams are alive.

•Here is the rest of the schedule for Friday's games involving county schools: Mater Dei's game against St. Bonaventure is at Ventura High at 7 p.m. In the Southern Division, both games (Corona del Mar-Woodbridge at Irvine High and Laguna Beach at Garden Grove) are at 7 p.m.

•Fox Sports West will televise the Pac-5 semifinal between Long Beach Poly and St. John Bosco on Friday, starting at 7:30 p.m.

The Cox3 Game of the Week is Corona del Mar-Woodbridge. The first showing will be Friday at 11:30 p.m.

•Foothill recorded six sacks, two apiece by Bobby Okereke and Andre Jones and one from Kenny Hershberger and Brian Fox, in Friday's 30-27 victory over La Habra.

•In his first two playoff starts, it would be safe to say that Mater Dei quarterback Chase Forrest is off to a good start.

Forrest completed 15 of 25 passes for 312 yards and four touchdowns with one interception in the 53-42 victory over Alemany. That follows his first-round performance where he completed 12 of 14 passes for 167 yards and four touchdowns.

•Three of the four teams in the Southern Division are league champions. The fourth team, Woodbridge, finished third in the Pacific Coast League, but has knocked off two consecutive league champions.

The Warriors defeated Westminster, the Golden West League champion, in the first round (20-17) and last week, Katella (Orange League) 21-9.

Friday, the Warriors get a second shot at PCL champion Corona del Mar. In the first meeting, CdM defeated Woodbridge 33-16.

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