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Fryer on football: Good teams will get squeezed out
Who are the best non-playoff teams?
It is close to a sure thing that two teams that have been in the Orange County top 10 this season – Servite and Tesoro – will not be in the playoffs this year. Servite would have to upset Mater Dei and Orange Lutheran would have to lose to JSerra on Friday for Servite to be the Trinity League's No. 4 team and overtake what would then be No. 5 Orange Lutheran.
Tesoro can't be higher than the South Coast League's No. 4 team, and San Clemente, which beat Tesoro last week, has clinched the league's No. 3 position.
There also will be be a very good team in the Sea View League, however it is settled this week, that won't be a playoff team.
WHO GETS THE AT-LARGE BERTHS?
Look for the two Pac-5 at-large berths to go to teams from this Serra League group: Alemany of Mission Hills, Bishop Amat of La Puente, Crespi of Encino and Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks. San Clemente could get one if the Tritons beat Trabuco Hills this week.
Orange Lutheran might get the nod if it beats JSerra and finishes 7-3, or one of the teams from the Miramonte group could snag one.
The Southwest Division's two at-large berths are going to Sea View and Sunset league teams.
The Southern Division has one at-large berth, and it would be stunning if it does not go to a Golden West or Pacific Coast league team.
LAGUNA HILLS WON
Not just the football team. The entire school contributed to the Hawks' 31-21 comeback victory over Dana Hills on Friday.
Laguna Hills has one of the county's best student-cheering sections in Orange County, a section that kept the energy at a high level even with the Hawks down by 10 points in the fourth quarter.
When the kids broke into that "I believe that we will win" chant, they really did believe it.
GAME OF THE YEAR
Maybe El Toro-Mission Viejo should be at Angel Stadium instead of Mater Dei-Servite on Friday. It's been eight years since a Mater Dei-Servite game was as unattractive as this year's Catholic school rivalry matchup.
El Toro-Mission Viejo on Friday at Mission Viejo High has it all. The teams are undefeated ... tied for first place in their leagues ... occupy the top two positions in the Orange County poll ... are geographical neighbors ... Mission Viejo coach Bob Johnson coached at El Toro ... Mission Viejo has been strengthened by transfers (sorry, Mission, it is true) ... El Toro has no transfers of note ... and playoff seedings will be affected by this game's outcome.
Get your tickets in advance, and get there early.
OTHER BIG GAMES
The last week of the regular season is loaded with huge games. Here are a couple of them: Newport Harbor vs. Los Alamitos at Veterans Stadium in Long Beach, Thursday; Santa Margarita at St. John Bosco of Bellflower on Friday brings together teams ranked in the state top 10, yet still it is not the game of the week; Sonora at La Habra, Friday; Woodbridge at Irvine, Friday; and San Juan Hills at Dana Hills, Friday.