Saturday, November 19, 2011

Playoff Friday

It was a clear, crisp Autumn Friday night, a perfect night for the first round of the 2011 C.I.F. Western Division football playoffs!

I had our son Michael with me and a C.I.F. pass in hand, good for two free entries into any and all playoff games. It would come in handy as it turned out.

After talking about which game to go see, we decided that the place to be was Ventura H.S.

On paper it looked like the best match-up as the host, #4 seeded, Channel League Champion Cougars were a perfect 10-0 and the San Gabriel Valley League's Wild Card Dominguez H.S. Dons were a solid 7-3 going into the contest.

Unfortunately for the Dons, you don't play games on paper.

Ventura RB Connor Armstrong

Funky facemask.

He has been torching teams all season long with his running abilities and Dominguez, who had a GREAT Grambling University style band by the way, would get lit up quickly as well.

In the first quarter Armstrong had TD runs of 76 and 47 yards. Those scores were sandwiched around a 72 yard TD strike from QB Rodney Stanley to WR Nick Rudolph.

The score was 21-0, when there was still 5 minutes left in the first quarter and I hadn't even opened up my bag of peanuts yet.

Dominguez looked totally helpless and the rout was on.

Brad Steward and Phil McCune

Brad is Ventura's Head Coach and Phil is his Defensive Coordinator, two of the good guys. They and the rest of the Cougar staff did a tremendous job preparing the team on this night.

Mike and I decided to do something that we had never done before, i.e., leave a game that was really over with, as I said, with 5 minutes left in the first quarter, to go watch another game that would hopefully be more competitive.

We opted to drive to the game at Camarillo H.S. where the Pacific View League Champion Scorpions (7-3) were hosting the PAC-7 League's Wild Card San Luis Obispo Tigers (7-3).

By the way, the final score at VHS was Ventura 41 - Dominguez 14.

Scorpion QB Travis Valdez under duress

When we arrived at Camarillo's stadium, it was halftime and San Luis Obispo was leading 20-7.

In the third period, the SLO offensive line simply dominated as the Tigers ran their option offense to perfection in scoring 3 TDs after returning the second half kickoff for a TD. The SLO defensive front showed no mercy as they harassed the Scorpions' QB.

SLO led 48-7 after three periods.

Camarillo's offense came alive in the fourth quarter, in part due to the Tigers clearing the bench. The final score was San Luis Obispo 54 - Camarillo 28.

The Pacific View League's other team in the playoffs, Channel Islands lost their game 28-20 to Santa Monica.

The 2011 season is over for the PVL, much too soon for the good of the league.

2011 Western Division Playoffs

First Round Playoff Game Results:
Culver City 21 - #1 seed Serra 14
Righetti 31 - Downey 24
Santa Monica 28 - Channel Islands 20
#4 seed Ventura 41 - Dominguez 14

#3 seed Chaminade 45 - Inglewood 15
San Luis Obispo 54 - Camarillo 28
St. Francis 45 - Paramount 28
#2 seed Arroyo Grande 41 - Dos Pueblos 6

Quarter-Final Playoff Games:
Friday, November 25th
Righetti (8-3) PAC-7 League #2 at
Culver City (8-3) Ocean League Wild Card

#4 Ventura (11-0) Channel League #1 at
Santa Monica (10-1) Ocean League #1

#3 Chaminade (9-2) Mission League #2 at
San Luis Obispo (8-3) PAC-7 League Wild Card

#2 Arroyo Grande (10-1) PAC-7 League #1 at
St. Francis (9-2) Mission League Wild Card

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