CIF-SS FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS: SOUTHWEST DIVISION
HUNTINGTON BEACH (6-5) vs. TUSTIN (11-0)
Where, when: Huntington Beach High, Friday, 7 p.m.
Outlook: The Oilers beat Capistrano Valley, 34-17, in the first round. They built a 31-3 lead behind their defense and the legs of tailback Bowen Breunig, who rushed for 202 yards. It was their most dominating effort against a quality opponent.
Huntington Beach has played teams seemingly of Tustin’s caliber this season, both in the Sunset League and in nonleague play, but has struggled in those contests.
Tustin scored three times in the first quarter en route to a 35-6, first-round victory against El Dorado. Running back Terence Martinez had 208 yards and three touchdowns.
The Tillers are the division’s defending champions and No. 2 seed. They’ve won all but one game this season by 27 points or more.
Huntington Beach is the toughest opponent Tustin has faced since at least September, as the Tillers have played just three teams with a winning record.
VILLA PARK (10-1) vs. NEWPORT HARBOR (7-4)
Where, when: El Modena High, Friday, 7 p.m.
Outlook: Newport Harbor has been one the county’s hottest teams over the past month, winning five in a row. Running back Tala Teaupa continued his spectacular season with a season-best 272 yards and two touchdowns in last week’s 42-21 victory against Troy.
The Sailors have averaged 30.2 points in five games since getting shut out by Edison.
Villa Park also lost to Edison, it’s only defeat of the season, albeit by 15 less points.
The Spartans, which won the Century League and are the division’s No. 3 seed, are coming off a tougher-than-expected 21-12 victory against Yorba Linda.
Tailback Meki Tafuna sealed the victory with a late touchdown. He rushed for 181 yards and two scores.
If you’re into running backs, you’re in for a treat.
FOOTHILL (9-2) VS. LA HABRA (8-3)
Where, when: Tustin High, Friday, 7 p.m.
Outlook: Fourth-seeded Foothill got off to a slow start before dispatching Laguna Hills last week, 17-7. The Knights rallied with 10 points in the fourth quarter, including a go-ahead touchdown run by Sam Stetson. The 17 points was their lowest total of the season. They also allowed less than 200 yards while holding their fifth opponent to 10 points or less.
They’re looking to make a second consecutive trip to the division semifinals.
La Habra is coming off a dramatic victory against Los Alamitos, beating the Griffins for the first time in seven meetings. Kicker Jackson Willard made a 25-yard field goal, his first of the season, late in the fourth quarter of the Highlanders’ 10-7 victory.
It was La Habra’s seventh consecutive victory.
The Highlanders also reached the division semifinals last year and have advanced at least that far in every season since 2002.
VALENCIA (8-3) vs. EDISON (10-1)
Where, when: Valencia High, Friday, 7 p.m.
Outlook: Valencia ran for nearly 300 yards in a 31-13 victory against Sonora. Quarterback Jesse Godoy, the Tigers’ leading rusher this season, ran for 89 yards and a touchdown but left the game in the third quarter with a knee injury. It was the Tigers’ fifth victory in a row, with all five coming by double digits. It was also the program’s first playoff victory since 2007.
The lone common opponent between Valencia and Edison is Villa Park, which beat the Tigers by 17 and lost to the Chargers by 20. Edison held an opponent without a touchdown for the eighth time this season in beating Esperanza, 27-3. Quarterback Alek Torgersen passed and ran for about 250 total yards and had two touchdowns.
The top-seeded Chargers have won seven in a row. It was their first postseason victory since 2009.