May 30, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Football teams in Pacific Coast Conference will play scrimmages instead of games this week

The four inter-conference football games in the Pacific Coast Conference scheduled for this week, including three on Friday night, will be scrimmages instead of games, according to Irvine Unified Athletic Director Mark Cunningham.

“Because of COVID some schools didn’t feel they could be ready to play a full game safely,” Cunningham said Wednesday. “One more week, they felt teams would be better prepared for a game.”

After a long delay to the high school football season, which normally starts in August, high school football players have been going through full workouts for two weeks in preparation for the start of play this week. CIF officials and the California Department of Public Health gave the OK for football to begin after coronavirus cases began to decline.

CIF allows teams to have either a game or a scrimmage this week as part of the abbreviated schedule. Each team is now scheduled to have five games, beginning with next week’s contests.

Beckman will host Laguna Hills Thursday night at 7 at Tustin High in the first scrimmage. The other scrimmages will be on Friday night: Northwood vs. Woodbridge at University, Dana Hills at Irvine and University at Portola. The scrimmages will not count on teams’ records.

Cunningham said the change had nothing to do with mandatory coronavirus testing.

“Testing went fine; it’s not a testing issue,” he said.

Cunningham said that there will be two 12-minute quarters and then halftime. Then there will be segments dedicated to special teams, 10 red zone plays and five goal-line plays.

Woodbridge Athletic Director Rick Gibson said the Woodbridge band will perform at haltime of the scrimmage with Northwood, which starts at 7 p.m. Only immediate family members will be allowed to attend the scrimmages.

Beckman Athletic Director Steve Fischel said the scrimmage between Laguna Hills and Beckman will start at 7 p.m. Irvine football coach Tom Ricci said the Vaqueros and Dana Hills will scrimmage at 7 p.m. Friday at Irvine Stadium. The Portola vs. University scrimmage will also start at 7 p.m., according to Portola Coach Pete Abe.

The newly-formed Pacific Coast Conference consists of two four-team leagues. Portola, Laguna Hills, Dana Hills and Northwood are in the Pacific Hills League and University, Woodbridge, Irvine and Beckman are in the Pacific Valley League.

The last three games of each team’s five-game schedule will count as league games, according to Abe, also athletic director at Portola.

REMAINING SCHEDULE

Week 1, March 19:

Beckman at Dana Hills

Laguna Hills at University

Irvine vs. Northwood at Irvine Stadium

Woodbridge at Portola

Week 2, March 25-26

Portola vs. Beckman at Tustin, Thursday, March 25

Irvine at Laguna Hills, Friday, March 26

Northwood at University, Friday, March 26

Woodbridge at Dana Hills, Friday, March 26

Week 3, April 2

Beckman at University

Woodbridge at Irvine

Portola vs. Northwood at Irvine Stadium

Dana Hills at Laguna Hills

Week 4, April 9

University vs. Woodbridge at University (Woodbridge home team)

Beckman at Irvine

Portola at Dana Hills

Northwood at Laguna Hills

Week 5, April 16:

Laguna Hills at Portola

Dana Hills vs. Northwood at Irvine Stadium

Woodbridge vs. Beckman at Tustin

Irvine at University

—-Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com