May 30, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Lots of drama and great match-ups entering tonight’s CIF football playoffs in Orange County

Santa Ana’s stars include all-purpose back Patrick McMorris (left) and wide receiver/defensive back Drew Ramirez. The Saints host Fountain Valley at Santa Ana Stadium. Photo: Fernando M. Donado, For OC Sports Zone.

PRESS BOX, By TIM BURT, OC Sports Zone

The most important exciting night of the high school football season is here and there are some intriguing story lines OC Sports Zone will be following on opening night of the CIF playoffs.

In the Division 8 playoffs, a talented Santa Ana team is the home team for a match-up against at at-large team, Fountain Valley at Santa Ana Stadium. Santa Ana is seeded third and has shown it has the offensive firepower to win the championship.

Fountain Valley is battled tested from the rugged Sunset League and Jimmy Nolan’s team can score a lot of points.

Also in Division 8, Woodbridge hosts Temecula Valley at University. Woodbridge went 5-0 in the Pacific Coast League and with a victory would get a rematch with Santa Ana (provided the Saints win) next week. Santa Ana won the regular season game over Woodbridge. A coin flip would determine the home team if Woodbridge and Santa Ana win.

Woodbridge’s defense has allowed just seven points in the last four games and the offense is led by seniors Kyle Hurry, Jacob Nash and Elyjah Rush. Nash and Rush are also defensive standouts.

There are some other games we’re watching including the Ocean View vs. Irvine CIF Division 11 match-up at Irvine Stadium. This one features a talented Ocean View team which is seeded fourth against a solid Irvine squad which is making its first trip to the CIF playoffs since 2014. Two excellent quarterbacks will be battling it out: Noah Hickman of Ocean View and Marc FIlia of Irvine.

Also tonight, a resurgent Foothill team, which won the North Hills League title, is hosting a talented Aliso Niguel team at Tustin in the Division 9 playoffs and Northwood and Rancho Alamitos, two teams with 7-3 records, meet at Bolsa Grande High in the Division 12 playoffs. It’s the first trip to the CIF playoffs for Northwood since 2014.

Segerstrom (8-2) has one of the longest trips of the night with a trip to meet San Marino (8-1-1) in the Division 9 playoffs. The Jaguars just missed out on the Big 4 League title but are determined to make a long run in the playoffs.

CIF football playoffs are special. There is a lot on the line and it will be the final high school football game for many seniors. So, the pressure and drama is immense.

We hope you will make OC Sports Zone part of your Friday night. Please check our score ticker at the top of the page and then check back for game stories and photos Friday and Saturday.

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