May 28, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Northwood football team, back in the CIF playoffs, faces Rancho Alamitos Friday night

Seth Locke (left) and Jaden Piazza lead Northwood into the CIF playoffs Friday. (Tim Burt photo)

Northwood’s football team (7-3 overall) is preparing for its first CIF playoff appearance since 2014.

The Timberwolves, who finished in a tie for second place with Irvine in the Pacific Coast League, face Rancho Alamitos Friday night at 7 at Bolsa Grande in the opening round of the CIF Division 12 playoffs at Bolsa Grande.

“We are just happy to be second place in the PCL and making the playoffs,” said Northwood Coach Pete Mitchell.

Northwood earned a playoff berth with a 21-13 victory over Irvine Friday night.

Northwood is led by junior quarterback Jaden Piazza, who has passed for 1,231 and 12 touchdowns and had 104 receiving yards and two touchdowns and all-purpose back Seth Locke, who has thrown for 217 yards and five touchdowns and hauled in 524 receiving yards. Travis Arena has 29 catches for 523 yards and five touchdowns. Trey Littlejohn (18 for 269 yards and two touchdowns) and Luke Demaio (19 for 323 yards, five touchdowns) are two other outstanding receivers for the Timberwolves.

Quarterback Tanner Buck, who has divided some of the time with Piazza, has passed for 625 yards and two touchdowns.

Rancho Alamitos (7-3) is led by sophomore quarterback Michael Lee who has passed for 944 yards and 11 touchdowns and running back Nathan Kanyavong, who has rushed for 1,097 yards and 14 touchdowns. Receiver Mark Diga has 36 catches for 639 yards and six touchdowns.

“Rancho Alamitos is a perennial power and coached very well,” Mitchell said. “Rancho is always in the playoffs and have a lot of experience. They are coached well and are very talented. We will have to be at our best to get past Rancho.”