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Around the Division: The expected foursome

Valencia, Moorpark, Westlake and St. Bonaventure are the final four

Posted: November 30, 2009 10:39 p.m.
Updated: December 1, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Valencia's Steven Manfro (33) and Alex Bishop (3) celebrate last Friday after Manfro scored a touchdown against Buena at Buena High.

 
It has been pretty clear since the beginning of the high school football season that four teams have been the class of the Northern Division.

Now those teams are the final four left in the playoffs.

Valencia, Moorpark, Westlake and two-time defending champions St. Bonaventure are left in the semifinals after each team scored a convincing victory last Friday.

Valencia (12-0) will host Moorpark (11-1) on Saturday at 7 p.m.

St. Bonaventure (11-1) travels to Westlake (12-0) for a 7 p.m. game on Friday.

The winners will ultimately play Dec. 11 for the Northern Division championship.

In the first Northern Division poll, St. Bonaventure was at No. 1, Valencia was at No. 2, Moorpark held down No. 3 and Westlake was at No. 6.

At this point, it’s hard to say which is the best team.

St. Bonaventure has steamrolled its last five opponents, outscoring them 213-14.

Included in those five victories are three shutouts.

Westlake has played one close game all season — a 31-27 win over Newbury park on Oct. 23.

Since a 38-14 loss to Westlake on Nov. 13, Moorpark has regained its early season form in the postseason and has outscored its two playoff opponents 79-7.

Then there’s Valencia, which struggled in a 28-27 win over Thousand Oaks in the first round of the playoffs, but bounced back to throttle Buena 49-22 last Friday.

All four of these teams are in the top 20 of Calpreps.com’s state rankings — St. Bonaventure at No. 9, Westlake at No. 12, Valencia at No. 13 and Moorpark at No. 18.

As far as state championship game aspirations, Valencia sits at No. 7 in Division I South.

The Vikings are looking up at, in this order from the top, Edison, Mission Viejo, Lakewood, Vista Murrieta, Centennial and Oceanside.

So it seems like a longshot for Valencia to make the state championship.

This is how the playoffs shaped up last Friday.


Westlake 54, Hueneme 24


Due to high winds, Westlake decided to commit to the ground game and in turn tore through Hueneme last Friday.

Running back Tavior Mowry continued his stellar season with a 13-carry, 223-yard performance.

Dallas Clayton added 148 yards on six carries.

Westlake was up 34-0 at halftime against the team that eliminated Hart from the postseason.

The Warriors have shown an ability to light up the scoreboard all season, much in the same way that Valencia has — with a strong running game and an accurate quarterback who has big-play receivers.

Westlake has scored 549 points this season, only eclipsed in the Northern Division by Valencia’s 557.


St. Bonaventure 39, Newbury Park 0

St. Bonaventure has been the immovable object in the Northern Division postseason over the past couple of years.

Its defense shut out a team that was averaging 34 points per game coming in.

St. Bonaventure got another strong performance by running back Devon Blackledge, who ran for 162 yards on 16 carries.

Quarterback Logan Meyer was 16-of-24 for 230 yards and wide receiver Christian White hauled in seven of those passes for 140 yards.

The Seraphs held a 29-0 lead at halftime. 


Moorpark 49, Camarillo 7

Moorpark continued to stake its claim to having the best defense in the Northern Division as it shut down a Camarillo team that was averaging 41 points per game coming into the contest.

The Musketeers received big rushing performances from Austin Edmonson, who had 21 carries for 172 yards and three touchdowns, and Brian Blechen, who had three carries for 75 yards and two touchdowns.

Moorpark has allowed just 129 points on the season.

Some information for this story was gathered from the Ventura County Star and Maxpreps.com.

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