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CIF football: 11-man playoff brackets revealed

Valencia, Canyon, Hart are in while Saugus, SCCS miss out

Posted: November 4, 2012 2:03 p.m.
Updated: November 4, 2012 2:03 p.m.
 

Three Santa Clarita Valley football teams found out where they landed in this year’s CIF-Southern Section playoffs.

Two others were left behind in Sunday’s release of the 11-man football CIF-SS postseason brackets.

Valencia, Canyon and Hart, the top three finishers in the Foothill League, respectively, were all placed in the CIF-SS Northern Division bracket via automatic bids.

Foothill fourth place Saugus, despite winning its last two games to finish 4-6 on the year, did not receive an at-large playoff berth.

Santa Clarita Christian School was also snubbed from the CIF-SS Northeast Division playoffs after finishing 7-3 and third place in the San Joaquin League.

SCCS had a better record than three of the four Northeast at-large teams, including Bellarmine-Jefferson High, which made the playoffs with a 4-6 record.

“We’re disappointed,” said SCCS head coach Garrick Moss. “We felt we just needed a shot in there and anything could happen. We made our own mistakes by losing two league games that we gave away.”

Meanwhile, in the Northern Division, Foothill champion Valencia (7-3) earned the bracket’s No. 2 seed and a first-round home game on Friday at 7 p.m. against Paso Robles (6-4), the fourth-place team out of the Pac-7 League.

All three Foothill teams are faced with first-round matchups against teams from the Pac-7, which was introduced into the Northern Division for the first time this season after the departure of the Marmonte League.

The Pac-7 sent five teams to the postseason, more than any other league in the division.

“It’s going to be interesting with the Pac-7 because we haven’t played them in a while,” said Valencia head coach Larry Muir. “That’s five schools right there in the Central Coast  that we don’t get to see a lot of film on so it’s interesting to see film on those guys for the first time.”

Also on Friday, Canyon (7-2-1) will host San Luis Obispo (6-4), which finished third in the Pac-7, and Hart (7-3) will travel to play Arroyo Grande (8-2), the co-champion of the Pac-7.

Other than Valencia, all playoff games are scheduled to kick off at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise agreed upon.

If Valencia and Hart keep winning, the two teams could potentially meet for a rematch in the semifinal game on Nov. 23. In their last matchup, the Vikings won 31-20 on Oct. 26.

Canyon wouldn’t have to face a fellow Foothill foe until the final. Though the Cowboys benefit from a home game in the first round, a win could possibly put them in a second-round matchup against 10-0 Palmdale, the division’s top seed.

If the top seeds don’t get upset anywhere along the way, Valencia and Palmdale would meet in the championship game on Dec. 1, which would be another rematch after Valencia opened its season with a 35-21 loss to the eventual Golden League champions.

“They’ve beaten us early this year. You’ve got to tip you hat to them,” Muir said of Palmdale. “They’re worthy of that No. 1 seed.”

Overall, four teams were awarded at-large bids in the Northern Division. Two went to teams in the
Pac-7, one went to the Golden League and one was given to the Bay League.

For SCCS, it needed to finish in second place or better in league to receive an automatic playoff spot. The Cardinals had the best overall record of any non-playoff team in the division.

“The way CIF does ratings, it’s one of those tough things,” Moss said. “You’ve got to earn your way and get an automatic because at-large’s are tough to get.”

On the bright side, the Cardinals plan to return every starter on both sides of the ball next year as the team will lose only one player to graduation.

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