With one week to go in the regular season it could be the week of the spoiler when it comes to outright league championships. Week Nine proved that there is still some fight left in most teams, but this week it will come down to some gut checks as the top teams prepare for the postseason.
In the Southwestern League the Murrieta Valley Nighthawks (7-2, 4-0) have already laid claim on the 2017 league title, but Murrieta Mesa (7-2, 2-2) could spoil the Nighthawk’s’ perfect league season with a well fought fight in the trenches. The Rams are hungry and welcome the match-up after they fell 30-15 in Week Nine to the Chaparral Pumas, who picked up their first league win of the season against Murrieta Mesa.
Though Vista Murrieta (4-5, 3-1) is right behind the Broncos in the standings, they fell to the Nighthawk’s earlier this season and that takes them out of contention if Murrieta Valley was to lose this week. The fight for third place between Great Oak (4-5, 2-2) and the Rams and Pumas can go any which way, so the goal this week is to just win baby win for every SWL team, especially the team fighting to erase the goose egg in their win column, the Temecula Valley Golden Bears (0-9, 0-4).
Over in the Sunbelt League it is all going to come down to the Menifee Bowl as the 4-0 Heritage Patriots take on the 4-0 Paloma Valley Wildcats. Both teams also share the same overall record at 8-1 and have been in this position before, in fact, last season the two teams had to battle it out in the final game of the regular season, which saw the Patriots prevail 35-13. Paloma Valley would be seeking their first ever outright title and Heritage has not lost a league game since 2009, so with the momentum these two teams have, this should be one of the most exciting games of the week. .
In the South Valley league Rancho Christian can officially call themselves back-to-back league champs after defeating Nuview Bridge last week 49-18. The Eagles, who dominated all the way through their Division 6-AA State title win last year, are excited to be back in the postseason after they get through their final game this week against Temecula Prep (1-8, 0-4).
For the Hemet area teams it could be Hemet High School (4-5, 2-2) as the spoiler this week when they take on the 2017 Mountain Pass League champs, the Citrus Hill Hawks (8-1, 4-0). Citrus Hill has not lost a league game since 2010 and do not plan to alter that stat anytime soon. The battle for second and third will take place between San Jacinto (6-3, 3-1) and Beaumont (5-4, 2-2), who have both seen their share of success this year.
The 8-Man teams start their playoff runs this week and Cal Lutheran earned the No. 3 seed in the Division 2 bracket as the CIF-Southern Section released its pairings for the 8-man football playoffs earlier this week. The C-Hawks (7-2) will host La Verne Lutheran (3-6) in the first round Friday, Nov. 3. Also in the Division 2 bracket is Cornerstone Christian (6-3) of Wildomar. The Crusaders will travel to Santa Barbara Laguna Blanca (5-2) this week for a 3 p.m. game.
The breakdown of the Southwestern League games from Week Nine, plus Sunbelt League games are as follows:
Murrieta Mesa (7-2, 2-2) – 15
Chaparral (5-4, 1-3) – 30
MMHS: J. Miller – 24 for 35, 286 yds, 2 TDs, 3 INTs; K. Thompson – 22 carries, 132 yds; G. Sanders – 10 catches, 132 yds, TD; C. Chambers – 7 catches, 107 yds, TD; DEF – J. Atkinson – 14 tackles; D. Williams – 14 tackles.
CHS: GOHS: No MaxPreps or Hudl stats entered
Great Oak (4-5, 2-2) – 21
Murrieta Valley (7-2, 4-0) – 49
GOHS: No MaxPreps or Hudl stats entered
MVHS: Bachmeier – 8 for 7, 129 yds; 3 TDs, INT, 6 carries, 106 yds,; J. Archer – 1 carry, 8yds, TD; J. Johnson – 6 carries, 47 yds, TD; J. Murry – 8 carries, 23 yds; L. Dillon – 2 catches, 36 yds, TD; M. Spiker – 4 catches, 40 yds, TD; T. Brown – 2 catches, 53 yds, TD; DEF – T. Whitehead – 14 tackles; V. Montoya – 14 tackles; W. Gonzales – 4 tackles, QB sack; J. Burton – 4 tackles, QB sack.
Temecula Valley (0-8, 0-3) – 14
Vista Murrieta (3-5, 2-1) – 41
TVHS: No MaxPreps or Hudl stats entered
VMHS: R. Coleman – 5 for 5, 147 yds, 2 TDs, 3 carries, 27 yds, TD; K. Shakir – 2 carries, 53 yds, TD, 2 catches, 93 yds, TD; A. Hill – 1 catch, 28 yds, TD.
Up next: In Week Ten action Chaparral will travel to face the winless Golden Bears, Vista Murrieta will also be on the road to take on Great Oak and Murrieta Mesa will welcome the Nighthawks to their house to finish off the regular season. All games are scheduled for Friday, Nov. 3, at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted.
Temescal Canyon (4-5, 2-2) – 7
Heritage (8-1, 4-0) – 60
TCHS: A. Sanchez – 5 for 9, 48 yds, TD, INT; J. Tomazin – 1 catch, 8 yds, TD; DEF – C. Frey – 12 tackles, 2.5 QB sack; Q. Evans – 12 tackles.
HHS: No MaxPreps or Hudl stats entered.
Elsinore (5-4, 1-3) – 16
Lakeside (6-3, 1-3) – 23
EHS: T. Jakell – 2 for 6, 29 yds, 2 INTs; C. Sagaro – 19 carries, 157 yds, 2 TDs; Def – A. Miranda – 13 tackles; K. Swanson – 5 tackles, QB sack; S. Gaoa – 7 tackles, QB sack.
LHS: D. Pope – 6 for 7, 63 yds, TD; A. Burt – 21 carries, 143 yds, 2 catches, 21 yds, TD; R. Puquirre Jr. – 3 catches, 33 yds, TD.
Paloma Valley (7-1, 3-0) – 42
Perris (0-8, 0-3) – 0
PVHS: C. Nolan – 9 for 10, 160 yds, 4 TDs, 3 carries, 38 yds, TD; M. Carvalho – 3 catches, 44 yds, TD; S. Carvalho – 2 catches, 31 yds, TD; K. Schroeder – 2 catches, 58 yds, TD; A. Franco – 2 catches, 13 yds, TD; DEF – K. Lokusooriya – 4 tackles, QB sack; S. Bradshaw – 6 tackles.
PHS: No MaxPreps or Hudl stats entered.
Up next: The final regular season games in the Sunbelt League include the Temescal Canyon Titans traveling to Elsinore, Paloma Valley will be home this year for the Menifee Bowl to take on the Heritage Patriots and the Perris Panthers will travel to Lakeside in hopes of snatching away their only win of the season. All games are scheduled for Friday, Nov. 3, at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted.
*Most other league scores can be found in the scoreboard section of the paper or by going to www.myvalleynews.com/sports.
**All stats, schedules and scores are supplied by local high school athletic directors, MaxPreps, CIF-SS and contributing writers/photographers; David Canales, Andrez Imaging, Ed Faith, Rob Davis Photography , Cody Bressler, Paul Bandong, Alicia Salcedo, Annette Saenz, Time Stood Still Photography and countless fans of the games via social media.