As the high school winter sports programs start licking their chops for the preseason, there are still quite a few fall sports teams alive in the postseason. On the local high school football fields only seven teams were in the hunt going into the quarterfinals last week, keeping their hopes alive in search of an elusive CIF Southern Section title. Five of the seven remain standing and will play this week in the semifinals. For the two Temecula teams still making their way through the postseason, Linfield Christian and Temecula Valley high schools, their quarterfinal wins came with nail biting success.
The Linfield Christian Lions, who had been playing catch up in the first half against Pasadena High School, jumped ahead after halftime and had to fend off an oversized Bulldog team that mounted a huge comeback late in the game. Michael Harkins (QB; 8-14, 116 yds, 2 passing TD’s, 10 carries, 64 yds, TD) and Crispin Wong (RB; 16 carries, 94 yds, TD’s) led the scorers on the ground, while Justin Manqueros swallowed up a ton of yardage for the visiting Lions (26 carries, 177 yards). Jalani Jefferson and Brye Lighon also helped put the Lions on the board as both found passes in the end zone to help Linfield Christian move on. The Lions will play at home this week against Muir High School in Pasadena.
Temecula Valley found themselves in a similar predicament when Golden Bears defensive end, Jay Max Jacobsen, caught up with and sacked Carter High School’s Jonathan Salabaj during a 2-point conversion attempt in overtime to secure a 21-20 victory in their Division 7 quarterfinal game. Golden Bears RB Brody Hughes rushed for a career-high 254 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns. Hughes scored first on a 65-yard scoring run in the third quarter and a 2-yard touchdown run in overtime. However, the biggest play the senior two-way player made might have been on special teams, as he blocked a potential game-winning field goal attempt by Carter near the end of regulation. Brandon Wilson also kept Temecula Valley in the game with his interception return that tied the game. The Golden Bears will play at home this week against West Ranch High School, who beat Wilson 57-56, last week.
Other winning teams include San Jacinto High School, who beat Kaiser High School 17-0, Orange Vista High School defeated Oak Park High School 23-20 and Hemet High School beat El Rancho High School 35-32. All three teams will play this week in the semifinals.
Here is a list of CIF Southern Section football semifinal games involving Inland teams.
FRIDAY 11/22 SEMIFINAL GAMES
Games are 7 p.m. unless noted. Sites and times are subject to change.
Division 1 – 5: No local teams
Division 6: San Jacinto at La Serna
Division 7: Temecula Valley vs. West Ranch
Division 8 – 10: No local teams
Division 11: Linfield Christian vs. Muir (Pasadena); Hemet vs. Marina
Division 12: Orange Vista vs. Adelanto
Division 13 & 14: No local teams
8-Man, Division 1 & 2: No local teams
Girls’ Volleyball: CIF State results
Three local girls’ volleyball teams found much success at an almost national level with their game play at the SoCal CIF State games last week, and one girls’ team still has a shot at winning it all. Both Linfield Christian and Murrieta Valley High School took third at the CIF State tournament, where Vista Murrieta High School is still in the hunt and can claim first or second place when they face La Costa Canyon High School this week in the Division 1 finals.
For both Murrieta Valley and Linfield Christian, their exits took place in five-set emotional thrillers. The Lady Nighthawks fell to Carlsbad 3-2 (21-25, 25-21, 25-21, 14-25, 15-9), in the CIF State SoCal Regional Division II semifinals and the Lady Lions couldn’t get past South Pasadena High School in the CIF State SoCal Regional Division III semifinals. Linfield Christian won the first two sets and seem to be on pace to move past the Lady Tigers quickly, but South Pasadena proved to be a worthy adversary taking the next three sets to clinch a seat at the finals (25-21, 26-24, 19-25, 21-25, 13-15).
Vista Murrieta (23-11) had an epic victory at top-seeded Sierra Canyon High School in the Southern California Regional Division I semifinals, winning in a five-set thriller as well (25-20, 20-25, 25-20, 21-25, 19-17). The two-time defending Southwestern League champions, who suffered a first-round CIF Southern Section exit last year and lost in the second round of the Division 1 playoffs this season, will continue their season by advancing to the program’s first ever regional final this week. Updates will be made online as the final match will be played after this week’s edition of the Valley News goes to print.
Girls’ Team Tennis; CIF playoff updates
The girls’ team tennis playoffs concluded last week with no local teams making it past the semifinal round. Murrieta Valley made it the quarterfinals of the CIF Southern Section Division 1 brackets but fell victim to Corona del Mar High School 12-6. Heritage High School made it the furthest in the postseason, taking on Segerstrom High School in the semifinals Wednesday, Nov. 13, but lost 11-7.
Boys’ Water Polo
For the splish splashing boys’ water polo playoffs, top seeded Paloma Valley fell to Los Altos High School after having a first round bye in the Division 6 playoffs and the only other local team that looked like they could go the distance was Temecula Valley fell, who were ousted in the quarterfinals by Trabuco Hills High School, 20-13
Girls Golf; State playoff update
Murrieta Mesa’s Angela Heo is the only of one of the three local golfers that will be moving on to play in the state tournament this week. Heo shot a 74 overall and ended up tied for fourth place, shooting plus-1 at the CIF-SCGA Golf Championship Thursday, Nov. 14, at the Brookside Golf Course. Heo placed in the Top 9 individual golfers (3rd) in Southern California and will compete at Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach this week. Vista Murrieta’s Venecia Zaia (+8, 81) and Temecula Valley’s Jordan Parr (+13, 86) did not qualify but had exceptional seasons, earned All-Southwestern League honors and will both continue their golf careers after graduation. Zaia is headed to University of North Caroline Asheville, and Parr is headed to San Jose State University.
JP Raineri can be reached by email at email@example.com.