The CIF-Southern Section announced its playoff brackets for all 13 divisions on Sunday and four Foothill League teams made the cut.
Valencia, the reigning 10-time Foothill League champions will open the postseason at home against Mater Dei, the second-place finisher in the Trinity League and last season’s Division 1 champion.
Mater Dei (8-2 overall, 4-1 in Trinity League) technically has two losses on the year, but the first loss came by forfeit due to having ineligible players active for the first game of the season.
The Monarchs’ other loss came at the hands of the undefeated Trinity League champion and No. 1 seed in Division 1 St. John Bosco.
Valencia (7-3 overall, 5-0 in Foothill League) and Mater Dei have never played each other. The game kicks off at 7 p.m. at Valencia High School.
In the Division 3 bracket, Hart will open at home against Moorpark, an at-large bid from the Camino League in which it finished in third place. The game begins at 7 p.m. at Canyon High School.
Moorpark (7-3 overall, 2-2 in Camino League) boasts a 6-foot-4 senior wide receiver in Drake London, who has 925 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns on 52 receptions this season. London has already committed to play football and basketball at USC next year.
Hart (6-4 overall, 3-2 in Foothill League) and Moorpark had one common opponent this season: Burbank, which both teams beat handily.
The two teams have met five times in their history, with Hart holding a 3-2 advantage in head-to-head matchups. The last time they faced off was in 2007, with the Indians coming away with the 28-14 victory.
Saugus will host the Division 6 champions from last season Bishop Diego, who finished fourth in the Camino League this year and enter as an at-large bid. The game will start at 7:30 p.m. at College of the Canyons.
Bishop Diego (4-6 overall, 1-3 in Camino League) defeated Saugus (7-3 overall, 3-2 in Foothill League) 45-27 on its way to the title last year. Last season’s playoff game was the first time the two teams had met.
The Cardinals are a much different team this year than the team that finished 15-1 in 2017. They graduated their starting running back from last year, John Harris, who was named the CIF-SS Division 6 Offensive Player of the Year in 2017. He burned Saugus for 304 rushing yards and three touchdowns in last season’s playoff game.
The Centurions (7-3 overall, 3-2 in Foothill League) and Cardinals had two mutual opponents this season: Golden Valley and Thousand Oaks.
While Saugus easily dispatched Thousand Oaks 42-6, Bishop Diego needed overtime to beat the winless Lancers 30-24 in the last game of the regular season. Both teams defeated Golden Valley by more than two scores.
West Ranch will be the only Foothill League team on the road in the opening round of the playoffs, as the Wildcats travel to Victorville to face Silverado at Silverado High School for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
The Hawks (5-5 overall, 4-0 in Desert Sky League) finished in first place in the Desert Sky League, but won only one non-conference game. They also faced Valencia this year, losing 58-35.
West Ranch (8-2 overall, 3-2 in Foothill League) and Silverado have faced off twice before with both teams grabbing a win. They last played in 2011, with West Ranch falling short 28-25.
COC ranked first in coaches poll
According to the JC Athletic Bureau’s head coaches poll released on Monday, College of the Canyons jumped to the No. 1 spot in the rankings after defeating Ventura College 31-7 last week.
Canyons received four first-place votes, putting it ahead of Riverside and Butte, who finished in the second and third spots respectively. The defending state champions Fullerton College received the most first-place votes (six) but finished fourth in the rankings.
The Cougars were ranked as the No. 1 team two weeks ago before dropping to the third spot last week despite beating East Los Angeles College 31-9. Before that, the last time the Cougars were ranked No. 1 was in 2008 heading into the Southern California championship game, which they lost 51-44 to Mt. SAC.