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Friday Night Semifinal Lights: Bishop Diego, Dos Pueblos One Step From CIF Finals

Bishop Diego and Dos Pueblos hope to live up to their playoff seedings in their respective CIF-Southern Section divisional semifinal football games on Friday night.

Bishop Diego, the No. 1 team in Division 6, plays Saugus at College of the Canyons for a spot in the championship game for the first time since 2007.

In Division 10, second-seeded Dos Pueblos is home against defending Division 11 champion Valley View of Moreno Valley. The last time the Chargers made a football final was in 2001.

If both teams prevail, it will be the first time since Santa Barbara and Carpinteria in 1989 that two local teams reached CIF championship games in the same season. 

In 8-man football, Laguna Blanca plays in its first championship game in program history. The Owls (8-2) travel to Lancaster Baptist (8-3) on Saturday at 6 p.m. in the Division 2 final.

Here is a look at the 11-man football semifinals.

 

Bishop Diego (11-1) vs. Saugus (6-6), at College of the Canyons, 7 p.m. Radio: 1290 AM — The Cardinals are playing at a high level in the playoffs, having outscored their two opponents (Norte Vista and San Marino), 122-34. They take on a Saugus team that’s gotten healthy and peaked at the right time. Senior quarterback Nathan Eldridge returned in Week 10 after suffering broken hand and the team has responded. Senior Quinn Scheaffer is a bulldog of a running back. He’s rushed for 1,175 yards and is averaging 5.5 yards per carry. The Centurions, who held off Santa Barbara, 25-21, in the first game of the season, are fast on defense. They’re  riding high after pulling off an improbable second-round win at St. Paul. Down 27-26, the Centurions recorded a safety with 2:46 remaining to score a stunning 28-27 win. They’ll have their hands full with  a deep Bishop Diego squad. The blow-out wins allowed star running back John Harris to rest an injured knee, so he should be fresh for the semifinal. Quarterbacks Jake Engel and David Gladish are playing with confidence and making plays. Mitch Heller is a force on the defensive line. The Pick: Bishop Diego.

 

Valley View (9-3) at Dos Pueblos (11-1), 7 p.m. —  The Chargers face a 2,000-yard rusher for the second straight week. Valley View senior Justin Keeling has racked up 2,683 yards on the ground and scored 33 touchdowns. He gained 264 yards and had five TDs in the Eagles’ 59-27 second-round win over Pacifica. Valley View also is dangerous through the air with junior quarterback Jake Barlage and senior wide receiver Robert Heiermann. Heiermann caught 11 passes for 125 yards and two scores last week. The team averages 47 points and nearly 500 yards in total offense. Champions in Division 11 last year, the Eagles’ three losses this season came against Paloma Valley, Murrieta Valley and Rancho Verde, semifinalists in other divisions. They are up against a punishing and stifling Dos Pueblos defense that contained Gahr’s 2,000-yard rusher Micah Bernard in a 35-28 win on the road. The Chargers’ ability to force turnovers will be huge in this game. Quarterback Jake Ramirez and the offense wear down defenses with long drives. If the Chargers control possession, they should prevail. The Pick: Dos Pueblos.

Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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