The CIF Southern Section Division 12 football quarterfinals kick off Friday, Nov. 15. Here’s a look at the matchups:
Both of these evenly matched teams have been in the same boat all year. Neither has beaten a fully worthy foe, but they’ve both spent most of the year pounding moderate competition and losing one (Moreno Valley) or two (Adelanto) games to superior teams.
Additionally, both squads are firmly in the running for the Division 12 title, and they both probably know it. This is a tossup that will go to whichever team is best prepared to get their first win of the year against competition of their own caliber.
This slide reads pretty similar to the last one. Jurupa Hills and Rio Hondo Prep are absolutely evenly matched, and neither has lost other than Jurupa Hills’ narrow loss to a strong San Gorgonio squad a few weeks ago. The other game Jurupa Hills has played against strong competition this season came a couple weeks later in a great 41-21 win over Eisenhower. Rio Hondo has been nearly perfect all season, but they haven’t played a game against a team on the level of Jurupa Hills.
Much like with the last game, both teams are on equal footing and whoever wins is a strong contender to win Division 12.
11-0 El Monte is one of the two biggest favorites to win Division 12, but this is the last week of the season where they’ll be significantly favored to win. Next week they’ll play the winner of Moreno Valley vs. Adelanto, and a number of worthy adversaries could be awaiting them if they make it to the finals.
The M.O. on the Lions is that they like to run, and nobody has come close to taking them out of their element this year. El Monte has 4,270 rushing yards and 59 rushing touchdowns on the season. Davon Booth has 1,996 of those yards and 24 of those touchdowns, in addition to 512 of the team’s only 588 receiving yards. RB Abel Cueva is the other main rushing threat, at 1,153 yards and 17 touchdowns on the season.
Nordhoff would have to play their best game of the season to have a chance, but if that happens then they possibly could. The Rangers have a potent offense led by QB Leeram Stoneman, RB Korey Stevens, and a litany of receiving threats. Sophomore Zac Sheets has been a standout at linebacker this season, but their defense will be hard-pressed to stop El Monte. Still, the outcome is far from set in stone.
The other team that has emerged as a heavy favorite to win Division 12 is Oak Park. They went relatively under the radar in what so far has been an undefeated season because of an easy preseason, but down the stretch they turned heads cleaning up time after time even against some decent teams like Simi Valley. The Eagles have to like their chances against Orange Vista who hasn’t beaten anyone on their level.
Orange Vista can’t be written off entirely though at 8-3. They’re a worthy quarterfinalist and have a defense that could hold up against some solid teams in higher divisions. The Eagles have put plenty of points on the board this season, but are yet to prove that they can do it against a team of Oak Park’s caliber.