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Although there were plenty of routs in prep football playoff openers, there were some thrillers

Although there were plenty of routs in prep football playoff openers, there were some thrillers
Centennial receiver Gary Bryant makes a catch against Orange Lutheran defensive back KJ Trujillo on Friday night. Bryant took the catch the distance as No. 2-seeded Centennial pulled away for a 35-7 victory. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

The Southern Section football playoffs are supposed to be based on competitive equity, but there were plenty of opening-round blowouts on Friday night, from Division 1 to Division 13.

Among the few games with real drama, there was Saugus kicker Colton Dolder making a 43-yard field goal with one second left to give the Centurions a 38-35 win over Goleta Bishop Diego in Division 4.

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Weston Eget fired a 50-yard touchdown pass to Jackson Reyes in the final seconds to give Valencia West Ranch its first ever playoff victory 35-31 over Silverado in Division 4.

Sophomore quarterback Cooper Meek scored on a one-yard plunge with 12 seconds left, barely getting the ball into the end zone before it was knocked away, to enable Sherman Oaks Notre Dame to defeat La Habra 41-34 in Division 2.

Rancho Cucamonga stopped a two-point conversion attempt to pull out a 42-40 overtime win over Vista Murrieta in Division 1.

In Division 13, Pomona Garey rallied for a 49-48 win over Torrance Bishop Montgomery, scoring with 1:46 left and getting a game-winning conversion kick from Diego Alas. Sophomore Thaj Stevens-Nguyen rushed for 300 yards and scored six touchdowns.

City Section thriller: Woodland Hills El Camino Real was down 16-13 to South Gate with three seconds left and trying to tie the score, but South Gate’s Lucio Rodriguez blocked a field goal attempt and Brocmonte Bucio returned it for a touchdown as time expired, giving the Rams a 22-13 upset in the Division I playoffs.

Rooney to return: Notre Dame coach Kevin Rooney, who missed his second game on Friday following the death of his wife, is expected to return to duties this coming week. Longtime assistant Joe McNab served as head coach the last two weeks.

“I’m retired,” McNab said Saturday morning. “Undefeated.”

Notre Dame will play host to Los Alamitos in the Division 2 quarterfinals.

Culver City record: Sophomore quarterback Zevi Eckhaus tied a school record with seven touchdown passes in Culver City’s 55-7 win over Santa Barbara in a Division 7 game.

Rematch time: The rivalry between Dorsey and Crenshaw will be renewed in the City Section Division I quarterfinals on Friday at Rancho Cienega Park just two weeks after Dorsey defeated Crenshaw 44-35 in their Coliseum League game.

Steady as he goes: Junior quarterback James Jimenez is having quite a season for 11-0 Covina Northview. He started the week with 33 touchdown passes and 11 touchdown runs. He had three more touchdown passes, plus a touchdown run, in Northview’s 43-7 win over Santa Ynez in a Division 7 opener.

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