The first-round games in the City Section Division I playoffs were nothing to get excited about. The favorites were expected to win big and did. But the quarterifinals are a whole different story. Finally, there's going to be some competition on Friday.
Arleta at San Pedro. The best thing about the Pirates being seeded No. 1 is getting to play at home. Any team that comes into San Pedro must deal with the Pirates' vocal, loyal home crowd. Arleta can pass and run, but the Pirates play physical football, and it's going to be tough for the Mustangs to get out of San Pedro with a victory. The pick: San Pedro.
Crenshaw at Carson: I agree with Carson Coach Kevin McCall that the best player in the City Section right now is Jabari Minix, the receiver-defensive back who makes big plays for the Colts. Crenshaw's young but talented team had better be ready from the opening kickoff if it expects to win on the road. I'm impressed with the maturity of sophomore quarterback Daiyan Henlely. This game will go down to the wire. The pick: Crenshaw.
Dorsey at Narbonne: Narbonne's loss to Carson might have been a turning point for the Gauchos. It forced the coaching staff and players to focus on improving the defense. The offense, with quarterback Roman Ale and running back Sean Riley, is rolling. Dorsey will need to make big improvement to stay close. The pick: Narbonne.
Birmingham at Garfield: Birmingham's defense will need to figure out what to do when Garfield quarterback Stevie Williams goes back to pass and suddenly takes off. His ability to improvise is causing big problems. But Garfield had better be ready for Birmingham running back Sterling Salguero, who has been churning up yards in big numbers. This game will be closer than people think. The pick: Garfield.