GLENDALE — The following are previews for the area’s upcoming area high school football games.
Ahh, the beauty of a four-team league.
Should the St. Francis High football team defeat Chaminade in the teams’ Mission League finale on Friday, it still might not make the CIF Southern Section Western Division playoffs.
And, should the Golden Knights lose to the Eagles, they still have a chance at making the postseason.
Indeed, when St. Francis hosts Chaminade on Friday at 7:30 p.m., there’s a chance at the game’s conclusion that three Mission League squads could be tied with 2-1 records and there’s a chance that three could be tied with 1-2 marks.
Should either of those happen, it would come down to tiebreakers and hoping for the division’s lone at-large entry.
But for St. Francis Coach Jim Bonds, that’s not his biggest worry.
He doesn’t hesitate to admit that his largest concern is the thoughts running through his players’ heads.
“They’re high school kids, they look at records,” said Bonds in reference to his players possibly looking past a 1-8 Chaminade. “That’s what we’ve been trying to guard against.”
Chaminade (0-2 in league) is coming off a 35-28 overtime loss to St. Paul, while St. Francis is shaking off the effects of a 24-21 defeat against Alemany.
Alemany (8-2, 2-0) hosts St. Paul (4-5, 1-1) on Friday, as well, as all four league teams are still vying for a chance at the playoffs and every squad but Chaminade is still technically alive for at least a share of the league title.
Chaminade’s record is deceiving though, as it’s lost to well-regarded teams such as Oaks Christian, Canyon Country Canyon, Crespi and Bishop Amat.
“[Chaminade] is a good team,” said Bonds, whose team is ranked sixth in the division. “We gotta come ready to play right out of the gate.”
It’s something St. Francis failed to do last week when quarterback Justin Sciarra led the Golden Knights to a 21-point fourth quarter, but it was too little too late in their loss to Alemany.
“We won the second half, 21-3,” Bonds said, “we’re trying to build on that.”
Two-way standout Dietrich Riley leads the St. Francis offense with 699 yards in 111 carries, while defensive tackle Rian Younker (70 tackles, seven sacks) and linebacker Chris Cabrera (71 tackles) lead the defense.
Flintridge Prep vs. Rio Hondo Prep, 7 p.m. at Occidental College: The Rebels have a Prep League title to play for right along with their playoff lives.
Prep (3-5, 3-1 in league), coming off perhaps its biggest win of the season last week against Chadwick, faces the defending league champion, Rio Hondo Prep (6-3, 3-1). Should the Rebels win, they would clinch an outright league title.
For that to happen, Coach Perry Skaggs believes his team has to do what it does best — run the ball — better than Rio Hondo.
“Which ever team runs the ball more effectively is gonna win the game,” said Skaggs who will rely heavily on sophomore Jordan Whaley, who will likely take up the slack for the injured Adam Ross. “In a lot of ways, philosophically, we mirror each other.”
Running back Joel Bryant has led the offense with 930 yards rushing and seven straight 100-yard outings.
In the event of a Prep loss, it would still make the playoffs automatically if Webb defeats Pasadena Poly. Should Poly win, however, Prep, Poly and Chadwick would play Saturday in a round-robin, 25-yard tiebreaker that plays out with college overtime rules.
Crescenta Valley at Arcadia, 7 p.m.: With a victory over archrival Arcadia (4-5, 3-3 in league), the Falcons (7-2, 5-1) would clinch second place in league and take some winning momentum into the following week’s postseason.
“From our perspective, there have been only eight teams in CV history that have won eight games — we’d like to make it nine,” Falcons Coach Tony Zarrillo said. “We know that Arcadia will be fighting for its very playoff life. It’s our biggest rivalry, so we would like to finish on as positive a note as we can before the playoffs start.”
— Charles Rich contributed to this story.