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Football Playoff Previews: Crescenta Valley vs. Katella; Flintridge Prep vs. Windward

Fourth-seeded Flintridge Prep will face No. 1 and Prep League rival Windward in a CIF Southern Section Division I eight-man semifinal contest Saturday at Windward.
(James Carbone)


WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday

WHERE: Glendale High

RECORDS: The Falcons are 12-0; the Knights are 11-1


LAST WEEK: Crescenta Valley defeated Eisenhower, 45-20; Katella defeated Segerstrom, 22-17

OUTLOOK: Crescenta Valley, the top seed in the CIF Southern Section Division X playoffs, will make its first semifinal appearance since 2014, when it went on to win the Southeast Division championship. Crescenta Valley received a huge effort from running back Sebastian DeLeon in its quarterfinal road victory Friday versus Eisenhower, which won the Division X crown in 2018. DeLeon rushed for 98 yards in 16 carries and scored a career-high four rushing touchdowns to aid the Falcons, who won the Pacific League championship for the first time since 2016. Crescenta Valley went to its running attack, which included big performances from running backs Maximus Grant and James Cho. Grant finished with 94 yards rushing in 10 carries and Cho contributed 76 yards in 11 attempts. Falcons quarterback Brendon Pehar started for the third straight game in place of starting signal-caller Chase Center, who suffered a knee/leg injury on Oct. 25. Pehat threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to David Baek in the fourth quarter. Crescenta Valley held Eisenhower to 10 yards rushing and received a blocked punt from PJ Weinmann in the second quarter. The Falcons are averaging 38.2 points per contest, while surrendering 10.2. Katella has been a pleasant surprise in the postseason. Visiting Katella rallied in the fourth quarter to topple No. 4 Segerstrom in its quarterfinal game Friday. The Knights went ahead with a touchdown with about eight minutes left in the fourth quarter. Katella, which captured the Orange League championship, trailed, 9-3, at halftime and, 17-16, after the third quarter. Katella forced seven turnovers. Quarterback Pharrell Scorza rushed for two touchdowns. Scorza scored the winning touchdown on a 14-yard run. The Knights have won eight contests in a row and are averaging 39.5 points per game and giving up 10.4.

SOMETHING INTERESTING: The winner of the Crescenta Valley-Katella contest will face Simi Valley or Orange in the championship game Nov. 29 or 30.

Crescenta Valley’s running back Maximus Grant (2) runs up the middle during Burbank High School’s varsity football team against Crescenta Valley High School’s varsity football team in a Pacific League game at Glendale High School in Glendale, Ca., Friday, October 4, 2019. (photo by James Carbone)
(James Carbone/Burbank Leader)



WHEN: 1 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: Windward

RECORDS: The Rebels are 9-2; the Wildcats are 9-0

LAST WEEK: Flintridge Prep defeated Cate, 35-25; Windward defeated Riverside County Educational Academy, 68-14

OUTLOOK: In CIF Southern Section Division I eight-man competition, a pair of Prep League teams will lock horns in a semifinal tilt with No. 4 seed Flintridge Prep meeting No. 1 Windward for the right to advance to the title contest. Windward won the league championship and Flintridge Prep finished third with Chadwick taking second. Flintridge Prep stormed out to a big lead in its quarterfinal home win against Cate on Friday. The Rebels, who will make their first semifinal appearance since 2016, saw quarterback Max Gitlin complete 18 of 31 passes for 257 yards and five touchdowns with one interception. Receivers Ben Grable and Zach Kim also enjoyed impressive efforts. Grable caught seven passes for 103 yards and three touchdowns and Kim had 10 catches for a game-high 151 yards and two touchdowns to help Flintridge Prep defeat Cate for the second time this season. Flintridge Prep held a 28-7 lead early in the second quarter before fending off Cate in a contest that featured 72 pass attempts and lasted nearly three hours. Now, Flintridge Prep will get a second crack at powerful Windward. Windward earned a 61-38 road victory against Flintridge Prep on Oct. 18 in leaguew competition. In its quarterfinal road win against Riverside County Educational Academy on Friday, Windward built a 20-0 lead after the first quarter and extended its advantage to 48-7 at halftime. The Wildcats are averaging 54.6 points per game and yielding 12.7. By comparison, the Rebels are scoring 49.7 points per game and giving up 27.4.

SOMETHING INTERESTING: The winner of the Flintridge Prep-Windward game will meet Thacher or Sage Hill in the championship game Nov. 29 or 30.