Five local teams qualified for the CIF Southern Section football playoffs starting this weekend.
Action starts tonight (Thursday) with Rancho Alamitos (4-6) visiting Anaheim (6-4) at Glover Stadium in Anaheim’s La Palma Park.
Garden Grove High (9-1) is the Garden Grove League champion and will host Godinez (6-4) Friday night. The Argonauts, who finished second in the Southern Division last year, are seeded first and favored to win their first CIF football crown.
Pacifica (7-3) lost its final Empire League game to Cypress (see game story this page) on a last-second field goal, but still qualified for the playoffs in the Southwest Division as a fourth-place team in a very tough seven-team league. The Mariners will open post-season play against Villa Park (7-3) at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange.
Magnolia (5-5), surprise champions of the Orange League, will take on Woodbridge (5-4-1) at Western High’s Handel Field in Southern Division play. Also in the Southern, La Quinta (5-5) takes on Loara (9-1) at Glover Field.
Here’s a look at the final week’s action of regular season play for teams in the Garden Grove-Stanton-Westminster area.
Garden Grove 62,, Los Amigos 7
The Argonauts closed out the regular season with a 9-1 mark overall and a 5-0 record in the Garden Grove League, good for a third straight league title. Seven players scored for Grove. Josh Webb scored two TDs and Jovani Duran threw for three. Grove is ranked first in the CIF’s Southern Division. Daniel Hernandez scored the lone TD for Los Amigos (3-7, 2-3).
La Quinta 47, Santiago 20
After an 11-year drought, the Aztecs are back in the CIF playoffs thanks to the win over Santiago. Nicky Luu scored four touchdowns in the first half to lead La Quinta (5-5, 3-2), which grabbed third place in the Garden Grove League with the victory. Ricky Espinosa scored two TDs for the Cavaliers (4-6, 1-4), who finished fifth in the GGL.
Rancho Alamitos 27,, Bolsa Grande 0
Despite a slow start, the Vaqueros (4-6, 4-1) hung on to second place in the Garden Grove League with the win. Gil Rosales led the Vaqs with two touchdowns. Bolsa finished with a 0-10 mark overall, 0-5 in league.
Cypress 10, Pacifica 9
In a game dominated by field goals, the Mariners were kicked out of second place with the last-second loss.
An 18-yard field goal by Cypress’ Casey Eyman lifted the Centurions to the narrow win. Pacifica got field goals of 22, 30 and 37 yards from Alex Gladden, but he missed a 25-yard attempt in the fourth quarter. Pacifica finished 7-3 overall and 3-3 in the Empire League. Cypress is 8-1 and 5-1, good for second.
Yorba Linda 40, Western 36
Marcus Hays ran for four touchdowns and 169 yards but it wasn’t enough as the Pioneers fell to the Mustangs. The game was tied 21-all at the half, and Western (2-8, 0-6 in the Empire League) led 36-33 until Yorba Linda got its final scored late in the fourth quarter.
Westminster 28, Orange 14
Tarik Rayford scored three touchdowns, two on passes from Dominic Pendergrass. as the Lions defeated the Panthers Friday night at Fred Kelly Stadium on the El Modena High campus. Gabe Salcido scored both of Orange’s touchdowns. Westminster finished 4-6 overall, 3-2 in the Golden West League. Orange is 2-8 and 1-4.