MANNY’S CIF FINALS PICKS
Last Week Record: 11-8-1
2019 Record: 202-79-2
Well, I choked the playoffs.
While my picks in five key games in each Region is done, I will now focus on every Division as the Finals are upon us.
Now, two CIF Finals games have already been played in the San Diego Section. I predicted victories for Foothill Christian of El Cajon in the 8-Man Playoffs and Helix of La Mesa in the Open Division.
Another CIF Champion has already been announced in Division XII of the Southern Section. El Monte was declared the winner after Adelanto and Orange Vista of Perris were disqualified from the playoffs after a fight ensued during their semifinal match. A tough lesson learned.
So, so far so good.
Before I get to my Finals picks, here’s how I did in each Region. Inland Empire (49-20-1), Los Angeles (49-23-1), Orange County (58-14) and San Diego (47-23).
Now, let’s see how I screw this up. Here’s my Finals picks.
No. 1 Mater Dei of Santa Ana (12-0) vs. No. 2 St. John Bosco of Bellflower (11-1) at Cerritos College of Norwalk, Saturday, 7:30pm
Manny’s Pick: Mater Dei
Once again, Bosco and Mater Dei meet in the Finals. QB Bryce Young will get the upper hand again and give coach Bruce Rollinson one more CIF-SS Title as the State Title is the next step.
No. 8 Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth (12-1) at Chaminade of West Hills (8-5), Friday, 7:30pm
Manny’s Pick: Sierra Canyon
Chaminade has had plenty of time to prepare for the Championship game after getting the automatic victory in the semifinals. Hopefully, it gives the offensive lineman enough rest because the Trailblazers are a sack machine, led by DE Zach Thannum. Sierra Canyon takes the title.
No. 7 Corona del Mar of Newport Beach (13-0) vs. No. 10 Grace Brethren of Simi Valley (12-1) at Newport Harbor of Newport Beach, Friday, 7:30pm
Manny’s Pick: Corona del Mar
It is going to be a passing frenzy again for the Sea Kings. No one can stop QB Ethan Garbers and his passing game. Corona del Mar finally finishes out on top and takes the title.
San Juan Hills of San Juan Capistrano (10-3) at Loyola of Los Angeles (6-6), Saturday, 7pm
Manny’s Pick: San Juan Hills
Despite the drama of the location of the game, the Stallions will finally settle for the game in Los Angeles and run through the field with RB Austin Hogan leading the way. San Juan Hills gets their first title!
Aquinas of San Bernardino (11-2) at St. Paul of Santa Fe Springs (12-1), Friday, 7pm
Manny’s Pick: St. Paul
I never gave St. Paul enough love. Maybe this will even the score. After pulling off the upset over Culver City, RB Trenell Ridgley will lead the Swordsman to the title.
Pacifica of Oxnard (12-1) vs. La Serna of Whittier (13-0) at California of Whittier, Saturday, 7pm
Manny’s Pick: Pacifica
With the exception of one game, Pacifica has won games single handedly. While this won’t be a one sided affair, RB Malik Sherrod will still lead Pacifica to the title.
Temecula Valley (11-2) vs. Cypress (13-0) at Western of Anaheim, Friday, 7pm
Manny’s Pick: Temecula Valley
This championship game will be a running battle. While Cypress is having one of their best seasons in school history, I’ve been very impressed with Temecula Valley, especially during the Southwestern League. RB Brody Hughes will lead the Golden Bears to the title.
Sunny Hills of Fullerton (11-2) vs. Santa Barbara (11-2) at San Marcos of Santa Barbara, Saturday, 7pm
Manny’s Pick: Sunny Hills
This looks to be the toughest opponent for Santa Barbara, fittingly in the finals, but RB Jun Ahn might be too much for the Dons. Sunny Hills shines in the finals and takes the title!
North Torrance (11-2) at Highland of Palmdale (10-3), Saturday, 7pm
Manny’s Pick: North Torrance
The strength of schedule and talent pool is so evenly matched. I expect a close game. RB Stephen Bradford leads North Torrance to the title.
Crescenta Valley of La Crescenta (13-0) at Simi Valley (10-3), Friday, 7pm
Manny’s Pick: Crescenta Valley
While the Pioneers victory over Orange was very impressive, they run into an unstoppable Crescenta Valley squad. LB Matt Watson will lead Crescenta Valley to the title!
Muir of Pasadena (11-2) vs. Marina of Huntington Beach (11-2) at Westminster, Friday, 7pm
Manny’s Pick: Muir
Marina is going to have a tough time avoiding the big Muir lineman, especially DE Carlos Ramirez. Muir defense will lead the way and take the title.
Esperanza of Anaheim (9-4) at Ramona of Riverside (11-2), Saturday, 7:30pm
Manny’s Pick: Esperanza
Esperanza is riding high after advancing to their first CIF-SS title game since 2005 with an upset win over Inglewood. RB Walter Gooding will lead the Aztecs to another win and a CIF Title!
St. Pius X-St. Matthias of Downey (12-0) at South Torrance (9-4), Friday, 7pm
Manny’s Pick: St. Pius X-St. Matthias
While the South Torrance offense are tough to stop, the Warriors will find a way to stop them. St. Pius X-St. Matthias defeated the Spartans by one earlier in the season and I expect another close victory for St. Pius X-St. Matthias.
8-MAN DIVISION I
Thacher of Ojai (6-3) at Windward of Los Angeles (10-0), Saturday, 1pm
Manny’s Pick: Windward
No one has seemed to stop Windward, including Thacher, which lost to the Wildcats earlier in the season. Rinse and repeat as Windward takes the Division I title.
8-MAN DIVISION II
Lancaster Baptist (9-2) at Bloomington Christian (9-1), Friday, 7pm
Manny’s Pick: Lancaster Baptist
If Lancaster Baptist RB Chris Huygens has another big game on the ground, then the Eagles should soar past Bloomington Christian to take the title.
CIF-LOS ANGELES CITY SECTION
Birmingham of Van Nuys (7-4) vs. Banning of Wilmington (6-4) at El Camino College of Torrance, Friday, 7pm
Manny’s Pick: Birmingham
The Patriots are looking to be the new kings of the City Section and with DB Jeremiah Cox leading the way, Birmingham will take the Open Division title!
Reseda (9-3) vs. El Camino Real of Woodland Hills (8-4) at El Camino College of Torrance, Friday, 6pm
Manny’s Pick: El Camino Real
Last time both teams played, Reseda took the 28-14 victory, but I’m going with the revenge factor. Running back Tyreese Connor will lead the Conquistadors to victory as they take the title.
Canoga Park (11-2) vs. Franklin of Los Angeles (11-2) at El Camino College of Torrance, Saturday, 2:30pm
Manny’s Pick: Canoga Park
Even records face off for the Division II crown. WR Dominic Arango-serna will look to keep the loss column at a two with a Canoga Park victory and title.
Marquez of Huntington Park (13-0) vs. Gardena (9-4) at El Camino College of Torrance, Saturday, 11am
Manny’s Pick: Marquez
Marquez is enjoying a fantastic season and they will look to stay undefeated with DT sack master Ryan Gomez leading the way for the Division III title!
North Valley Military Institute of Sun Valley (8-2) vs. Animo Robinson of Los Angeles (10-1) at El Camino College of Torrance, Friday, 3pm
Manny’s Pick: Animo Robinson
No one has been able to stop the Monarchs in the City Section. Nothing will change in the Finals as Animo Robinson take the title!
CIF-SAN DIEGO SECTION
No. 18 Lincoln of San Diego (10-2) vs. Oceanside (10-3) at Southwestern College of Chula Vista, Saturday, 7pm
Manny’s Pick: Oceanside
The Pirates are on a roll and what better time to get on a roll. RB Kavika Tua will lead the Pirates to their first title since 2015, which is an eternity for Oceanside.
Bishop’s of La Jolla (12-0) vs. El Camino of Oceanside (7-6) at Southwestern College of Chula Vista, Friday, 7pm
Manny’s Pick: Bishop’s
While El Camino is on fire at the right time, they run into Knights quarterback Tyler Buchner, who can throw the ball and run it as well. Sounds like a certain quarterback from Baltimore. Bishop’s takes the title.
Scripps Ranch of San Diego (12-0) vs. La Jolla (8-4) at Southwestern College of Chula Vista, Friday, 1pm
Manny’s Pick: Scripps Ranch
La Jolla will look to pull off an upset against undefeated Scripps Ranch. The coaches son, running back Nick Gardinera will look to keep the Falcons undefeated and more importantly, he will look to lead the Falcons to the title. I’d make that bet, Scripps Ranch wins.
Santana of Santee (11-1) vs. Serra of San Diego (10-2) at Southwestern College of Chula Vista, Friday, 1pm
Manny’s Pick: Santana
Serra is looking for revenge after losing to Santana in Week 1, but with sack machine, DE Michael Richter, will look to avoid said revenge. The Sultans win again and take the title.
Castle Park of Chula Vista (11-1) vs. Parker of San Diego (7-5) at Otay Ranch of Chula Vista, Friday, 7pm
Manny’s Pick: Castle Park
I expect another close one with these two teams and I also expect running back Erik Hernandez to have another big game for Castle Park and I expect Castle Park to take another victory over Parker. Castle Park takes the title.