Nothing is ever handed down to the San Pedro High football team, as they had to battle through injuries, their toughest nonleague schedule to date, plus deal with a stunning loss, and come off one of their worst defeats in recent memory…
And yet, the Pirates are still standing.
On Saturday, San Pedro (6-4 overall), who finished in a three-way tie for second place in the Marine League with Carson and Banning of Wilmington, who all went 3-2 in league, was awarded with the eighth seed of the CIF-Los Angeles City Section Division I playoffs, and will get one of the most intriguing first round matchups against ninth-seeded South Gate (8-2) this Friday, 7 pm at San Pedro High.
The Rams, who lost in the closing moments, 26-25 to Garfield of Los Angeles in a battle for the Eastern League championship, boasts a dangerous dual-threat quarterback in senior Miguel Guerra, who has thrown for 2,533 yards, 28 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions. However, Guerra has also ran for 1,071 yards and 13 more touchdowns on 88 carries, a startling 12.2 yards per carry. The Rams will no doubt be looking to start the playoffs with one of the biggest program victories to date…
However, San Pedro has gone through the rigors of the Marine League time and time again, and are used to playoff pressure, reaching the Division I semifinals last season.
Senior WR/DB Antonio ‘A.J.’ Frazier Jr. is the Pirates’ best playmaker as he has done it all on runs, critical catches, two punt return touchdowns and 89-yard pick six against Carson on his only interception thus far this season. Frazier Jr. is eager to take advantage of his second chance in the playoffs after watching helplessly from the sidelines in last year’s 33-30 semifinal loss to Carson due to injury.
This game seems like a blessing to the Pirates since they open off the playoffs at home for the eighth straight season, but it also will seem like a curse to whomever wins.
Looming in the quarterfinals will most assuredly be the top seeded team, and defending CIF-LACS Division I and reigning Marine League champion Narbonne of Harbor City (8-2), the most talented and stacked team in the division who just routed the Pirates, 38-0 at San Pedro this past Friday.
Also getting the top four seeds of the tournament are second-seeded West Valley League champion Birmingham of Lake Balboa (7-3), third-seeded Eastern League champion Garfield (8-2) and fourth-seeded Dorsey of Los Angeles (6-4), the Coliseum League’s third place team.
Here is the full bracket of games in the CIF-Los Angeles City Section Division I football playoffs.
UPPER BRACKET SIDE
No.16 Eagle Rock at No.1 Narbonne
No.9 South Gate at No.8 SAN PEDRO
No.12 Sylmar at No.5 Taft
No.13 Carson at No.4 Dorsey
LOWER BRACKET SIDE
No.14 El Camino Real at No.3 Garfield
No.11 Banning at No.6 Crenshaw
No.10 Venice at No.7 Arleta
No.15 Palisades at No.2 Birmingham
All first round games are this Friday, 7 pm.
QUARTERFINALS: Friday, November 20
SEMIFINALS: Friday, November 27
CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: Saturday, December 5, 7 pm at Cerritos College
Note: All playoff games leading up to the championship will be hosted by the higher-seeded home school.
(Note: Photo by Nancy Geiger)