HS Football: Southwestern League Sends Five Teams to the CIF Southern Section Playoffs!

Round One Begins Friday, November 2nd

By Jennifer Sevilla

Week 10 in the Southwestern league came with plenty of intrigue and some surprises with the league crown in the line. First. there’s the Vista Murrieta verses Murrieta Valley game, and then let’s not forget the Temecula City Championship featuring the rivalry between Chaparral and Great Oak. To top it all off. Temecula Valley and Murrieta Mesa were fighting for a CIF Southern Section playoff spot.

Murrieta Valley broke Vista Murrieta’s streak of 9 Southwestern League Championships 2 years ago. The Nighthawks became League champions en-route to a CIF SS Division 2 finals appearance. Murrieta Valley repeated as League Champions last year, a feat not lost in the minds of Vista Murrieta.

The Broncos came out with a vengence and scored first. Vista Murrieta’s defense was able to keep the Nighthawks dangerous offense in check throughout the game, ending with the Broncos on top 35-21.

The Broncos finished the season at 8-2. The Nighthawks finished at 6-4. Both teams play in Division 1 and have made the CIF Southern Section Opening round playoffs. They start on the opposite ends of the bracket.

Chaparral and Great Oak have been playing back and forth over several years for the City Championship and regardless of their records, they always play each other tough. This year, this game started out as a defensive battle in the first quarter.

Chaparral broke it open in the second quarter with their second and third touchdowns. The Wolfpack was unable to respond until the third quarter for their lone touchdown of the night. Chaparral went on to win 28-7 and began waiting for their CIF Division 4 seeding. Chaparral finished 7-3 on a two game win streak and earned a at large invitation. Great Oak had a tough season and finished at 1-9.

The Murrieta Mesa at Temecula Valley game had huge implications and both teams felt it was a must win scenario. Temecula was fighting to reach a 5-5 record to try and assure themselves a spot in the Division 8 playoffs.

Murrieta Mesa had to forfeit two earlier season wins, dropping their record from 5-4 to 3-6. With all this on the line, the two teams went to battle. After the dust settled, the Bears were able to quell a late Ram rally, eventually wining 18-13.

The loss brought the Rams to 3-7 and awaiting their playoff fate in Division 3. Temecula finished 5-5 awaiting to find out their Division 8 opponent. Both teams earned at large invitations Sunday.

Photos by Alicia Salcedo, Mike Clary, Scott Padgett, John Carpenter & Willie Shippen

PR6 October 28 2018