Manny’s Semifinals Football Picks: (11/20/19)


Last Week Record: 12-8

2019 Record: 191-71-1

Just like March Madness, my bracket has been busted!

At least i’m consistent.

After going 13-7 with my picks last week, I went 12-8 last week. It sounds like I fall into that playoff pressure.

Let’s make those amends with the eight teams that I assumed would be two and out.

San Jacinto – I went with the safe pick and took undefeated Kaiser of Fontana over San Jacinto. The goose egg went the other way around with a 17-0 San Jacinto victory. I need to learn to take gambles when it comes to records, but then again, San Jacinto is 10-2, so no excuse for me.

Trabuco Hills of Mission Viejo – I should have gone with the team that is on fire at the right time. San Gorgonio of San Bernardino is a fine team with recent playoff history. Trabuco Hills came with the hot fire and proved me wrong by a long shot with a 34-7 victory.

Orange – I’m definitely eating my words here and Orange let me know of it. While they started slow, the Panthers came strong in the second half and took down a strong JW North of Riverside 27-7. I’m secretly an Orange fan, so i’m fine with being wrong in this one.

Aquinas of San Bernardino – Aquinas has a great football program, but I felt Oxnard schedule was going to benefit with a tough schedule along with the fact that the Falcons hasn’t faced that type of competition since going 0-2 to start the year. This is a Falcons team that has grown up from those mistakes, bravo!

Mission Viejo – This was a close and exciting game. The generic thing is go with the Trinity League team, but Mission Viejo took the 38-35 victory. I wasn’t far off, but I was wrong nevertheless.

Palmdale – Only off by a point, I went with the Aliso Niguel of Aliso Viejo defense. Palmdale took the 13-12 victory. While I was right about the Aliso Niguel defense, the offense was not all there as the Palmdale defense did their job. I’ll take the L there.

Carlsbad – I thought Cathedral Catholic of San Diego would be woke after losing the Western League finale to Lincoln of San Diego, but Carlsbad snuck one in with a 21-20 victory. Carlsbad is definitely for real and now I know!

Oceanside – Another close loss and this time I went with Steele Canyon of Spring Valley, hoping they would bounce back from the Helix of La Mesa loss, but despite taking it to overtime, Oceanside survived and advance with a 26-19 victory. Nice to see Oceanside keep the winning tradition alive!

Hopefully I get my winning ways or at the least win some of those close one I picked wrong. Here goes nothing!



Last Week IE Record: 2-3

Overall IE Record: 48-17

Aquinas of San Bernardino (10-2) at Glendora (11-1), Friday, 7pm

Manny’s Pick: Glendora

Glendora runs into Aquinas, who defeated a strong Oxnard squad, but RB Zxavier Ford will look to not be the next top team the Falcons knockoff. Glendora heads to the Finals. 

West Ranch of Valencia (10-2) at Temecula Valley (10-2), Friday, 7pm

Manny’s Pick: Temecula Valley

The Wildcats are coming off a win that kept a shaken up Santa Clarita community united as one following the tragic Saugus school shooting. While I would love to see West Ranch head to the Finals, but RB Brody Hughes and the Temecula Valley is going to be a tough one to get by. Golden Bears win, but kudos for the class and love West Ranch has shown.

North Torrance (10-2) at San Dimas (11-1), Friday, 7pm

Manny’s Pick: San Dimas

San Dimas is coming off a huge upset last week against Foothill of Santa Ana and RB Nick Cuda will keep the fire going for San Dimas as they head to the Finals.

Adelanto (10-2) at Orange Vista of Perris (9-3), Friday, 7pm

Manny’s Pick: Adelanto

This all Inland Empire battle should be a close one, but LB Ricky Medina should keep the Orange Vista offense on lockdown. Adelanto heads to the ‘ship!

Jurupa Hills of Fontana (11-1) at El Monte (12-0), Friday, 7pm

Manny’s Pick: Jurupa Hills

Jurupa Hills runs into an undefeated team. In order to end a perfect season, QB Eric Martinez will have to go to the air more than usual. I can see that working and I can see Jurupa Hills heading to the Finals.



Last Week LA Record: 4-1

Overall LA Record: 46-20-1

No. 2 St. John Bosco of Bellflower (10-1) at No. 5 Centennial of Corona (9-2), Friday, 7pm

Manny’s Pick: St. John Bosco

The Braves seem unstoppable with the exception of one team. QB DJ Uiagalelei will lead Bosco to another win and another match with Mater Dei of Santa Ana for the CIF-SS Division I Finals.

No. 19 Rancho Cucamonga (9-3) at No. 9 Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth (11-1), Friday, 7pm

Manny’s Pick: Sierra Canyon

Part of me feels Rancho Cucamonga has a chance at this one, but the Trailblazers were just a touchdown short from a perfect season. QB Chayden Peery will add an extra touchdown pass for Sierra Canyon as they head back to the Finals.

No. 14 La Habra (10-2) at No. 13 Grace Brethren of Simi Valley (11-1), Friday, 7pm

Manny’s Pick: Grace Brethren

While La Habra is a passing team with some stars in the defensive back department, Grace Brethren has a running back combo. RB Josh Henderson and Julien Stokes will tear the grass and lead the Lancers to the Finals.

Birmingham of Van Nuys (6-4) at San Pedro (10-1), Friday, 7pm

Manny’s Pick: San Pedro

San Pedro is going to make sure they take an Open Division title now that the window is wide open. LB Josh Ward will lead the Pirates defense over the Birmingham offense. San Pedro to the Finals.

El Camino Real of Woodland Hills (7-4) at Eagle Rock of Los Angeles (9-3), Friday, 7pm

Manny’s Pick: Eagle Rock

This is going to be a close game with two evenly matched squads. RB Daniel Zamora will lead Eagle Rock to victory as they head to the Finals.



Last Week OC Record: 3-2

Overall OC Record: 54-13

Mater Dei of Santa Ana (11-0) at No. 3 Mission Viejo (11-0), Friday, 7pm

Manny’s Pick: Mater Dei

For the third time in the row, Mission Viejo runs into Mater Dei in the postseason. For the second year in the row, QB Bryce Young will lead Mater Dei to a playoff victory over Mission Viejo. For the fourth year in a row, it will be Mater Dei and St. John Bosco for the Division I Finals.

No. 7 Corona del Mar of Newport Beach (12-0) at No. 17 Alemany of Mission Hills (9-2), Friday, 7pm

Manny’s Pick: Corona del Mar

Can anyone stop QB Chase Garbers? Spoiler alert, no. Corona del Mar rides the Garbers train to the Finals!

Serrano of Phelan (12-0) vs. Cypress (12-0) at Western of Anaheim, Friday, 7pm

Manny’s Pick: Cypress

RB Isaac Hurtado is a beast for Cypress and he’ll have to turn it up a notch if he wants to send the Centurions past undefeated Serrano and into the Finals. It will happen, Cypress wins.

Sunny Hills of Fullerton (10-2) at Trabuco Hills of Mission Viejo (8-4), Friday, 7pm

Manny’s Pick: Sunny Hills

While Trabuco Hills is spitting hot fire at the right time, I can’t go against Sunny Hills. Plus they did defeat Trabuco Hills. RB Jun Ahn will make it another Lancer victory!

Orange (11-1) at Simi Valley (9-3), Friday, 7pm

Manny’s Pick: Orange

It’s tough to go against a Jim Benkert coached team, but I went against Orange last week and I paid for it. RB Isacc Galvan send the Panthers to their second CIF Finals in three years!



Last Week SD Record: 3-2

Overall SD Record: 44-21



No. 8 Carlsbad (10-1) vs. No. 4 Helix of La Mesa (10-1) at Southwestern College of Chula Vista, Saturday, 7pm

Manny’s Pick: Helix

While I am a huge fan of Carlsbad High, I just feel Helix is unstoppable. Granted, I went against the Lancers last week and you’d think I learn my lesson, but I can’t ignore RB Elelyon Noa. Helix takes the Open Division title!


Mission Hills of San Marcos (9-2) at Lincoln of San Diego (9-2), Friday, 7pm

Manny’s Pick: Mission Hills

Mission Hills is probably happy they were left out of the Open Division because it doesn’t seem like anyone can stop them, but Lincoln could have the team to shock them in the semifinals. I’m still sticking with Mission Hills as they head to the finals.

El Camino of Oceanside (6-6) at Vista (8-3), Friday, 7pm

Manny’s Pick: Vista

El Camino is putting their tough league schedule to use as they’re a game away from the finals, but RB David Flores and the Panther offense might be too much for El Camino. Vista heads to the Finals.

Central of El Centro (10-2) at Scripps Ranch of San Diego (11-0), Friday, 7pm

Manny’s Pick: Scripps Ranch

The Falcons will look to stay undefeated, but they run into Imperial County best team. RB Nick Gardinera will keep Scripps Ranch unbeatable as they head to the Finals.

La Jolla Country Day (9-3) at Serra of San Diego (9-2), Friday, 7pm

Manny’s Pick: Serra

I have Serra all over this one. LB Keoni Lamoreaux will lead Serra to the Finals with a chance for a rematch with Santana of Santee.