CIF Southern Section Playoffs
Who: Lompoc (11-0) at Lake Forest El Toro (7-4).
Where: El Toro High School.
Kickoff: 7 p.m.
Broadcast: Tap TV 100.9 FM, KTNK, 1410 AM.
Lompoc outlook: Standout running back Toa Taua is banged up, but may not play tonight. Taua averages 152 of the Braves' 297 yards a game on the ground, and he has run for 26 touchdowns. Dallas Canley is a reliable secondary back, and Johnny Manzo is a breakaway threat on special teams. Shemar Savage is QB Xavier Nix's top receiver. He has 11 touchdown catches this year. The sturdy defense has not allowed more than 17 points in any game this year.
El Toro outlook: The Orange County-based Chargers upset Villa Park, which was 9-1 going in, 50-45 at Villa Park last week. They move the ball mainly through the air. QB Cooper Jones has thrown for 3,082 yards, with 36 touchdown passes and 11 interceptions. Senior Noah Aguilar has been El Toro's top receiver, with Shane McLaughlin close behind. Aguilar averages just under 89 yards a game in receptions. McLaughlin averages just over 83. Both have 10 TD catches on the year. The Sea View League runner-up has scored 396 points and given up 282 this year.
How the game shapes up: A Lompoc secondary that has held up well this year figures to need to do it again against the most challenging passing attack the unit will have faced so far. The Braves have won before without Taua getting into the end zone, but Lompoc counts on him to wear down opposing defenses.
Who: St. Joseph (7-4) at Lancaster Paraclete (10-1).
Where: Antelope Valley College, Lancaster.
Kickoff: 7 p.m.
St. Joseph outlook: The Knights got past slightly favored Studio City Harvard-Westlake 49-44 at home in the first round last week. Besides being productive, St. Joseph's offense is well-balanced. The Knights average 258 yards a game passing and 228 yards a game rushing. Jayden Vargas has rushed for 1,573 yards and 16 touchdowns. Joseph Miller and Nate Guzman lead a deep receiver corps for QB Dino Maldonado, who has thrown for 2,825 yards, with 31 TD passes and nine interceptions. Miller has 11 TD catches. Guzman has 863 yards in receptions. The St. Joseph defense has often struggled.
Paraclete outlook: The 2016 Division 6 state champ's only loss has been to Division 2 Westlake Village Oaks Christian since moving up to Division 5. Paraclete is the top overall divisional seed for these playoffs. Quarterback Brevin White has thrown for 2,875 yards for a team that has more passing yardage than rushing yards by a more than two-to-one margin. White has thrown 42 touchdown passes and just three interceptions. Melquan Stovall has 1,008 yards in receptions, and 16 TD catches. Andrew Hunt has 881 yards in receptions. Amir Bankhead, the Spirits' leading rusher, has run for 769 yards and six touchdowns. The Gold Coast - Valley League champions have scored 445 points and given up 137.
How the game shapes up: The St. Joseph defense figures to be in for a tough night as it tries to slow down the Paraclete offense. The Knights have shown they can score often. Tonight, they might need to score on every single drive.
Who: Montebello Schurr (10-1) at Santa Maria (7-4).
Where: Ralph Baldiviez Stadium, Santa Maria High School.
Kickoff: 7 p.m.
Schurr outlook: The top overall Division 12 seed's only loss has been to unbeaten El Monte Arroyo, which plays in Division 11. Another team that moves the ball primarily through the air, the Spartans have a quarterback, Miguel Aguero, who has thrown for 3,323 yards and 39 touchdowns. He has thrown seven interceptions. Lance Babb, with 1,303 yards in receptions and 13 TD catches, is Aguero's leading receiver. Kevin Lopez, who averages a tad over 69 yards a game, is the team's leading rusher. The Almont League champions have scored 443 points and given up 193.
Santa Maria outlook: The Saints won a playoff game for the first time since 1994 when they defeated Carpinteria 56-28 at home in the first round. They have rushed for 287 yards a game and thrown for 162. QB Blake Truhitte has 1,811 yards passing and 1,458 yards rushing. He has thrown for 22 touchdowns and run for 21. At 82 yards a game, Robert Ruiz is the team's second-leading rusher, behind Truhitte. Truhitte's top receiver is Jonathan Ramos, who has 756 yards in receptions and seven TD catches. With Gabriel Bravo and Gerardo Zul, the Saints have a good pass rush.
How the game shapes up: Ramos and Truhitte's most important work actually figures to be on defense as they try to stick with the Schurr receivers. The Saints figure to be able to do some scoring, but the defense will be up against it as the unit tries to slow down the Spartans' offense.
Eight-man, Division 1 semifinals: Canoga Park Faith Baptist (11-0) at Orcutt Academy (7-4), 6:30 p.m., Pioneer Valley High School.