Subscribe for 33¢ / day

After 11 weeks, the regular season for high school football is just about done.

Hundreds of area players will suit up for the last time Friday night.

Meanwhile, others will try to prolong their high school careers by locking up playoff spots.

A lot has already been determined, but there's still plenty to play for.

At Nipomo, Santa Maria will try to win a league championship in football for the first time in a few decades. The Saints have already locked up a playoff berth, the first for the school since 2003. 

Nipomo will try to wrap up another perfect run through the Northern League, like it did last year with a 19-14 win at Santa Maria. 

I think the Saints should win this game, using their high-powered offense that revolves around QB Blake Truhitte. 

Nipomo has won four straight after its 0-5 start to the season. But the Titans haven't played many tough teams during that span, perhaps the biggest win at Scotts Valley a few weeks ago. 

Santa Maria is 5-4 on the season and doesn't have a premiere win on its schedule either. It did play Pioneer Valley tough and could've won that game and was close late against Righetti.

The Saints' wins are against SLO, Cabrillo, Calabasas Viewpoint, Morro Bay and Templeton. Those teams' combined record on the season is 8-36.

So, yeah, the Saints haven't beaten a really solid team, but has played well in some of its losses. It should be a contender in Division 12.

I think they'll have enough offense to get past Nipomo. The Saints average about 450 yards of offense per game, about 200 yards more than Nipomo, which is at 258 yards per contest.

Truhitte accounts for 300 yards per game, throwing and running.

The BIG Los Padres League game of the week is Santa Ynez at St. Joseph, and that's where I'll be. (Shameless plug alert: Watch live Friday night with the pre-game show starting at 6:45 p.m. )  

I think St. Joseph does have an edge in talent against Santa Ynez, but what I saw last week from St. Joseph in the 50-6 loss at Lompoc, I just can't pick the Knights. They were listless and lifeless for much of that game, which was a HUGE opportunity for that team. Lompoc was coming off a not-so-impressive 17-7 win at home over Santa Ynez and appeared to be in a funk. But the Knights never seized the moment and capitalized on the opportunity in front of them, sleepwalking through the game and a 44-point league loss. 

Can the Knights wake up and play better against the Pirates? I think so, but I still think Santa Ynez can win this one.

The Pirates have a high-powered offense that relies mainly on Dustin Gregg leading the passing attack. We saw Lompoc beat St. Joseph defensive backs deep a couple times last week and Gregg and Gabe Prendergast will certainly try the same thing Friday night. 

I do think the Pirates will need to establish some sort of rushing attack to keep the St. Joseph defense honest.

But this game means a lot for the Pirates. They've gone 23-6 in the last three seasons and don't have a playoff berth to show for it.

This group has worked three long years for a shot and it's right in front of them. 

A big rivalry game is the the Battle for the Helmet between Pioneer Valley and Righetti. The Warriors should win that one. I'm going with a Righetti win, 40-19 and that could possibly launch the Warriors into the postseason.

We also have the Big Game between Lompoc and Cabrillo. I think Lompoc will take it easy on its little brother in that game, cruising to another win over the Conquistadores, a series Lompoc coach Andrew Jones has dominated since his varsity tenure began in 2010.

We also have two 8-man playoff games, including VCA Thursday night. You never really know what's going to happen in 8-man, but I'm pretty confident our two area teams will advance. 

Alright, before I go on too long, take a look at everyone's picks and we'll see you next week as the postseason will be just around the corner.

Joe Bailey (74-22)

Santa Ynez 35, St. Joseph 30

Santa Maria 24, Nipomo 21

Righetti 40, Pioneer Valley 19

Lompoc 56, Cabrillo 10

Arroyo Grande 50, SLO 3

Paso Robles 40, Atascadero 12

Templeton 40, Morro Bay 20

8-man Playoffs

Valley Christian 40, Calvary Baptist 36

Orcutt Academy 53, Desert Christian 12

Kenny Cress (71-25)

Santa Ynez 28, St. Joseph 25

Santa Maria 31, Nipomo 28

Righetti 24, Pioneer Valley 10

Lompoc 49, Cabrillo 7

Templeton 35, Morro Bay 28

Paso Robles 28, Atascadero 10

Arroyo Grande 35, San Luis Obispo 7

8-man Playoffs

VCA 45, Calvary Baptist 35 

Orcutt Academy 50, Desert Christian 35

Brian Stanley (67-29)

Santa Maria 28, Nipomo 21

Righetti 35, Pioneer Valley 17

Santa Ynez 42, St. Joseph 35

Lompoc 49, Cabrillo 0

Templeton 21, Morro Bay 7

Arroyo Grande 35, San Luis Obispo 7

Paso Robles 28, Atascadero 10

8-man Playoffs

VCA 56, Calvary Baptist 42 

Orcutt Academy 63, Desert Christian 35

Lorenzo J. Reyna (65-31)

Lompoc 73, Cabrillo 7

Righetti 28, Pioneer Valley 21

Santa Maria 16, Nipomo 10

Santa Ynez 38, St. Joseph 17

Templeton 49, Morro Bay 14

Arroyo Grande 42, San Luis Obispo 10

Paso Robles 37, Atascadero 17

8-man playoffs 

Orcutt Academy 41, Desert Christian 38

VCA 28, Calvary Baptist 27 

Elliott Stern (65-31)

Santa Maria 28, Nipomo 21

Righetti 35, Pioneer Valley 21

St. Joseph 35, Santa Ynez 28

Lompoc 56, Cabrillo 7

Arroyo Grande 42, SLO 7

Paso Robles 35, Atascadero 21

Templeton 56, Morro Bay 7

8-man Playoffs

Valley Christian 52, Calvary Baptist 28

Orcutt Academy 48, Desert Christian 24

Joe Bailey is the sports editor at Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Contact him with tips and story ideas at or (805) 739-2239. Follow him on Twitter at


Sports Editor

Alumni Fresno State