It turns out that the addition of a new team to the Desert Valley League (Xavier Prep) and the De Anza Leauge (Rancho Mirage) will not increase the number of playoff berths in those league to four teams.
There has been talk about a fourth automatic playoff team from each league due to the addition of a seventh team. A few years ago, that would have been true, but not anymore.
Three years ago, the CIF-SS rulebook made a change on the rule, and now it takes nine or more teams in a league to earn a fourth automatic postseason berth.
According to page 245 of the CIF rulebook, four- and five-team leagues receive two automatic playoff spots. Six- to eight-team leagues receive three.
That could affect multiple teams in the valley over the next four weeks as they attempt to make a postseason run. There’s still a chance that a fourth-place team could snag an at-large bid.
“It just makes it that much more important to finish in the top three,” said Desert Hot Springs head coach Will Littell, whose team sits atop the De Anza League with the toughest part of its schedule ahead.
“These next three games will be huge.”
Three players have been suspended for their part in a on-field fight during the Indio-Palm Desert football game last Friday.
The players are, from Indio, Rubitzel Lezama and Jose Reyes and, from Palm Desert, Jordan Saman. All three will be forced to sit out one game, per CIF rules, for being ejected from the game.
California Interscholastic federation Southern Section Bylaw 1924 states: “Any player who is ejected for any reason shall be disqualified from participating in the remainder of the game and will be ineligible for the team’s next contest and may not attend.”
The scuffle happened in the third quarter with Palm Desert driving. According to witnesses, after Palm Desert tailback Beau Berryhill was tackled at the five-yard line, words were exchanged and some pushing and shoving ensued. A handful of players on both sides left the bench area and became involved.
The CIF-SS office reviewed video of the incident on Monday and handed down the suspensions. Palm Desert will be without Saman for this Friday’s game against Cathedral City and Lezama and Reyes will sit out next week’s game at Cathedral City.
Toland has competition
Two years ago, Shadow Hills tailback James Toland tore through opposing defenses to the tune of 2,649 yards and 39 touchdowns. His numbers from the 2012 season were so outrageous that they’ve come to be the stuff of legend.
But it’s possible, especially after Friday, that those numbers might not look so staggering by the end of this season. Two tailbacks in the valley — La Quinta’s Chris Toribio and Cathedral City’s Orlando Wallace — are on pace to either match or even eclipse those ridiculous statistics.
Toribio has rushed for 1,500 yards and has scored 27 total touchdowns in seven games for the Blackhawks. Wallace has rushed for 1,590 and 26 total scores in seven games for the Lions.
So, Wallace is on pace to rush for at least 2,271 yards and score 37 touchdowns by the end of the regular season. Toribio? He’s on pace to rush for 2,142 yards and score 39 touchdowns in 10 games.
Both players could take it even further in the postseason. Some believe La Quinta has the potential to reach the CIF title game, which would mean a 14-game season. If Toribio were to maintain this pace for that many games, we’re talking a 3,000-yard rushing season and more than 50 touchdowns.
Sure, the competition will be tougher in the playoffs, but it’s also likely that Toribio will actually be playing entire games, something he hasn’t done since Week 1 against Heritage.
Jacobsson has surgery, may still return
Palm Desert junior linebacker Tommy Jacobsson had surgery last week to repair a lateral meniscal tear in his left knee and could be out for the remainder of the season. There is hope, however, that he’ll heal in time for the regular season finale, on Nov. 7 at Xavier Prep, and possibly the postseason.
A Boise State recruit, Jacobsson’s decision to have the surgery now as opposed to the end of the season is in part so that he can be 100 percent by the winter and spring camp season. Those months, leading up to the summer before his senior season, will be critical to his recruitment.
Evidently scoring 70 points in the first half last Friday earned La Quinta some support among those voting in the latest CIF-SS Central Division poll, which was released Monday.
The Blackhawks moved from No. 3 to No. 2 following an 84-28 win over Cathedral City, and with the help of a Serrano loss to Oak Hills. Serrano went from No. 2 to No. 4 and Oak Hills went from No. 4 to No. 3 with the win.
That, of course, leaves Norte Vista (6-0) at No. 1 and La Quinta (6-1) one spot behind. Palm Desert has played both teams and Aztecs defensive coordinator Eric Perry compared the two teams last Saturday.
“In a head-to-head, I think La Quinta beats Norte Vista by three touchdowns on a bad day,” Palm Desert assistant coach Eric Perry said. “That’s how good La Quinta is this year.”
Palm Springs remained No. 6 after a 42-7 win over Xavier Prep.
In the Northwest Division poll, Shadow Hills remained No. 6 after a 48-7 win over Twentynine Palms.
Desert Chapel stayed at No. 4 in the Division II 8-man poll, and Desert Christian Academy moved up to No. 7 in the poll.
THIS WEEK’S GAMES
(All games at 7 p.m.)
• Palm Springs at La Quinta
• Cathedral City at Palm Desert
• Coachella Valley at Xavier Prep
• Shadow Hills at Yucca Valley
• Rancho Mirage at Desert Mirage
• Joshua Springs at Desert Christian Academy
• Desert Chapel at Palm Valley