L.A. North: The Top 10

It’s that time of year when only the strong survive. Westlake has been the strongest of the strong and continued its undefeated season. The Sierra Canyon football team moved another step closer to its first CIF championship and also stayed undefeated.

Ventura picked the wrong time to lose its first game and was eliminated from the Western Division playoffs.

Highland, Moorpark and Canyon, all ranked in the L.A. North top 10 last week, lost and were eliminated from the Northern Division playoffs.

Here’s a look at how this week's L.A. North top 10 and how they fared:

  1. (1) Westlake (12-0) – The Westlake scoring machine keeps rolling, this time to the tune of 42-14 against an overmatched Hart team in the Northern Division quarterfinals. Receiver Connor Cook caught two touchdown passes from quarterback Justin Moore. The junior quarterback also rushed for 125 yards in five carries. Running back Dashon Hunt scored three touchdowns and gained 99 yards in nine carries.

  2. (2) Oaks Christian (10-2) – The Lions trounced Highland, 55-21, behind a record-breaking night from sophomore quarterback Brandon Dawkins. He threw a school record seven touchdowns against Highland. That’s a pretty impressive record considering Jimmy Clausen and Nick Montana were quarterbacks at Oaks Christian.

  3. (4) St. Bonaventure (9-3) – The Seraphs ended Canyon’s playoff run for the second year in a row, 38-17, at Ventura High School. St. Bonaventure won impressively, but there are two areas of concern. Quarterback Marc Evans threw three interceptions against Canyon and running back Shaun Wick had only four carries. Wick, the team’s leading rusher for the first 10 games of the season, is nursing a calf injury from the Marmonte League season finale against Westlake.

  4. (5) Chaminade (10-2) – If the Eagles want to win the Western Division championship, they’ll have to play like road warriors. Chaminade has its second tough road game in the playoffs against second-seeded Arroyo Grande on Friday night. Chaminade had to rally by scoring a touchdown in the final two minutes of the game to beat San Luis Obispo on the road in the quarterfinals. Running back Terrell Newby is putting on his best Mad Max impersonation, carrying the ball 28 times for 251 yards and three touchdowns against San Luis Obispo.

  5. (6) Sierra Canyon (12-0)Xavier Menifield scored three touchdowns and a two-point conversion in Sierra Canyon's 38-0 shutout over Ontario Christian in the quarterfinals of the East Valley Division playoffs. The Trailblazers' running back scored on runs of 1 and 25 yards and hauled in an 82-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tyler Stewart. The top-seeded team in the division is on a collision course to meet Paraclete, the reigning East Valley Division champion, in the championship game.

  6. (3) Ventura (11-1) – The Ventura football team saw its perfect season come to a screeching halt against Santa Monica, 29-24, in the quarterfinals of the Western Division playoffs. After going 10-0 in the regular season and winning the Channel League championship, Ventura found itself in unfamiliar territory, trailing in the fourth quarter and clawing for every yard toward a winning touchdown. The elimination of Ventura, the fourth-seeded team in the Western Division playoffs, sets up an unlikely semifinal matchup between Santa Monica and giant-killer Culver City, which upset top-seeded Gardena Serra in the first round.

  7. (NR) Thousand Oaks (8-4) – The Lancers’ win over Moorpark in the quarterfinals of the Northern Division playoffs sounds like something out of Greek mythology. Outnumbered two-to-one, Thousand Oaks outplayed, outsmarted and outlasted Moorpark, 21-14, to reach the semifinals of the CIF playoffs for the first time since 1988. But like Perseus in “Clash of the Titans,” Thousand Oaks goes from slaying Medusa to having to fight the Kraken. Westlake awaits Thousand Oaks in the semifinals. The first time the two teams met this season, Westlake won, 38-6.

  8. (7) Highland (9-2) – The only team from the Golden League to reach the second round of the Northern Division playoffs, Highland ended its season against a very talented Oaks Christian team. There’s no shame in losing to the reigning Northern Division champion. Highland quarterback Christian Tago, who will take his skills to San Jose State, passed for 277 yards and two touchdowns in his final high school game.

  9. (9) Alemany (8-3) – The Warriors were eliminated in the first round of the Pac-5 Division playoffs.

  10. (8) Moorpark (7-5) – The games between Moorpark and Thousand Oaks are traditionally tight. The latest meeting between the two teams ended with a seven-point margin after Thousand Oaks scored 14 points in the fourth quarter. The game was tied, 7-7, in the third quarter before Thousand Oaks scored two times late in the game.