Two relatively new programs will look to win their first section championship when top-seeded Summit travels to third-seeded Heritage for the Eastern Division championship Friday night at 7 p.m. Here what to look for:
How they got here
Summit (12-1) – defeated Paloma Valley (26-18), Silverado (42-10) and Serrano (35-0)
Heritage (12-1) – defeated Sultana (56-21), Kaiser (42-14) and Citrus Hill (20-17).
Recent championship history
Summit – lost to Elsinore in last season’s Eastern Division championship game, 21-7.
Heritage – has never reached a final.
Players to watch
Summit – Donte Deayon became the Inland Empire’s all-time interception leader earlier this season. The Boise State-bound senior has four picks to give him 22 for his career. Teams can throw away from him on defense but they can’t keep the ball out of his hands on offense. He’s the team’s leading rusher with 1,197 yards and 15 touchdowns. He has also caught a team-high 26 passes for 618 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Heritage – Tony Hifo is a 5-10, 255-pound senior fullback and linebacker for the Patriots. He comes into the game as the team’s second-leading rusher with 782 yards and 15 touchdowns. He’s even more valuable on the defensive side of the ball, where he averages 7.5 tackles a game
Other game changers
Summit – The SkyHawks have the luxury of two 1,000-yard rushers who have committed to Division 1 programs. Jamaal Williams, a BYU-bound senior, went over 1,000 yards last week in a 35-0 victory against fourth-seeded Serrano. He has a team-high 21 touchdowns on the ground and another through the air.
Heritage – Jamal Morrow enters the game averaging 9.14 yards a carry. He has wracked up 1,663 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns this season. The 5-8, 185-pound junior also doubles up as a defensive back, where he has three interceptions.
More key matchups:
*Heritage senior quarterback Chad Virgil vs. Summit junior defensive back Charles Okonkwo.
*Summit quarterback Bernard Porter vs. Heritage sophomore linebacker Sione Takitaki.
*Heritage junior linebacker Nick Avne vs. Summit senior tight end Brandon Mosley.
Common opponents: Heritage played at Paloma Valley in Week 6 of the regular season and won the Sunbelt League game, 28-14; Four weeks later, Summit played Paloma Valley in the first round of the playoffs and won, 26-18, at A.B. Miller High.
Prediction: Heritage 28, Summit 27.