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Group of Death in CIF Football Playoffs is Division II, With 3 Powerhouses

Rancho Bernardo pleased to make playoffs, but would eventually face Helix, Oceanside or Poway.

Rancho Bernardo High School got good news and bad news Saturday.

The good: They made the CIF San Diego Section Division II football playoffs!

The bad: Their division—like a World Cup soccer Group of Death—has three of the best teams in the county. Helix Charter High School is defending state champ; Oceanside is No. 1 seed; and Poway beat the Broncos 48-7 Friday.

CIF pairings were determined Saturday morning in a meeting at the San Diego Hall of Champions in Balboa Park. And while some unhappy coaches and teams will always exist, the seeding committee produced few surprises.

Rancho Bernardo High earned the 12th and final seed in Division II despite a 1-9 record and will visit Valhalla on Friday. 

Everyone expects defending CIF champion Helix and top-ranked Oceanside to meet in the DII title game at Escondido High on Dec. 1, but Poway and La Costa Canyon will have a big say in that.

In Division I, Mission Hills (1), Eastlake (2), Grossmont (3) and San Pasqual (4) earned first-round byes. Maybe the biggest surprise here is that Patrick Henry, with the best record of all the DI teams at 9-1, was seeded 12th and last. It continues a tradition of (San Diego) city teams getting no respect when pitted against the rest of the county.

Division III features unbeaten Olympian as the top seed, followed by Cathedral Catholic (2), Ramona (3) and Lincoln (4). The Bulldogs of Ramona will host the winner of a first-round matchup of two 6-4 teams, Hoover at West Hills.

St. Augustine is the top seed in Division IV, with Madison (2), Brawley (3) and Valley Center also getting byes. Mar Vista (7-3) just missed out as the fifth seed and will host Clairemont (5-5) on Friday. La Jolla (3-7), as it did last year, will travel out east to the valley to take on 8-2 Imperial.

In Division V, Santa Fe Christian (1), Francis Parker (2), Christian (3) and Horizon (4) will battle it out for the title. Unbeaten Army-Navy (10-0) of Carlsbad was not seeded and will host 8-2 Calipatria on Friday. Despite a down season at 3-7, Bishop’s will host 8-2 Holtville, while La Jolla Country Day (6-3) visits San Diego Calvary Christian (7-2).

The championship games are not at Qualcomm Stadium this year due to conflicts with the Chargers’ schedule. All five divisions will determine champions over two days—Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at Escondido High School.

DIVISION I

First Round (Friday, Nov. 9)

(1) Mission Hills (8-2), bye

Carlsbad (4-6) at Otay Ranch (6-4), 7 p.m.

Patrick Henry (9-1) at El Camino (6-4), 7 p.m.

(4) San Pasqual (6-4), bye

(3) Grossmont (8-2), bye

Rancho Buena Vista (5-5) at Chula Vista (6-4), 7 p.m.

Torrey Pines (5-5) at Escondido (5-5), 7 p.m.

(2) Eastlake (7-3), bye

Quarterfinals (Friday, Nov. 16)

Carlsbad-Otay Ranch winner at Mission Hills, 7 p.m.

Patrick Henry-El Camino winner at San Pasqual, 7 p.m.

Rancho Buena Vista-Chula Vista winner at Grossmont, 7 p.m.

Torrey Pines-Escondido winner at Eastlake, 7 p.m.

Semifinals (Friday, Nov. 23)

Championship (Friday, Nov. 30, 7:35 p.m., Escondido High)

DIVISION II

First Round (Friday, Nov. 9)

(1) Oceanside (9-1), bye

Hilltop (5-5) at Orange Glen (5-5), 7 p.m.

Rancho Bernardo (1-9) at Valhalla (7-3), 7 p.m.

(4) La Costa Canyon (7-3), bye

(3) Poway (8-2), bye

Bonita Vista (2-8) at Westview (7-3), 7 p.m.

San Marcos (5-5) at Steele Canyon (3-6-1), 7 p.m.

(2) Helix (9-1), bye

Quarterfinals (Friday, Nov. 16)

Hilltop-Orange Glen winner at Oceanside, 7 p.m.

Rancho Bernardo-Valhalla winner at La Costa Canyon, 7 p.m.

Bonita Vista-Westview winner at Poway, 7 p.m.

San Marcos-Steele Canyon winner at Helix, 7 p.m.

Semifinals (Friday, Nov. 23)

Championship (Saturday, Dec. 1, 7:35 p.m., Escondido High)

DIVISION III

First Round (Friday, Nov. 9)

(1) Olympian (10-0), bye

Mt. Carmel (4-6) at Morse (3-7), 7 p.m.

Point Loma (7-3) at University City (6-4), 7 p.m.

(4) Lincoln (6-4), bye

(3) Ramona (6-4), bye

Hoover (6-4) at West Hills (6-4), 7 p.m.

Monte Vista (6-4) at Serra (7-3), 7 p.m.

(2) Cathedral Catholic (8-2), bye

Quarterfinals (Friday, Nov. 16)

Mt. Carmel-Morse winner at Olympian, 7 p.m.

Point Loma-University City winner at Lincoln, 7 p.m.

Hoover-West Hills winner at Ramona, 7 p.m.

Monte Vista-Serra winner at Cathedral Catholic, 7 p.m.

Semifinals (Friday, Nov. 23)

Championship (Saturday, Dec. 1, 3:35 p.m., Escondido High)

DIVISION IV

First Round (Friday, Nov. 9)

(1) St. Augustine (8-2), bye

Mission Bay (6-4) at Del Norte (5-5), 7 p.m.

Clairemont (5-5) at Mar Vista (7-3), 7 p.m.

(4) Valley Center (6-4), bye

(3) Brawley (9-1), bye

La Jolla (3-7) at Imperial (8-2), 7 p.m.

Mater Dei Catholic (8-2) at Mount Miguel (6-4), 7 p.m.

(2) Madison (9-1), bye

Quarterfinals (Friday, Nov. 16)

Mission Bay-Del Norte winner vs. St. Augustine, 7 p.m.

Clairemont-Mar Vista winner at Valley Center, 7 p.m.

La Jolla-Imperial winner at Brawley, 7 p.m.

Mater Dei Catholic-Mount Miguel winner at Madison, 7 p.m.

Semifinals (Friday, Nov. 23)

Championship (Saturday, Dec. 1, 11:35 a.m., Escondido High)

DIVISION V

First Round (Friday, Nov. 9)

(1) Santa Fe Christian (7-3), bye

Tri-City Christian (7-2) at Mountain Empire (7-3), 7 p.m.

La Jolla Country Day (6-3) vs. SD Calvary Christian (7-2), 7 p.m.

(4) Horizon (7-3), bye

(3) Christian (7-3), bye

Calipatria (8-2) vs. Army-Navy (10-0), 7 p.m.

Holtville (8-2) vs. Bishop’s (3-7), 7 p.m.

(2) Francis Parker (6-4), bye

Quarterfinals (Friday, Nov. 16)

Tri-City Christian-Mountain Empire winner vs. Santa Fe Christian, 7 p.m.

La Jolla Country Day-SD Calvary Christian winner vs. Horizon, 7 p.m.

Calipatria-Army-Navy winner vs. Christian, 7 p.m.

Holtville-Bishop’s winner at Francis Parker, 7 p.m.

Semifinals (Friday, Nov. 23)

Championship (Friday, Nov. 30, 3:35 p.m., Escondido High)

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